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Data Transfer Speed

Posted on 2013-10-23
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Last Modified: 2013-10-24
I am saving video footage to a hard drive from camera cards. I will be doing this quite extensively. I have a last gen Macbook and I'll be copying data off the card to to the drive. I only have USB 2.0 ports in this.

The Macbook doesn't have a slot for the camera card, so I'll be using a USB card reader.

What will be the approximate data transfer rate. Let's say I'm transferring 10 GBs. How long will it approximately take. How long would it take if I had a Macbook Pro with an adapter to go Thunderbolt to Firewire 800?

I'm trying to decide if I need to upgrade my laptop, or if I can make due with the Macbook.
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Question by:mrmyth
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by:Aaron Tomosky
Aaron Tomosky earned 167 total points
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USB 2 caps at about 25MB/s. I believe FireWire 800 is about 40MB/s. USB 3 can do over 100MB/s and thunderbolt is even higher. But then your hard drive or flash card become the limiting factors.
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by:Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson earned 166 total points
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Maximum speed for USB 2 is 480 Mb or 60MB per second which is slower than your camera card can manage.

Thunderbolt and USB 3 are much faster, USB 3 is  625MB/s. At that speed your card would probably be the bottleneck.

Here's a good guide:
http://www.photographybay.com/2012/12/06/making-sense-of-memory-card-readwrite-speeds-and-usb-3-0-thunderbolt-data-transfer-rates/

Be aware of the difference between Mb and MB - 8 Megabits = 1 MegaByte and sometimes even knowledgeable writers get confused.
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garycase earned 167 total points
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"... I will be doing this quite extensively. "  ==>  While "quite extensively" can be in the eye of the beholder, I'd assume this means you're going to be doing it enough that you'll quickly get frustrated with the USBv2 data rate.

I'd get a newer system with USBv3 capabilities.    Assuming you're using high-speed storage cards on the cameras, you'll be VERY glad you did that.
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by:mrmyth
ID: 39599556
thanks everyone.
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