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MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 2, 2008
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I have read all over the web and see that USB absolutely BLOWS on M1 Macs. What are we to do?

There’s a lot of complaining, but I have yet to see any real solutions. Some people are suggesting using a hub, but the success is hit or miss and nobody can truly explain what is happening.

I’d feel pretty sick if we never get to utilize our high-speed devices at their intended speeds. Supposedly, this is strictly an M-chip issue.

I dropped good dough on a Sandisk Extreme Pro SSD that is tested consistently with speeds of 1500MB/s read and write when using gen 2x2.

Mine is formatted to APFS and clocks 800MB/s MAX with BlackMagic.

Now, I’ve bought an Anker USB dongle that advertises 10Gb/s ports. I thought I couldn’t make things worse than they are, considering my Mac is recognizing my SSD as a 10Gb/s device.

Well, BlackMagic reports read and write speeds of about 430MB/s! The dongle has an SD card slot as well and it’s reporting about 30MB/s!

What is the fastest reported throughput of the USB controller on M1 Macs? What drives/controllers/hubs work at these speeds? Is it possible that a Thunderbolt dock could add faster USB ports?

I think my Dongle is going back.

Did somebody pass another Apple Tax that we all have to pay for in transfer times? Guess that’s the price for owning premium products.
 

MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 2, 2008
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The ≠ is accessed by holding the = key on your device. Or Option+=

I’m well aware and used both units of measure correctly.

The Sandisk Extreme Pro should easily saturate 10Gb/s USB, which is equal to roughly 1000MB/s in the real-world. Yet, I get 800MB/s directly and half of that with the Anker dongle that promises 10Gb/s. When I say the SD is reading at 30MB/s, that is not a typo.
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,404
4,182
Macs do not support 2x2 So the extreme pro and the regular sandisk extreme V2 (or the old pro V1) will have exactly the same speed. On M1 they'll be even slower as you could see. I have also tried a powered Thunderbolt hub from OWC and the speeds are even worse, the fastest is to use the Mac TB ports directy... There is no way around the slower speed as far as I know...
 

jav6454

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2007
22,303
6,257
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
The ≠ is accessed by holding the = key on your device. Or Option+=

I’m well aware and used both units of measure correctly.

The Sandisk Extreme Pro should easily saturate 10Gb/s USB, which is equal to roughly 1000MB/s in the real-world. Yet, I get 800MB/s directly and half of that with the Anker dongle that promises 10Gb/s. When I say the SD is reading at 30MB/s, that is not a typo.
That's one part of my answer, the second part you completely missed. There is so much speed a single NAND chip can handle regardless of the connectivity protocol.

You will see drop-offs in speeds eventually.
 

MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 2, 2008
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OK I tested my Sandisk Extreme Pro SD card in the Anker hub. The card is labeled "170MB/s" and most reviewers get very very close to this maximum speed. I got a max of 65MB/s read. Then, I plugged a USB 3.0 SD card reader into the USB-A port (10Gb/s) in the Anker hub and received a max of 90MB/s read. Hah. They cheaped out and used a USB 2.0 SD reader, me thinks.

Still doesn't explain the drop in performance through the hub. My Mac lists the the Pro SSD as a 3.1 device with a max of 10Gb/s regardless of whether it goes through the hub.

I'm just frustrated that us Apple users are getting the shaft on this non-Intel USB deal. Reminds me of the Nvidia fallout.

You will see drop-offs in speeds eventually.

I understand controller and chip capabilities. I'm comparing to real world reviews. Sandisk quotes their devices very close to what is achievable in real tests. The SSD is new though the SD was purchased in April.
 

TzunamiOSX

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2009
1,013
411
Germany
I would say, if you have an USB 4 case with a fast M.2 you will get around 3000 MB/s (same as Thunderbolt).

Bildschirmfoto 2022-09-24 um 07.16.35.png


 
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MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 2, 2008
3,526
349
So if I find such a thing as a “USB4” dongle or hub that is not bus-powered, I would have to have a “USB4” device at the other end to get any more than 10Gb/s?

