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How to measure transfer rate differences between int. and ext. drives?

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September 16, 2012 12:20:42 AM

Hi, I would like to run some tests to see if there is any significant difference between saving/opening my files on a USB3.0 drive (which is more practical for portability) and saving/opening them on an internal Caviar Black (which I suspect may be a bit quicker).

Can anyone guide me on how I could get some numbers to see if the difference is significant?
a c 104 G Storage
September 16, 2012 3:34:44 AM

Hi Orlando, & Welcome to Tom's Hardware!

One low tech way to measure the actual transfer rate would be to copy to a test folder, a bunch of images, videos, large documents. Then check the folder size by its properties. Let's say its 1000 MB for discussion.

Copy the whole folder over to the USB 3.0 connected HDD and time it. If it takes 10 seconds, then it's 100MB/s
Do the same thing with the internal HDD. Do the same timing experiment. If it takes 7.5 seconds, then it's 150MB/s.

Low tech, yes, but it takes everything into account.

When done, just delete the test folders.
September 16, 2012 3:42:45 AM

Thanks John... so timing the "copying" process would give a good enough approximation of how quickly it would save or open files?
a c 104 G Storage
September 16, 2012 5:07:53 PM

orlando1974 said:
Thanks John... so timing the "copying" process would give a good enough approximation of how quickly it would save or open files?


There are several timing events that occur when you transfer data from one spot to another, such as copying, transfering, saving (not opening)
But since all except the transfer part is the same, the difference you would see would be related to the transfer speed.

When the computer magazines test MBs or Video cards or CPUs, they use a program like PC Mark Vantage, and time hugh files like Photoshop rendering or trancoding videos. High tech method of doing the same thing.

When you take all components into account, instead of getting a theorical transfer rate of 600 MB/s of SATA III's the manufacturers market, you get an actual speed 150-200 MB/s when all your computer resources are taken into account.
!