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  1. Member
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    Under Windows 7 64-bit I noticed that USB 3.0 transfers are slow (to external USB 3.0 HDDs connected to the motherboard USB 3.0 ports). USB 3.0 drivers are installed. The motherboard is using Intel Z97 chipset. I had this problem before with an even older motherboard, but I never really found a solution. Any ideas what might be the problem?
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    wild guess, disable powersaving on the usb 3 controller in the device manager?
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  3. How slow?

    Keep in mind that the raw transfer rate (how fast data can be read/written from/to the platters) for hard drives is limited to about 200 MB/s at the fastest outer cylinders, about half that on the slowest inner cylinders (even slower on very old drives). And you can only hit those rates with large continuous reads/writes. If you're copying lots of small files you'll get nowhere near those rates.

    Be sure you have the drive connected directly to the computer, not a hub that's shared with other USB2 devices. The hub will slow to the speed of the slowest device.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    How slow?
    Under 50 MB/s.
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    Originally Posted by kyrcy View Post
    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    How slow?
    Under 50 MB/s.
    Perhaps that the maximum speed of the device ?
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    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    Perhaps that the maximum speed of the device ?
    If I connect the same HDDs to a PCI Express USB 3.0 controller card I get more than 100 MB/s.
    Last edited by kyrcy; 21st Aug 2019 at 16:13.
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  7. Are you sure you're plugged into a USB3 port? X97 motherboard typically had a mix of USB2 and USB3. USB2 hard drives usually max out around 30 MB/s.
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  8. Member
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    What type of files are you transferring? Mulitple small files take longer than large files such as videos.

    If you're not already using it, I highly recommend using Teracopy.

    Also, defrag both your source and destination drives and this can slow down transfers.

    When you use the express card, are you copying the same files? Again, different file types/sizes transfer at different speeds.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Are you sure you're plugged into a USB3 port? X97 motherboard typically had a mix of USB2 and USB3. USB2 hard drives usually max out around 30 MB/s.
    The USB 3.0 ports on the motherboard are labeled and are of blue color and also the led on external HDDs turns to blue when connected to a USB 3.0 port, so yes, I am sure.
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    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    What type of files are you transferring? Mulitple small files take longer than large files such as videos.

    If you're not already using it, I highly recommend using Teracopy.

    Also, defrag both your source and destination drives and this can slow down transfers.

    When you use the express card, are you copying the same files? Again, different file types/sizes transfer at different speeds.
    I transfer both small and large files, videos and archives. I already use Teracopy (to verify transfers) and I often defrag HDDs. Same files with PCI express card.
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    Write cache enabled ?
    Image Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    Write cache enabled ?
    No, but should it be enabled?
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  13. Originally Posted by kyrcy View Post
    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    Write cache enabled ?
    No, but should it be enabled?
    If you're not disconnecting the drive frequently, yes.
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  14. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    ...
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    If I connect the same HDDs to a PCI Express USB 3.0 controller card I get more than 100 MB/s with the same cache properties.
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    It is possible that your motherboard has 2 kinds of usb3 controllers, one directly at the chipset, one from external controllers on the board like from asmedia?
    that could theoretically explain a difference in speed, although i'm not sure about this kind of speed difference.

    So, if this is the case, try different usb3 ports on the motherboard.

    Chipset driver and or intel inf driver installed and up to date? i suppose you already did that.
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    Sometimes a bios update fixes also usb controller firmware issues.

    If a external pcie card fixes your problem there is definitely something going on with the usb 3 controllers on your motherboard
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    There is only an Intel USB 3.0 controller on the motherboard and I am already using the latest drivers and bios.
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    According to this article typical write speeds, write cache off, is 70MB/s for USB3,
    25 - 30 MB/s USB2 (this is what I see on my own USB3 device plugged into a USB2 port)

    https://www.speedguide.net/faq/what-is-the-typical-usb-20-external-hard-drive-403

    My internal SATA can only manage ~ 65 MB p/s writes, and that's on a good day, source and target plenty of free space,
    defragged, etc,etc. Theoretical speeds not particularly relevant, more limitations of the hardware itself
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    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    According to this article typical write speeds, write cache off, is 70MB/s for USB3,
    25 - 30 MB/s USB2 (this is what I see on my own USB3 device plugged into a USB2 port)

    https://www.speedguide.net/faq/what-is-the-typical-usb-20-external-hard-drive-403

    My internal SATA can only manage ~ 65 MB p/s writes, and that's on a good day, source and target plenty of free space,
    defragged, etc,etc. Theoretical speeds not particularly relevant, more limitations of the hardware itself
    lol what? I get up to 120mb/s with my USB 3.0 through HDDs (Ivy Bridge, Mainstream Plattform) i would say the rare (in contrast to mainstream) X97 chipset has issues
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    Originally Posted by Zero-11 View Post
    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    According to this article typical write speeds, write cache off, is 70MB/s for USB3,
    25 - 30 MB/s USB2 (this is what I see on my own USB3 device plugged into a USB2 port)

    https://www.speedguide.net/faq/what-is-the-typical-usb-20-external-hard-drive-403

    My internal SATA can only manage ~ 65 MB p/s writes, and that's on a good day, source and target plenty of free space,
    defragged, etc,etc. Theoretical speeds not particularly relevant, more limitations of the hardware itself
    lol what? I get up to 120mb/s with my USB 3.0 through HDDs (Ivy Bridge, Mainstream Plattform) i would say the rare (in contrast to mainstream) X97 chipset has issues
    With the drive write cache on or off ?
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  22. My 8TB USB 3.0 drive (probably a 5400 RPM drive) gets close to 200 MB/s reads.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    My 8TB USB 3.0 drive (probably a 5400 RPM drive) gets close to 200 MB/s reads.
    Thanks for posting, seems as if the throughput of spinning rust has improved quite a bit in the last few
    years; my USB3 1TB drive has only ever been used on a USB2 motherboard, so I have never found out
    what it was actually capable of, nor can I find it documented anywhere.
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    If you drive is a 2.5" portable, it may be slower than 5400RPM, slowing down transfers.
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  25. Member crjackson's Avatar
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    It could be a problem with the actual USB port being crippled somehow (happened to me from an electrical spike during a storm). Could also be a problem with Windows Virtual USB ports assigned to the actual physical ports on that controller.

    Boot a live linux Distro and test your USB transfers under Linux. A comparison should at least be able to either eliminate or confirm OS related issues.

    PS: Switch out your USB3 cabling just for kicks...
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