Base Station (n) writing slow to the a HD???

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by The Stig, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. The Stig macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

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    #1
    Just wondering that I should be thinking here. I had a new base station with n and a C2D macbook so everything is good there. It works good, not any problems. I just got a HD today (LaCai mini 500gb) and I plugged it into base station and my MB picked it up and it started worked right away (NICE!).

    I tried to transfer a file over. It was about 260mb. And I'd say it was transferring about 2mb every second. To give you an idea. I you started counting from 1 to 10 at a normal pace and you didn't break between number to a mississippi or steam boat or whatever. That is 1mb it sent. So it took about a minute to transfer. Then I tried a 3.2gb file and it took 15 minutes to transfer...

    It seems kinda slow to me. Is this slow? What can I do to speed it up. It doesn't seem like 300mbp/s that is for sure.

    I'm running N only @ 5ghz and I'm through about two walls. There are NO other wireless connections to it. There is 1 PC connected through LAN.

    Any idea? Or am I just crazy? Is that fast? It seems a bit slow.

    The Stig
     
  2. thebeephaha macrumors 6502

    thebeephaha

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    #2
    300mbp/s is the theoretical MAX speed. And its not megabytes, its megaBITs so it sounds about right to me.
     
  3. The Stig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

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    #3
    Yeah I know it is bits not bytes.

    I've seen some other people saying they are getting 300bmp/s connections.

    There are 8 bits in a byte. So if I'm transferring 2 MBp/s that is only 16 mbp/s. That seems a bit slow to me... A far cry from anywhere over 100mbp/s.

    Isn't G that fast?

    The Stig
     
  4. The Stig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

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    #4
    I did a test!

    OK, I did a test today. I wrote a 256MB file to HD I have plugged into my base station through USB. It wrote at a max of 4.2MB/s (mega bytes) with an average of 3.5MB/s (mega bytes).

    This is slow. What the heck? I paid a lot of money for this silly new pre-n base station and HD. It is suppose to go faster than that! That isn't even out of G range!!

    Any help??

    The Stig
     
  5. The Stig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

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    I called apple

    OK. So I did more write testing. All data is in Mega BYTES. All tests done with my Lacie mini 500gb usb/firewire

    through airport I get a write speed of about: 2.5 - 3.5 MB/s

    through the base station connect with Enet: pretty much the same.

    Connect to my PC through enet to base to MB (airport) shared: slower still about 1 MB/s

    Straight into my MB with USB - 16.4 MB/s

    Straight into my MB with firewire - 29.5 MB/s!!!! NICE!!!

    SO, I called apple and spoke to a guy named "John" he talked WAY TOO MUCH, he just went on and on and on and wouldn't stop. Once I had to say his name three or four times to get him to stop because he wasn't going on about something that I already knew/wasn't important.

    So John blames it on my HD, OF COURSE! Not their problem. He says he talked to somebody before with my HD and with the same issue and they called Lacie and Lacie said there is a issue with this HD and the new base station. So I asked him if thumb drives work because I have a Kingston 2gb and he said some do and that is what they use there to test their base stations with. SO I plugged it in instead. Same slow speed. He blamed it on the thumb drive.

    He said the reason that my HD doesn't work well is because it has a USB/Firewire powered hub build in with the HD. And that they don't work well with the base station. He told me to try a different drive.

    I think this is a LOAD OF BS. But I'll play their game. I'm going to go buy a new HD today and try it. And we'll see how well it does. A plain HD. No hub or anything.

    I will buy it and test it and I'll let you guys know. Then I'll call apple and see what they have to say about it. My guess is that it will run slow and in that case I will return this base station because with the fast USB connection in the back it is no better than my linksys G. It doesn't do anything else special enough to make me want it.

    The Stig
     
  6. The Stig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

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    I got a new HD

    Well I got a HD it is one that was on sale at Future Shop. It is a 500gb from I/O Magic. It is ok, it is kinda ugly but silent with no face but is a bit warm... ANYWAY I plugged it into my mac and it's write speed is on average 17.2 MB/s. I plugged it into my new base station and it is the same very slow write between 2-3 MB/s. So John from their base station support is full of crap, as I first thought. I'm on hold with apple right now being transfered back over there. I'll let everybody how it goes. I have a feeling I might have to fight with them a bit. We'll see.

