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USB 3.0 the Real Deal, SATA 6GB Not Yet

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the built-for-speed dept.

Upgrades 168

MojoKid writes "HotHardware has posted a sneak peek at a new motherboard Asus has coming down the pipe with USB 3.0 and SATA 6G support. The Asus P7P55D-E Premium has a PLX PCI Express Gen 2 switch implementation that connects to NEC USB 3.0 and Marvell SATA 6G controller chips. With a USB 3.0 enabled external hard drive connected to a USB 2.0 port and then to the board's USB 3.0 port, there were some rather impressive gains to observe. When connected to a USB 3.0 port, the external hard drive was about 5 — 6x faster versus connecting over USB 2.0, with total throughput in excess of 130MB/sec. On the other hand, benchmarks with Seagate's new Barracuda XT SATA 6G drive show little performance difference but a burst rate that is off the charts. According to ATTO, there are slight overall performance benefits to be had connecting the drive to the SATA 6G controller, but the deltas were quite small; somewhere in the neighborhood of 5MB/s or so."

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5x-6x times faster?! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29921635)

oh this sounds too good to be true

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921771)

Well, seeing as USB 2.0 is so skull-fuckingly slow, 5-6x faster isn't really that impressive.

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (3, Informative)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921815)

What, USB 2 slow? Seems like you never tried to transfer 3GB of photo's to a PC that only has USB 1. Seriously, USB 2 is FAST. If you want slow, try USB 1.

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921873)

What, USB 1 slow? Seems like you never tried to transfer 3GB of photo's to a PC that only has a keyboard to type them pixel by pixel.. Seriously, USB 1 is FAST. If you want slow, try typing down 3GB.

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29921947)

It's an unfortunate inevitability of life -- everybody poops. And
while this task can occasionally provide us with an opportunity to
relax or engage in some deep thinking, there are other instances when
this basic undertaking becomes a chore no person should have to
endure. Whether or not these stooling sessions can be tolerated, is
often determined by one single factor: where it is taking place? If
you're alone in the privacy of your own home, why not make an hour of
it and get some reading in? However, if you're at work with your boss
sitting in the adjacent stall, you'd better hold off on dropping
anything for fear of creating an embarrassing splash. With that in
mind though, things could be worse, and here are eight examples of how
much worse..

8-The Wilderness Toilet

This is essentially taking a #2 in a wall-less bathroom. Sure,
you're in a pretty remote location, but it's not so remote that they
haven't needed to accommodate other people with full bowels. At any
second, some fellow hiker could round that nearby group of trees and
put an eyeball on you while you prepare to release yesterday's granola
bar. It's also safe to assume that since this toilet is on a path
intended for people who want to get away from the hectic bustle of
society, that same society's emphasis on cleanliness and sterile
toilets is far removed as well. And since the act of pooping leaves
man at nearly his most helpless, this would seem like the ideal time
for a voracious wild animal to attack. So, not only is this an
uncomfortable practice, but it's a dangerous one as well.

7-School

Kids can be merciless. They will go to great measures to find any
points of weakness in their unfortunate victims, and to a youth,
finding out that someone has been pooping presents an incredible
opportunity for ridicule. Yet, at times your body requires you to crap
at these academic establishments, and so you are immediately presented
with the impossible task of somehow taking an undetectable dump, or
completely leaving school. If you excuse yourself from class, the time
you spend in the bathroom will surely be recorded by your callous
peers, and upon return, you will be thoroughly mocked. If you try and
poop in between class, you'll be too worried about the possibility of
being tardy, and you'll probably pinch it off before you're completely
done. And even if you muster up the courage to attempt this risky
procedure, there's always the risk of someone walking in and berating
you while you take part in what should be one of mankind's most
private moments. So please children, let each other poop in peace.

6-Your New Girlfriend/Boyfriend's House

Let's say you're about to leave your newly-acquired significant
other's residence after your first sleep over, when nature suddenly
decides this would be the perfect moment to defecate. Maybe it's the
nerves after a night of apprehensive tongue-kissing and heavy petting,
or maybe it's the three-bean taco salad you ate prior to the
caressing, but whatever the case, your body's telling you it needs to
be relieved immediately. Now the bathroom in this situation is
certainly not the problem; it's clean, and probably provides some sort
of reading material. The problem is what will happen to this new and
delicate relationship once the odorous evidence of your actions hits
the air. There may be an air-freshener, or perhaps you're carrying
some matches, but that will only mask the smell, and the psychological
damage of having your body demonstrate what it's like at its most foul
will forever remain in the nostrils of their brain. This will
permanently change how your significant other looks at you.

5-The Port-a-Potty

Here's what the Port-a-Potty brings to waste elimination sessions:
One--They're typically found in unfamiliar, public locations that can
make an already-taxing exercise more stressful. Especially, as you,
the pooper, realize there's a massive line of concert or tractor-pull
attendees waiting outside who will soon discover you've not taken a
#1. Two--Extremely unclean facilities that, due to their often-remote
locations, don't easily accommodate cleaners. Three--The disgusting
split-second glimpse you get of that mysterious dung-urine-water that
you're about to add to, right before either gingerly setting yourself
atop the seat or hovering an inch above said seat. I wish man hadn't
invented this monstrous building.

