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The truth about USB 3.0

ilgoldman

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#1
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
 
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#2
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.
 
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ilgoldman

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#3
"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.
 
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#4
The ports on the laptop are light blue, right?
 

ilgoldman

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#5
"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.
 
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#6
You may want to try a different USB 3.0 cable than the one you received with your drive
 

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#7
I would say if they are black, they are usb2. Check in device manager and see if there is a usb3 controller.
 
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#8
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
 
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#9
I would say if they are black, they are usb2. Check in device manager and see if there is a usb3 controller.
+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.
 

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#10
My transfer rate is only 48mb/s, either upstream or downstream.
What are you using to measure this? And are you sure it 48Mb/s or 48MB/s?
 

ilgoldman

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#11
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?
 
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#12
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
 

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#13
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?
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.
 
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#14
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?
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.
 

ilgoldman

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#15
"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.
 

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#16
My transfer rate is 48MB/s. With real usb 3.0, shouldn't I be getting more than 6GB/s?
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.
 

ilgoldman

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#17
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.
 

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#18
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.
So, what exactly did he say? Don't keep us hanging! lol
 

ilgoldman

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#19
"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.
 

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#20
"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.
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.
 
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#21
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
 
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#22
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
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.
 

ilgoldman

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#23
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.
 

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#24
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.
Completely normal.
 
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#25
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.
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.