External Hard Drive speeds

Posted on 2006-04-18
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Can someone explain to me the extreme difference in speed between this drive

and this one.

I bought the first one seeing the USB 2.0 and then realized its transfer rate is only 60 MB/s. That is just poking slow compared to the second drive which uses USB 2.0 to its fullest bandwidth. Certainly the 5400 RPM doesn't make all the difference...?

Anyway, I got an RMA for the first drive and will buy another one with more care, but I certainly am curious why the speed differential between two USB 2.0 external hard drives. I just can't believe hard drive speed is the reason, but perhaps I am wrong. But how could I be wrong about that. Laptops still use 5400 RPM drives. Not so fast anymore but not 60 MB/s either...
Question by:thinkwelldesigns
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    You read the specification wrong - they are both USB 2.0, which means they have a maximum transfer rate of 480 megaBITS/sec, or 60 megaBYTES/sec.  MB = megabytes, megabits = Mbps, and 8Mbps = 1MB/sec.  Laptops use 5400 rpm drives because they use less power and generate less heat.
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    The first drive is 60MB/s, that's megaBYTES/sec.  Since USB2.0 is only 480Mb/s (bits/sec) the speeds are the SAME.

    There is a difference in speed between 5400 and 7200 rpm drives but on a USB link the difference in performance will be minor.  
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    Yea, like he said....
    LVL 9

    Author Comment

    I assumed that was why laptop drives were still 5400 RPM. Mine still gets hot enough ;-)

    Thanks for the explanation on the MB/s versus Mb/s. Makes it all clear now. I'll split points since you both posted at the same time and had the same answer.
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    Many laptop drives (in my experience MOST) are 5400 due to lower noise and power requirements as well as lower cost and heat dissipation.  

    Some newer laptops are now featuring 7200 rpm drives but from my viewpoint these are limited to some higher-end models that have the power and heat dissipation "budget" to support the faster/hotter drives.

    Featured Post

    Find Ransomware Secrets With All-Source Analysis

    Ransomware has become a major concern for organizations; its prevalence has grown due to past successes achieved by threat actors. While each ransomware variant is different, we’ve seen some common tactics and trends used among the authors of the malware.

    Join & Write a Comment

    Great sound, comfort and fit, excellent build quality, versatility, compatibility. These are just some of the many reasons for choosing a headset from Sennheiser.
    In the modern office, employees tend to move around the workplace a lot more freely. Conferences, collaborative groups, flexible seating and working from home require a new level of mobility. Technology has not only changed the behavior and the expe…
    Hi everyone! This is Experts Exchange customer support.  This quick video will show you how to change your primary email address.  If you have any questions, then please Write a Comment below!
    In this sixth video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFtoPNG utility, which converts a multi-page PDF file to separate color, grayscale, or monochrome PNG files, creating one PNG file for each page in the PDF. It does this via a c…

    754 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    17 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now