Best external hard drive transfer speeds

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Itzmemark, May 1, 2012.

  1. Itzmemark macrumors member

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    Mar 4, 2012
    #1
    I currently have a time capsule that I back up via Ethernet but I feel it is so slow. Given it backs up a whole lot more data but I feel my FireWire 800 transfers data much faster. So I know thunderbolt will be the fastest I would still like to be able to hook it up to my girls computer which does not have it. So regarding USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 vs Ethernet which one will I get the best speeds thanx in advance.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

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    #2
    USB 2.0 offers up to 37 MB/s read/write speeds during peaks, USB 3.0 offers more than that, but as I don't have one to test, I can't offer a real number.
    Many tests I came upon during a quick search didn't show that much faster transfer speeds, one even had results of 26.2 MB/s (10 GB in 6m31s).
    Gigabit Ethernet usually transfers at 75 to 100 MB/s (sometimes more), if the HDD permits it and the protocols are properly implemented.
    Firewire 800 offers 65 to 75 MB/s.
    eSATA offers almost the full speed of the HDD (100+ MB/s for 7200 RPM 3.5" S-ATA HDDs).
     
  3. Itzmemark thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    So I guess the Ethernet is the fastest guess it just feels slower to me thanx
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

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    #4
    Have you actually benchmarked the speed (copied 10 GB of data in a big file (transfers faster) or several (very) small files (transfers slower) and timed it) to get an actual MB/s count?
     
  5. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #5
    What you're seeing can be explained easily. The problem is your time capsule itself. It’s pretty slow compared to other NAS solutions. It has nothing to do with the connection to the time capsule. It’s the hard drive controller inside it that's limiting how fast the data can be written.

    Anandtech put in various hard drives into the time capsule to find out the maximum speeds that it could achieve

    Connecting a hard drive via firewire 800 will indeed be faster than a time capsule, no matter how you connect the time capsule.
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

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    #6
    Ah, thanks, I was suspecting something like this, but wasn't sure and too lazy to look.
     
  7. BlueFinch macrumors newbie

    BlueFinch

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    #7
    When using USB3 the Drive its the limiting factor. i got 370 MByte/s with an Crucial M4(old Bios) in combination with USB3.
     
  8. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #8
    No worries. That review is for the 2011 model. My 2010 time capsule is even slower.
     
  9. simsaladimbamba

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    #9
    Thanks, I thought so, but then I didn't search that much. Again, too lazy.
     
  10. BlueFinch macrumors newbie

    BlueFinch

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    #10
    theoretically USB3 should end at 500Mbyte/s. That should be more than enough for the next years.
     
  11. Itzmemark thread starter macrumors member

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  12. kitsunestudios macrumors regular

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    Apr 10, 2012
    #12
    Barefeats has a great chart of the practical bandwidth limits of Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and FireWire800 on a Mac Pro when using a good SATA-III SSD:

    http://barefeats.com/hard146.html
     

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