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Question External USB 3.0 HD transfer rate... why so slow?

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
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TOSHIBA 3TB Canvio Basics Portable Hard Drive USB 3.0 Model HDTB330XK3CA. I plugged it into a USB 3.0 port on this Lenovo P1 Gen3 laptop using the super speed cable the drive came with. Copied a 4GB file on the external HD onto the Windows 10 clipboard and pasted it into a folder on the main SSD drive in the laptop. If the 5GBPS spec of the USB 3.0 cable is what I can expect I'd think this would take less than a second. It took 35 seconds.

Is it the nature of the data? It's the inbox of my email client filled with thousands and thousands of messages, attachments.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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This is because the HDD inside is the bottleneck. It will be reading much slower than 5Gb/s.
 

SamMaster

Member
Jun 26, 2010
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Mechanical drives are slower then the USB3 speeds. 5Gb/S is the max theoretical speed and doesn't include overhead from USB hardware and the other connected hardware. You will never see that speed, even with NVME USB drives. On top of that, manufacturers tend to not use the best drives in those external drive packages. They are mainly used as storage drives and not work drives and are equipped as such.

There are exceptions, but that is what I have experienced and learned throughout my years. Open to corrections of course :)

edit: Shmee beat me to it
 
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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
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Do you need it to be portable? Usually those portable 2.5" drives are slow as snails.
slickDeals mentions Newegg has the wd 12 tb ext hdd going for 180. That will be faster than your current drive. or go ext ssd if you need it to be portable.


Another thing, transfer speed is in gigabits, not gigabytes. So the 5gbps bandwidth is about 625MBps not counting overheads. Not even sata ssd can saturate that.
 
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