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Windows 7: usb 3.0 Transfer Speed Very Slow

31 Dec 2010   #1

Windows Professional 64bit
 
 
usb 3.0 Transfer Speed Very Slow

I've done alot of reading about transfer rate with 2.0 and 3.0. For 2.0 it's 480 MB/s and for 3.0 it's 5 GB/s. Copying a 2GB item from computer to external HHD. Using 3.0 port on my notebook on test 1 it's around 34MB/s and then on test 2 the speed might be 3.57MB/s, and then on test 3, it's around 36MB/s and when the file size get's smaller, the speed starts to slow down. Why can't I get my 5GB/s?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Dec 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

Your speed is limited by the slowest link in the chain. The external hard drive in the enclosure at best can only do 133MB/s if its IDE. Thats the theoretical maximum, real world speed is more like 100MB/s or even less if its only an ATA-100 drive. You won't even come close to the USB 2 max speed.
EDIT: A SATA drive will be faster but still won't come close to the full USB 3 speed. My SATA 300 drive maxes out at around 150MB/s.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #3

Windows Professional 64bit
 
 

I've enclosed an attachment of what my hard drive specs are. So what is the top speed I should get? The enclosure one is a Seagate 2TB 3.0


Attached Images
 
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01 Jan 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

For SATA II 3.0 GB/s is the maximum theoretical speed. What you get in real life is less than that. What you get for a sustained read speed depends on the drive and what features it supports. My internal SATA II drive gets about 124 MB/s sustained speed and bursts of around 153 MB/s. Its a Western Digital Blue drive.
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13 Feb 2014   #5

Linux Mint 13, KDE, 64 Bit and Win7 Home premium (dual boot)
 
 

I did not see anything in this thread discussing how the USB 3 speed measurements were made. From my understanding, the most limiting factor, assuming you have correct hardware and settings, is that the maximum speeds are calculated with fully compressable data (generally 1's and 0's, text and emails) and not incompressible data like movies, music, programs, and iso's. Turning on write caching in windows for the usb drive can help. Other factors are the file system the USB device is formatted to. NTFS is very slow in many respects. If you can get by with FAT32 then that would speed things up a bit. Most of this applies to flash and SSD Drives. Traditional platter drives are slow, but steady. Mine transfers around 50Mb/s in or out via usb 3. It seems there is little difference on the type of file. On solid state devices there can be a HUGE difference in both reads and writes. Try copying a 100MB text file to and from your device. Then try it again with an incompressible file like a flash video or small movie. Other factors to consider is if you have any antivirus or other security software that runs. Those usually scan things in and out, thus slowing things down. A better test would be to go into safe mode and try transfers of different files in and out. Be sure security software is turned off. In summation, any solid state device will perform significantly faster transfers with fully compressible data. Traditional drives are 'slow and steady'/
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14 Feb 2014   #6

Win8/8.1,Win7-U64, Vista U64, uncounted Linux distor's
 
 

What zolar1 said +10. Your 30+mbs isn't that bad for real word results. The usb3 chipset and driver have a substantial effect on speeds. The devise you are writing to has a substantial effect on speed.
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14 Feb 2014   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by timlab1955 View Post
I've done alot of reading about transfer rate with 2.0 and 3.0. For 2.0 it's 480 MB/s and for 3.0 it's 5 GB/s.
Can you link the source that states these speeds? I've never seen USB transfer rates anywhere near that high.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2014   #8

Linux Mint 13, KDE, 64 Bit and Win7 Home premium (dual boot)
 
 

