USB 3.0 for Starters: An Analysis

Test Configuration And Throughput Test

System Hardware
CPUIntel Core i7-920 (45 nm, 2,66 GHz, 1 MB L2 Cache, 8 MB L3 Cache)
MotherboardSupermicro X8SAX
(Socket 1366)Revision: 1.0
Chipset Intel X58 + ICH10R
BIOS: 1.0B
RAM3x 1 GB DDR3-1333, Corsair CM3X1024-1333C9DHX
HDDSeagate NL35 400 GB
7.200 U/Min., SATA/150, 8 MB Cache
Storage ControllerseSATA: on-board eSATA (ICH10R)
USB 2.0: on-board USB 2.0 (ICH10R)
USB 3.0: NEC D720200F1 (Gigabyte GA-USB3.0)
Power SupplyOCZ EliteXstream 800W
Performance Measurementsh2benchw 3.13
I/O PerformanceIOMeter 2008.08.18
System Software & Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 

The maximum throughput rates are doubled thanks to USB 3.0. The average values are still more than twice as high, and the minimum throughput of USB 3.0 is more than 50% faster than USB 2.0. We used the same Samsung S2 drives for both tests, but with USB 2.0 and 3.0 respectively.

It is clear that the USB 3.0 interface is significantly faster than what the Samsung drive can make use of. Only a flash memory based drive can really utilize the 190 MB/s bandwidth that would be available on the Samsung hardware. Hard drives in the enterprise segment are barely reaching those numbers as of now.