4-The House Party

You're attending what some annoying guy is describing as the most
legendary party ever, when the large amount of spirits you've consumed
starts to disrupt your bowels. So you immediately locate that massive
line of people looking to empty their alcohol, and join the
congregation awaiting the one bathroom in the entire house. Luckily,
the line moves fairly quickly due to the fairer sex's ability to
utilize a single toilet in large groups, and the fact that the
majority of people are just urinating. Unfortunately, as you reach the
front, the line continues to grow behind you with people just as
anxious to relieve themselves. Only they're not taking a #2 like you
are. As you finally enter what is always a very unkempt bathroom and
proceed to clean off all the errant urine around the stool, you become
completely aware that what you're about to do is going to take some
time. Not only will the massive and continuously growing line become
increasingly upset as you attempt to poop, but eventually your
bathroom-disrupting exploits will be known by all at this bash. And
that same annoying man who termed this party as legendary, will term
your dump "the crap heard around the party." Good luck hooking up
now.

3-The Airport

Now certainly there are dirtier bathrooms than this, and as far as
public pooping goes, it can be a lot worse. However, there is one
aspect of the airport restroom that has recently made us all question
what else those toilet stall walls have seen. And that's Senator Larry
Craig. It's hard enough for me to get over the fact that maybe 5
minutes ago another man sat on this seat and emptied his waste, but to
think that maybe a publicly elected official was in here copulating
with a random stranger pushes me over the edge. How do I overcome that
fear? Can I simply lay strips of toilet paper down over the seat, as
if I was taking a normal #2? Or do I select the one odd stall without
a door, knowing that surely a heterosexual Senator would be
uncomfortable accosting me an exposed setting? No, ultimately what I
must do is hold it. Hold it until I get on the plane and am able to
enter a restroom where it's well known that people never engage in the
act of fornication.

2-The Gas Station

Simply put, these are the most vile, repugnant, and unkempt
bathrooms on the planet. Since the opening of any gas station, not
once has an employee walked into that waste collecting room with the
intention of tidying things up a bit. The poo that sits unflushed in
the toilet is the same poo that has sat in that lavatory for the past
25 years, and it now has begun to move freely on its own. Attempting
to wash your hands in this room will only lead to the contraction of
some sort of a disease and the walls appear to have some sort of goo
running down them, which originates at the ceiling. Also, this room
seems like a strange place for a security camera to be located.

1-The Squat Toilet

The squat toilet, or the "no toilet" as I like to call it, is a
terribly-designed contraption that requires the dumper to hover over a
small hole and precisely aim his or her stool before releasing
it. Since this is the primary toilet in certain parts of the world, a
wide-eyed Westerner can be certain that his first attempt at hitting
this two-inch mark will most likely result in a fresh log between his
feet. Leading to the realization that if your dung is just going to
end up on the ground, there is no reason to stand in this dank, public
restroom to drop it. Also, you'll have to completely remove any
clothing below the waist, since you're most likely opposed to getting
your feces on your pants. TP can also be a problem in some of the
squat toilets since a number of them aren't equipped to handle this
apparent Western extravagance. Instead, squat toilet patrons are
content using their hand and some water, which they believe is just as
effective and just as sanitary. Ultimately, using these toilets will
make you homesick.

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922229)

What, keyboard slow? Seems like you never tried to transfer 3GB of photo's to an iPhone that only has a touchscreen to type them pixel by pixel.. Seriously, keyboard is FAST. If you want slow, try typing down 3GB on a touchscreen.

Just to put an end to this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922345)

What, touchscreen slow? Seems like you never tried to transfer 3GB of photo's to a PC that only has a butterfly...

Re:Just to put an end to this... (3, Funny)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922691)

What butterfly slow? Seems you've never had to transfer 3 GB of photos by gathering a huge amount of hydrogen together, forming a star, waiting for star to burn burn through and go nova forming many heavier elements, taking those elements and combining it with alot more hydrogen to form a solar system, evolving life on one of the planets and shepherding their technological development in the hope that there will one day be 3 GB of photos and the computer to transfer them to.

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922511)

Compact cassette. Does anyone even know what I am talking about?

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922565)

You violated the technological regression meme and must be punished.

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922821)

What, iPhone touchscreen slow? Seems like you've never tried to transfer 3GB of photos on an Altair when you set the memory registers bit by bit. Seriously, iPhone is FAST!

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29923487)

What, USB 1 slow? Seems like you never tried to transfer 3GB of photo's to a PC that only has a keyboard to type them pixel by pixel.. Seriously, USB 1 is FAST. If you want slow, try typing down 3GB.

3GB

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (0, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921883)

Why would you buy a PC that only had USB 1, or use it for file transfers? SCSI has been around longer than USB 1, and Firewire has been around longer than USB 2.

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (2, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921903)

What, USB 1 slow? Seems like you never tried to transfer 3GB of photos to a PC that only has RS232. Seriously, USB 1 is FAST. If you want slow, try RS232.

Re:5x-6x times faster?! (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922469)

I just think it's a pity that afaict they didn't use the same drive for the USB2 vs USB3 test and the SATA 3GB vs SATA 6GB tests.

It's almost a given that USB 3 will be much faster than USB 2. What I'd like to know is how USB 3 compares to esata.

Firewire owners (3, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922503)

If you owned a firewire 800 disk drive, you would be smiling like me now.

