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View Full Version : USB 3.0 Upgrade and Test Results


technoid
04-22-11, 06:38 PM
I recently picked up a USB 3.0 add-in board and external enclosure so I ran some benchmarks to compare it to my Internal and USB 2.0 drives. I know the claim for 10 times faster performance with USB 3.0 messes up some people but overall I'm impressed with it. I ran benchmarks on all three, Internal, USB 2.0, and USB 3.0 and will put the test results below. But first a couple of comments.

I got the IO Gear GIC320U (http://www.iogear.com/product/GIC320U/) add-in board and so far it works fine. But be SURE to get the latest driver and firmware updates and apply them as soon as you put it in. It's like a lot of products today, it's broken as shipped and needs an update to fix it.

I also got the SIIG JU-SA0A12-S1 (http://www.siig.com/superspeed-usb-3-0-to-sata-3-5-enclosure.html) 3.5 inch enclosure. So far it works fine and is built pretty solid. The thing I don't like about it is the super bright blue led. Why designers think a laser light shining in your room is a good idea is beyond me. The good thing is it's on the back so it doesn't shine in your face. It's still stupid and will get some tape over it or the wires to the led cut to turn it off. I suppose tape is the best solution since it won't void my warranty.

When I ran HD Tune Pro there was very little difference between the internal drive and USB 3.0 (except burst) but once I did a timed file copy that changed. These days I keep a lot of stuff on external drives so I wanted to speed them up, and USB 3.0 fits the bill. It's not as fast as I wanted it to be but it's pretty fast.

I also ran HDSpeed and got similar results but HD Tune Pro had an easy to paste benchmark result so that's what I'm including here. The last thing I did was create six batch files that logged the start and end times for a 4 gigabyte file copy (mp4). Then I calculated the bit rate for each file copy and added it to the log. The filename was changed for every test so disk caching shouldn't be a problem. I'll put the results for the file copy test after the HD Tune Pro logs.

Batch Files

1. Copy from Internal drive D to Internal drive F. (different physical drive)
2. Copy from Internal drive F to Internal drive D. (different physical drive)
3. Copy from Internal drive to External USB 3.0 drive.
4. Copy from External USB 3.0 drive to Internal drive.
5. Copy from Internal drive to External USB 2.0 drive.
6. Copy from External USB 2.0 drive to Internal drive.

I'm sure your mileage will vary but this is what I got on my system.

HD TUNE PRO TEST RESULTS

INTERNAL DRIVE

HD Tune Pro: WDC WD6401AALS-00L3B2 Benchmark

Test capacity: full

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 57.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum : 117.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average : 92.3 MB/s
Access Time : 12.7 ms
Burst Rate : 180.2 MB/s
CPU Usage : 2.1%[/quote]

EXTERNAL USB 3.0 DRIVE

HD Tune Pro: WDC WD6401AALS-00L3B2 Benchmark

Test capacity: full

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 54.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum : 109.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average : 90.0 MB/s
Access Time : 12.4 ms
Burst Rate : 115.7 MB/s
CPU Usage : 4.7%

EXTERNAL USB 2.0 DRIVE

HD Tune Pro: ST3200822A Benchmark

Test capacity: full

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 30.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum : 31.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average : 30.9 MB/s
Access Time : 15.8 ms
Burst Rate : 31.3 MB/s
CPU Usage : 6.9%

BATCH FILE COPY TEST RESULTS

From Internal drive D to Internal drive F (different physical drive)
STR Drive D to Drive F Copy: Fri 04/22/2011 14:00:59.89
END Drive D to Drive F Copy: Fri 04/22/2011 14:01:44.40
45 seconds to copy 4,383,964,676 = 97,421,437 bytes per second

From Internal drive F to Internal drive D (different physical drive)
STR Drive F to Drive D Copy: Fri 04/22/2011 14:02:06.25
END Drive F to Drive D Copy: Fri 04/22/2011 14:02:51.93
45 seconds to copy 4,383,964,676 = 97,421,437 bytes per second

