Here's how fast USB 3.1 is in the real world

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,617   +124
Staff member

usb usb 3.1 usb 3 usb 3.1 performance

The specifications for USB 3.1 were finalized nearly a year and a half ago. Commonly referred to as SuperSpeed Plus, it promises even faster transfer rates than USB 3.0 solutions and with hardware now trickling down to end-users, we’re finally getting to see what it can do in the real world.

On paper, USB 3.1 offers double the signaling speed at 10Gbps. It also modifies the line encoding scheme from 8b/10b to 128n/132b. What this means is that only four bits out of every 132 are set aside for encoding overhead versus two out of every 10. All things considered, USB 3.1 has a maximum theoretical effective transfer rate of between 500MB/sec to 1.21GB/sec. 

usb usb 3.1 usb 3 usb 3.1 performance

Using a prototype USB 3.1 enclosure loaded with two Samsung 840 EVO SSDs in RAID 0 and an Asus Z97-A/USB 3.1 (Asus also supplied the enclosure and drives), The Tech Report set out to see just what sort of numbers they could squeeze out of the setup.

Using CrystalDiskMark to measure sequential read and write speed as well as 4K random reads / writes, the publication recorded sequential read speeds of 781.2MB/sec and writes of 797.8MB/sec. In the same test, USB 3.0 scored just 446.5MB/sec and 448.6MB/sec, respectively.

usb usb 3.1 usb 3 usb 3.1 performance

4K random reads checked in at 35.8MB/sec with writes scoring 79.6MB/sec, compared to USB 3.0 read / write speeds of 26.2MB/sec and 27.3MB/sec.

As you can see, there’s plenty of speed to be had with USB 3.1. Motherboards supporting the spec, like the one used in TTR’s testing, are already available for purchase. Finding an enclosure to support SuperSpeed Plus, however, may take a bit as I was unable to locate any for sale as of writing. I suspect it won’t be long before they start cropping up at your favorite online retailer.

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madboyv1

Posts: 1,611   +500
Very cool, though I hope when USB3.1 external drives are available that the manufacturer will use an M.2 style SSD that'll properly utilize the 2 PCIe lanes needed to saturate the connection. Using 2 mSATA drives seems... wasteful in terms of space, as well as add "complexity" that is unecessary. Probably will be cheaper in comparison though.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,286
Honestly I dont think 'anyone' gives a damn about the speed improvements. It could be slightly SLOWER and not many would complain. What we really care about is the new 'any' direction plug and the power increase. The speed is just a sweet bonus on top of everything else.
I wouldn't go so far as to say nobody gives a damn about the improved speed, more speed is always good but I fully agree with you about the unidirectional connector, I don't know why they never implemented it from USB 1.0 upwards.
 
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MilwaukeeMike

Posts: 3,213   +1,462
Honestly I dont think 'anyone' gives a damn about the speed improvements. It could be slightly SLOWER and not many would complain. What we really care about is the new 'any' direction plug and the power increase. The speed is just a sweet bonus on top of everything else.
Perhaps, but it may have the same answer to 'who need 50 mbps internet?' The answer is people who want to transfer high res video. As camera tech improves files get bigger. Both from the high megapixel stills and the slow-mo HD video some cameras can take. We're now even seeing super fast SD cards so you can record all the data that's needed for the ultra high res cameras.

After all that people aren't going to want faster transfers. The irony is, USB3.1 is going to be faster than most people's hard drives. People will need to go out and get new SSDs.
 
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Brewskie

Posts: 28   +6
What in the world would anyone do with all that throughput!!

(What I was thinking when I first read about 500MB drives and 500MG memory, oh so long ago)
 

Forebode

Posts: 197   +44
Two Samsung 840 EVO SSDs BAD CHOICE: the firmware is still broken or the tech is flawed and requires a class action.
 

infiltrator

Posts: 171   +31
What in the world would anyone do with all that throughput!!
Right now, I can't think of any scenario in which all that high throughput can be used for. I am very certain, there are applications out there, that would benefit all that high throughput.
 
Does anybody really care about speed?...
What is the main reason why people upgraded from usb2.0 to usb3.0?...
SPEED!
There is your answer!
Of course we want it faster. This is the world of instant grat.!.!.!
The faster the better
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,480   +2,366
When you are transferring hundreds of gigabytes daily - especially in a corporate setting - speed matters... file sizes keep increasing... why WOULDN'T you want to have file transfers as fast as possible?

What we need are chipsets with 100 PCIe lanes so we can utilize all these awesome HDs... with even the Haswell-E chipset only supporting 40 lanes, you need to make sacrifices to run multiple hard drives and multiple GPUs...
 

jobeard

Posts: 13,977   +1,778
My B***H with SSD is the degrading performance over time. Makes a good archiving NAS, but extremely poor choice for system primary storage.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,480   +2,366
My B***H with SSD is the degrading performance over time. Makes a good archiving NAS, but extremely poor choice for system primary storage.
How much time? And most modern SSDs don't have those issues any more... Hello 2008, we want our hardware back...
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,480   +2,366
That's just the Samsung 840.... not all SSDs... when using something to prove a point, make sure it actually does...