When FW1600/3200 gets out of door, it will be same endless saga again since they will beat USB 3 too. They should also check the load on host CPU while doing those USB 3 speeds. Intel's standard is still host (CPU) controlled. Surprised a bit?

Re:Firewire owners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922665)

eSATA ftw

Re:Firewire owners (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922763)

I like FireWire, but I think at this point it's dead. I have a couple of external FireWire 800 disks, but every other peripheral that I own is now USB. With USB 3, FireWire 800 is now much slower, so if I buy another disk it will be USB 3, not FireWire 800. The next laptop that I buy will have several USB 3 ports and I will be able to plug anything into them, from mice up to disk arrays. FireWire 3200 has been promised for years, but still isn't shipping, while USB 3 and eSATA both are. eSATA is a better choice if you just want disks, USB 3 is a better choice if you want flexibility (there are a lot more USB devices than FireWire devices, and FireWire 400, 800, and 3200 all have different connectors).

Re:Firewire owners (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923567)

>When FW1600/3200 gets out of door, it will be same endless saga again since they will beat USB 3 too

I'm sure you're right. Unfortunately it's Betamax vs VHS all over again and it doesn't look like changing.

IEEE1394 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29921661)

So what is there in usb 3.0 that we did not already have with firewire?

Speed, price and ubiquity. HTH. HAND. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29921669)

Speed, price and ubiquity. HTH. HAND.

Re:Speed, price and ubiquity. HTH. HAND. (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922021)

Ubiquity? You mean there are more USB 3.0 devices around than Firewire devices?

Re:Speed, price and ubiquity. HTH. HAND. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922333)

In 2 years, yes.

Re:Speed, price and ubiquity. HTH. HAND. (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922819)

Yes. USB1 and USB2 are subsets of USB3. I own two FireWire 800 disks and a FireWire iSight camera, but I own more peripherals that I can run from a USB 3 controller than ones that can run from a FireWire controller. If you make a computer with FireWire 800, you still need to add a USB 2 controller for slower peripherals. If you make a computer with a USB 3 controller, you can just plug in USB 1 and 2 peripherals directly.

Intel were very clever pitching USB as a replacement for things like PS/2 and RS-232 connectors. That meant that everyone had a USB port or two and collected USB 1 devices. When USB 2 came around, even though it wasn't quite as good as FireWire 400, it was almost as good and it was effectively free, because there was almost no price difference between a USB 1 and a USB 2 controller, and you needed a USB 1 controller for everyone's keyboard and mouse. Now USB 3 is here, the same is going to happen. USB 2 controllers will be replaced by USB 3 controllers, and everyone will have a set of USB 3 ports. FireWire doesn't just have to be better, it has to be better by enough of a margin to make it worth adding an extra controller, extra motherboard traces, and extra ports.

Re:IEEE1394 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29921813)

Firewire 800 has been a bottleneck for even consumer storage for years, and nobody has been too interested in fixing it. I just don't get the appeal, it sucks compared to eSata for storage and it sucks compared to USB2 for everything else.

Now even Apple is dropping Firewire from their most popular models. If faster versions of 1394 don't leave the vaporware stage before USB3 is rolled-out, you can safely forget about it.

Re:IEEE1394 (2, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922477)

Now even Apple is dropping Firewire from their most popular models.
Do you have a source for that claim or are you just guessing as to what apples most popular models are?

Re:IEEE1394 (3, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922635)

Now even Apple is dropping Firewire from their most popular models.

Somebody ought to tell the pro audio manufacturers. I just got the Musicians Friend Christmas Catalog, and there are a host of new Firewire interfaces, including the Focusrite Saffire series (I bought the Saffire DSP 24 and it's one of the nicest portable DAW interfaces I've used, and goes for $399! (DSP! for 399!). Companies from Apogee to M-Audio to RME to MOTU to Avid, Prosonus, Edirol, and I could go on, are all bringing out new Firewire interfaces. Some of them, like the slick-looking Apogee models, with their phenomenal AD/DA converters, are Mac only.

Look, I don't think Firewire is the end-all. Personally, I don't mind opening up my computer's case and putting in a card, so I wish more of the companies were coming out with really good PCI-E DAW interfaces or something. But I think that unless Apple is ready to cede their strong portion of the pro audio market, they won't kill Firewire any time soon. USB 2.0 has been somewhat underwhelming for audio performance (at least most of the USB 2.0 audio interfaces that have come out have been underwhelming, which is not the same thing).

That is, I don't see Apple giving up on FW unless they start coming out with Macs that you can open up and install your own hardware that don't cost $3k. Or if USB 3.0 is so great and all the pro audio manufacturers start coming out with USB 3.0 gear.

Re:IEEE1394 (1)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923613)

Well, the new unibody MacBooks don't have it. Neither does the air. The MacBook Pro still does, as do the desktop machines.

Re:IEEE1394 (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921965)

It's faster. In their tests, they were getting 140MB/s transfers through USB3 to a single drive. I have two (older, slower) drives that can, between them, saturate a FireWire 800 bus giving me a total throughput of a shade under 100MB/s. One thing the tests didn't show was how well USB3 scales. What happens when you plug two disks in to a single USB3 port? What about four or five? I can chain together FireWire 800 disks and see it scale almost linearly, but can I do the same with USB3 hubs? In real-world usage, USB2 was much slower than FireWire 400 due to protocol overhead. Has this been improved with USB3? What happens if I run a USB1 keyboard on the same hub as my USB3 disk? The FireWire standard goes up to 3200Mb/s, although I've never seen an implementation that goes over 800. USB3, apparently, gives the same speed after protocol overhead, but how close to this can it get in the real world? USB 2 had a very high CPU load compared to FireWire, has this been fixed with USB3?

