Will USB to Thunderbolt adapter cut down on external drive load times

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by primo16, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. primo16 macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2012
    Hi long time reader first time poster,

    I have a macbook pro with retina 15 inch and I play games using boot camp

    Im going to pick up an external drive, too cheap to go with a thunderbolt one :(
    so im just going to get a USB 3.0 drive

    My question is if I get the USB to thunderbolt adapter will transfer speeds and load times (if i put games on the drive) be faster and if so how much faster?

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    1. There is no USB to Thunderbolt adapter, or Thunderbolt to USB adapter, unless you mean the Seagate GoFlex System.

    2. USB 3.0 is plenty of fast, no need for a Thunderbolt connection.

    3. Even 7.200 RPM HDDs do not saturate a USB 3.0 connection.
  3. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Nope, I'm not sure such an adapter exists and even if it does you'll still be limited by USB 3.0 speed.

    Anyway if you're buying a mechanical external hard drive (not a SSD), speed is about the same on either USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt, since the drive's write/read speed will be the bottleneck, not the cable.

    Just go with a regular USB 3.0 drive, it's plenty fast.
  4. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    You can easily answer this yourself no matter what the device(s) or interfaces. The chain will only be as fast (at best) as the slowest link.

    As posts above indicate, the drive is likely the bottleneck.
  5. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    USB3< TB

    Just get a TB external drive.
    I have 2x Lacie 2TB Thunderbolt HDD and it works great.
  6. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Honestly if you're just going to get a plain mechanical external hard drive (not SSD or multiple drives in a single enclosure) then you probably wouldn't even be able to measure the difference between Thunderbolt and USB 3.

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