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USB 3.0 vs USB 2.0

Hell folks!

So I recently got this 1TB External HDD with USB 3.0. I have a 500GB External HDD with USB 2.0.

So decided to give these two a slight test.


To use the USB 3.0, you would need a device which supports:
1) USB 3.0 (an External HDD in my case),

2) a SS-USB port, Look for this extension near your USB port:

3) a USB 3.0 Extension Controller,
Now this is slightly difficult to understand. Not many laptops come with the 3.0 SS-USB port inherently. If an adapter is to be bought, the driver will usually come along with it.
Win7 doesn’t have native support for 3.0 and hence, no native controller. A controller would need to be downloaded, in this case, a Renesas USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller – 9600. However, I use Win8 CP (Consumer Preview) as my default OS (don’t ask), and that gave me a native Host Controller – xHCI.

4) and well, files to transfer.
For this test, I used the same file to transfer from USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. I transferred “Game of Thrones” totally amounting to 9.15 GB as the test amount.


To know thee difference in speeds of transfer between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 and how significant it is.


1) Transfer with USB 2.0 :
An average speed between 35-40 MBps (Notice : B is in bold, indicates bytes) can be seen clearly with the below chart :

As can be seen, the transfer speed was pretty much stable, at between 35-40 MBps with a couple of troughs seen in the way.
I didn’t bother for more averages, since the transfer was stable throughout the transfer period.

Summary :
Average speed – 35-40 MBps
Average time – 4 minutes
Maximum speed – ~38 MBps
Pattern of transfer – stable

2) Transfer with USB 3.0
Now, before I continue, I must say, that the average transfer speed that I have researched is around 5Gbps (Notice : b is in small, indicates bits) which is roughly 500 MBps.

My observation is way lesser :

Notice how 45.5 MBps is on the lower side of the spectrum; the initial spike of 80-90 MBps, followed by a fall.

Same pattern.

That speaks of around 50-70 MBps  of an average speed.
Now is the twist, it begins averaging between 80-90 MBps and gradually fall to between 50-70 MBps usually with many peaks and falls.
This provoked me to check multiple times, the pattern of transfer and the rise and fall.
>Explanation, I have none.<

This is a good screenie from one of the durations of maximum speed of transfer :
Summary :
Average speed – 50-70 MBps
Average time – 2 minutes
Maximum speed – ~95 MBps
Pattern of transfer – Very labile


I would say, this is a very subjective discussion.

One cannot claim the speed of transfer is enormous (10x times of USB 2.0, as written on paper).
At the same time, one cannot say the transfer rate is NOT significantly different. Reduced the transfer time to approximately half with an almost tripled maximum speed.
One question remains – why the difference in pattern between transfer speeds?

Only thing, I hope, is that, electronic device makers do not wrongly advertise USB 3.0 and charge the layman customers exorbitantly.

Your views/opinions, folks?



One comment on “USB 3.0 vs USB 2.0

  1. ricko
    September 2, 2014

    What are your HW specs? sorry that you wasted time to do this test… it should be done on powerful station, not on some crappy laptop.

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