Hardware manufacturer ASRock has announced a new line of motherboards that feature the USB 3.1 standard as well as its new type-C connectors.
The USB 3.1 standard has only recently been finalized, so widespread adoption of the new ports is still a ways off. ASRock's new Extreme6/3.1 line is the first motherboard line to feature both USB 3.1 and both Type-A (the ubiquitous standard) and Type-C connectors. USB 3.1 first appeared on MSI X99A Gaming 9 ACK motherboard, but without the new Type-C connector. We got our hands on USB type-C at CES 2015, and reversible USB ports are every bit as magical as we dreamed.
USB 3.1 has a number of advantages over its predecessor, namely, a boost in speed and power management. But it's the Type-C connector we care more about. In addition to being slightly smaller, Type-C connectors are the long-awaited plug-it-in-any-way-you-like USB ports.
The X99 Extreme6/3.1 features a single Type-C USB 3.1 port, as motherboard real estate is valuable and the new Type-C connectors are more costly to produce than older, more established hardware standards. The Z97 Extreme6/3.1 on the other hand supports USB 3.1, but doesn't have any ports on the motherboard itself. ASRock will, however, include a USB controller card with both motherboards, featuring multiple USB 3.1 slots. The X99 card has two Type-A 3.1 ports and one Type-C, while the Z97 card features one of each.