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

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by johnbro23, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. johnbro23 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2004
    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.
  2. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
  3. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Jun 23, 2003
    St Augustine, FL
    By the time you are done, your great grandson might still be alive to press the "Okay" button when the transfer is complete.
  4. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    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.
  5. nuclearwinter macrumors regular


    Nov 3, 2003
    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.
  6. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    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.
  7. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
  8. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    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.
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    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.
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    LOL...nice. :D
  11. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    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.

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