But what I’m not understanding is why I’m losing speed through the hub I have if the Mac says my drive is 10Gb/s invariant if where I plug the drive: the Mac port or the Hub port.
 

wonderings

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2021
675
565
Have Mac's every been great with USB transfer rates? When I swap things from my Mac to a USB and then change over to my PC to remove files (and vice versa) it seems like USB on Windows always faster. Lots of variables here of course, but this is not just one computer. I have an M1 Max, 5K iMac 2014, and have had other Macs from MacBook Pros to Mac Mini's.
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,404
4,182
So if I find such a thing as a “USB4” dongle or hub that is not bus-powered, I would have to have a “USB4” device at the other end to get any more than 10Gb/s?

But what I’m not understanding is why I’m losing speed through the hub I have if the Mac says my drive is 10Gb/s invariant if where I plug the drive: the Mac port or the Hub port.
You don't need a USB 4 "dongle", you need a USB 4 / Thunderbolt drive.
UBS 4 or Thunderbolt 3/4 is basically the same thing, since UBS 4 contains a Thunderbolt connections (just does not meet all the Thunderbolt specs, but in terms of speed it's exactly the same).
MacOS speed is not limited with Thunderbolt drives, but again if you use a Thunderbolt hub/dock but a non thunderbolt drive you won't get more than 800 MB/s, while TB gives your up to 2800 MB/s
You can make a TB drive with a TB enclosure and a NVME drive, or buy a ready to use drive.
Bus-powered or not does not matter
 

MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 2, 2008
3,526
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I do need a bus-powered dongle because I need to use this with my MacBook Air on photo/video shoots where no power is supplied. It seems, however, that anything wearing the TB name has to have auxiliary power.

It’s a shame that thunderbolt was touted as the do-all single-port solution and just hasn’t been as widely adopted as such a technology should be. The MacBook 12” was a slight incentive to have manufacturers at least be ready in case that represented the future but, since that debacle, the ONLY things using TB are the highest end peripherals.

SD cards are still used in industry and speed is a factor, yet I have not found any TB dongle with SD slots. That is an absolute necessity on a shoot. Just looking to any more info people can share at this point, since it’s clear USB on a Mac with M1 is not equal.
 

TzunamiOSX

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2009
1,013
411
Germany
I do need a bus-powered dongle because I need to use this with my MacBook Air on photo/video shoots where no power is supplied. It seems, however, that anything wearing the TB name has to have auxiliary power.

It’s a shame that thunderbolt was touted as the do-all single-port solution and just hasn’t been as widely adopted as such a technology should be. The MacBook 12” was a slight incentive to have manufacturers at least be ready in case that represented the future but, since that debacle, the ONLY things using TB are the highest end peripherals.

SD cards are still used in industry and speed is a factor, yet I have not found any TB dongle with SD slots. That is an absolute necessity on a shoot. Just looking to any more info people can share at this point, since it’s clear USB on a Mac with M1 is not equal.
Bus-powered
IMG_2235.jpg
 

MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 2, 2008
3,526
349
I’m not sure what you mean by dongle in this case. There are tons of TB3/4 docks with sd slots.
Docks, yes. I need a hub in a dongle form factor. A dongle is, for instance, like a Minidisplay Port to HDMI adapter. There are many USB dongles that go from C type to a few A ports and SD slots. None of these have I found for TB.


Correct, a bus-powered drive bay like my Sandisk Pro. However, I’d like a bus-powered TB hub with multiple interfaces. For USB, I have the new Anker 8-in-1 that offers 1Gig Ethernet, HDMI, USB-A, SD and USB-C. I can find no such thing for TB.
 

theorist9

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
3,713
2,817
I’d like a bus-powered TB hub with multiple interfaces. For USB, I have the new Anker 8-in-1 that offers 1Gig Ethernet, HDMI, USB-A, SD and USB-C. I can find no such thing for TB.
There is this, but I don't consider it a true TB hub in that, while it has a TB input, it doesn't provide a TB output:

I have read all over the web and see that USB absolutely BLOWS on M1 Macs.
It does blow that the M1 Macs don't give full speed with USB drives over TB; but I wouldn't say that USB blows on M1 Macs ;).

In other words, it doesn't give full speed, and should. But the discrepancy isn't so great that I'd describe its USB speeds as blowing. Instead, they're probably off by ~ 10–15%:

On both a PC and an Intel iMac, the SanDisk Extreme V2 gives 900 MB/s R/W in Blackmagic. Since the Extreme Pro V2 is limited to USB Gen 2 speeds on TB3/4, I'd expect you'd see about same. Thus your transfer times are going to be 900/800 – 1 = 13% longer. [And real-world transfer differences will probably be less than the differences seen with this synthetic benchmark.]

