Resolved Which USB 3 card to get?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MarkC426, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. MarkC426 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I am about to upgrade my Time Machine from 2TB to 4TB, and want to copy the current backup to the new drive. Currently only got USB 2 on my 5.1 Macpro.
    I estimate about 12 hours to copy with USB 2.
    Is Inatek a good USB 3 card to get, and I presume will be full speed.
    From what I have read USB 3 is about 4 times as fast!
     
  2. jscipione macrumors member

    jscipione

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    #2
    Sonnet Allegro Pro and Highpoint 1144D best on market but each is over $100 meanwhile you can get Mac comparable bus powered one for around $30 on Amazon which works just as well, the only difference is the Sonnet Pro and Highpoint have 4 independent USB root hubs while the $30 version has just one root hubs split among the 4 ports. There used to be a Innatek one but now it looks like Sedna is the way to go. The only difference between these and the more expensive adpaters is the speed you'll get using multiple ports simultaneously and power delivery through the card beyond 500mA.
     
  3. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

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    #4
  4. MarkC426 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    So in laymans terms, if I connected two mains powered external drives to the cheaper one, would it still be faster than USB 2?
     
  5. XNorth, Apr 30, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018

    XNorth macrumors regular

    XNorth

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    #6
    Ableconn PU31-1A1C USB 3.1, dual USB-A and USB-C. With power connected and using UHS-II SD readers & cards, the USB-C transfer speed much faster than the stock USB.
     
  6. jscipione macrumors member

    jscipione

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    #7
    Yes it will absolutely be faster, even regular spinning hard drives will see a sunstantial speed boost over USB3 with a cheap USB3 card.
     
  7. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #8
    This is an adequate card, it is a good price, and it is Mac compatible. But I want to warn people about the misleading speed claims. They advertise USB 3.1 gen 2 transfer speed (10Gbps), but I'm very skeptical since nobody can get anywhere near this. I will be very surprised if anyone can exceed typical USB 3.0 speed with one of these cheap ASM1142 cards. Benchmark it if you can and maybe surprise/correct me, but probably not.

    Also, saying "USB-C transfer speed" is like "saying USB-A transfer speed". It doesn't make any sense because these are physical connector types and the speed depends on the protocol. So the presence of a USB-C port does not indicate 3.1 speed (or any speed at all because you can have charge-only USB-C ports too).
     
  8. h9826790, May 1, 2018
    Last edited: May 1, 2018

    h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #9
    For HDD / TM copying, Inatek KT4004 is all you need. Low cost, reliable, easy installation...

    Depends on the HDD performance. You may expect the HDD can perform up to around 4x faster on sequential read / write.

    However, AFAIK, TM backup is not a single large image file, but more like a folder that consist of millions of small files. Therefore, the actual transfer speed often stay at 30MB/s level.

    If the average transfer speed is just 30MB/s, further upgrade to USB 3.0 connection will only give very very benefit over USB 2.0.
     
  9. XNorth macrumors regular

    XNorth

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    #10
    these are my benchmark speeds using a SanDisk UHS-II card reader and a Sony UHS-II SD card in the USB-C port of the Ableconn UP31 PCIe card:

    Mac Fan Control:
    Peak read 297 MB/s
    Peak write 242 MB/s

    BlackMagic Design Speed Test:
    Read 181 MB/s
    Write 249 MB/s

    Ableconn-UHS-II Speed.png
    USB-C UHS-II.png
     
  10. jscipione macrumors member

    jscipione

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    #11
    USB 3.1gen1 aka USB3 has a max transfer speed of 5gb/s or 625MB/s while USB 3.1gen2 aka USB-C (allegedly) has a max transfer speed of 10gb/s or 1250MB/s. For a real test to see if you are getting the full advertised speed you need to have fast storage such as an SSD or better yet a NVMe SSD or Samsung T5. OP claims to be going from a 2TB to 4TB drive which most likely means he is using spinning platter disks which means USB-C is irrelevant (to him).

    USB2 has a max transfer rates of 480mb/s or 60MB/s but the real limit is actually closer to 30MB/s. With spinning hard drive speeds around 50-150MB/s going from USB2 to USB3 makes sense but going from usb3gen1 to USB3.1gen2 doesn't.

    For those reason I recommend the Inateck KT4004, or (since that card doesn't seem to available on Amazon right now) the Sedna 4port adapter. Both seem to be based on the same Fresco Logic FL1100 chipset and both should cost around $30.
     
