USB 3.0 drives

time

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To me, the real point in USB 3.0 is a fast powered interface for portable data storage. eSATA works fine if you have an external power source, but let's face it, most people (including me) couldn't be bothered to carry around a power brick. To be genuinely useful, the interface needs to provide power for your compact removable device, whether it's flash or magnetic media.

I recently specified 2.5" USB 3.0 portable drives with a write throughput goal of at least 50MB/s. From the few reviews around, it looked like a struggle to reach that benchmark with drives such as Seagate's 5400rpm. But things looked much more promising with Samsung's 2.5" 7200rpm USB 3.0 range.

Here's NewEgg's search results for 2.5" 7200rpm USB 3.0 to give you some idea of how thin on the ground this combination is.

Incidentally, I've never seen a single spec that confirmed that the Samsung 'S2' USB 3.0 is 7200rpm, but that's what reviews and vendors are saying.

To cut to the chase, two different programs just gave me measured write performance on a 500GB Samsung USB 3.0 S2 (running under RDP). The first was a mirroring program (essentially a big file copy) and it reported 70MB/s. The second was 7-Zip and it reported >80MB/s while storing a 2GB image without compression.

Just to spell it out, that's 2GB written to a tiny (and cheap) portable 2.5" drive in less than 25 seconds.

Reads are well over 100MB/s, in case anyone's wondering.

For me, this is technology gold, i.e. something that easily exceeds my jaded expectations. This is why I am so bitterly disappointed that Samsung decided to effectively throw it all way and sell the naming rights to Seagate, who on current evidence couldn't produce something like this for 3 times the money.

I'm telling anyone who will listen to go and buy the 1TB version wherever it's available, but even the 500GB or 640GB versions are absolute bargains. There really aren't any obvious alternatives.
 

time

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I forgot to mention that the 80MB/s result may have been limited by network speed, i.e. the source was on a server rather than on the host PC.

And yes, I'm rather pleased about the network speed as well. :)
 

Mercutio

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I'd kill to get a USB3 PCI card so that I could make it available on all the servers I manage, instead of just the few that happen to have PCIe instead of PCI or PCI-X. Much as I've been advocating for tape, a backup system built on several 1TB 2.5" USB drives that only need one plug would be a great selling point to my customers.
 

MaxBurn

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Is that a standard connector on the drive? Doesn't look it.

Amazon doesn't have any prime eligible. I may have impulse bought one if it wasn't for that. My third backup solutions is getting old and only 400gb PATA drive in an external enclosure.
 

LunarMist

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To me, the real point in USB 3.0 is a fast powered interface for portable data storage. eSATA works fine if you have an external power source, but let's face it, most people (including me) couldn't be bothered to carry around a power brick. To be genuinely useful, the interface needs to provide power for your compact removable device, whether it's flash or magnetic media.

I recently specified 2.5" USB 3.0 portable drives with a write throughput goal of at least 50MB/s. From the few reviews around, it looked like a struggle to reach that benchmark with drives such as Seagate's 5400rpm. But things looked much more promising with Samsung's 2.5" 7200rpm USB 3.0 range.

Here's NewEgg's search results for 2.5" 7200rpm USB 3.0 to give you some idea of how thin on the ground this combination is.

Incidentally, I've never seen a single spec that confirmed that the Samsung 'S2' USB 3.0 is 7200rpm, but that's what reviews and vendors are saying.

To cut to the chase, two different programs just gave me measured write performance on a 500GB Samsung USB 3.0 S2 (running under RDP). The first was a mirroring program (essentially a big file copy) and it reported 70MB/s. The second was 7-Zip and it reported >80MB/s while storing a 2GB image without compression.

Just to spell it out, that's 2GB written to a tiny (and cheap) portable 2.5" drive in less than 25 seconds.

Reads are well over 100MB/s, in case anyone's wondering.

For me, this is technology gold, i.e. something that easily exceeds my jaded expectations. This is why I am so bitterly disappointed that Samsung decided to effectively throw it all way and sell the naming rights to Seagate, who on current evidence couldn't produce something like this for 3 times the money.

I'm telling anyone who will listen to go and buy the 1TB version wherever it's available, but even the 500GB or 640GB versions are absolute bargains. There really aren't any obvious alternatives.

I've been using a pair of external 2.5" 12.5mm external WD 1TB drives since 1Q. The extra height/weight is barely noticeable and not an issue. The transfer rate seems just fine to me on USB 3.0, though I suppose that may slow with smaller files. I do have a 640GB 7200RPM Samsung drive from 2010 that is quite fast and tried it in external enclosures, but the difference was not worth the lower capacity.

Now the Samsung 2x500GB 5400 RPM drive is only a little faster than the 750GB 5400 RPM drives and slower than the 640-750GB 7200 RPM drives. I suppose there will be 1TB 7200 RPM drives, but when?
 

LunarMist

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It's a standard USB 3.0 Micro B connector.

Although I've read it's not supposed to be compatible, it looks like it's designed to accept a USB 2.0 Micro B plug into part of the socket (confirmed by the pinout).

