How long will it take to transfer 9 gigs via USB?

johnbro23

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
770
0
Pittsburgh, PA
I'm planning on transferring 9 gigs of data onto an external hard drive in a limited amount of time. I'm not sure what connections the computer has, so I'm interested in finding out how long it will take to transfer via USB 1, USB 2, FW 400, and FW 800. I'm betting the computer has USB 2, but I'm not real sure.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,092
404
That article is USB 1 and USB 1.1.

USB 2.0 is about ten times faster and if you don't have other USB stuff plugged in as they share a bus, it should be about as fast as Firewire 400.
 

nuclearwinter

macrumors regular
Nov 3, 2003
208
0
Milky Way
Funny you should ask...

I just backed up my Home folder to my external USB 2.0 LaCie 160GB. The size was roughly 16GB and took about 20 minutes. 9GB should take, oh I dunno, 10-12 minutes. Not long at all. USB 1.1 or 1.0 is a totally other ballgame though. I have no clue how long that would take.
 

ChrisBrightwell

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2004
2,294
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Huntsville, AL
USB 1.x: (9 gigabytes) / (12 Mbps) = 1.70666667 hours
USB 2.0: (9 gigabytes) / (480 Mbps) = 2.56 minutes
FW400: (9 gigabytes) / (400 Mbps) = 3.07200 minutes
FW800: (9 gigabytes) / (800 Mbps) = 92.16 seconds

Those are best-case scenarios. Odds are you'll take a bit longer on any one of those connections than is rated.
 

iBunny

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2004
1,254
0
I think USB 2.0 is pretty good. Also, I think it depends alot of the Hard drives

If you got some good Drives... It shouldnt take too long... 20 minutes maybe.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
For FW400 guidance...consider the iPod. When I first got mine, I copied approximately 12 gigs of music onto it. It took approximately 12-15 minutes. The iPod had to do some other stuff, which probably explains why it sound slower than nuclearwinter's USB2 experience (FW400 is usually considered to be faster than USB2 for sustained high bandwidth transfer, while IIRC, USB2 has the higher peak rate of 480 MPBS (vs 400) and so is sometimes faster for short bursts.

So in short, as long as you are not talking about USB 1.x, this should not be such a big deal...basically a coffee break or less.
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,969
3
ChrisBrightwell said:
USB 1.x: (9 gigabytes) / (12 Mbps) = 1.70666667 hours
USB 2.0: (9 gigabytes) / (480 Mbps) = 2.56 minutes
FW400: (9 gigabytes) / (400 Mbps) = 3.07200 minutes
FW800: (9 gigabytes) / (800 Mbps) = 92.16 seconds

Those are best-case scenarios. Odds are you'll take a bit longer on any one of those connections than is rated.
I get an average of about 170 Mbps transferring large files over USB2 to my external HD. so make that just over 7 minutes. But lots of smaller files will take longer than a few small files.