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Why is my USB 3.0 flash drive writing slow?

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April 18, 2011 6:06:08 AM

I have a USB 3.0 capable motherboard.. A USB 3.0 Flash drive.. And the USB 3.0 drivers installed.. The Flash drive is plugged into a USB 3.0 port.. It is only writing 1.5-2 MB/s... Anybody have any ideas? I can't figure this one out..

Thanks :D 

PS I am new here ^__^

EDIT: System specs.. In case you need to know..

Intel i7-960 3.2 Ghz
EVGA superclocked gtx 580
Patriot viper II ram 2x3GB trip chan
Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3 motherboard
Raidmax 850W PSU
WD caviar black 1TB HDD
windows 7 64 bit
a b V Motherboard
a c 353 G Storage
April 18, 2011 4:05:41 PM

Which thumbdrive and how is it formated, ie Fat, Fat32, Ntfs
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April 19, 2011 12:44:37 PM

Nobody has any ideas? :/ 
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a b V Motherboard
a c 353 G Storage
April 19, 2011 2:31:58 PM

(1) I'm guessing you are using the latest drive:
... Nec USB 3.0 Ver 2.0.30, dtd Dec 21, 2010 (Latest Gigabyte site)
... From Nec, looks like there is a newer version 2.0.4

... You might want to (a) clean all files off drive and run a benchmark program to see how close to spec you get. Crystal disk mark or ATTO. (b) I believe Adata has a low level formater that can return to factory specs ?? See end of post.
For crystal disk mark: http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskMark/index-...

(2) I can say this, all usb thumbdrives are NOT created equal. Below is USB2 but comment applies to USB3 also
I regularly back up a directory on my work computer, only has usb 2, ( around 14 gigs) and there is a hugh difference in time between brands/models in REAL life - ended up going with the Patriot Xporter XT Rage (have both the 32 and 64 gig models).

Although I have USB 3 on main computer at home and on laptop, I have not gone to usb 3 Thumbdrive yet. Not a lover of adata and patriot a litle on the expensive side yet ($65 for 32 gig).
Looking @ specs for Adata 8 gig - Great price, Read performance, so-so Write - relatively LOW performance. Good reviews, BUT would take with mucho salt!!

On adata formater, quote from Manuf:
Dear Customer, we are sorry that you have had difficulties with our product. Please contact our office we have two low level formatting tools, this will repair the USB to factory condition. After running the formatting tool we can then verify transfer rates through a benchmark. ADATA customer service: Phone: 1-888-962-3282 x604; Email: support@adatausa.com. One of support staff members will be happy to assist you with your case.
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a b V Motherboard
a c 353 G Storage
April 19, 2011 2:56:36 PM

Added: did a little digging
On your 1.5 -> 2 M/s write speed.
There is a big diff in the structure of the wirtes, Sequencial vs random and also in files size, also wheather files are compressible vs noncompressable.
Look at the patriot 64 gig USB drive and look at the Hugh diff between th Seq and the random 4 K read/writes speeds (Ref look at the Crystal disk mark test) This is a much faster drive and it only scored 0.9 MB/s for random 4 K writes.
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3852/quick_review_patr...
Manuf, good, bad, or otherwise generally only list the spec that shows the BEST performance - Normally Seq read/write performance.
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April 19, 2011 7:11:17 PM

RetiredChief said:
(1) I'm guessing you are using the latest drive:
... Nec USB 3.0 Ver 2.0.30, dtd Dec 21, 2010 (Latest Gigabyte site)
... From Nec, looks like there is a newer version 2.0.4

... You might want to (a) clean all files off drive and run a benchmark program to see how close to spec you get. Crystal disk mark or ATTO. (b) I believe Adata has a low level formater that can return to factory specs ?? See end of post.
For crystal disk mark: http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskMark/index-...

