Forget about USB hubs, this Comet Lake motherboard has 20 USB ports

(Image credit: Portwell)

One of the best technologies to ever grace the PC is the advent of USB connectivity. Practically everything connects via USB these days, so why do some motherboards skimp on compatible ports? That's a good question, and one that is not applicable to Portwell's PEB-9783G2AR.

Behind the rather unassuming model name is a notable motherboard that packs 20 (yes, TWENTY) USB 3.2 ports on rear I/O panel. With that many ports, you could plug in a keyboard and mouse, your VR headset, a mixed reality headset, several external drives, a USB coffee warmer, and still have a bunch of USB ports to spare.

These are native USB ports, too, albeit of the Gen 1 variety (10Gbps, which is half the speed of Gen 2) . The product page (original source: FanlessTech on Twitter) states the motherboard is a proprietary design. Some of the finer grain details are not mentioned, but it appears Portwell split the USB connectivity across Intel's W480E/Q470E chipset and some of the SATA lanes to stretch connectivity to 20 ports, as there are just two SATA 6Gbps ports.

Board walk

(Image credit: MSI)

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Built for Intel's latest generation Comet Lake-S processors, you could build a modern gaming PC on this motherboard if you really wanted to, though it's really intended for workstation/server builds.

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This board supports up to 128GB of DDR4-2666 RAM (by way of four DDR4 DIMM slots) with ECC support, and can accommodate a single M.2 form factor SSD.

In addition to a gang of USB ports, it serves up two DisplayPort 1.4 connectors, an HDMI output, dual ethernet ports (plus a header to add two more to the mix). It also features a system monitor for keeping tabs on voltage, fan speed, and temps.

You're not going to find this motherboard on Amazon or Newegg—anyone interested in buying it will need to request a price from Portwell.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).