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garrev

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2020
4
0
I have a 2019 MBP which has 4 USB-C ports, and if you look at the specs, they are rated at 40 Gbps. I just bought a LaCie 4GB external Thunderbolt 3 drive, yet when it's plugged in, it is showing a transfer rate of only 10Gbps. Does anyone know why or where the bottleneck? I was thinking of also getting an external SSD as my portable on photo trips but now I'm wondering if it's worth it if the Mac is restraining those optimum transfr rates.
 

ght56

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2020
839
815
Is both the device and cable actually TB3 items? I ask because some makers advertise accessories as Thunderbolt 3 (since it technically uses a TB3/USB-C port), but the protocol is actually USB 3.2 Gen 2 10 Gbps (formally named USB 3.1 Gen 2) and not actually Thunderbolt 3 40 Gbps. Which LaCie drive is it?
 

garrev

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2020
4
0
It's the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 4TB #STFS4000800, and comes with its own cable, decribed as 1 × Thunderbolt 1 × USB-C (Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3.0 compatible). Tough to get further specs, even on the LaCie sight. I'm going to send a message to their support. Hope that helps.
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,540
8,876
I just bought a LaCie 4GB external Thunderbolt 3 drive, yet when it's plugged in, it is showing a transfer rate of only 10Gbps.
It's the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 4TB #STFS4000800
The 10Gbps is probably the link speed, not the transfer speed.

I am pretty sure that LaCie drive is SATA, and the actual speed of the drive is most likely not even close to 10Gbps.

Is it HDD or SSD?

I was thinking of also getting an external SSD as my portable on photo trips but now I'm wondering if it's worth it if the Mac is restraining those optimum transfr rates.
This isn't the Mac restraining the speeds, I would bet money that it is the drive.

he protocol is actually USB 3.2 Gen 2 10 Gbps
See this^
 
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baypharm

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2007
1,951
973
According to the mfg it is a HDD - not SSD.

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 4TB
STFS4000800
3-year limited warranty
4TBHDD1 × Thunderbolt 1 × USB-C (Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3.0 compatible)130MB/s
 

Daud

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2008
149
6
Wait for a Black Friday deal for a reliable 2.5" SSD drive and replace the HDD:
instruction
But the newer models are not upgradeable because the drive has a direct thunderbolt interface, with no internal Sata connector, hence open first.
 

ght56

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2020
839
815
So that is not a Thunderbolt 3 device. I see why you think it is a TB3 device:
"LaCie 4TB Rugged Mobile Hard Drive (Thunderbolt & USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C)"

However, this is a USB and not a TB3 device, and so the protocol that it supports will be USB and not Thunderbolt. Additionally, as others have noted, it is a Hard Disk Drive, and so its transfer speeds are limited by the hard drive as a hard disk drive cannot come even close to saturating 10 Gbps (your actual speeds are going to be closer to 1.25 Gbps in the best of cases). So it makes no sense for this to use TB3, as this would add a significant amount to the price without any benefit in speed, as again the hard drive means you will get nowhere near speeds to need Thunderbolt 3. (Thunderbolt 3 necessitates additional chip sets, more expensive cables, and an additional certification process.)


Further, even most SSDs on the market are NOT able to effectively use TB3, and you are generally best off with a USB SSD unless you need the absolute extreme edge of speed (which you will pay a steep price for.) Most consumer SSDs use 10 Gbps USB, and most are not able to even come close to using anywhere near the full 10 Gbps.

If you specifically want to use TB3 and want the speeds it enables, you will need a Thunderbolt 3 m.2 NVMe enclosure (which costs between $100-200 without a SSD) and a NVMe SSD to go inside of it. For example:
AND

That said, there are some downsides to this. You can't easily use this drive on just any other computer, these are larger in size and not as portable, NVMe drives get HOT, and a setup like this costs between 2-2.5 times that of a USB-C 10 Gbps SSD. In sum, unless you are moving massive files nonstop, USB-C SSDs are generally more ideal than TB3.
 
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garrev

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2020
4
0
Thank you ght56, for the abundance of information. Very helpful indeed.

I started getting really suspicious myself, did some of my own drive tests, and quickly realized that the drive I bought was, as has been mentioned above, is a standard USB-C, USB3 SATA HDD. and the rated speed on it is 130 MB/s, but my test show R110/W78, I have a number of LaCie Rugged drives, and the one I have been using up to last week, as it turns out, is a Rugged Raid 0, and in the tests showed to more than twice as fast as the new one at over 210 MB/s. That was a wakeup call.

So I really appreciate everyone's input, and in the end it was me not paying enough attention to the specs., but its been a good learning experience.

So to ght56's point, I don't need to jump into the PCIe NVMe arena, but a fast true TB3 and/or SSD would do well for me.

Thanks all
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,540
8,876
and the rated speed on it is 130 MB/s, but my test show R110/W78
Unless there is a serious problem with your drive, you most likely have the HDD version, not SSD. Those speeds sound normal for me. Write is a little low, though.

I have taken apart many LaCie drives, they are pretty easy. You could get a SATA SSD and swap the drive. You would most likely see speeds up to about 500MBps with the SSD and the responsiveness would improved a lot.
 

garrev

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2020
4
0
Are you kidding me?? Take apart the Rugged drive and swap out the drive for a 2-1/2" SSD drive?? Sounds great, but what about the electronics, firmware, etc.? Would that SSD be supported? Does it have to be specific SSD? Fascinating information.
 
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