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Data Storage Upgrades Hardware Technology

First-Ever USB 3.0 Hard Drive 191

Posted by timothy
from the if-you're-tired-of-the-current-cables dept.
dreemteem writes "After 8 years of success, the USB 2.0 standard has begun its long journey into obsolescence. Dutch storage company Freecom has announced the first mainstream storage product based on 'SuperSpeed' USB 3.0. Buyers will be interested to hear that the new external Hard Drive XS 3.0 doesn't cost the earth at £99 (approx $160) for a 1TB drive, even though that excludes the £22.99 for a desktop PCI-bus controller necessary to make it work at its intended throughput. Laptop users can pair it with a £25.99 plug-in PC Card to achieve the same effect."
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First-Ever USB 3.0 Hard Drive

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  • by ergo98 (9391) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @03:37PM (#29532361) Homepage Journal

    "We now can transfer a 5GB movie in just 38 seconds - it's unbelievably fast," said Freecom's managing director, Axel Lucassen. Assuming that USB 3.0 scales proportionately, USB 2.0 would have transferred the same file in six and a half minutes
    Ignoring the naive assumption, USB 2 is as fast or faster than the majority of hard drives (which average reads in the 50-60MB/s range). Buying a faster connection technology won't somehow make your hard drive faster.

    Though if you really are concerned, we've had the excellent and widely support eSATA for some time, giving you a 1.5Gbps or 3.0Gbps connection, and if your MB supports SATA, then it supports eSATA. For a second hard drive I put it in an external enclosure supporting both USB 2 and eSATA, and normally use eSATA, sacrificing nothing (and all of the SCSI-like features of SATA are enabled and used).

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Informative)

    by SilverHatHacker (1381259) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @03:40PM (#29532383)
    Or I could RTFA, where this question is answered...

    The company is also supplying drivers to make USB 3.0 work with Vista and XP. Windows 7 should have 'native' drivers from not long after launch, or users will hope so. Apple is not yet supported by the XS 3.0.

  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @04:03PM (#29532653)

    >Ignoring the naive assumption, USB 2 is as fast or faster than the majority of hard drives (which average reads in the 50-60MB/s range). Buying a faster connection technology won't somehow make your hard drive faster.

    Absolutely false. USB 2.0 real world speeds are around 30-40mb/sec because of all the overhead. A low end hard drive can easily do 60+ mb/sec and bursts well over 100 mb/sec. USB 2.0 is terrible for hard drives, which is why we have eSata today and need USB 3.0 soon.

    Also, your 54mbps wireless g gives you around 20-30mbps not 54.

  • by owlstead (636356) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @04:22PM (#29532827)

    My very old 120GB drive is already faster with Firewire 400 than with USB 2.0, even on older computers. Just for fun also check the SanDisk firewire CF card readers and their performance vs USB.

    USB 2.0 is nice and cheap and compatible. It is also completely crap for file transfers. USB 3.0 seems to solve a lot of the issues that 2.0 has at the cost of additional cables and pins. And that's not just speed, it is also polling and high latency etc.

  • by timbck2 (233967) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <2kcbmit>> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @04:44PM (#29533149) Homepage

    FW800 devices use different connectors than FW400 and thus require adapters, while the USB 3.0 connector will plug into a USB 2.0 port (and run at USB 2.0 speed).

  • by WaroDaBeast (1211048) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @04:48PM (#29533211)

    What trap? S800 devices can run at S400 if necessary, just like S400 can run at S100.

    True, but you'll need a bilingual cable to plug, say, an S800 external hard drive to a computer that only has S400 ports and vice-versa, meaning you'll have to carry different cables with you depending on the available connectors on the machine you're using. With USB though, all the ports on the machine are USB-A ports, so you just need one single cable.

    Please note that I am not taking the mini and micro flavors into consideration was intentional, as both interfaces have miniature versions for portable devices.

  • Re:38 seconds? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Laptopdude (1240858) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @05:14PM (#29533495)
    You're confusing the different specs. USB 2.0 theoretically runs at 480Mb/s, while USB 3.0 theoretically runs at 4.8Gb/s. So at peak speed (4.8Gb/s = 0.6GB/s), you would transfer 5GB in just over 8 seconds. So it seems the estimate of 38 seconds is based on real-world speed, not theoretical. 5 GB in 38 seconds would translate into just over 1Gb/s.
  • by jasonwc (939262) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @05:26PM (#29533655)
    Two points-

    USB 2.0's theoretical speed may be 480 Mbit/sec but I've never seen maintained transfer speeds above 30 MB/sec (240 Mbit). Usually I get between 20-25 MB/sec in real-world usage. On HD Tune, I get speeds of 30-32 MB/sec with USB and 100-110 MB/sec (800-880 Mbit/sec) over eSATA on the same 1 TB drive. Thus, USB 2.0 at best reaches half of it's theoretical speed.

    At best USB 3.0 will offer speeds equivalent to eSATA.eSATA has been available for years and almost every mid to high-end motherboard now comes with an eSATA port. Furthermore, an Expresscard two-port eSATA card can be purchased for $40 on Newegg. Thus, USB 3.0 will only be useful when computers with USB 3.0 ports become standard. If you have to purchase a PCI/expresscard expansion card, why not just get an external drive with eSATA? Many drives now come with USB 2.0 + eSATA ports and can be purchased for the same or slightly more than USB only-drives.
  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @05:44PM (#29533887)
    Please note that I am not taking the mini and micro flavors into consideration was intentional,

    Yes, because if you took mini, micro, and B USB connectors into account, you'd have to admit that you need a handful of cables to be able to connect all the various kinds of USB devices too, just like you do for 1394. In practice, I've seen three 1394 connectors: Six pin, four pin, and nine pin. That's one less than the number of USB connectors in regular use.

    And I think it's nice to be able to look at a 1394 port and know it's S800/1600/3200 vs. S400/200/100. A lot better than this nonsense of finding out a USB port is USB1 only by seeing how God awful slow the hundred megabyte file you are trying to transfer is going.

  • by timbck2 (233967) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <2kcbmit>> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @06:03PM (#29534111) Homepage

    That's not what the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 FAQ [everythingusb.com] seems to imply.

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @06:26PM (#29534325)

    That's true of the A end of the interface, but not the B end... http://www.hailink.net/uploadfiles/CAUSB30-01_USB_Cable_01.jpg [hailink.net]

  • by nog_lorp (896553) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:34AM (#29537139)

    Are you kidding? USE A USB2 CABLE.

    If you need to use your USB2 device with a USB3 host, you use a USB2 cable (which came with your device).

    If you need to use your USB3 device with a USB2 host, the cable works too.

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