  11. XNorth macrumors regular

    XNorth

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    #12
    Yeah I missed that those were spinning drives. But there are 4TB USB-C spinning drives out there (G-Technology), so if a PCIe USB card is needed, why not upgrade to the latest and get a USB-C 3.1 gen 2 10Gb/s card, instead of a 5Gb/s? It makes sense if the goal is to extend the compatibility of the cMP and max its speed with current standards. This goes for other components as well. That was my philosophy when I upgraded my stock 2012 cMP. Go big (within budget) or go home.
     
  12. MarkC426 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    So you think there will not be much gain in the USB 3 card?
    The drives are both Lacie D2 desktop drives.
    Once I have done this copy, probably wont have much use for USB 3 speeds.
    I may just put the 2TB into storage and start a fresh TM on the 4TB.
     
  13. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

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    #14
    If you're not going to be utilizing USB3, the simplest answer is to let it run overnight or over a weekend for this one time data transfer. It's not THAT horrible at USB2 speeds for a one-time event.
     
  14. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #15
    I agree, just 12hours, if OP start the copy process right after he made this post. The process should be finished few days ago. Way faster than wait for the USB 3.0 card.

    In fact, if it takes anything longer than 12 hours. It basically means the process is not USB 2.0 bandwidth limiting.
     
  15. MarkC426 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Thanks all.
    Yeah the 12h time was my estimate based on previous clone copies I have done of about 600gb.
     
  16. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #17
    If you have experience, lets do some maths.

    I am quite sure you mean 600GB (B and b is very different when talking about computer file size).

    So 12 hours = 720min = 43200 seconds.

    600GB = ~600000MB

    That means 13.9MB/s, not even close the USB 2.0 limit (~50MB/s)

    So, if the bottleneck is not there, further upgrade to USB 3.0 can only offer very little help overall (occasionally the file transfer may still able to get above 50MB/s, therefore, it may help a bit)
     
  17. MarkC426 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I didnt explain very well, sorry.
    Approx 600GB clone is about 4.5 hours to copy.

    Which is 4.5 x 60 x 60 = 16200
    600000/16200 = 37MB/s.

    So based on that I estimate 2TB would be:
    2000000/37 = 54054/60/60 = 15 hours (actually worse than my initial guess)
     
  18. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #19
    I see, but that's pretty close to what I said before, expect ~30MB/s
     
  19. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

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    #20
    At the end of the day, if you're using the USB3 card for this one time for this one purpose, there does not seem like a point in purchasing. Just let it run over a night or weekend and stop worrying about the difference between a few hours.

    If you plan to use the USB3 card again in the future, the situation changes.

    As mentioned above, you are barely reaching the USB2 limits...
     
  20. kohlson macrumors 68000

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    Apr 23, 2010
    #21
    I'm a little surprised that everyone with a 5,1 doesn't have a USB3 card. USB 2 is really slow. That said, I have an Inatek KT4004.
    - Pros: Cheap. Works well enough for my use.
    - Cons: I often have to plug a device directly into the card for it to be seen, especially bus-powered drives in docks. I'd rather use the USB3 extender cables that run conveniently to me deck. On reflection, I'd have researched to Sonnet cards a little more.
     
  21. MarkC426 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Ok decided to just create a new TM on the 4TB drive, can’t be bothered copying the old one over....;)
    Thanks for everyones advice, I know what to get in the future if I change my mind.
     
  22. ActionableMango, May 4, 2018
    Last edited: May 4, 2018

    ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #23
    No argument there, I agree with your philosophy 100%, especially at the same price as the KT4004, AND your Ableconn is one of the cards mentioned in the recommended list.

    However, I'm just warning you that nobody actually gets anywhere near 10Gb/s with that Ableconn or any other of these cheap ASM1142 cards. The best it can sustain is about 5Gb/s, and even then only with certain specific high quality enclosures and cables.

    So you're not actually getting "a 10Gb/s card instead of a 5Gb/s card", you're really just getting a 5Gb/s card that says 10Gb/s on the box.

    The only card I am aware of that is tested to exceed 5Gb/s so far on the Mac is the Caldigit FASTA, but it is substantially more expensive ($170), it requires special firmware that it doesn't come with by default, and it's been out of stock for some time now.
     
  23. Synchro3 macrumors 68000

    Synchro3

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    #24
    Afaik the Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus is driverless, just plug & play.
     
  24. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #25
    Yes, thanks for the correction. It is indeed a plug & play card, which is important. I meant a special firmware, not driver. I've updated my post.

    In the context of the conversation about getting 10Gb/s speed (USB 3.1 gen II mode), a custom firmware must be requested from the support group for that capability. They don't include it by default because it reduces compatibility.
     

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