Apple surely knows about this, and hopefully it gets fixed. I vaguely recall this is less of an issue with the Studio...

If you want to compare, in more detail, how your Extreme Pro V2 runs on an M1 vs. how an Extreme V2 runs on an Intel iMac, run Amorphous Disk Mark (free download from App Store) with the default settings:

1664044978391.png


And here's a Kingston XS2000. Like your Extreme Pro V2, it's USB Gen 2x2, and is thus 20 Gb/s-capable, but is downgraded to 10 Gb/s in TB3:

1664045199664.png
 
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MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 2, 2008
3,526
349
OK, all good information. So I see that, no matter what we do, there is no "USB3.2Gen 2x2" to TB adapter in the way that we have, for instance, FireWire to TB adapters.

If I want to max out my Sandisk (which is just an M.2 stick)on a Mac, I'd have to put it into a TB3 enclosure.

At this point now I just want to find a hub similar to the one that I purchased but without the performance drops. It's quite frustrating to have to take such a performance hit when it is clearly just due to cost-cuts.

For reference, here is what I have and do not recommend. I'm setting up a return now.

27caf9b4-88d7-4dcd-8492-93fda4d09103.9f8de5bc49ceb08f4235ebb6c1e902a8.jpeg
 

doboy

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,768
2,940
I have read all over the web and see that USB absolutely BLOWS on M1 Macs. What are we to do?

There’s a lot of complaining, but I have yet to see any real solutions. Some people are suggesting using a hub, but the success is hit or miss and nobody can truly explain what is happening.

I’d feel pretty sick if we never get to utilize our high-speed devices at their intended speeds. Supposedly, this is strictly an M-chip issue.

I dropped good dough on a Sandisk Extreme Pro SSD that is tested consistently with speeds of 1500MB/s read and write when using gen 2x2.

Mine is formatted to APFS and clocks 800MB/s MAX with BlackMagic.

Now, I’ve bought an Anker USB dongle that advertises 10Gb/s ports. I thought I couldn’t make things worse than they are, considering my Mac is recognizing my SSD as a 10Gb/s device.

Well, BlackMagic reports read and write speeds of about 430MB/s! The dongle has an SD card slot as well and it’s reporting about 30MB/s!

What is the fastest reported throughput of the USB controller on M1 Macs? What drives/controllers/hubs work at these speeds? Is it possible that a Thunderbolt dock could add faster USB ports?

I think my Dongle is going back.

Did somebody pass another Apple Tax that we all have to pay for in transfer times? Guess that’s the price for owning premium products.
Macs and lot of the PC's don't support 2x2 (2000 MB/s) speed so most you're going to get is around 1000 MB/s but regular M1 should get ~800 MB/s. On my 14" M1 Pro machine I used to get ~900-950 MB/s write w/ SanDisk Extreme v2 (non-Pro) version before encryption. After encrypting the whole drive with APFS, I get ~850 MB/s write speed.
 

theorist9

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
3,713
2,817
On my 14" M1 Pro machine I used to get ~900-950 MB/s write w/ SanDisk Extreme v2 (non-Pro) version before encryption. After encrypting the whole drive with APFS, I get ~850 MB/s write speed.
That's really interesting, since I've been curious how much hardware encryption (which you have) would reduce the hit I see with the software encryption on my 2019 iMac (you need at least a T2 chip to get hardware encyrption, and that didn't appear until the 2020 iMac; mine has a T1).

With hardware encryption, you're seeing an ~9% increase in sequential write times. By contrast, on my 2019 iMac, with the same drive, I see a much greater increase: With Blackmagic, it goes from 890 to 640 (~40% increase); with Amorphous SEQ1M QD8, it goes from 990 to 730 (~35% increase).

How much change do you see for reads? I see an ~50% time increase with both BM and Amorphous.

By contrast, with my internal drive (WD SN850), the increase in sequential R/W times is fairly small: 2%/4% with BM and 1%/0% with Amorphous. OTOH, randoms do take a big hit, and they're more importatn than sequentials for an internal: 80%/50% increase for 4k QD46 and 20%/50% for 4k QD1 (both Amorphous).
 
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doboy

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,768
2,940
That's really interesting, since I've been curious how much hardware encryption (which you have) would reduce the hit I see with the software encryption on my 2019 iMac (you need at least a T2 chip to get hardware encyrption, and that didn't appear until the 2020 iMac; mine has a T1).