(2) I can say this, all usb thumbdrives are NOT created equal. Below is USB2 but comment applies to USB3 also
I regularly back up a directory on my work computer, only has usb 2, ( around 14 gigs) and there is a hugh difference in time between brands/models in REAL life - ended up going with the Patriot Xporter XT Rage (have both the 32 and 64 gig models).

Although I have USB 3 on main computer at home and on laptop, I have not gone to usb 3 Thumbdrive yet. Not a lover of adata and patriot a litle on the expensive side yet ($65 for 32 gig).
Looking @ specs for Adata 8 gig - Great price, Read performance, so-so Write - relatively LOW performance. Good reviews, BUT would take with mucho salt!!

On adata formater, quote from Manuf:
Dear Customer, we are sorry that you have had difficulties with our product. Please contact our office we have two low level formatting tools, this will repair the USB to factory condition. After running the formatting tool we can then verify transfer rates through a benchmark. ADATA customer service: Phone: 1-888-962-3282 x604; Email: support@adatausa.com. One of support staff members will be happy to assist you with your case.


1) I do have those drivers from gigabyte.. I will try the ones from Nec. I did run Crystal disk.. Here is a link to my results. http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z116/mooindogs90/8gb... .. It does have some low numbers. I don't really understand the different numbers.. Sequential was on top so I assumed that when I write files they are sequential writes. I am trying to read about the different types of writes.. sequential vs random.. and different sizes. I have heard that in the past it makes a difference but I am not seeing much information on this stuff.

I did get the ADATA drive cause it was cheaper. Didn't think the 90 patriot would make much difference. I figured USB 3.0 is USB 3.0 haha. Guess I should have researched more. Also the good reviews made me think it would work fine. I would be completely fine with this drive if I could get it to run at 11MB write like it says.

2) I am looking at other drives now and see that alot of them advertise speed MUCH higher then what mine is advertised at.
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April 19, 2011 7:50:02 PM

Edit: How do I know how my files are going to write or read?
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a b V Motherboard
a c 353 G Storage
April 19, 2011 9:50:27 PM

That is a tough question to answer for an ssd. HDD is pretty easy Normmally, A HDD is layed out into 512 Byte sectors, 8 of thes Sectors make up a cluster - the smallest area that you can write to (4K). When you write a file, lets say a 10 meg file that would take 2500 of these clusters. So it starts writing at cluster x, the cluster X +1, then X+2 ... to X -2500, that is sequential. Know instead of 1 file taking 2500 clusters, look at say 2500 files that are each 3 K in size (I use this number for a reason). A 1 Byte file, a 100 Byte file and a 4 k byte file all use a full cluster, 4K. These are not "laid" end to end, but can be scattered (What appears as random order). Also when "You" call these files you may call them in a random order, So even if they where put seq, you may access them in an order. The big difference between HDDs and Thumbdrives (Also SSDs) is on random files a HDD would have to make a complete revolution of its platter to read a file stores at a sector it has already passed - SSDs and Thumbdrives do not. HHDs have access times around 12 mSec (7500 RPMs) while SSDs have access times around 0.1 mSecs (Thumbdrives, unk)

Have to finnish this later, have to run, sorry.

Quick add. The 4k and 512 K data sucks, I would have thought they would be better. Will run on one of my patriot USB 2.0 drives and get back tommarrow.
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a b V Motherboard
a c 353 G Storage
April 20, 2011 2:39:10 AM

My patriot USB 2 64 Gig is no Barn burner. Your reads approx 2x mine, my writes about 2x yours.

Mine ......... Read ... Write
.. Seq ........32.71 ... 20.60
.. 512k ......32.33 ... 1.341
.. 4k ......... 5.400 .. 0.012 (pathic)
.. 4k QD32 . 6.062 .. 0.013

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April 20, 2011 3:47:55 AM

RetiredChief said:
My patriot USB 2 64 Gig is no Barn burner. Your reads approx 2x mine, my writes about 2x yours.

