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USB 3.0 drives RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • [takes his 'Vail engineering team member' hat off, puts the 'storage geek and WHS user' hat on]

    There was a question about hardware recommendations for Vail. Here's one thing that I wholeheartedly recommend for a Vail machine: a USB 3.0 external drive or two. My own Vail server has two internal SATA drives and two external USB 3.0 drives. To my greatest surprise, both external drives outperform my internal drives (the last one is USB 2.0, for comparison):

    [SATA, on IDE Channel] WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0 ATA Device
        Speed: 79 MB/s (sequential reads, average)

    [SATA, on IDE Channel] WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0 ATA Device
        Speed: 78 MB/s (sequential reads, average)

    [USB 3.0, on USB Mass Storage Device] BUFFALO External HDD USB Device
        Speed: 108 MB/s (sequential reads, average)

    [USB 3.0, on USB Mass Storage Device] WD My Book 3.0 1123 USB Device
        Speed: 96 MB/s (sequential reads, average)

    [USB 2.0, on USB Mass Storage Device] Generic External USB Device
        Speed: 29606 KB/s (sequential reads, average).

    Installation was pretty straightforward - the WD drive came with an adapter card (PCI-E 1x) with two ports, a USB 3.0 cable (different from USB 2.0), and a CD with drivers (Vail doesn't have inbox drivers for USB3). I also bought a Buffalo USB 3.0 drive, connected it to the same card, and both were working without any problems since mid-January.

    So, if you're looking for an easy upgrade to add some muscle to that old Pentium 4 machine before installing Vail beta on it -- that's one way to do it.

    Monday, April 26, 2010 11:02 PM

All replies

  • That's great news! I was a bit surprised to see USB 2.0 called out in the getting started guide but assumed this was more about in-box support than anything else.

     


    rtk
    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 12:02 AM
  • Unfortunately, current level WHS boxes from all the OEMs do not reflect this very wise advice. :(
     
    My current test bed machine is also pre-USB3. But I might add a standalone card to it. How does USB3 compare to eSATA in real world use?
     
     
     
     
    "BulatS [MSFT]" wrote in message news:8e7f347a-514f-47bb-bbbf-cf2f498d531e...

    [takes his 'Vail engineering team member' hat off, puts the 'storage geek and WHS user' hat on]

    There was a question about hardware recommendations for Vail. Here's one thing that I wholeheartedly recommend for a Vail machine: a USB 3.0 external drive or two. My own Vail server has two internal SATA drives and two external USB 3.0 drives. To my greatest surprise, both external drives outperform my internal drives (the last one is USB 2.0, for comparison):

    [SATA, on IDE Channel] WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0 ATA Device
        Speed: 79 MB/s (sequential reads, average)

    [SATA, on IDE Channel] WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0 ATA Device
        Speed: 78 MB/s (sequential reads, average)

    [USB 3.0, on USB Mass Storage Device] BUFFALO External HDD USB Device
        Speed: 108 MB/s (sequential reads, average)

    [USB 3.0, on USB Mass Storage Device] WD My Book 3.0 1123 USB Device
        Speed: 96 MB/s (sequential reads, average)

    [USB 2.0, on USB Mass Storage Device] Generic External USB Device
        Speed: 29606 KB/s (sequential reads, average).

    Installation was pretty straightforward - the WD drive came with an adapter card (PCI-E 1x) with two ports, a USB 3.0 cable (different from USB 2.0), and a CD with drivers (Vail doesn't have inbox drivers for USB3). I also bought a Buffalo USB 3.0 drive, connected it to the same card, and both were working without any problems since mid-January.

    So, if you're looking for an easy upgrade to add some muscle to that old Pentium 4 machine before installing Vail beta on it -- that's one way to do it.


    Charlie. http://msmvps.com/blogs/russel
    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 12:18 AM
    Moderator
  • I prefer USB 3 actually. For some reason, I was never able to make eSATA hotplugging work reliably. Also, USB cables are easier to bend into conforming shapes :)
    Bulat Shelepov, Test Lead (Drive Extender), Windows Home and Small Business Server Team
    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 1:11 AM
  • eSATA is 3GB/s max, USB 3.0 is 5GB/s max. eSATA doesn't share a bus between drives, though, and USB 3.0 does. Still, for a single drive, the limiting factor is the drive and the bridge electronics, not the bus.

    For multiple drives, I would expect individual eSATA connections (or multilane SATA) to result in greater overall throughput, followed by USB 3.0, eSATA port multipliers (which share a single connection like USB 2.0, only with a faster bus), then USB 2.0. Firewire should be faster than USB 2.0.

    For end users, USB 3.0 will win. And you won't miss the performance for multi-drive configurations, because there's a tonj of bandwidth to share. It would get my vote for a new server.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 2:00 AM
    Moderator
  • FWIW, my home server box (which is an HP minitower, not a MediaSmart) limits eSATA to 1.5Gbps, showing a big red nasty warning if I attempt to set it to 3.0gbps in the BIOS setup. See e.g. http://bizsupport.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01330263/c01330263.pdf
    Bulat Shelepov, Test Lead (Drive Extender), Windows Home and Small Business Server Team
    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 2:19 AM
  • You now need to test out new SATA III Drives in theory they should get at least 140-160 MB/s (sequential reads, average). Damn it just when I promised the wife no more computer stuff till next year you guys gotta go make me a liar. The new USB 3 and SATA 3 Asus Motherboards are resonably priced and the new Hexa Core Phenom II's are pretty cheap too. Though I will probably just replace my AMD Phenom II 955 Black in my Gaming PC with the new Hexa Core then replace my Phenom 9950 x4 with the 955 and then build a new WHS Vail with the 9950 x4.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 7:33 PM