Unfortunately due to hardware failure I lost the favorites I had. Seems Crucial SSD's aren't as good as they claim. I agree that drivers and specific hardware issues can affect speed. With all things being equal and you have decent hardware and proper drivers, your true speed will be limited by the type of data being transferred. Fully compressable data will always transfer the fastest, especially if it is divisible by 4096 bytes. Incompressible data like movies, music, iso's, etc will always transfer much slower than a compressible text file. I have done both on reads and writes, in Linux and Windows. Text is very very fast. Others not so fast. With the exception of USB platter devices. Those seem to be regular on speeds. Your mileage will vary. How about do a simple test. Make a folder. Put in 100mb of text files. Make another folder. Put in 100mb of icompressible data (iso's work well). Ensure that you have no scanning software running. Transfer the text first to say a flash drive. Observe the transfer rate and time to finish. Do it again with the incompressib le file. Observe again. You will see the text folder is significantly faster than the 'iso'. Try this with NTFS partitioning and FAT32 partitioning. There IS a difference. NTFS is typically slower than FAT 32 writes. Oh, if it says the transfer is done, it usually isn't. This is due to write caching issues. But you should be able to glean enough information to make your own determination. Theoretical is not practical in any respect. Anyone could claim theoretical. Practical is well, practical. 5GB/s is mind boggling speed IF you could actually get it. (USB 3.0). But real world transfer speeds of incompressible daa is but 10% of that speed roughly. For consistency, get an ISO of star wars. Use that for present and future testing of speeds. It should be 4.3GB in size - a typcal DVD size). The reason for such a large file is because of data caching. Once the cache fills up only then you will know the true transfer speed of the device. Smaller files will not necessarily fill the cache and results could be skewed. Transfer back and forth. The bigger the file the SLOWER it goes. Seems burst speed is nice, but the speed quickly drops off considerably once the cache fills. Most people aren't going to transfer compressible data. Generally that is done by admins, email backups, similar. I wish they would rate speeds with incompressible data and no write caching for real world understanding. If you got higher than that it is a bonus! Instead of maximum speeds how about minimum speeds. I have 2 different USB 3.0 rated flash drives and USB 3.0 rated ports on my laptop. Same file either way on each returns different results. But the common denominator is that BOTH are very slow in transferring normal data (writes specifically). 45 minites to transfer a movie (write) and 16 minutes to transfer (read). Unless you are saving compressible data, you can expect USB 2.0 speeds out of a USB 3.0 flash drive. I tried this with a platter drive too. I hiver about 45-50Mb/s either way (usb 2.0 speed) even if it is connected on USB 3.0. But at least it is consistent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2014   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

SATA 2.0 is 3 Gb/s or 300 MB/s
SATA 3.0 is 6 Gb/s or 600 MB/s
Serial ATA - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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15 Feb 2014   #10

Linux Mint 13, KDE, 64 Bit and Win7 Home premium (dual boot)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
SATA 2.0 is 3 Gb/s or 300 MB/s
SATA 3.0 is 6 Gb/s or 600 MB/s
Serial ATA - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Those are theoretical limits and not true speeds. If you want to know the true speed and not the lies the manufacturer spews out, do the tests I mentioned. 'Up to' x-amount of transfer speed is a lie because it is impossible due to many factors. One being the transport overhead. 2 the quality and design of the device being used. Also, USB 3.0 has a max theoretical limit of only 5.0 Gb/s. SATA III is 6Gb/s. There is a difference. Every speed rating you hear about is an outright lie because none of them are attainable. For example. Connect a USB 3.0 flash drive on a USB 2.0 port. 'theoretically' the drive should be able to handle any data up to the theoretical limits of usb 2.0. BUT, it still is not possible. If you connect a SATA III drive on an SATA I cable, you would think that the speed would be the advertised limit. Nope. You still cannot reach the advertised limit no matter what tweaks you do. Connect an SATA I device onto an SATA III cable and you still cannot reach the advertised SATA I speed. The best possible speed for a given set up is pure text files (highly compressable). This is due to the way the data is written to the flash device. And best to have any data evenly divisible into blocks of 4096 bytes. Partitioning is important too. And NTFS has a LOT of overhead thus slowing down writes even further. The nice thing about FAT and FAT 32 is they don't have much if any overhead for writes. I did read that Linux EXT4 is better suited for flash memory. I can't tell a difference because no matter which I choose (ntfs or EXT4) my transfer speed (writes) are slower than snot on a cold day. I tried a test folder with mised items. I transfer back and forth in windows, then again in linux. Many times linux is slower than windows and Linux lies about having the transfer done. The data is still in the cache when it says done, waiting to be written. As I keep saying, do the tests yourself. roughly 50mb/s transfer speed to flash drive (typical) for USB 3.0/3.0 is awful. Of course that is for incompressible data like movies and ISO's. Oh, I have seen writes go down to UNDER USB 1.0 speeds. Suggestion. Don't write more than one thing at a time. Meaning, you can write a whole folder of items is OK, but while that is being done, don't start writing anything else until that is complete. Seems to choke the device.
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 usb 3.0 Transfer Speed Very Slow





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