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Test Details, Test Setup and Comparison Table

Three External (And Fast) USB 3.0 Drives Compared
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Test Details

We ran several benchmarks for storage testing, including c’t Magazine’s h2benchw benchmark for throughput testing and Iometer for I/O performance. However, we decided to add a few more tests that reflect everyday usage, so we created batch scripts that copy a certain number of JPEGs, MP3s, and small text files. We tested read and write speeds and used Microsoft’s Robocopy utility, which comes with Windows Vista and 7. Last but not least, we used IOMeter to test average combined throughput if the drives have to read and write concurrently.

Copy Workloads:

Images (JPEG and RAW files), 2.01 GB (2,167,562,240 bytes), 790 files, 1 folder
Music (MP3 and WAV files), 2.00 GB (2,149,851,136 bytes), 356 files, 33 folders
Small files (TXT, XLS, DOC files), 395 MB (414,482,432 bytes), 22,704 files, 2,167 folders

We used an IODrive from FusionIO to avoid any bottlenecks in the copy testing.

Test Setup

System Hardware
Hardware
Details
CPU
Intel Core i7-920 (45 nm, 2.66 GHz, 8MB Shared L3 Cache)
Motherboard (Socket 1366)
Supermicro X8SAX, Revision: 1.0, Chipset Intel X58 + ICH10R, BIOS: 1.0B
RAM
3 x 1GB DDR3-1333 Corsair CM3X1024-1333C9DHX
HDD
Seagate NL35 400 GB, ST3400832NS, 7200 RPM, SATA 1.5Gb/s, 8 MB Cache
Storage Controllers
eSATA: on-board eSATA (ICH10R)
USB 2.0: on-board USB 2.0 (ICH10R)
USB 3.0: NEC D720200F1 (Gigabyte GA-USB3.0)
Power Supply
OCZ EliteXstream 800 W, OCZ800EXS-EU
Benchmarks
Performance Measurements
h2benchw 3.13
I/O Performance
Iometer 2008.08.18
Fileserver-Benchmark
Webserver-Benchmark
Database-Benchmark
Workstation-Benchmark
Streaming Reads and Writes
System software & Drivers
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate
Manufacturer
A-Data
Buffalo
Western Digital
Family
Nobility Series
HD-PEU3
My Book 3.0
Model Number
NH01HD-PE500U3WDBABP0010HCH
Capacity
500 GB500 GB1000 GB
Other Capacities
320 GB, 640 GB640 GB
2000 GB
Form Factor
2.5"2.5"3.5"
Interface
USB 3.0USB 3.0USB 3.0
Weight
194 g182 g900 g
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