It seems that USB3 has fixed most of the things that made FireWire better than USB2, and FireWire 3200 isn't supported anywhere that I've seen, so USB3 probably has more long term future. It's not clear that USB3 is better than FireWire 3200, but it does have one big advantage: it's actually being deployed. It is clearly superior to FireWire 800, which is the fastest FireWire you'll find on existing systems.

Re:IEEE1394 (5, Informative)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922091)

You're spot on with the CPU load. The reason Firewire is still so popular, and the reason why Mac users were so up in arms when Apple dropped it from their alu MacBook is that for video and audio there's still no good alternative. I can hang 16 channels of digital audio I/O from the Firewire bus and do live digital mixing on a Mac and run digital effects etc.. There's no way I could do that with USB and expect it to be stable if it works at all. Jobs made a big thing about newer digital video cameras being USB2, but the point is it's offline in the sense that you're transferring data from one hard drive in the camera to a hard drive in the computer - if there's a problem with the USB2 bus the camera can throttle back the data transfer or repeat if necessary. If you're using a tape-based digital format (which is still the mainstream standard in the pro/semi-pro world) then you need Firewire because it will reliably import a full tape without dropping frames; effectively it's streaming rather than just copying, for which I wouldn't trust USB2.

Re:IEEE1394 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922129)

"so popular". lol. yeah, all 5 users of firewire. all 5 of them!

Re:IEEE1394 (2, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922263)

I think if Apple had not been so greedy in the beginning, FireWire would be the standard today. And I'm also sure in the end Apple would have made much more money from it, too.

Re:IEEE1394 (2, Interesting)

willy_me (212994) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922607)

Apple might have been one of the big names behind 1394 - but there were many others. Apple never had much of a say as to what the royalties would be. They even gave away their trademark name "Firewire" in order to help with adoption. Eventually the 1394 royalties were reduced to 25c a device but by this time USB2 was already in the market.

But you are correct about greed in the beginning. Had the group of companies kept 1394 affordable (ie, 10c a device) then Intel would never have developed USB 2.0 in the first place. After all, Intel was originally a supporter of 1394.

Re:IEEE1394 (0, Troll)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922361)

So the question really is whether anybody would use a tape-based digital format on a MacBook.

I don't think high-end stuff is really the market for a MacBook. Do desktop and server Macs still have firewire?

Re:IEEE1394 (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922561)

Do desktop and server Macs still have firewire?
Yes and so do all three sizes of macbook pro (13, 15 and 17 inch), hell even the mac mini has it!

Re:IEEE1394 (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923821)

Because its too hard to just look yourself on Apple's website hey?

Re:IEEE1394 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922989)

You obviously never tried RME Fireface UC, same or better performance than their firewire audio interfaces, on USB. It's all about writing good drivers and RME is king there. Also, some older USB chipsets where pure garbage, but they have very low DPC Latency nowadays.

USB3 superior to FW? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922169)

It's faster. In their tests, they were getting 140MB/s transfers through USB3 to a single drive. I have two (older, slower) drives that can, between them, saturate a FireWire 800 bus giving me a total throughput of a shade under 100MB/s.[...] It is clearly superior to FireWire 800, which is the fastest FireWire you'll find on existing systems.

Well, it's 40% faster over the bus, but beyond that, is there anything inherit in the standard that's better?

Future ubiquity will certainly help, but if USB3's CPU overhead is as bad as USB2, it will mean the 3 out of 4 cores will be used by transferring at top speed.

Another possible advantage of FW is that it can provide a lot more bus power. USB can deliver 2.5W at 5V; FW can deliver 10 to 20W on average, but can hit 60W with a 30V rail. If you design your external device correctly, it means you don't need to connect a power supply when attached via FW.

Re:USB3 superior to FW? (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922577)

Well, it's 40% faster over the bus
40% faster in this test, unfortunately hothardware didn't benchmark the bare drive but looking at thier SATA results (based on a different and probablly higher end drive) I suspect the drive was the bottleneck in this USB3 test.

USB3 also tweaks up the power a little so there should now be enough to reliably run a laptop hard drive off bus power (with 2.0 it's hit and miss)

Re:USB3 superior to FW? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922731)

FireWire devices are not allowed to draw (or provide) more than 40W if they want to stick within the spec. Unfortunately, that's not particularly useful. 40W would be enough to power my external disks, but my MacBook Pro does not have enough power for this. The peer to peer nature of FireWire is the problem here. There is no client-server relationship between devices, and so there is no provider-consumer model intrinsic in a FireWire chain when it comes to power. This means that you can't design devices with the assumption that any power will be available over the port. Many computers come with 4-pin FireWire ports, and if you plug things into these you won't even have the power pins connected. In contrast, every USB device can guarantee that it can get the power that it requests, either from the computer or the hub.