From Internal drive to External USB 3.0 drive
STR USB 3.0 to Internal HD Copy: Wed 04/20/2011 13:51:09.12
END USB 3.0 to Internal HD Copy: Wed 04/20/2011 13:52:06.01
57 seconds to copy 4,383,964,676 = 76,911,660 bytes per second

From External USB 3.0 drive to Internal drive
STR USB 3.0 to Internal HD Copy: Wed 04/20/2011 13:20:03.73
END USB 3.0 to Internal HD Copy: Wed 04/20/2011 13:21:06.09
63 Seconds to copy 4,383,964,676 = 69,586,740 bytes per second

From Internal drive to External USB 2.0 drive
STR Internal HD to USB 2.0 Copy: Wed 04/20/2011 14:08:29.95
END Internal HD to USB 2.0 Copy: Wed 04/20/2011 14:11:01.12
152 seconds to copy 4,383,964,676 = 28,841,872 bytes per second

From External USB 2.0 drive to Internal drive
STR USB 2.0 to Internal HD Copy: Wed 04/20/2011 14:12:15.54
END USB 2.0 to Internal HD Copy: Wed 04/20/2011 14:14:34.79
139 seconds to copy 4,383,964,676 = 31,539,314 bytes per second

technoid
04-23-11, 02:48 AM
I thought you might like to see the benchmark results so I uploaded some pictures of them.

HD Tune Pro - Internal Drive - WDC 640 Black - SATA

http://img855.imageshack.us/img855/1940/hdtuneprointernalwd640s.png (http://img855.imageshack.us/i/hdtuneprointernalwd640s.png/)

HD Tune Pro - External USB 3.0 Drive - WDC 640 Black - SATA

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/4953/hdtuneprousb30wd640sata.png (http://img5.imageshack.us/i/hdtuneprousb30wd640sata.png/)

HD Tune Pro - External USB 2.0 Drive - Seagate ST3200822A - IDE

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/1253/hdtuneprousb20st3200822.png (http://img263.imageshack.us/i/hdtuneprousb20st3200822.png/)

HD Speed - Internal Drive - WDC 640 Black - SATA

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/2543/hdspeedinternalwd640sat.png (http://img199.imageshack.us/i/hdspeedinternalwd640sat.png/)

HD Speed - External USB 3.0 Drive - WDC 640 Black - SATA

http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/7808/hdspeedusb30wd640sata.png (http://img715.imageshack.us/i/hdspeedusb30wd640sata.png/)

HD Speed - External USB 2.0 Drive - ST3200822A - IDE

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/4246/hdspeedusb20st3200822ai.png (http://img156.imageshack.us/i/hdspeedusb20st3200822ai.png/)

-=DVS=-
04-23-11, 12:31 PM
To contribute to your thread.

My internal 3TB disk - Connection Motherboards SATA2

http://i.imgur.com/ojvx4.jpg

My external USB3 enclosure 3TB - Connection Motherboards USB3

http://i.imgur.com/vu3Ot.jpg

I am very satisfied with USB3 much nicer to use then eSATA.

grey_1
04-23-11, 03:30 PM
To contribute to your thread.


I am very satisfied with USB3 much nicer to use then eSATA.

Seriously? I'm not up on speeds at all these days, but I just walked away from a 2Tb $79 external Hdd because it "only" had USB3 and no eSATA to use with my new laptop.

I should go back and get it from the looks of it....

Nice job on the benches and comparison too technoid, thanks for sharing.

technoid
04-23-11, 05:26 PM
Seriously? I'm not up on speeds at all these days, but I just walked away from a 2Tb $79 external Hdd because it "only" had USB3 and no eSATA to use with my new laptop.

I should go back and get it from the looks of it....

Nice job on the benches and comparison too technoid, thanks for sharing.

No problem. I thought benchmarks from a generic add-in board solution might be of interest to some folks. My last motherboard had an eSATA port and I used it a lot, very fast. I'm not sure I saved any of the benchmarks I did on it and I can't remember the numbers either, but I expect it might have better performace. If I run into them I'll post them here.

technoid
04-23-11, 07:39 PM
To contribute to your thread.

I am very satisfied with USB3 much nicer to use then eSATA.

