Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Now we’re chargin’ with gas: ASUS Ai Charger

After finishing yesterday’s post on iPhone charging from a USB 3.0 port, I came across some references to ASUS Ai Charger. It’s a Windows software tool produced by motherboard manufacturer ASUS. It claims to increase the charging speed of iThings connected to the computer, and it works with non-ASUS motherboards, and apparently even laptops.

Few details are provided, and it sounds kind of sketchy, but I gave it a try on my EVGA X58 SLI LE motherboard. After installing and rebooting, there’s a new icon in the notification area:

Ai_Charger_Inctive

Clicking, double-clicking, or right-clicking on it has no effect. When I plug my iPhone into a motherboard USB 2.0 port, it changes:

Ai_Charger_Active

Plugging it into a port on my USB 3.0 add-on card has no effect.

So, what’s the verdict?

image(Click to embiggen.)

It works! The purple charging curve, with Ai Charger, is almost identical to the green 1 A wall charger curve. (It’s offset slightly, because Ai Charger’s magic doesn’t kick in until the iPhone turns on and identifies itself to the computer. If I weren’t starting from a dead battery, there would be no delay.)

I don’t really know how Ai Charger works—it seems to look for a device that it recognizes as an iThing, and then tells the motherboard chipset to do something. There are some reports of blue screens on the Internet, and it’s not clear what motherboards or chipsets it supports. But if you’d like to charge your iThing faster, it seems to be worth a try.

3 comments:

  1. Good to hear that the Ai Charger works on non Asus motherboard and iPhone 5 is support since iPhone 5 uses Lighting connection.

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  2. It works my providing more amps to the USB port that currently has the "iThing" plugged in to it. Basically it sends a similar surge of power/electricity to the device to allow it to charge faster, much like the Wall Charger.

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  3. Doesn't work on Windows XP for me. It does show a system tray icon which changes on plugging in iThings, but there also is a window which has some question marks on it and it stays there as long as the application is open. uggh...

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