And it's not just 40% faster. One drive was 40% faster. I assume USB can scale to at least 2 devices, so that would make it 280% faster. Compared to FireWire 800, of course. FireWire 3200 has been promised for almost a decade, but still isn't shipping. The big advantage FireWire had, apart from speed, was the ability to do isochronous transfers, which USB added. The peer to peer model is nice on paper, but the only time I've used it was to connect two computers together so that one that was connected to a wired ethernet link could share its network connection with the other. Being able to print directly from a camera sounds nice, but cameras and printers are both shipping with USB and not FireWire, and it turned out that just putting a USB host controller on the camera worked just as well and was cheaper.

USB 3.0 provides more juice (1)

cyclocommuter (762131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922487)

USB 3.0 provides more juice [wikipedia.org] compared to 2.0. You could probably plug and power up a 3.5" desktop drive (assuming the enclosure has the circuitry to use power over USB) and it will run it without the need for brick adapters.

Shoddy Method (5, Insightful)

spqr0a1 (1504087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921679)

The Barracuda XT is a spinning platter HDD and so should not be expected to benefit significantly from the new SATA revision. SSDs on the other hand have already maxed out the transfer rate SATA 3Gbps. I suspect they would have seen the difference if they used a top of the line SSD.

This is good news all around, it's great to see things getting faster.

Re:Shoddy Method (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29923505)

This is what I was thinking, spinning platter drives only get faster when you:
a) pack the bits tighter
b) spin the disk faster

The plus side of this is that disks naturally get faster as they get 'bigger' (pack more data into the same space). However, this happens sub-linearly with capacity.

On the other hand from what I have seen of SSD, they tend to actually slow down with capacity increases, but because they don't have to wait for a platter to spin to the correct point, they are far and away faster than HDD.

6G was made primarily for SSD drives and SAS/Fiber Channel top-end drives.

Re:Shoddy Method (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29923911)

very few SDDs can saturate 3GB, even under a burst read. Even if synthetic tests can drive past that point, real world applications other than extreme specialty apps utilizing massive IO thoughput can see differences. Fact is, 3GB/s vs 6GB/s in terms of game loar times or PC operation are meaningless. It is no longer a bottleneck the user can perceive in most cases. And a $200 premium per disk, plus the cost of the controler? no thanks. Even 6GB SAS drives don't make much of a diffence, and you think SATA will?

Still too slow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29921691)

We're still trying to pass a gallon of water through the eye of a needle - the sea change will come when we use light to store information and using quntum mechanics we can imprint information on secondary memory systems without loss

"off the charts"?? (5, Funny)

astrowill (1593647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921727)

Make the chart bigger!

Re:"off the charts"?? (3, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921781)

"But this one goes up to 3!"

"Couldn't they just make 2 louder?"

Re:"off the charts"?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29921839)

Then it MUST be over 9000

Sorry. I couldn't resist

Re:"off the charts"?? (1)

AniVisual (1373773) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922297)

Rather, use a logarithmic scale.

moral? (5, Informative)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921729)

This all sounds like exactly what you'd expect.

The old SATA standard was more than sufficient for the hard disk's max sustained transfer rate, so only burst performance (when everything is presumably coming from the disk's RAM cache) changed with the new SATA. So "SATA 6GB" is working fine, but this disk is just too slow to take advantage of its speed increase.

With USB on the other hand, USB 2 is simply far too slow to handle even the drive's sustained transfer rate, whereas USB 3 is fast enough to handle it.

So the moral seems to be: USB 2 sucks for disks, USB 3 is better and probably sufficient for a typical hard drive, and SATA's still probably better than either (it's not really possible to tell from this article, since the sustained transfer rates are limited by the drive, and they curiously omitted the burst rates for USB).

Re:moral? (-1, Redundant)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921783)

Pretty good summary - but I've got no mod points.

Re:moral? (4, Insightful)

sosume (680416) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921969)

> So "SATA 6GB" is working fine, but this disk is just too slow to take advantage of its speed increase.

You are forgetting that lots of people are switching to SSD disks with amazing throughputs.. so there is an actual benefit for SATA 6GB. I for one welcome the new SATA 6GB overlord.

Re:moral? (1)

VMaN (164134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921975)

Well, I'd probably say something more like:

"USB 1 sucks for disks, USB 2 is better and probably sufficient for a typical hard drive"

Your comment made me feel old you insensitive clod :(

Re:moral? (2, Funny)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922095)

"So the moral seems to be: USB 2 sucks for disks"

I can't be the only one that miss-parsed that is USB 2 sucks dicks.

Re:moral? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922949)

I think you probably is.

Re:moral? (1)

TeamSPAM (166583) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923641)

It does, though I'm a firewire loving Apple fanboy. :)

At one point the two standards were close in price. These days firewire case are getting rare and more expensive while usb case are pretty cheap.

SATA 3 is for SSDs (5, Interesting)

distantbody (852269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921743)

SATA 2 is already a bottleneck for many SSDs as this [anandtech.com] chart shows them hitting a wall at approximately 260MB/s. SATA 3 should release the proverbial floodgates for sequential reads.

On a tangent, Samsung just started mass production of a 64MB, 60nm phase-change RAM in September. Initially they are going to use them in mobile phones. The chips read, write and erase approximately 7 times faster than Flash memory, and also use less power. Sooner rather than later Samsung or the other PRAM producer Numonyx will put the chips in SSDs that can read and write at around 1GB per second.