Very interesting, I did not know that half of the socket was compatible with micro USB. I have checked that a micro USB plug will fit, but the only one I have is for a charger. Has anyone tried a micro USB cable and found it to work?
 

time

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Just for you, I tried a 1TB model with the micro USB cable I use for my phone, and it worked perfectly (I was able to open a zip file and look at an image).
 

Howell

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Thanks for the report.

To me, the real point in USB 3.0 is a fast powered interface for portable data storage. eSATA works fine if you have an external power source, but let's face it, most people (including me) couldn't be bothered to carry around a power brick.

My laptop has an eSatap port. It was an afterthought for eSata I think but it is available. Otherwise the 2.5" eSata drive cases I was looking at were powered by a seperate USB cable. Yes, that takes two data ports but at least there is no brick needed.
 

LunarMist

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Sure, and some have the combined USB power port, but USB 3.0 is the future.
 

Howell

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I recently specified 2.5" USB 3.0 portable drives with a write throughput goal of at least 50MB/s. From the few reviews around, it looked like a struggle to reach that benchmark with drives such as Seagate's 5400rpm. But things looked much more promising with Samsung's 2.5" 7200rpm USB 3.0 range.

Incedentally, I see that Seagate has 2.5" USB 3.0 7200RPM products out such as the GoFlex series but it is difficult to find a performance review.
 

mubs

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The Belkin card sold by Amazon is supposed to be pretty good. I bought one, but as usual, haven't installed it yet.
 

Splash

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eSATA works fine if you have an external power source, but let's face it, most people (including me) couldn't be bothered to carry around a power brick...


Power Over eSATA came out about the same time 6.0 Gb/s SATA and SAS hit the marketplace.


A PCIe Power Over eSATA interface card...
16-104-012-TS



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816104012

Two (2) external Power Over eSATA connectors; which supports any two of: - Two (2) 3.0Gbps Serial ATA II ports. - Two (2) Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports. Power Over eSATA connectors will provide 5V & 12V bus-powered via its connectors. Eliminates the requirement for a separate power source with Power Over eSATA connectors.




A Power Over eSATA cable...
se-c-poesata-1m.jpg





And, a couple of old articles:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9850343-1.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave


http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-10141810-76.html?tag=mncol;7n



After the debut of USB 3, I have always agreed with the second article. ;-)




 

ddrueding

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Thanks Splash! I had completely missed those. Of course, I agree as well, but that card/cable will make just jacking in an old drive that much more convenient.
 

time

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Talk <> actual products. More's the pity.

Splash, you're a 5-star premium member. Any chance of persuading your brethren to visit here A LOT more often?

Forget D. Adams, you're stuck here, son.
 

ddrueding

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This is what I need:
Billet-machined Aluminum enclosures Full Metal Jacket Technology - Crush protection up to 2,500 lbs. Full Suspension Drive Technology - Protects data during drops of up to 10' HydroSafe Technology - Immersion protection up to 10' for 3 days ChemSafe Technology - Full immersion in diesel fuel, oils, hydraulic ?uids, aircraft fuel EnviroSafe Technology -

The number of times I've had my drive submerged in aircraft fuel and not been able to retrieve it for a couple days...
 

LunarMist

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I wonder how hot that 7200 drive gets in the enclosure. Of course nothing about the shock protection will prevent the Seagate drive from going south.
 

LunarMist

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There are far stronger organic solvents that fuel oils. But metal is metal and mainly I'd be concerned about corrosion from strong acids or bases.

Maybe we should send one of the drives to Cougtek and see how long it would take him to destroy it. :)
 

MaxBurn

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Well it's likely the three platter disk in it but after I formatted it with 4k clusters I was able to average over 100MB/s in shoving over 7GB of data. For some reason it performed worse before I formatted it but I didn't look at what it shipped with. Very quiet, I can't hear it right next to my ear. Samsung says it is advanced format.
 

time

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Sorry MaxBurn, I didn't see your earlier post.

AFAIK, the Samsung S2 series used 5400rpm drives for USB 2.0 but 7200rpm drives for USB 3.0.

As you say, they easily exceed 100MB/s sustained transfer rates.

Lunar, unless you can produce similar figures from your WD, I'm going to go on believing that most of the WDs are 5400rpm drives and unable to hold a candle to the Samsung S2 USB 3.0.
 

LunarMist

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Are you saying there is a 7200 RPM 1TB notebook drive? Where? The only ones I know of are 640-750GB.
 

Pradeep

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CougTek

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From what I can read, the Samsung S2 500GB and 640GB models are 7200rpm, but the HX-MT010EA (the 1TB model) has a lower rpm. I didn't find its rotational speed on Samsung's web site, but and educate guess would be either 5200rpm or 5400rpm. AFAIK, there is currently no 1TB 7200rpm 2.5" drive on the market. But I've been awaken for less than an half-hour and I haven't taken my coffee yet, so please take all the above lightly.
 

time

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I can't prove it's 7200 rpm, that's just what most of the references say.

It could well be just a fast 5400rpm drive, after all, the F4 EcoGreen is pretty quick.

On the other hand, Samsung released a 640GB 2-platter 7200rpm 2.5" drive about 15 months ago. A 1TB model would be essentially just a 3-platter version of that.

Anyone have any idea how you could tell, given the drive is behind an interface converter?
 
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