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I'm looking into buying a new external hard drive for backup purposes - most likely a 2.5" device for portability. Halfway through deciding which one I liked, I realized that the year is 2010 and there's hype going on about USB 3.0.

My question is: will USB 3.0 increase transfer speeds on a standard 5400RPM 2.5" hard drive? I would feel better buying one knowing that I'm not getting outdated technology, since otherwise I would shell out the money into getting a USB 3.0 enclosure.

And additionally, if it doesn't matter for a 5400RPM 2.5" drive, will I see improvements on a fast (3.5" WD Black/Samsung F3) drive?

Thanks.
 

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5400 not at all, 7200 maybe but not noticeable. If speed is what you wanted then internal SATA would be the better option, but as far as USB hard drives go they don't benefit from USB3.
 

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My 5400rpm laptop drive I have in an external enclosure hits 80+MB/s over SATA and about 30MB/s over USB.



So yes, USB3.0 is worth it.
 

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Worth it if you have it.
And if you transfer plenty of large files frequently.

If you transfer small files and once in a blue moon, I say waste.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mootsfox View Post
My 5400rpm laptop drive I have in an external enclosure hits 80+MB/s over SATA and about 30MB/s over USB.



So yes, USB3.0 is worth it.
If that is your testing method, it is not accurate at all.

Try running some hard drive benching apps.
 

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Review here of a WD USB 3.0 External HDD: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/exter...al-my-book-3-0

USB 3.0 is very very fast. If your looking for a top notch external drive then they are definitely the way forward. If you can get by with an internal SATA one then you will certainly save money though. Check out the performance in the review though: 88MB/s Write, 120MB/s Read


If you are able to pick up a copy of this months PC Pro you will find a massive feature/mega test on USB 3.0 HDDs.
 

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USB3 is 60% faster than Sata 2.
USB3 is 20% slower than Sata 3.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by d-block View Post
If that is your testing method, it is not accurate at all.

Try running some hard drive benching apps.
Why? Common sense and usage tells me USB3.0 is closer to SATA speeds then USB2.0. Meaning USB2.0 would bottleneck the drive, or any drive made after 1998, and that USB3.0 is worth the money.

The windows transfer rate is just gigglebytes/time, it's accurate enough for this purpose.

Point being, a 5400RPM 2.5" drive can easily hit 80MB/s, and needs an interface to keep up with it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by d-block View Post
If that is your testing method, it is not accurate at all.

Try running some hard drive benching apps.
Not accurate at all? Its a clear example of the OP's intended use.

His HDD hits 85.6 mb/s. This is impossible with USB 2.0, which has an absolute max of 60mb/s, but with overhead 30mb/s is usually the average.

USB 3.0 has more bandwidth available than SATA II, so it just might be worth it.

I don't think its worth it though. If you can get an external USB 3.0 HDD for the same cost as a 2.0 then do it, but aside from that the only things that actually need USB 3.0 are SSDs.
 

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People need to remember that USB is measured in megabits while HDD transfers are usually rated in megabytes. So yes a 3.0 USB is great as the theoretical value is the rated speed divided by 8 in megabytes.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sarec View Post
People need to remember that USB is measured in megabits while HDD transfers are usually rated in megabytes. So yes a 3.0 USB is great as the theoretical value is the rated speed divided by 8 in megabytes.
USB3 is 4.8Gb/s I believe, so that's still roughly 600MB/s
 

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Look at it this way:

Do you want to be limited to 30MB/s ?

If yes, pick USB 2.0
If no, pick USB 3.0 or eSATA

5400 RPM drives are much faster then 30MB/s these days, and for quite some years.
 

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If your 5400RPM 2.5" HDD is not to old (say 2008 or newer), you should get ~50MB/s over USB3.0 versus ~30MB/s over USB2.0.

Newer 7200RPM 3.5" drives should be noticeably faster, they get at least 80MB/s, If the drive is Samsung F3 or Seagate 7200.12, you should get 100MB/s average easily.

Green 5400RPM 3.5" drives are the sweet spot IMO, they get from 70MB/s on older versions to 80 MB/s on newer ones.
 

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I saw these at Computex, and let me tell you, I was shopping for new socks because mine were blown right off! I don't want to know how much they are though.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mootsfox View Post
USB3 is 4.8Gb/s I believe, so that's still roughly 600MB/s

But since USB2's theoretical is 60MB/sec, and people usually get half that, 300MB/sec (or less) is probably the practical maximum for now.

I say "or less" because the USB3 chips may not even be capable of such high speeds. They are first-gen.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kramy View Post
But since USB2's theoretical is 60MB/sec, and people usually get half that, 300MB/sec (or less) is probably the practical maximum for now.

I say "or less" because the USB3 chips may not even be capable of such high speeds. They are first-gen.
Fair enough, I haven't seen a HDD that can hit that anyways
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mootsfox View Post
Fair enough, I haven't seen a HDD that can hit that anyways

True.
Which means USB3 and eSATA are both very useful to some people.
 

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I think USB's big advantage over eSATA at the moment is that it's more widely available, and it provides power.

eSATA has a powered version ... but support it NOT widespread.

As far as speed goes, even Firewire 400 which has a WORSE theoretical maximum is actually practically faster then USB 2.0...

USB 2.0 wasn't designed for high-speed data storage devices... but since it's cheap to implement, and ubiquitous, we ended up with it sadly... hopefully USB 3.0 will fix all that.
 
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