Re:SATA 3 is for SSDs (1)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923467)

On a tangent, Samsung just started mass production of a 64MB, 60nm phase-change RAM in September. Initially they are going to use them in mobile phones. The chips read, write and erase approximately 7 times faster than Flash memory, and also use less power. Sooner rather than later Samsung or the other PRAM producer Numonyx will put the chips in SSDs that can read and write at around 1GB per second.

RAM, a volatile memory, is 7x faster than FLASH, which is a non-volatile memory. This impresses you? Maybe you misspoke and meant something other than RAM.

Re:SATA 3 is for SSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29923903)

RAM is not volatile per se. Flash as phase-change ram RAM are of the non-volatile kind.

Re:SATA 3 is for SSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29924015)

Volatility, is not a design requirement for RAM. Flash Memory is a type of RAM. Phase Change RAM is, also, not volatile.

Re:SATA 3 is for SSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29924193)

I believe the parent was referring to the acronym Random Access Memory, not with the usual meaning of "high speed volatile memory for short-term storage" that we use everyday.

Re:SATA 3 is for SSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29924245)

RAM is Random Access Memory. You're thinking of current RAM standards, which are volatile.

Phase Change RAM is non-volatile (like flash), but much faster.

Re:SATA 3 is for SSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29923937)

SATA 3 should release the proverbial floodgates for sequential reads.

Actually you miss one of the points of SSD, there really isn't any difference between sequential and random on them. With rotating media, there is because sequential operations happen in tune with the disk's spinning, while randoms do not. With SSDs memory addresses get load-balanced and moved anyway, so there isn't really a difference (even physically) between random and sequential reads.

This is why SSD drive don't need to be/shouldn't be defragmented, there isn't any performance loss in having things in random locations and the extra writes wear out the drive.

what real deal? (5, Insightful)

razvan784 (1389375) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921803)

From what I can see in the graphs the USB3 HDD is indeed faster than on USB2 because of the bandwith; the SATA HDD is about the same on SATA 2 and 3, but also pretty near USB3. The title is implying superiority of USB over SATA when clearly the HDD is the limiting factor.

Time for some SSDs! (3, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921807)

It's relatively straightforward to add more parallel channels to an SSD drive and increase bandwidth. In the long run, there isn't even much of a cost difference to make the same capacity SSD drive fast enough to max out SATA 6. (the main cost driver of SSDs appears to be the cost of the flash chips themselves)

So bring on the new drives that can max out SATA 6! Right now, you can get comparable performance if you put two or four high end SSDs into a RAID 0 array. However, there's a lot of problems with doing this : you have to fuss with software drivers, certain SSD features aren't supported very well (like Trim), and there are bottlenecks in motherboard RAID chipsets because spinning disks were never this quick. Dedicated hardware RAID cards cost $300-$1000, making the cost rather steep for most users. Finally, while SSDs probably are inherently more reliable in the long run than hard disks, it's not a good idea to build a system that depends on 2-4 separate drives, a motherboard chipset, and potentially buggy drivers or else your data is hosed.

So I'm very much looking forward to upcoming SSDs like the Vertex 2 that should be able to max out a SATA 6 link. That is, once the SATA 6 motherboards become relatively common.

Re:Time for some SSDs! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922041)

there already is http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/27/fusion-io-ioxtreme-and-ioxtreme-pro-pci-express-ssds-sneak-out/
just pack that into sata controler, and sata3 is no more.

Price of USB 3.0 (4, Interesting)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29921973)

The big question with USB 3.0 is the price. That is the big advantage of USB over competitors like FireWire. Cables, host controllers, devices, hubs, everything is cheap. USB 3.0 looks a lot more complicated. The cables are much thicker with more wires and shielding. A USB 3.0 hub has to contain everything a USB 2.0 hub does, plus the new SuperSpeed part which is no longer just a dumb hub but more like a switch or router.

Re:Price of USB 3.0 firewire 1600 / 3200 better as (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922485)

Firewire 1600 / 3200 is better as it uses the same cables and ports as firewire 800. USB 3.0 needs new cables and ports also how high is the cpu load?

Re:Price of USB 3.0 firewire 1600 / 3200 better as (2, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923959)

USB 3.0 does away with polling and introduces an interrupt-based transfer model, so CPU usage should no longer be an issue.

Is it **better** as opposed to faster ? (2, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922097)

My issues with USB 2.0 are not so much about speed:

1- there's that ridiculous fudging about hi-speed, full-speed... is USB 3.0 **ALWAYS** USB 3.0, at last ?

2- I've got a bunch of 2.0 stuff (whichever 2.0 that was) that only works if I set my PC's USB ports as 1.0 only.

3- Even 2.0 stuff that kinda works has a way to make any non-intel-chipset PC freezy-jerky

4- I very rarely got anywhere near the supposed speed of 2.0 anyway.

In the end, I'd rather have a reliable, compatible, no PC freezes connection, than a "if everything works well" (read: rarely if ever) 10x faster one.

Not my experience at all! (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922179)

1. My USB hard drives run consistently at ~25 Mb/sec. I have several types from different mfgrs and they all have the same transfer rate. I also have several 100 Mb Ethernet dongles from different mfgrs and they are all quite capable of saturating the network.

2. Not my experience at all! I segregate devices and hook them up to different hubs, but that's all.

3. Not my experience at all! I have nVidia chipset motherboards and NEC PCI cards that do USB just fine.

4.See #1

You don't mention anything about operating systems. I run Linux and USB works great for me.