With hardware encryption, you're seeing an ~8% drop in sequential write speeds. By contrast, on my 2019 iMac, with the same drive, I see a much greater loss: With Blackmagic, it goes from 890 to 640 (~40% drop); with Amorphous SEQ1M QD8, it goes from 990 to 730 (~35% drop).

How much change do you see for reads? I see an ~50% drop with both BM and Amorphous.
It's software encryption. I just reformatted with APFS, encrypted.
 

theorist9

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
3,713
2,817
It's software encryption. I just reformatted with APFS, encrypted.
Now I'm puzzled. According to https://eclecticlight.co/2021/08/20/disk-encryption-filevault-and-hardware-encryption/ , it is indeed only the internal drive that is hardware encrypted by the T2 chip. But I'm trying to understand why encryption reduces the performance of my external drive much more than yours—I though it was because the encryption coding/decoding could be done by dedicated hardware in the T2 chip instead of by software. Time to start a separate thread about this....
 
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Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,404
4,182
OK, all good information. So I see that, no matter what we do, there is no "USB3.2Gen 2x2" to TB adapter in the way that we have, for instance, FireWire to TB adapters.

If I want to max out my Sandisk (which is just an M.2 stick)on a Mac, I'd have to put it into a TB3 enclosure.

At this point now I just want to find a hub similar to the one that I purchased but without the performance drops. It's quite frustrating to have to take such a performance hit when it is clearly just due to cost-cuts.

For reference, here is what I have and do not recommend. I'm setting up a return now.

View attachment 2079060
Yes, the only way is to use a TB enclosure, since 2X2 is not supported....
And no, if your objective is to have bus-powered dock with TB outputs (=ports), there is no bus-powered TB dock/hub that has TB outputs, as they need external power.
But why don't you just a TB drive on one of the Mac TB ports and a simple USB C hub in the others? Do you need to have more than one external drive at TB speeds at the same time on the go?
 

MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 2, 2008
3,526
349
Do you need to have more than one external drive at TB speeds at the same time on the go?

Eh no. I just need at least one drive so I can make edits DURING a shoot and do my own selects. I guess this makes sense and I'll just deal with half of the drive speed. Sandisk makes probably the best M.2 enclosure, though. I just hope I get somewhat better performance (specifically with the SD slot) when I get my desktop hub. I'm looking at the CalDigit TB4.
 

livmatus

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2020
122
170
OK, all good information. So I see that, no matter what we do, there is no "USB3.2Gen 2x2" to TB adapter in the way that we have, for instance, FireWire to TB adapters.

If I want to max out my Sandisk (which is just an M.2 stick)on a Mac, I'd have to put it into a TB3 enclosure.

At this point now I just want to find a hub similar to the one that I purchased but without the performance drops. It's quite frustrating to have to take such a performance hit when it is clearly just due to cost-cuts.

For reference, here is what I have and do not recommend. I'm setting up a return now.

View attachment 2079060
I have this exact thing and I don't have any problem with it ... what is the issue for you?

For me it even increases the speed of external SSD (SATA) from 350-400MB/s to full speed of the drive
 

MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 2, 2008
3,526
349
what is the issue for you?
Sandisk directly to Mac= 780MB/s Write x 760MB/s Read
Sandisk to the "10Gb/s" Anker hub to the Mac= 230MB/s Write x 250MB/s Read

The Sandisk is supposed to be USB3.2 Gen 2x2.

Add to that the SD card speed is only about 50-60MB/s, and I know my card is capable of much faster speeds.
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,404
4,182
Eh no. I just need at least one drive so I can make edits DURING a shoot and do my own selects. I guess this makes sense and I'll just deal with half of the drive speed. Sandisk makes probably the best M.2 enclosure, though. I just hope I get somewhat better performance (specifically with the SD slot) when I get my desktop hub. I'm looking at the CalDigit TB4.
I am still not sure what drive you are talking about? Are you talking about the gen 2x2 drive? If so, forget the speed it will work as 10GB/s drive on any Mac (and most Windows). Gen2X2 is almost a scam at this point, barely any device supports it and it's already a dead technology since UBS 4 is better (and while USB 4 is backward compatible with gen 2, it's not with gen 2x2). Nobody should buy it. That has nothing to do with M1. The only issue with M1 is around 20-25% less speed compared to Gen 2 (but full USB 4 / Thunderbolt speed, no loss of speed there).
 
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