Forum Thread

USB 3 Speeds

zazon 1,494 April 4, 2016 at 11:08 PM
I bought a new 4TB Seagate external drive to replace a 2TB drive. Both drives are USB 3 and I have them hooked to my Optiplex 7010 via USB 3 ports. The fastest speed I get when transferring files is about 30MB per second, which seems kind of low. I can get that speed on an older USB 2 PC. Does 30MB per second seem low for a file transfer and if so, what can I do to fix it? Thanks for any help.

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#2
it's likely the drive that is limiting the speed, not the interface
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#3
How big are the files? Lots of small files take longer than say large movie files to write. It will pull your transfer rate down.
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#4
Thanks for the replies. It's mostly large movie files, though there's 100GB or so of smaller files. Interesting about the drives limiting the transfer rate. I presumed USB would be faster, but will do it when the computer is normally off. Thanks again.
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#5
Quote from zazon View Post :
Thanks for the replies. It's mostly large movie files, though there's 100GB or so of smaller files. Interesting about the drives limiting the transfer rate. I presumed USB would be faster, but will do it when the computer is normally off. Thanks again.
30MB/s seems slow to me. Even a 5400rpm drive I'd expect to be in the 60-80MB/s range. Are both reads and writes slow?
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Last edited by quotidian April 5, 2016 at 10:45 AM
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#6
Quote from zazon View Post :
Thanks for the replies. It's mostly large movie files, though there's 100GB or so of smaller files. Interesting about the drives limiting the transfer rate. I presumed USB would be faster, but will do it when the computer is normally off. Thanks again.
Ya that's on the slow side for big movie files. Some times AV can get in the way. DO you have multiple transfers going or say just the "Movies" folder?
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#7
You might want to run defraggler http://www.piriform.com/defraggler it could be a fragmented drive slowing things down. If you want speed an SSD will be much faster.

I'd agree that the drive is likely limiting speeds but it could also be the usb controller in the external drive. 30MB/s is 240Mbps half of USB 2.0's theoretical 480Mbps, but in practice USB 2.0 is actually limited to 280Mbps. For some devices claiming USB 3.0 support is more about marketing than actually improving performance.
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Last edited by jkee April 5, 2016 at 01:00 PM
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#8
Also be wary of the cable run. I've had issues with getting USB 3 speeds on my front case ports vs plugging directly into the back.
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#9
Speaking of cables, make sure you're using a USB 3.0 cable (they've usually got a bit of blue on the connector). If you're using an old USB 2.0 cable, that would explain the speeds.
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#10
Quote from quotidian View Post :
Speaking of cables, make sure you're using a USB 3.0 cable (they've usually got a bit of blue on the connector). If you're using an old USB 2.0 cable, that would explain the speeds.
The port on the device is typically a different shape for USB 3.0 vs USB 2.0, so it's unlikely the OP would be using an older cable.
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#11
Quote from mmathis View Post :
The port on the device is typically a different shape for USB 3.0 vs USB 2.0, so it's unlikely the OP would be using an older cable.
Edit: never mind

Interesting, I didn't realize these systems typically used micro-b connections. It's still something to check, but you're probably right.
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Last edited by quotidian April 5, 2016 at 01:18 PM
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#12
Try swapping cables because I had a lot of Seagate Expansion drives do that with their original cables but not with the replacements Seagate shipped to me (which were a also slightly different shade of grey). I also didn't have the problem with any WD drives.

USB 3.0 uses its own separate set of wires, which is why the micro connectors are much wider than for USB 2.0. At the front of each motherboard USB 3 socket are 5 extra contacts that are supposed to match up with contacts way in the back of the cable's USB 3 plug, but the plastic ridges between the socket contacts are sometimes too wide and cause the plug's contacts to ride on top of the ridges and never touch the other contacts. I've had this problem only with USB 3 adapter cards, never motherboard USB 3 ports.

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