Re:Not my experience at all! (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922467)

1. My USB hard drives run consistently at ~25 Mb/sec

A whole 25 Mb/sec, eh? Don't go setting the world on fire with your scarily fast transfers. You might nearly reach 1986 era speeds. Where by nearly, I mean not even close.

Re:Not my experience at all! (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922975)

I'm guessing that was supposed to be 25 MB/s.

Re:Not my experience at all! (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923313)

So, that brings him into about the mid 1990s?

Re:Not my experience at all! (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923281)

You had a hard drive that could do 25 Mb/sec in 1986? Even if that's megabits per second (which it isn't, I get over 30 Mbytes/sec with USB2), that's well in excess of what I got in the mid-1990s.

I'm in no rush for USB3, but then the only external storage I use is for backups and USB sticks, neither of which really needs the extra speed.

Re:Not my experience at all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922567)

1. My USB hard drives run consistently at ~25 Mb/sec.

Do you realize that broadband speeds are faster than that in many parts of the world? Bragging that your local disk connection is slower than the pipes into the house doesn't exactly speak well for USB.

Re:Is it **better** as opposed to faster ? (1)

sdiz (224607) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922257)

My issues with USB 2.0 are not so much about speed:

1- there's that ridiculous fudging about hi-speed, full-speed... is USB 3.0 **ALWAYS** USB 3.0, at last ?

USB 3.0 is USB 3.0 SuperSpeed.

Re:Is it **better** as opposed to faster ? (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922401)

Your issues seem much more about unreliable and noncompliant devices.

Re:Is it **better** as opposed to faster ? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922489)

than what ... ?

Re:Is it **better** as opposed to faster ? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29924269)

AFAIK Full-speed is USB1.1, hi-speed is USB2.0, and i dont know what USB3.0 is.

Ludicrous speed? Or is that USB4?

Better SATA 6G Article (5, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922139)

I don't know why the editors didn't include a link to it, but AnandTech has a much better review of the SATA 6G-equipped motherboard [anandtech.com] and its performance; one that actually gets around to doing real-world tests and not just synthetic tests. It turns out that the 6G Marvell controller is slower than the standard Intel ICH10 controller in virtually all cases. Until someone integrates SATA 6G in to a proper motherboard chipset, it's not just performance limited, it's performance degrading.

misleading (1, Insightful)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922161)

article title is misleading, it should be "usb 3 sucks, sata6 is amazing"

USB 3.0 is not fast enough (1, Funny)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922193)

The inevitable 10 Gbit Ethernet dongles will be limited by USB speed.

Wow ... no, I meant YAWN ... (2, Insightful)

gordguide (307383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922273)

" ... When connected to a USB 3.0 port, the external hard drive was about 5 -- 6x faster versus connecting over USB 2.0, with total throughput in excess of 130MB/sec. On the other hand, benchmarks with Seagate's new Barracuda XT SATA 6G drive show little performance difference but a burst rate that is off the charts. ..."

So, the USB 3 will be attractive to consumers, with big, impressive numbers written large on boxes in stores everywhere, and the SATA 6G will be attractive to content creators (high end video production, etc). USB 3 will be cheap, and SATA 6G will be not-so-cheap.

About 99 out of 100 moderately clued in techies could have guessed the outcome of this one.

[Fudges around in toy box under desk ... pulls out crystal ball ... can barely discern "hippy type art school grad" reading AmandTech article dated Feb 2010 ...]

"Yeah, but wait ... it says here that if you load up the USB 3 with more than one device, they both really slow down, but my film lab's SATA 3G just keeps on truckin' when you daisy-chain them ..."

Yawn.

Re:Wow ... no, I meant YAWN ... (1)

gordguide (307383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922289)

" ... my film lab's SATA 3G just keeps on truckin' ..."

Or 6G. The crystal ball is a bit fuzzy sometimes ...

give it up for the unbelievable smoke&mirrors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29922317)

they couldn't do it without US.

"But in the end, none of that really matters, because God gave us the Earth to burn, chop, consume, pollute as much as we damn well please. Have you heard? To hell with reverence and integrity and treading lightly. He supplied us with all these bountiful riches because He wanted us to gobble it all up as fast as possible. I mean, obviously.

You have but to ask any high-ranking Republican -- like, say, effeminate sea slug Lindsay Graham from South Carolina, who, when asked about energy policy, will tell you flat out, "We must use the coal God gave us."

Isn't that touching? Make you proud to be a human? It's still the mindset of millions. Do not cherish or conserve or sit in humble awe. Instead merely drill, nuke and devour. Hey, it's what Jesus wanted. Unless it wasn't. Didn't you already suspect as much?"

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/10/28/notes102809.DTL

esata (2, Interesting)

orange47 (1519059) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922421)

but USB3 is probably *slower* than eSATA when used with external SATA HDD.. and most of motherboards already have that connector.

"down the pipe" (-1, Offtopic)

jpwilkin (932154) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922513)

Hey, uh, sewage comes "down the pipe." "Down the pike," please.

Laptop PCs have an I/O bottle neck (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#29922889)

The speed of the USB connection will make NO difference in practice. Laptop machines have serious I/O bottle necks that typically don't allow the *sustained* I/O speed to exceed about 32 Megabytes per second. We started to call that the Galactic I/O Speed Barrier.

