1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

The truth about USB 3.0

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by ilgoldman, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. ilgoldman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    20 (0.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    I recently bought a Dell xps 15z. I also bought an external hard drive that is usb 3.0 compatible.
    My transfer rate is only 48mb/s, either upstream or downstream.

    Yesterday I spent two hours with tech support trying to trouble shoot, to no avail. He was suppose to call me today but hasn't called yet. I called again and spoke to a different tech support. She went through a lenthy reason, talking about bottlenecks and southgate and northgate, and that the 48mb/s was correct. I told her I didn't believe her.

    If I buy a Dell that advertises usb 3.0 ports, then shouldn't I expect usb 3.0 performance?

    I suspect Dell sent out a bunch of 15z's with the wrong motherboard and is trying to cover it up.

    What is the truth about usb 3.0 ports?

    Thanks
  2. kenkickr

    kenkickr

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    4,810 (1.99/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,440
    Is the External USB 3 because USB 2 will work in a USB 3 port which makes it, the external enclosure, compatible; but if it is USB 2 then it will only operate @ USB 2 speeds.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. ilgoldman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    20 (0.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    "Is the External USB 3 because USB 2 will work in a USB 3 port which makes it, the external enclosure, compatible."

    The external hard drive came with its own usb 3.0 cable tha plugs directly in the purported usb 3.0 port on my laptop.
  4. DonInKansas

    DonInKansas

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    5,096 (1.96/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,265
    Location:
    Kansas
    The ports on the laptop are light blue, right?
  5. ilgoldman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    20 (0.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    "The ports on the laptop are light blue, right?"

    No. They are black. The owner's manual says the are usb 3.0. I suspected they were made before the standerized blue color.
  6. A Cheese Danish

    A Cheese Danish

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,963 (1.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    413
    Location:
    your local vending machine
    You may want to try a different USB 3.0 cable than the one you received with your drive
  7. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Messages:
    10,177 (3.35/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,397
    I would say if they are black, they are usb2. Check in device manager and see if there is a usb3 controller.
  8. VulkanBros

    VulkanBros

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,295 (0.38/day)
    Thanks Received:
    253
    Location:
    The Pico Mundo Grill
    In December I bought an Alienware M17x R3 Laptop (for my son)

    Alienware are build by Dell.

    In the specs it said one USB 3.0 port.

    When I got it all ports were black so I began investigating ......

    The Device Manager said nothing about a USB 3.0 host controller....
    Test speeds on an USB 3.0 memory stick showed between 20 - max 40 mbits read/write....

    I called Dell´s Support, and they told me to download the latest USB 3.0 host controller driver from there support website (http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19) NEC-Driver USB 3.0 driver
    R289408.exe (6MB)

    That did´nt change anything....

    Called Dell´s Support again.....that was on 27th of December....and I have´nt heard from then since......

    There are no "Unknown devices" in the "Device Manager"so I suspect that there is no USB 3.0 controller at all......

    That is the first and last Dell I ever will buy......:shadedshu
    Crunching for Team TPU
  9. Live OR Die

    Live OR Die

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,888 (1.49/day)
    Thanks Received:
    383
    +1 look under Universal Serial Bus controllers if you dont see any XHCI controllers you probably dont have USB3 because it not native to any chipset at the moment.
    tigger says thanks.
  10. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    19,664 (6.23/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5,836
    What are you using to measure this? And are you sure it 48Mb/s or 48MB/s?
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  11. ilgoldman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    20 (0.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    I just got back from Best Buy to buy a usb 3.0 cable. They didn't have any. The top tech person there said that if the port wasn't blue then it wasn't 3.0. He was very adament about that. He questioned about Dell doing false advertising.

    I looked in Device Manager and found:
    Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller, and
    Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Root Hub
    No other references to usb 3.0
    No reference to XHCI controllers

    My transfer rate is 48MB/s. With real usb 3.0, shouldn't I be getting more than 6GB/s?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  12. redeye

    redeye

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    202 (0.16/day)
    Thanks Received:
    34
    Location:
    mississauga, on, Canada
    superspeed on usb3 is approx 6gb (so thy say)

    i have a thrmaltake usb3 dock, that has a "superspeed" mode... the fast mode... is the 6 gb's you are refering to i believe (or is it sata6). any ways 48 megabytes a sec is good transfer for plain usb 3
  13. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    19,664 (6.23/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5,836
    They don't have to be blue. There are two USB 3.0 ports and a USB 2.0/eSATA combo port on the XPS 15z.

