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Data Transfer Speed

Posted on 2006-10-26
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I want to buy an external HDD.
I want to know which is faster the USB 2.0 or Ethernet 100?
How time is necessary therorical to transfer 1 GB in each one?
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Question by:cpx_Support
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by:nobus
nobus earned 300 total points
ID: 17810058
usb 2.0 = 480 Mb / sec   --> 1 gb= 1000 mb / 480 = 2.x
Ethernet  100 = 100 Mb / sec  -->   1gb / 100 = 10

more info :  
http://www.everythingusb.com/usb2/faq.htm
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus
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garycase earned 700 total points
ID: 17824469
The calculations above are not correct.  The data rates are stated in megaBITS per second;  but a GB is a gigaBYTE.   So, although the RELATIVE speeds are correct (i.e. the USB connection is faster), the times are not.   Roughly speaking, the BYTE/sec rate is 1/10th of the bits/sec rate (the actual relationship depends on the packet sizes, but that's fairly close) ==> so the maximum data rates are 48MB/sec and 10MB/sec, respectively.   The actual rate achieved also depends on how much contention there is on the lines => i.e. how many network or USB devices are connected and active.

So, although the USB connection is theoretically 4.8X the 100BaseTX ethernet, the actual relationship will probably be somewhat less different.   Further, most drives cannot sustain transfers at the USB maximum rate except on the outer cylinders.

The FASTEST connection for an external drive is eSATA => you'll get full SATA transfer rates for the buffered data and can maintain the full sustained transfer rate that the drive is capable of.
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