USB 3.0 on Gigabyte UEFI Motherboards- XHCI Mode Explained

Discussion in 'Lion Desktop Support' started by thelostswede, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. thelostswede

    thelostswede

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    Jun 29, 2012 at 4:01 PM #1
    thelostswede

    thelostswede

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    As you may or may not know, Gigabyte has a setting in the BIOS called xHCI mode.
    It can be set to Smart Auto, Auto, Enabled and Disabled.

    Disabled turns off USB 3.0 entirely and makes all the ports USB 2.0.

    The other three operate slightly differently, especially with regards
    to OS X and as you can see from my screen shots, it appears that the
    Auto mode is the one to pick for OS X. It's the only mode that allows the OS to see the VIA USB 3.0 hubs for example an it appears to show more information about USB 3.0 devices.

    I'm not sure the performance is quite there, as there's no performance benefit using either mode, but in Smart Auto the devices don't even seem to show up.

    Note: This only applies to the Z77, H77, B75 and Q77 boards with integrated Intel USB 3.0 ports. Also note that xHCI and EHCI Hand-off has to be enabled or the USB ports won't work at all.

    Edit: Also note the "HS Port Switchable" settings. On the Z77X-UD5H there are four of these and they enable you to manually set your USB 3.0 ports to USB 2.0 mode if you chose disable rather than enable. This is handy for example during installation if you don't have additinal USB 2.0 ports on your case or via a bracket.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Auto.png  (187.2 KB, 10,310 views)
    • Enabled.png  (166 KB, 7,108 views)
    • Smart Auto.png  (113.6 KB, 5,484 views)
  2. paipai

    paipai

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    Jun 30, 2012 at 4:59 AM #2
    paipai

    paipai

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    Good explanation very helpful :thumbup:
     
  3. crops

    crops

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    Jun 30, 2012 at 6:18 AM #3
    crops

    crops

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    Lion 10.7.4 on GA-X79-UD3/i7-3930K with XHCI enabled and EHCI disabled gives me no USB 3.0 ports at all. I only have enabled/disabled. How could I fix it? :?:
     
  4. thelostswede

    thelostswede

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    Jun 30, 2012 at 8:30 AM #4
    thelostswede

    thelostswede

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    I should've been more clear, this doesn't apply to X79 boards and you need to have xHCI and EHCI enabled in OS X, or the USB ports won't work at all.
     
  5. a6f691ac

    a6f691ac

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    Jul 3, 2012 at 12:24 PM #5
    a6f691ac

    a6f691ac

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    XHCI Mode = Disabled
    The on-board USB 3.0 port function like a 2.0 port

    XHCI Mode = Enabled
    The on-board USB 3.0 port function like a 3.0 port

    XHCI Mode = Auto
    The on-board USB 3.0 port function like a 2.0 port before OS USB 3.0 driver load.
    If you reboot the OS, the on-board USB 3.0 port again function like a 2.0 port during this reboot BIOS phase before OS USB 3.0 driver load.

    XHCI Mode = Smart Auto
    The on-board USB 3.0 port function like a 2.0 port before OS USB 3.0 driver load.
    If you reboot the OS, during this reboot BIOS phase, BIOS is "Smart" enough to avoid downgrade the USB 3.0 port back to 2.0 functionality before OS USB 3.0 driver load. So Smart Auto is faster than Auto on 2nd boot onward, but Enabled is fastest once you are sure the OS has the USB 3.0 driver installed, because it avoid the switching. Making the on-board USB 3.0 port function like a 2.0 port is mainly to support OS installation or to support OS that does not have build-in USB 3.0 driver, so that the USB keyboard would still work if the user plug-in a USB keyboard or any other USB devices into the USB 3.0 ports before the OS is installed with the USB 3.0 driver come with the motherboard.
     
    llamafilm likes this.
  6. thelostswede

    thelostswede

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    Jul 3, 2012 at 12:40 PM #6
    thelostswede

    thelostswede

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    Except as per my screen shots above, OS X doesn't like smart auto.
     
  7. Fu36uall

    Fu36uall

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    Jul 4, 2012 at 12:25 AM #7
    Fu36uall

    Fu36uall

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    Thank you this is very good information
     
  8. krautzman

    krautzman

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    Jul 4, 2012 at 2:11 PM #8
    krautzman

    krautzman

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    Thanks for the great info guys. :thumbup:
     
  9. killerqueen44

    killerqueen44

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    Jul 4, 2012 at 4:31 PM #9
    killerqueen44

    killerqueen44

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    Thank you for the Info, but does anybody know what solution works with my Motherboard? I would be immensly thankful for any info on that.
    My Hackintosh is running really well with Lion except that the USB 3.0 ports dont work.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. thelostswede

    thelostswede

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    Jul 4, 2012 at 4:42 PM #10
    thelostswede

    thelostswede

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    That's kind of off topic, but have you tried the Renesas/NEC kext in Multibeast? It seems to be working with the Etron controllers, but there's no guarantee.

     

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