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USB 2.0 vs 3.0

Sorry for sounding like a complete idiot. I guess my forum rank shows the type of knowledge I have of computers. I'm very curious about this new USB 3.0. Tbh, I don't even know if this question belongs in this section. Sorry if it doesn't :bounce:

Why does it matter how fast it is? I use my USB ports for my MagicJack, Webcam and Optical Mouse. Do I benefit from using 3.0 at all?

Edit: I read up about it but I still don't understand. You can transfer data 'x' amount of GB/s using 3.0 opposed to 'xxx' amount of MB/s using 2.0. Why would anyone need to transfer that much data? And where would you transfer the data from? And where does it go? Can someone please provide me with an example as to why USB 3.0 is useful so then maybe I can understand it better? Thank you!
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  1. Best answer
    For things like mice, webcams, etc..., the increased speed of USB 3.0 doesn't really matter, at least right now. What matters in terms of increased speed is for external hard drives and the limited number of peripherals that benefit from the increased bandwidth. For example, as you know data is getting larger, which is why you see all of these TB+ hard drives.

    Say, you needed to transfer 200GB off of one of these drives onto your computer's internal HDD. USB 3.0 has a theoretical max bandwidth of 4.8GB/s, while USB 2.0 operates at a theoretical max of 480MB/s. There isn't anything out there that can even come close to saturating 4.8GB/s, but being able to transfer data over 480MB/s speeds things up drastically depending on the external hard drive in question.

    Future uses for USB 3.0 would include HD webcams and such.

    Take a look at this link for more:
  2. Quote:
    Why would anyone need to transfer that much data? And where would you transfer the data from? And where does it go?

    For backups. Copying data, or even the whole system, from a PC to an external hard drive. And so they don't have too wait a day and a half to do it.
  3. I create videos with a Canon T2i. I transfer them from an SDHC card. This card is 8GB. I use a USB2 reader. On my "fast" computer, it takes a few minutes to transfer. I'd rather it be a few seconds.

    I would greatly prefer a USB3 reader. Better, a USB4/5/6. Get that data there in 1 second!

    Give it time. One day you will find yourself bitching and moaning about the slowness of USB2.
  4. Although you are not doing these things, OP, here are a couple of real-world examples of the difference. I have an older system with only original USB1.1 capabilities, and one USB1.1 "thumb drive". I also have a newer system with USB2 and a newer "thumb drive". When I go to print to 4-color inkjet printers on USB ports on the two systems, the speed of simply transferring the data to the printers is noticeably different. When I use the older and newer thumb drives to copy photo .jpg files around, there is a huge difference between USB1.1 and USB2.

    Now, 2 vs. 3? Many here have noted (backed up by precise measurements in performance testing) and I can verify by personal experience the difference in speed when using an external hard drive with either a USB2 interface between the drive and the computer, or an eSATA connection. eSATA (which operates about the same speed as internal SATA and is limited mainly by the mechanics of the drive itself) is about twice as fast as USB2. BUT if you have such a drive with USB3 connectivity, that will be just as fast as any SATA system because the communication system is MUCH faster that the hardware providing the data.
  5. Best answer selected by Carc369.
  6. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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