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Conclusion: Noticeable Speed Increase

USB 3.0 for Starters: An Analysis
By , Achim Roos

The results of these tests are not surprising, but rather in line with what we have previously reported regarding USB 3.0. Some of the more important articles include a detailed comparison of different USB 3.0 drives, and an analysis of bottlenecks that may arise when using SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0 on modern systems. This much is clear: USB 3.0 in itself is much faster than USB 2.0 or FireWire and will not bottleneck pretty much any modern hard drive.

USB 3.0 hard drives cost more than USB 2.0 models, but the speed increase makes the cost worthwhile even for occasional use. All you need is a USB 3.0 controller for the PC, which costs between $15 $30.

USB 3.0 increasing the speed of external or portable storage devices compared to USB 2.0 may have little relevance for occasional users. Some people will not care whether a backup takes an hour or 20 minutes. But if you want to save some time, or have already used a system with USB 3.0, you will never look back. The time required to copy double digit gigabyte numbers of data is reduced to a third compared to USB 2.0.

Generally speaking, the performance increase is smaller for smaller files, but anyone who handles photos, music files or even video material should jump on the USB 3.0 train as quickly as possible. The most important reasons are the performance and time savings, but the easy upgrade of existing systems is a good reason as well. Virtually every AMD and Intel machine since 2006 is almost certainly equipped with PCI Express ports for installing a USB 3.0 controller card.

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