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Upgraded to USB 2.0, but it's not fast enough?

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Upgraded to USB 2.0, but it's not fast enough?

Old 07-27-04, 12:50 PM
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Upgraded to USB 2.0, but it's not fast enough?

Setup: nearly 4-year old Dell Dimension PC, P-III, 866 MHz, running Windows ME. It came with two USB 1.1 ports.

I recently bought a cheap USB 2.0 PCI upgrade card and installed it with the associated drivers. It has an NEC chip. I'm somewhat disappointed in the results.

After installation I tested it by transferring 2 large files totalling 217MB from my hard drive to my Sandisk USB flash device (256MB Cruzer mini), which is supposed to be USB 2.0 high speed capable.

Using the USB 1.1 ports this took just under 4 minutes (235 seconds). Using the new USB 2.0 ports it took 83 seconds. Now that's better, but not even quite 3x as fast. Where is the 40x improvement (max 12Mbps for USB 1.1 vs 480Mbps for USB 2.0 high speed)? I know that's theoretical speed, but still. I thought it would transfer the files in well under 30 seconds.

I can't imagine that using a USB 2.0 external hard drive would be feasible at this speed.

So, is there something I've done wrong or need to change? What could be limiting the transfer speed so severely?

I want to keep this PC going for awhile and when I do get a newer PC I'll network it. I'll soon upgrade it to Windows XP Professional, but haven't finished backing up data or had time to do it yet.
Old 07-27-04, 02:19 PM
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I'm going to guess that either 1) you've hit the ceiling on the speed of the flash memory embedded in the Cruzer or 2) your computer is not fast enough to transfer data anywhere near hi-speed USB 2.0's capabilities.
Old 07-27-04, 02:22 PM
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Yeah, it's not the USB controller. When I transfer files from my 7200rpm USB2 external drive to a 3.2GHz P4 notebook, it takes about 60 seconds to transfer a 650-meg ISO. Your 866MHz computer might be a bottleneck - but the Sandisk USB flash drive is probably the culprit. They're not designed for speed.

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Old 07-27-04, 02:28 PM
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217MB divided by 83 seconds equals 2.6 MB/s. Assuming a USB flash drive is the same as a Compact Flash card, that speed isn't unreasonable.
Old 07-27-04, 02:34 PM
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as these guys have said... your complaints shouldnt be with the usb2..

thats the thing about alot of technology.. they wow us with the possiblities on how fast it is.. but really, we dont have the architechture in place to take advantage of it all yet

Support the Monkey/wikoff ticket, VOTE now!
Old 07-27-04, 02:55 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

So, perhaps if the flash drive is the bottleneck then I might get better transfer speeds with a digital audio player. I'm mulling getting one of them, something like the iAudio M3 or Creative Zen Touch, with a 20 GB hard drive.

I'll also test again after upgrading to XP, although it doesn't seem like the OS should really make a difference.
Old 07-27-04, 05:04 PM
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Here is a good review of USB flash drives:


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