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16763 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 81954 20-Apr-2011 14:49
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I have read how in theory USB 3.0 have much higher bandwidth (5Gbps) vs eSATA 2.0 (3Gbps)

I have also read some tests which suggest in the real world this is not true: so I tried to buy a new drive to test it out.

Transfer: 3GB single file
Computer: i7 laptop with 280MBps (R/W) SSD

eSATA Toshiba 500GB 7200rpm drive to transfer file to SSD: burst speed of 180MBps then slows down to 90MBps
SSD to eSATA: burst speed of 160MBps then slows down to 90MBps

USB 3.0 Toshiba 1TB 5400rpm drive to receive file from SSD: burst speed to 220MBps for 1 sec then slows down to 30MBps and at the end of copying had to wait 30 sec to complete file transfer

USB 3 to transfer file to SSD: constant rate of 30MBps

Now i know this is hardly scientific as the hard disks are different BUT the new USB3 drive has no way to let me open and swap the disks so I can't put the 7200rpm disk in it. 

I'm sticking to eSATA despite needing to plug 2 cables in (one for data one for power). THere are newer eSATA devices that only require one cable. My advise is buy those and NOT the USB3 drives.

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16763 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1961


  Reply # 460962 20-Apr-2011 15:18
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just had a thought ... maybe my port isn't running at usb 3 speed ...

16763 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1961


  Reply # 460967 20-Apr-2011 15:33
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or the drive device isnt running at proper usb 3 speed. apparently you must see a "superspeed usb3.0" logo to ensure that product is certified ... hmmm but it's a toshiba!


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 460991 20-Apr-2011 16:32
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Even though USB 3.0 has a higher potential bandwidth, it still doesn't support DMA transfers. That means it relies on the processor to manage the transfer of data, which can be a limiting factor. eSATA on the other hand supports DMA transfers and is able to utilize the full bandwidth available.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 462226 25-Apr-2011 17:20
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Yah, USB 3.0 will stay where it is at the moment for me. A way to easily transfer small(ish) amounts of data via data stick.

I'll probably grab a USB 3.0 stick at some point as a local physical backup to keep my workstation files secure.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 463188 28-Apr-2011 02:07
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30MBps is what i get on my WD Elements USB 2.0 drives.

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Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1961


  Reply # 465822 5-May-2011 16:05
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DIANOSIS: i stupidly was delusioned that i had a usb 3 port which i didn't!!!

bought a USB 3 expresscard from ebay AUD 18. installed (download from author) renesas generic USB3 driver ... and now:

Toshiba Ext HDD -> SSD
burst speed 300MBps and stabilises around 120MBps

SSD -> Ext HDD
burst speed around 210MBps and stabilises around 90 MBps

single cable!!!
either way the 5400rpm 1TB USB3 at least as fast as the eSATA 7200rpm 500GB (something to do with data density vs rotational speed vs radius??)

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