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USB 3.0-Based 2.5" Hard Disks From Adata, Hitachi, And WD

Benchmark Results: Real-World Copying

JPEG Images

We're really able to see the benefit of adopting USB 3.0-connected drives when it comes to transferring large files. But the performance picture isn't perfect.

Although Hitachi's 750 GB Touro Mobile Pro is a strong performer in the read test, it gets beaten by Western Digital's 2 TB My Passport for the first time in our round-up. It also succumbs to Samsung's S2 and a 500 GB version of itself. It also loses to the Samsung S2 in our write test.

As a test control, we have a couple of USB 2.0-based drives at the bottom of the chart. Their performance is very similar because they're being constrained by the bus' maximum throughput. Truly, USB 3.0 is instrumental in popping the cork on external storage performance.

MP3 Files

When we start moving compressed MP3 audio, the results appear largely similar. Western Digital's My Passport scores another win over Hitachi's Touro Mobile Pro, which takes second place in read performance. Hitachi reasserts itself in the write workload, though not by as large of a margin as the streaming Iometer numbers would have indicated.

  • alidan
    how fast is usb3? i mean real world, say you put a ssd in the best enclosure, what would it do?
    Reply
  • thezooloomaster
    alidanhow fast is usb3? i mean real world, say you put a ssd in the best enclosure, what would it do?
    The theoretical bandwidth of USB 3.0 is roughly 625 MB/s, but this speed is rarely achieved -- even with the fastest hardware -- because the bus relies on a protocol for transferring data which is poorly optimized and eats up a chunk of the bandwidth.
    Reply
  • shahrooz
    alidanhow fast is usb3? i mean real world, say you put a ssd in the best enclosure, what would it do?I get like 70~140 MB/s (copying from WD my passport 1TB to my WD HDD (7200rpm black))
    and I get 30~40 MB/s copying from USB 2 WD my book 2TB to ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Reply
  • willyroc
    shahroozI get like 70~140 MB/s (copying from WD my passport 1TB to my WD HDD (7200rpm black))and I get 30~40 MB/s copying from USB 2 WD my book 2TB to ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^USB 3 is more than twice as fast as USB 2.
    Reply
  • tridon
    I'm sitting here, daydreaming about a Velociraptor external drive. Maybe that would be able to use the USB 3's capacity better, or maybe something's slightly wrong in my head for wishing for such a thing.
    Reply
  • ojas
    willyrocUSB 3 is more than twice as fast as USB 2.Yeah but you're still limited to both the source and destination drive's read/write speed. So when copying from a HDD to an HDD, you're unlikely to exceed 140 MBps.

    If you're copying from a SATA 3 SSD to a USB 3.0 SSD, then yes, you could see much faster speeds.
    Reply
  • jaquith
    USB 3.0 + UASP (or) eSATA (or) Internal (SATA 2 or 3) HDD.

    USB 3.0 in most instances isn't ready for prime time for external HDD's, and without UASP the queuing is too slow; UASP solves this problem. Otherwise without UASP IMO use eSATA or a backup internal SATA HDD.

    More info see TH article June 20th, 2012 - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/usb-3-uas-turbo,3215.html

    Note: The Hitachi Touro fails (BSOD) in Windows 8.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    So... Theoretically USB 3.0 is faster than eSata, but in practice eSata is still the way to go?
    Reply
  • LukeCWM
    ubercakeSo... Theoretically USB 3.0 is faster than eSata, but in practice eSata is still the way to go?Yes.
    Reply
  • alidan
    shahroozI get like 70~140 MB/s (copying from WD my passport 1TB to my WD HDD (7200rpm black))and I get 30~40 MB/s copying from USB 2 WD my book 2TB to ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    that 1tb is in a better case than the 2tb
    what i have noticed with usb 3 is that, yes while its theoretical max is higher than current hdd and ssds should achieve, the fact of the matter is they never hit that peak.

    thats why im wondering, with an ssd, what is the best we can get usb3 to.
    you proved that current normal hdds in a good case do not have a problem in usb 3, and for that i thank you.
    Reply