    The Stig
     
  7. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #7
    sorry to hear that. i hope you get it worked out
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #8
    Dumb question, but what is the disk format? Is it HFS+ or is it FAT32?
     
  9. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Yeah - let us know what transpires. I am thinking about buying one of these base stations to use exactly as you describe.
     
  10. wakerider017 macrumors 68000

    wakerider017

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    #10
    Try transferring over ethernet and see what your speed is.
     
  11. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    #11
    Yeah...

    3.2 gigs/second and you're bitching? Damn, most of us would love to have wireless transfer speeds that fast.

    Good luck.
     
  12. The Stig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

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    I have two drive now since they told me the Lacie mini might not work now. The lacie is format HFS+ and for a short time I did format it for Fat32 so I could test it shared thought my PC. The new one I/O magic is formated only FAT32. When speaking to apple care they didn't seem to say it mattered if it was formated as long as it is either, because when ever they asked they would ask if it was formated for mac or fat32. With either format I got the same slow transfer rates.

    I did, I said it in one of my posts. I plugged straight in and got the same transfer rates.

    I think you need to read my posts again. You will see that I said MB/s. Which stands for Megabytes per second. I don't know where you are getting the gigs/second from... but that would be cool. It was was getting a GB/s I would not be complaining.
     
  13. lancestraz macrumors 6502a

    lancestraz

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    #13
    This is just you right?
    I mean, does this effect all AirPort Extremes (n versions)?


    I have a dumb question too...
    Is there any interference interrupting with the signal? Microwaves, telephones, pockets or lead.
    OK, one more... You --of course-- did run the AirPort N enabler.
     
  14. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #14
    I have an N base arriving any day now, so I'll be sure to try out my (no-name) external drive with it, and I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  15. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    #15
    whoops

    Yeah, my bad. I read one thing, thought something else and replied with another thought.

    Damn shame, let us know what's up with future experimenting.
     
  16. The Stig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

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    I don't know if it is just me. I am the only person I know who owns a new N base station. I haven't had many other people give a transfer rate for their HDs.

    There is no interference. I cut out most of it by sitting next to the base station so there is no problems with walls. I do I have a 2.4ghz cordless phone but to be sure I wouldn't have a problem with it (or other networks near by) I'm running N only at 5ghz. Also I tried a transfer tests plugged into the base station with a enet cable and I got the same results between 2.1 and 2.5 MB/s. I also unplugged my windows PC that is plugged into the base station with a cable to run these tests. As for Microwaves, pockets or lead. I don't have any other those things in the room and for sure not between the base station and I.

    Of course I ran the N enabler. It says I'm on a/b/g/n in the system profile and I'm running N ONLY from my base station to be sure.

    The Stig

    Ok cool. The programs I'm using to test my transfer rates are called:

    AJA Kona System Test
    Net Monitor 4.3.9

    The AJA Kona system test has a pref option to be able to write to shared volumes. And the Net monitor monitors all network traffic, and it has a stopwatch feature for testing. Just goto window>stopwatch and then copy over a file and start the watch.

    The Stig

    After talking to Rob a Product Specialist from apple he and I reset to factory the base station and check to make sure I'm running on N. But there was no difference. He gave me his ext. and e-mail so I write him and give him a list of my speed tests and information about my MB and base station. I sent him the programs I'm using and two logs from the base station. One log is just a setup and gives all the information about why my base station is set up and another log is network traffic log. I also send him my hardware profile from system profile. He says he is going to escalate my problem up to their hardware department and they are going to investigate it and get back to me. So I'm just waiting on them I guess.

    I'll keep you posted.

    The Stig
     
  17. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #17
    well hopefully they'll get to the bottom of it
     
  18. davricho macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I received my Airport Extreme last week and have been getting almost identical results to The Stig. Transferring wirelessly to a Lacie 500gb mini hub (Apple format) attached to the Airport and set to 5Ghz "n" only I am seeing speeds between 3-3.5 MB/sec. Also tried another 200gb external drive formatted to FAT32 and am getting similar speeds (when it decides to mount the drive which is proving erratic - the drive shows up under Airport utility but a lot of the time doesn't show up in finder or the desktop so I can't access it which is proving very frustrating!!!)
     
