Windows 10: Any difference in Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0 external HDD?

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  1.    22 Jun 2018 #1

    Any difference in Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0 external HDD?


    Hi.
    I am facing extremely slow read / write speeds with my present USB 3.0 external HDDs (4TB).

    I am thinking of switching to ones with an optional Thunderbolt connector, like the 2TB Transcend Storejet 300. I was of opinion that it should increase the speed drastically.

    However, below article shows there is no difference!
    Transcend StoreJet 300 2TB review - Macworld UK

    Why is that, since both connectors have considerable difference in read / write speeds? There is also a considerable difference in the price.

    Thanks for guidance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. bro67's Avatar
    Posts : 4,922
    Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.5
       22 Jun 2018 #2

    Thunderbolt is faster and more universal. How fast is USB 3.0 really? | Macworld
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    22 Jun 2018 #3

    seymoria said: View Post
    Hi.
    I am facing extremely slow read / write speeds with my present USB 3.0 external HDDs (4TB).

    I am thinking of switching to ones with an optional Thunderbolt connector, like the 2TB Transcend Storejet 300. I was of opinion that it should increase the speed drastically.

    However, below article shows there is no difference!
    Transcend StoreJet 300 2TB review - Macworld UK

    Why is that, since both connectors have considerable difference in read / write speeds? There is also a considerable difference in the price.

    Thanks for guidance.
    Thunderbolt won't make much difference and the article explains why:

    "Thunderbolt adds some extra versatility, but don’t expect much difference in performance since the limiting factor in a disk-based drive today is almost always the hard disk"

    The drive in question is a 2.5", the type found in Laptops. These are not high performance drives.

    Advertising for external drives causes much confusion. Almost invariably it is the USB 3 interface specifications that are quoted with no hint that a conventional drive's performance will not come anywhere near these numbers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    22 Jun 2018 #4

    Using USB 3.0 external disks, the maximum "speed" I get when creating images is about 115 MB/s. But this is very dependent on the software and the USB/SATA chip used. For example, Macrium is consistently slow in my tests.

    Anyway, I think the limiting factor is the USB speed, not the external SATA disk, since an internal SATA disk operates at a much higher speed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    22 Jun 2018 #5

    Hi guys.
    Thanks for chipping in your inputs.
    My perception is that its like a chain and the weakest link is the limiting factor. The chain is from my internal HDD through my laptop USB port to the port of my external HDD to the external HDD. Four links here.
    As far as the ports, both the port of my external drive and that on my laptop are USB 3.0.
    The external drive is a brand new Transcend 4TB with 3.0 port. So which is the weakest link here which is causing the speed limitation?
    My 2nd question is : Referring to the drive in question regarding my post, it has two ports, a USB 3.0 and a Thunderbolt.
    I still quite don't get it why the Thunderbolt will give the same speed as the USB 3.0.
    Thanks and regards.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    22 Jun 2018 #6

    Bear in mind that, to use Thunderbolt, your computer must have a Thunderbolt-enabled USB-C port. You canīt use a USB 3.0 port.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    22 Jun 2018 #7

    seymoria said: View Post
    Hi guys.
    Thanks for chipping in your inputs.
    My perception is that its like a chain and the weakest link is the limiting factor. The chain is from my internal HDD through my laptop USB port to the port of my external HDD to the external HDD. Four links here.
    As far as the ports, both the port of my external drive and that on my laptop are USB 3.0.
    The external drive is a brand new Transcend 4TB with 3.0 port. So which is the weakest link here which is causing the speed limitation?
    My 2nd question is : Referring to the drive in question regarding my post, it has two ports, a USB 3.0 and a Thunderbolt.
    I still quite don't get it why the Thunderbolt will give the same speed as the USB 3.0.
    Thanks and regards.
    This is indeed like a chain. With conventional drives the drive itself will almost always be the limiting factor unless you are using an SSD. No conventional drive can match USB 3. The drive is the weak link. In this case it doesn't matter how fast the Thunderbolt and USB 3 interfaces are as they are the stronger link. The interface, no matter how fast it might be, cannot overcome the limitations of a slow drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,829
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       22 Jun 2018 #8

    LMiller7 said: View Post
    The interface, no matter how fast it might be, cannot overcome the limitations of a slow drive.
    True, and here's some evidence to back that up. I used CrystalDiskMark Portable to test the speed of a Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB ext HDD.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PC2 USB3 HDD.PNG 
Views:	29 
Size:	38.1 KB 
ID:	193207

    This is near enough the same speed as the PC's own internal SATA HDD, so the drive itself is the limiting factor here.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PC2 internal.PNG 
Views:	29 
Size:	37.4 KB 
ID:	193208

    For comparison, this is the speed of the same Toshiba ext HDD in a USB2 port, where the port speed is the limiting factor.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PC1 USB2 HDD.PNG 
Views:	29 
Size:	36.4 KB 
ID:	193209
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    22 Jun 2018 #9

    seymoria said: View Post
    Hi.
    I am facing extremely slow read / write speeds with my present USB 3.0 external HDDs (4TB).
    What type of performance are you seeing? I have a USB 3.0 Seagate 4TB external hard drive and I get about 90MB/sec to that drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    22 Jun 2018 #10

    I was thinking of purchasing a Macbook having an internal SSD along with a thunderbolt enabled external HDD. At least, three points in the 4 point chain would then be addressed, wouldn't they? The computer SSD, the Thunderbolt port on the computer, and the Thunderbolt port on the external drive. But as all you guys mentioned and also in the linked article, all this will serve no benefit because the weakest link in the chain is still the external HDD itself. I am then wondering why in the world have the drive manufacturer given a thunderbolt port on this HDD, which increases its cost considerably? They should be sued.

    The performance issue I am facing is that at times during data copying, the speed sometimes drops below 1 Mb/sec for some part of the copying only. This speed is totally unacceptable. This happens with not one drive but multiple ones, even the newest ones purchased and happens on all ports of the computer. Also, this does not happen on particular drives, and does not happen all the time, only occasionally. No bad sectors found anywhere. Since problem is occasional, happens maybe 10% of the time, so currently, I am faring with it. But gets quite annoying when it occurs. Due to the awkward and occasional nature of this strange problem, it seems quite difficult to diagnose or rectify. But still, I thought to take your opinions.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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