    If you are getting 48MB/s, then that is perfectly acceptable speeds for USB 3.0, and way faster than USB 2.0. You will never see anywhere near 6GB/s with USB 3.0. The theoretical maximum is 625MB/s, but even then you will be hard to find a device that will even come close to that right now. With a standard external hard drive, assuming a single disk, 50MB/s is about what I would expect(after you take into consideration the conversion from SATA to USB and the quality of the controller doing the conversion as well as the quality of the drive used).

    Again, this is assuming you are getting 48MB/s and not 48Mb/s because there is a difference.
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  14. Benetanegia

    Benetanegia New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,683 (1.52/day)
    Thanks Received:
    694
    Location:
    Reaching your left retina.
    6 GB/s? No. The maximum that the interface can handle in normal mode is 4 Gbit/s, but due to overhead the ceiling is typically considered to be more like 3 Gbit/s. So around 400 MByte/s. But that's the interface throughput, not the real HDD speed, just because it's USB 3.0 it does not mean that the HDD inside is fast. The maximum that I remember seeing in a review was around 100 MB/s. 48 MB/s... I've seen slower than that too. I'd say that's average, more so if it's a 2.5" HDD.
  15. ilgoldman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    20 (0.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    "If you are getting 48MB/s, then that is perfectly acceptable speeds for USB 3.0..."

    I retested my transfer rate. 100MB/second to 60MB/second. So I'm happy.

    Dell tech support just called me back. I'm on hold. Thanks all.
  16. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Messages:
    9,821 (4.07/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,479
    I'd like to second what newtekie said about transfer rates.

    Only yesterday, I copied about 350GB of data from one internal HD to another using the SATA ports. One HD was a WD Caviar Green 2TB and the other a WD Caviar black 1TB. The transfer speed started out as 57MB/s and finished up as 48MB/s, so what you're seeing is about right. Basically, the USB 3.0 interface is capable of much more bandwidth than most devices can give, which is as it should be.
  17. ilgoldman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    20 (0.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    I just got off the phone with the Dell tech support manager. He was able to explain, to my satisfaction, the reasons for my transfer rates. I will be able to sleep tonight. I like this forum.
  18. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Messages:
    9,821 (4.07/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,479
    So, what exactly did he say? Don't keep us hanging! lol
  19. ilgoldman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    20 (0.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    "So, what exactly did he say? Don't keep us hanging! lol"

    One thing he told me was that if I were transfering from one external hard drive to another external hard drive, where I wouldn't have to go through the windows operating system, I would get much faster speeds. I thought that was interesting.
  20. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Messages:
    9,821 (4.07/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,479
    You were told BS, I'm afraid. :shadedshu The operating system manages everything on the computer, so it very much "goes through it".

    The answers from newtekie and myself are the correct ones.
  21. repsol23

    repsol23

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    152 (0.07/day)
    Thanks Received:
    19
    Just had to chime in on this one. I just transferred about 300 gigs of movies from one 500 gb seagate barracuda to another hard drive of same make and size and was seeing a transfer rate over 80 MB/s. This is on a gigabyte x48 mobo too. Just my $.02
  22. xfire

    xfire New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,395 (0.58/day)
    Thanks Received:
    193
    Location:
    Hyderabad,India
    That's could be possible as your internal HDD is also being used by the OS(OS/ application files stored in internal files)

    I would suggest terracopy for copying files. Found it way faster for copying files.
  23. ilgoldman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    20 (0.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    I was experimenting. Music and movie files, and very large files, I was getting transfer rates of about 80MB/s.

    With transferring a large folder with many sub-folders, the transfer rate dropped to as low as 28MB/s.
  24. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,154 (5.43/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,959
    Location:
    Home
    Completely normal.
  25. THE_EGG

    THE_EGG

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,363 (1.45/day)
    Thanks Received:
    392
    Location:
    Brisbane QLD, Australia
    yeh thats pretty normal, happens for me when i use my usb 3.0 external. Terracopy as xfire suggested is pretty good tho but for me I only saw marginal improvements.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page