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Thread: What speeds should I expect with an external USB 2 hard drive?

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Mar 21, 2008
    What speeds should I expect with an external USB 2 hard drive?
    Hi there,

    I've just bought a Maxtor One Touch 4. It's USB2 and 750Gb.

    I thought it was copying slowly. In Pathfinder, it reports under Bytes/Second 15MB. Is this about what I should expect??

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    sanity1082's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 17, 2007
    here is an answer i found at

    4. How fast is USB 2.0?
    USB 2.0 has a raw data rate at 480Mbps, and it is rated 40 times faster than its predecessor interface, USB 1.1, which tops at 12Mbps. Originally, USB 2.0 was intended to go only as fast as 240Mbps, but in October 1999, USB 2.0 Promoter Group pumped up the speed to 480Mbps.

    As far as we know, effective rate reaches at 40MBps or 320Mbps for bulk transfer on a USB 2.0 hard drive with no one else is sharing the bus. Flash Drives seem to be catching up too with the some hitting 30MB/s milestone. For all we know, USB interface could become become the bottleneck for flash drives as early as 2008.

  3. #3

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    USB 2.0 is rated at 480mbps. I think it transfers at 4MB a second or close to that.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Sep 15, 2006
    Oxford, UK
    I find USB2 too slow - Firewire 400 is much quicker in day to day tasks, IMHO.

  5. #5

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    G'day and welcome to the Forums.

    USB 2 is not really Apple's go and 2/3MB per second is about the limit. USB 2 works at many more times faster on PC than Macs.

    Use Firewire instead.

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