back to article First USB 3.0 hard drives fall short of SuperSpeed speed

External hard drive makers Buffalo and Freecom are jostling to become the first firms of their kidney to kit out product with a USB 3.0 - aka SuperSpeed - interface. Buffalo's DriveStation HD-HXU3 is a desktop unit that will come in 1, 1.5 and 2TB capacities. Freecom, on the other hand, will offer the XS 3.0, which will be …


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  1. handle


    "first firms of their kidney"

    Is this something to do with dingos?

  2. Tom 35 Silver badge


    "Both are some way short of the 640MB/s - 5Gb/s - maximum throughput SuperSpeed was designed to support. "

    It can go faster then the drive inside the box. Once kit is available compare the same drive on ESATA and USB 3.0 to see how well it really works.

  3. Thomas Davie


    They claim 125/130MB/s because that's the speed the disk can read at. If the disk can't saturate USB3, of course you're not going to get USB3 speeds!

  4. gatecrasher63

    Surely it's the disk at fault not the bus!

    Why expect speeds above 120MB/s when the disk itself is limited to that. Stick 6 of these disk in a RAID 0 then try it!

  5. Meleth

    Not so strange

    Just cause the bus can support those speeds doesn't mean that the harddrives can deliver it. Even 125-130mb/s sounds high considering they're prob using low end hd's in the products.

  6. Daniel Bentham

    Slow speed

    Well surely the speeds limited by the hard drives this time, we wont see how good USB 3 is till its used with something that can push it more

  7. Mark 65

    Await with baited breath see if ever this lives up to the promise of Firewire/eSATA killer. Seems like it may have all the makings of a ponced up USB 2.0 with the same old transfer rate problems.

    Having said that, maybe they've just put shit drives in the enclosures. They don't seem to be SSD.

    Maybe the "up to" is just there because they'll never make it - like an up to 8Mb/s ADSL connection.

    Do un-raided external hard drives go up to 125MB/s? I thought they tended to top out around the 50-80 range.

  8. Tim Spence
    Thumb Down

    USB or hard drive limit?

    Have I missed something, but surely the speeds quoted (ie. 125MB/s and 130MB/s) are generally in line with the maximum transfer speed your average single hard drive can transfer? Just because USB 3.0 is capable of so much more, it isn't going to transform everything connected with it into some super high speed device transferring at 5GB/s.

    Just because my car could drive on an F1 track, doesn't mean it'll do F1 speeds.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Plus ça change

    Exactly the same thing happened with USB 2.0 (480 Mb/s? ..... my arse!)

    After overheads are taken into account and the (inevitably mediocre) peripherals are added, you never get anywhere near to the maximum (theoretical) throughput figures.

    I don't know why people keep falling for the hype.

  10. A Gould


    Perhaps that's because they can only be as fast as the drives inside them?

    It's a bit like complaining that your 2CV doesn't go any faster even after you've installed a top of the range gearbox.

  11. oldfart?

    Offally nice

    What the hell does 'first firms of their kidney' mean ?

    Have I just become an old fart ?

  12. Hayden Clark

    USB = useless for hard drives

    The problem with USB is the Mass Storage mode. It requires a special driver (not always available in pre-boot and rescue disk environments) and the implemetation in the built-for-a-penny controllers can be pants. One I know of barfs after transferring a few 10's of Gigs.

    eSata drives look like on-board drives to most rescue/recovery environments, either by directly using the SATA interrface in IDE mode, or using the BIOS.

    Why is this important? Because portable drives are often used for backup, so need to reliably and quickly store BIG piles of data, and have to work in some kind of pre-boot environment to perform a restore.

    Missing off eSata connectors on high-end or corporate machines is pretty criminal, really.

  13. MrM


    Any other Playmobile technicians wanting to make their comments heard see below. Ive saved you some time.

    COPY HERE > Its probably limited due to the speeds of the Hard Disk, not the Bus < COPY HERE

  14. adam payne Silver badge

    Theoretical speed?

    Do any of these new pieces of hardware ever run at the theoretical speed?

    In my experience they don't.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ MrM

    Well done MrM for completely ignoring the fact that posts here are moderated and can take several hours to appear, thus meaning several identical posts can be made without knowledge of the others.

    Way to make yourself look stupid.

  16. MrM


    Well i never, thanks for pointing that out AC - perhaps you could send me your contact details just in case my complete stupidity gets me into trouble again in the future? Or at least give me your CB Radio handle.

    Also a picture of yourself would be cool, ill get it ironed onto my favourite shirt that i wear everyday!

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