Re:Laptop PCs have an I/O bottle neck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29923133)

No they dont, my laptop even now can transfer faster than that...sustained transfers on laptop are almost no different than my desktop.
Laptop model HP Elitebook 8730w, Desktop: PowerMac Dual Quad Xeon.

Laptops might be little slower..but 32Mb/sec...come on...I've got eSata on the laptop...by the time usb3.0 shows up on laptops, they'd probably already see other performance improvements...

Re:Laptop PCs have an I/O bottle neck (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29924101)

>don't allow the *sustained* I/O speed to exceed about 32 Megabytes per second.

What?

My esata port blows that away. Heck, I do imaging on a crappy laptop and do better than that a with plain-jane bottom of the barrel USB disk thats on its last legs.

I still cant think of where this limit would even come from. Laptops have the same chipsets as desktops. The only real limitation is the slower laptop drive, but that has nothing to do with the laptop per se. Connect a 3.5" or an SSD and it'll perform like a desktop.

PIO or DMA? (2, Interesting)

etnoy (664495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923337)

Sure you can yank up the bandwidth of USB3, but as long as you're stuck with PIO that isn't much of a gain. I would rather have USB3 have a DMA extension for really fast transfers instead of having to have the CPU wake up for every little I/O operation. On a related note, does anybody know any laptop brand that sells computers *with eSata*? That would be awesome.

Re:PIO or DMA? (2, Informative)

eddy (18759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923825)

All of them which aren't from Apple? My mainstream HP laptop has eSATA.

Light Peak (3, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923557)

I wonder if even Intel's heart is in USB any more. USB 3 sounds considerably more complex than previous versions, not just for the chipsets but in terms of the cost of cabling etc. I wonder if the tech is going to see serious adoption. Intel are already talking up Light Peak which has a potential for insane transfer rates. I expect USB will be around for a long time yet, but I wonder if USB 3 will have time to become established before something much better appears.

Re:Light Peak (2, Informative)

Vigile (99919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923873)

It's a good thought - in my USB 3.0 article I mention that specifically. Can USB 3.0 survive without the FULL push of Intel? I tend to believe that other controller vendors will push the technology hard enough to make up for it and that the speed differences will push customers to really WANT the technology:

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=809 [pcper.com]

Marvell's bug-ridden 88SE9123 controller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29923733)

Isn't this the exact same controller which was determined as bug-ridden and had to be removed?

- Faulty Marvell Chips Delay SATA 6G Launch [slashdot.org]
- SATA 6G launch delayed to do tech issues on nearly all P55 boards [pcper.com]
- PC Perspective forum — SATA 6G delayed due to controller issues [pcper.com]
- Marvell’s faulty 88SE9123 (SATA 6G) controller [wordpress.com]

Yup, that's the one. Buyer beware.

Re:Marvell's bug-ridden 88SE9123 controller (1)

Vigile (99919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923799)

That is the SATA 6G controller yes, but the USB 3.0 controller is an NEC 720200:

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=809 [pcper.com]

Asus Xtreme Design P7P55D-E Premium (3, Informative)

TropicalCoder (898500) | more than 4 years ago | (#29923999)

I ordered a new system based on an Intel CORE i5 750 2.66GHZ CPU running on the Asus Xtreme Design P7P55D-E Premium w/8 GB DDR3 1333 Mhz ram two days ago, and have been monitoring the net for signs of this mobo to actually hit the shelves. I will be running this with an unremarkable 64 GB Patriot SDD as the boot drive, until the new SATA 6 Gbps SSDs come out - which could take a awhile I imagine. I expect blazing speed from this platform, and can hardly wait for it. The only unknown is when will the mobo arrive. If it drags on and on, at least there is the option of an add on card that will convert one of the other ASUS X58 boards to USB 3 & SATA 6. I just hope I haven't made a mistake with the decision to wait. The P7P55D-E Premium motherboard will retail for $299 while the U3S6 add-on card will be $29.

Here are a host of links I collected on it this morning...

Asus Unveils USB 3.0 Motherboard [informationweek.com]
Asus Xtreme Design P7P55D-E Premium
The motherboard, unveiled Wednesday [October 28 2009], is 4.8 inches by 3 inches and is scheduled to be available next month for $299.

October 30th, 2009
USB 3.0 and SATA 6G Performance Preview - ASUS brings the goods [pcper.com]
the P55-Express based P7P55D-E Premium is very close to hitting the market.

October 29th, 2009
USB 3.0 and SATA 6G Performance Preview [hothardware.com]

October 29th, 2009
This Is The First USB 3.0 Motherboard [gizmodo.com.au]

October 28th, 2009
ASUS debuts USB 3.0 motherboard and add-on card [zdnet.com]
The P7P55D-E Premium motherboard will retail for $299 while the U3S6 add-on card will be $29. Both will be available November.

October 28th, 2009
ASUS brings the first mobo with SATA 3 and USB 3 [atomicmpc.com.au]

October 28th, 2009
ASUS P7P55D-E Motherboard Offers USB 3.0 and SATA-III 6G Performance [benchmarkreviews.com]
North American Availability
The P7P55D-E Premium and U3S6 expansion cards will be available at ASUS authorized retailers early November at $299 and $29 respectively.

Car Analogy Regarding SATA 6G (1)

stilz2 (878265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29924081)

A 50MPH car isn't going any faster when put on a 100MPH highway.
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