USB HD Very Slow Transfer Speeds

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ChrisFromCanada, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #1
    I bought a Seagate 250GB ATA100 HD (ST3250824A) on sale with a USB 2.0 enclosure. Now I know I have heard USB transfer speed blows but I thought that I needed a new HD anyway and the sale was cheap.

    Anyway my transfers to this drive are going at just under 10MB/s. In comparison my LaCie Firewire drive is a little over 30MB/s and to my internal drive I can break 50MB/s. I figure they are all 7200RPM drives so that can't be the cause in the difference in speed. So is is just the USB speed difference or could the ATA100 have to do with it?
     
  2. dsharits macrumors 68000

    dsharits

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Location:
    The People's Republic of America
    #2
    Nope, that's a USB problem, it's just that slow. Now you know why most Mac users prefer FireWire.
     
  3. ChrisFromCanada thread starter macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply dsharits. I figured the USB would be slower maybe 10 or 20% slower, but with transfer speeds at less than 1/3 the speed of firewire let this be a warning to all out there. Go with firewire!

    Now I just want to be 100% sure. I can go and get a Firewire enclosure and pop this drive in and I will get good transfer speeds? The ATA/100 has no effect on this? In what way is the ATA/100 name relevant to speed? 100Mb/s 100MB/s? Maybe someone can fill me in here.
     
  4. torid110 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    #4
    http://www.buildorbuy.org/atapi.html


    shows the differences in speed with the diff specs.


     
  5. dsharits macrumors 68000

    dsharits

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Location:
    The People's Republic of America
    #5
    The ATA/100 shouldn't make a real difference in an external drive, unless it's down to ATA/66 or ATA/33.
     
  6. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #6
    While the info on the page isn't terribly surprising, that has to be the ugliest web page I've looked at all month. It hurts my eyes.

    EDIT: (sorry for going off-topic) but I do appreciate some of the patriotic sentiments elsewhere on the site. :)
     
  7. ChrisFromCanada thread starter macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #7
    Thanks again for the help. I will be selling the USB enclosure soon and buying a Firewire one. Any recommendations for inexpensive ones in Canada?
     
  8. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #8
    Just make sure you get one with a good chipset. I bought a cheap one and it won't put the drive to sleep without turning the power off. Look for the Oxford line of chipsets.
     
  9. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #9
    How are you testing? Just straight up file copies? Also, I'll ask the obvious - you have the drive connected directly to your machine and not a hub, right?

    I am curious what XBench says about your two drives, as I too have a firewire (IOGear) and a USB 2 drive (Maxtor), and they were very close in performance according to XBench.
     
  10. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #10
    Here's my xBench results using the same LaCie triple interface drive. USB lagged significantly behind.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #11
    Yikes! I think I will test mine again...
     
  12. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #12
    Yeah, let me know what your results are. Is it that your USB is faster than my results or your Firewire is slower? Thats kind of what I'd like to see.

    EDIT: some people have suggested that we may see much better USB 2.0 performance with Intel Macs. PCs seemed to get better performance out of the same drives in the past, leading some to think it was Apple's weak implementation of USB 2.0.
     
  13. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #13
    I too suffer from the slow USB issue. Just tested each drive twice and here are the faster scores.

    System Info:
    Code:
    System Info		
    	Xbench Version		1.2
    	System Version		10.4.5 (8H14)
    	Physical RAM		1024 MB
    	Model		PowerMac10,1
    	Processor		PowerPC G4 @ 1.25 GHz
    		L1 Cache		32K (instruction), 32K (data)
    		L2 Cache		512K @ 1.25 GHz
    		Bus Frequency		167 MHz
    	Video Card		ATY,RV280
    	Drive Type		WDC WD32 00SB-01KMA0
    
    
    5400 RPM internal drive - 40GB

    Code:
    Disk Test	23.03	
    	Sequential	28.44	
    		Uncached Write	43.40	26.65 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Write	43.94	24.86 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	13.38	3.92 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	49.67	24.96 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    	Random	19.35	
    		Uncached Write	6.56	0.69 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Write	41.47	13.27 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	60.95	0.43 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	72.72	13.49 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    
    Maxtor OneTouch II - 200GB USB 2 w/7200 RPM drive

    Code:
    Disk Test	15.53	
    	Sequential	10.90	
    		Uncached Write	19.78	12.15 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Write	20.56	11.63 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	4.41	1.29 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	24.40	12.26 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    	Random	27.04	
    		Uncached Write	11.89	1.26 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Write	36.88	11.81 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	63.81	0.45 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	47.57	8.83 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    
    IOGear Dual Interface - 300GB 7200 RPM - Firewire 400
    Code:
    Disk Test	49.41	
    	Sequential	48.66	
    		Uncached Write	54.18	33.27 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Write	58.37	33.02 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	30.67	8.98 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	71.35	35.86 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    	Random	50.19	
    		Uncached Write	21.27	2.25 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Write	100.12	32.05 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	82.03	0.58 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	95.22	17.67 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    

    Thats a big discrepency...and to think, I am using my fastest drive as a backup drive for both my computers :eek:
     

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