  19. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    #19
    Let me explain it better.

    Your hard drive has a write limit. Look up the actually hard drive not the lacie device, you will find the write limit, and it isn't anywhere close to 802.11n. If you want something with that kind of performance get a SAN. Performance will change depending on the amount of cache.

    the tech was right to say it was the hard drive, but changing disk probably isn't going to help your situation. also, since you are going over a wireless, you cannot gaurentee you will get full potentional of your bandwidthe every second, just a fact. The best benchmark for you is to get a gbit wired connection going and do a benchmark. that will baseline your hard drive write speed and read speed then try over wireless connection.
     
  20. The Stig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

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    #20
    You see, I have plugged both HDs into my MB with a USB cable and I get a transfer rates 16.4 MB/s for the Lacie and 17.2 MB/s for the I/O magic. How are you going to tell me that it won't work correctly because my HDs have a MAC transfer rate? I know what that is, it is 16.4 and 17.2 MB/s. Since they are over a wireless connection I would guess the rates would be a bit lower. Somewhere between 10 MB/s and 15 MB/s. But anything slower than that is just stupid. Why would I guy drive to only get the read/write speed of G device. A G-router with a USB slot could do pretty much the same thing. N should be better and it is not. They do guarantee that the router is up to 5 times as fast and it is not. Apple agree with me and have escalated my problem to their hardware people to look into it. I don't see where you are coming from?

    The Stig

    I've had this problem too. What you should try is turning on the air disk utility and putting it up in your menu bar whiling switching drives. If the drive will just not show up in finder I sometimes had to reset the base station but unplugging it from the back on the station and waiting 30 seconds and plugging it back it. Then and only then would the drive show up in finder. If not I could reconnect it from the air disk utility in the menu bar. Try that and let me know if that works.

    The Stig
     
  21. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #21
    Why is everyone so surprised?
    1) You have the extra mediation of the Ethernet connection

    2) You have the extra mediation of the wireless, which is additional. Regardless what the advertising claims are, wireless real world thorughput is nowhere near the theoretical rates.

    BTW: All of the restrictions -- hard drive speed, Ethernet latency and throughput, wireless latency, throughput and error/retry rates -- are additive.

    3) You have a USB hard drive. Because the drives are brainless, USB requires the CPU to mediate data transfers. It takes up to 10% of a Mac's CPU to manage data transfer to a USB drive. So it's not shocking at all to find out that the tiny wee brain in the router can't run USB transfers as fast as a G5 or an Intel CPU, while at the same time managing wireless connections and routing Ethernet.
     
  22. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #22
    Welcome to the world of NAS (network attached storage). There is NO WAY it is going to be anywhere near the speed of direct-attached storage. I think you are asking way too much of the NAS interface on the router. Sure, wireless N can go much faster, but the bottleneck is the NAS interface to the HDD. It has to translate from a file-based format (used by NAS) to a sector-based format (used by the HDD). Unless the router has a high-powered processor dedicated to that function, this is going to slow down data transmission considerably.
     
  23. The Stig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

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    #23
    I think I'm going to agree with you. I doubt this is going to work. But why buy a N-router? What is the point then? This is what I bought the silly thing for. To have a wireless free external HD solution. I bet it works fine for a printer, but who cares that much. There are network printers that work good too. I ran tests from Mac>PC and it better than writing to the HD at 5 MB/s, but I don't really care about networking to my old PC as I do to a external HD to my MB. I'm guessing in the end I'm just going to get my money back.

    The Stig
     
  24. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #24
    Unfortunately I'm afraid that is the current state of consumer-level NAS devices. I checked into them some a while back and gave up on them for mainly this reason, and also because most of them come to a screeching halt as file size increases. There are commercial-level solutions available that perform better, but they cost many thousands of dollars.
     
  25. wakerider017 macrumors 68000

    wakerider017

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    #25
    You may not like this idea...

    But why don't you return the airport extreme and external drive and setup a home file server.
     

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