Real-world read/write speeds of hard drive connected to Airport Extreme

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by macizcool, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. macizcool macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    Hey everyone,

    I'm on the market for a new Airport Extreme. I'm not sure if I'm buying the newest version, or purchasing the previous version off Craigslist (likely the latter). I currently have a USB hard drive connected to my Mac Mini HTPC, which is connected via Ethernet to an Airport Express. I was wondering if I will see any speed loss if I connect this hard drive to an Airport Extreme, versus using file sharing over the network to the Mac Mini.

    Has anyone tested the speeds on this? Hopefully it's fast enough to stream high def videos.
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    The Airport Extreme utilizes a USB 2.0 connection, which will mean you will max your transfers around 40 MB/s. Depending on your signal strength you should be able to get that transfer speed. It should be fast enough to stream HD videos.
  3. macizcool thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    I thought I remember someone saying they were getting slow speeds, but that could have been on a time capsule.

    Would a drive connected to an Airport Extreme be accessible from a Windows computer if the drive is formatted for Mac?
  4. priitv8, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013

    priitv8 macrumors 68030

    Jan 13, 2011
    I've run some BlackMagic tests, using the 2GB stress file. Here are the results:
    450Mbps WLAN	W	R
    APX-USB		18MB/s	15MB/s
    TC		20MB/s	24MB/s
    Mini-USB	33MB/s	38MB/s
    Mini-SATA	35MB/s	38MB/s
    DNS-325		32MB/s	36MB/s
    Gbit LAN	W	R
    APX-USB		27MB/s	23MB/s
    TC		49MB/s	87MB/s
    Mini-USB	38MB/s	120MB/s
    Mini-SATA	50MB/s	108MB/s
    DNS-325		33MB/s	74MB/s
    Mac Mini is the Early 2009 model with 2GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, ST9500325AS, ML Server
    Extreme is the Late 2009 4th Gen
    TC is the Mid 2011 4th Gen
    Sure. Even Linux-formatted drives in current NAS-es are accessible to PCs and Macs. Drive format remains internal affair to a file server. Clients only see it's sharing protocol - SMB, AFP or NFS.
  5. macizcool thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    Thank you so much for your analysis. So the speeds are much slower than having the drive directly connected to USB, but should still be able to stream high def movies without a hitch, correct?

    I did a little more research on the topic of using Windows to share this Mac-formatted drive. It appears there are some issues with newer versions of Windows, but there are some workarounds.
  6. priitv8 macrumors 68030

    Jan 13, 2011
    Considering, that average iTunes HD movie has a bitrate of 5000kbps!~=5Mbps (bits!) and the network disk's throughput is 15MB/s (bytes!) ie. 120Mbs, so it should be sufficient.
    Eg using AppleTV, I have no problems with streaming, because AppleTV buffers ahead very well.
  7. macizcool thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    OK, I'm just hoping that the disk can be used without a lot of delay. The drive needs to be used on my Mini, as well as both my roommate's and my laptops.

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