No kidding, your USB 3 drive is performing as good as the internal drive. That's what I wanted to see on mine too. After I picked up the board and enclosure I researched the chipset, NEC PD720200, and they just released a new version that is faster and more efficient (of course). So I wish my board had that chipset on it. But mass production of the new chipset is expected September 2011 so I'll have to make do with what I have for now. Your motherboard chipset does a great job.

Here's one of the things they said about the new chipset.

NEC PD720201 and PD720202 (Renesas) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/renesas-electronics-introduces-new-third-generation-usb-30-host-controllers-with-industry-leading-transfer-speed-and-low-power-consumption-2011-03-09)

Improvements to the data transfer processing circuit provide an increase in the effective data write speed of more than 40 percent from Renesas Electronics' existing host controller products for peripheral devices such as USB 3.0 hard disks. This, combined with excellent read performance, results in an industry-leading high data transfer speed.

grey_1
04-24-11, 07:32 AM
No problem. I thought benchmarks from a generic add-in board solution might be of interest to some folks. My last motherboard had an eSATA port and I used it a lot, very fast. I'm not sure I saved any of the benchmarks I did on it and I can't remember the numbers either, but I expect it might have better performace. If I run into them I'll post them here.

Absolutely. I just got to where I would be shopping for an external storage solution when I saw your thread. Great info. :)

XDanger
04-24-11, 08:35 AM
Blue light wastes brain cycles.

frenchy2k1
04-24-11, 08:39 AM
No kidding, your USB 3 drive is performing as good as the internal drive. That's what I wanted to see on mine too. After I picked up the board and enclosure I researched the chipset, NEC PD720200, and they just released a new version that is faster and more efficient (of course). So I wish my board had that chipset on it. But mass production of the new chipset is expected September 2011 so I'll have to make do with what I have for now. Your motherboard chipset does a great job.

Here's one of the things they said about the new chipset.
Don't feel bad. With your current setup, you probably would not see any difference.
USB3 has 10 times the bandwidth of USB2, but your HDD will cap at ~100MB/s transfer anyway. The only real benefit would be for SSD (which can go higher than 250MB/s).

Just enjoy the lower transfer times.

technoid
04-24-11, 08:44 AM
Blue light wastes brain cycles.

Ha! In my case it makes me what to choke the guy who designed it in. The enclosure is sitting on my tower about 10 inches from the wall and at night it makes a 6 to 8 inch really bright circle on the wall. When did an indicator light turn into a beacon?

I swear, it could take out an eye if you looked into it :D

technoid
04-24-11, 08:47 AM
Don't feel bad. With your current setup, you probably would not see any difference.
USB3 has 10 times the bandwidth of USB2, but your HDD will cap at ~100MB/s transfer anyway. The only real benefit would be for SSD (which can go higher than 250MB/s).

Just enjoy the lower transfer times.

You're right, and I do :)

technoid
04-24-11, 09:07 AM
Absolutely. I just got to where I would be shopping for an external storage solution when I saw your thread. Great info. :)

If you get a USB 3 add-in board just be SURE to get the latest firmware and driver updates and apply them before you use it. When I was researching USB 3 I can't tell you the number of bad reviews I seen, but new firmware and drivers seem to have fixed that. I didn't upgrade to USB 3 for quite a while because it didn't seem ready for prime time. I'm a retired hardware/software professional and that type of thing really burns me up. I fought againist that in the workplace for years and years before I retired. As all the old guys say, it was better in my day. Sure there were problems but now days most products seem broken when they ship, or at least sub-standard. Think zero-day updates. Boy... what a shame.

nekrosoft13
04-24-11, 09:40 AM
Very interesting results guys. Thanks for sharing. With USB 3.0 the need for eSATA is finally over. Performance is identical to normal SATA and that's great for external storage/backup HDDs.

eSATA is good but it's just not as flexible. I still prefer a good old USB hub over a eSATA port multiplier. Some SATA controllers still have issues with port multiplying.

i would like to see USB 3.0 resuls once you get 3-5 drives running on USB 3.0

mullet
04-24-11, 03:18 PM
Hmm 2 USB 3.0 100GB thumb drives in RAID0.