Mine ......... Read ... Write
.. Seq ........32.71 ... 20.60
.. 512k ......32.33 ... 1.341
.. 4k ......... 5.400 .. 0.012 (pathic)
.. 4k QD32 . 6.062 .. 0.013


So basically this drive was not money worthy for what I wanted it for. I should have paid the extra to get the patriot drive or kingston drive huh? Well, thanks for teaching me and helping me figure out this problem.. I ran a test on my 2.0 drive as well.. my results were...

read write
seq 19.18 12.96
512k 19.30 2.862
4k 7.975 .023
4k QD32 7.412 .034

The write is FASTER then my usb 3.0 drive LOL!

Well thanks man! ALOT!
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a b V Motherboard
a c 353 G Storage
April 20, 2011 12:58:15 PM

Much Better for speed and not really much more expensive than high end USB 3 Thumbdrives. Larger, but can fit in shirt pocket.

Not so small, but the 2.5" would fit in shirt pocket, is a small SSD (they also come in a 1.8" form factor, but even more expensive. BUT cheaper than a 64 Gig USB 3 Thumbdrive. 40 Gigs new intel 320 - $95: 60 gigs around $125: 30 Gig Kingston $50.

You would have to add a enclouser for 20->40 bucks. (iether a USB3 one, or one with both USB2 and esata (I have). (estata faster, but requires esata)
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April 20, 2011 4:19:30 PM

RetiredChief said:

You would have to add a enclouser for 20->40 bucks. (iether a USB3 one, or one with both USB2 and esata (I have). (estata faster, but requires esata)


What do you mean by an enclosure? Enclosure for what? A usb drive o.o?
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a b V Motherboard
a c 353 G Storage
April 20, 2011 6:03:20 PM

If you bought a SSD instead of a Thumbdrive.
This option depends on usage and portability. While the SSD would be MUCH larger (Would fit in shirt pocket), it would be much faster. So if speed is king then go for SSD, if size is king go Thumbdrive. A SSD (Sata II) on esata would blow the doors off an SSD, But not as porable as other computers may not have esata to connect to. What I did was buy a enclosure that had both USB2 and esata to connect to the computer. Both my laptops and my desktops have USB2, USB3 and esata ports.
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April 20, 2011 7:01:05 PM

It's performing exactly as stated up to 11 meg per second, the important bit is the "up to" which will be for a small file in ideal conditions; bigger files or multiple files will be way slower.
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April 21, 2011 2:51:12 AM

JustSomeJoe said:
It's performing exactly as stated up to 11 meg per second, the important bit is the "up to" which will be for a small file in ideal conditions; bigger files or multiple files will be way slower.


Yes.. But I still think it should transfer faster then USB 2.0.. Haha. Oh well, didn't do my research :( 
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a b V Motherboard
May 21, 2012 8:17:52 PM

ADATA's write speeds are notoriously slow. I have a 16GB ADATA C103 that reads at 50MB/s but only writes at 10MB/s. I only bought it because it was on sale for $13 (which is better than most USB 2.0 drives I've seen). Is it faster? Sure it is. Is it much faster? Not really. The fastest flash drives out there cost real $$$ and I wasn't expecting much from this ADATA except that it would reliably hold data. It does that just fine and for $13, I couldn't go wrong. I think that if you try copying FROM the drive, it will be a lot faster than copying TO the drive. Try that and see what happens.

BTW, my mobo also has native USB 3.0. It's a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3. :sol: 
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January 15, 2014 4:08:21 AM

I have an 8GB Kingston Data Traveller USB 3.0. I have it plugged into a usb port on my laptop with SSD. When i copy a 3.3GB file (iso) to the device I only get 6.0mpb/s speed of transfer, what is all that about can anyone help? I have tried formatting it to FAT32 but it didnt make any difference, surely 6.0mbps is really bad?
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May 16, 2014 4:49:46 AM

vexstorm said:
Nobody has any ideas? :/ 


format to ntfs 8192bytes

managed 100mb/s for a 1.25gb file then dropped to about 40mb for the last bit of the file
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!