USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Vs eSATA

SuperSpeed USB 3.0

USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed) Vs eSATA

As you might have noticed USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed) devices has begun to show up in stores and on motherboards as well. Not that it is all new (The USB 3.0 specification was published on 12 November 2008), but as always with these thing it takes time before the prices drop for the mainstream consumers. In this post I will take a little look on what have been improved over USB 2.0 (HighSpeed) and how it is compared to the eSATA technology.

Let’s start with some numbers:

  • USB 2.0 – maximum bandwidth of 480 Mbit/s
  • USB 3.0 – maximum bandwidth of 5 Gbit/s (More than 5 times USB 2.0)
  • eSATA – maximum bandwidth of 6 Gbit/s

So in theory USB 3.0 is much faster than USB 2.0 just like it was with USB 2.0 over USB 1.1, but eSATA is in fact even faster. Not much but a bit.

My Test of USB 3.0

I have made some test with my new Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 and it is in fact a lot faster than USB 2.0, however it is not even close to the maximum bandwidth that USB 3.0 can deliver. One of the reasons is that the DataTraveler device is limited to 100MB/s read and 70MB/s write. This limit is important to look out for when shopping for USB storage devices. . It is not enough to check
if it is a USB 3.0 device you will also have to check the specification of the device itself.

Instead of doing my own test for this post I would like to share a video here that shows what to look out for when you compare USB with eSATA or maybe even FireWire. This vidoe is from the NCIX’s YouTube channel and it explains very well the difference between USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire and eSATA.

For myself I have been using eSATA to backup my main computer to an external hard drive for about a year now and I works great. As you can see in the video above eSATA and USB 3.0 performance is almost the same, but I guess we will see a lot more to USB 3.0 in the future.

What do you think about USB 3.0? If you have any experience with it I would like to hear about it?

About the author:
I am an IT Professional that has this blog as a hobby project in my spare time. I have been in the IT business since 1996 and want to share some of the thing I have picked up over the years, with people who visit this blog.

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12 Responses to USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Vs eSATA

  1. Himanshu says:

    both of them will take time to establish as the post has been changed. nice share btw

  2. Karen says:

    Probably by the time that we all have USB 3.0 they will bring us USB 4.0, it’s amazing how fast technology moves these days, as soon as you have something new it’s out of date 😆

    • Thomas says:

      Hi Karen
      I have not been able to find any specification on USB 4.0 yet so I think that USB 3.0 will be the fastest one for sometimes, but yes technology does move fast these days. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  3. Cosmin Hora says:

    Looks like you find usb 3.0 really helpful for you. I wonder what else we can be look forward for this in the future.

  4. even though esata might be faster, there are more options/variety for usb 3.0, seems that usb 3.0 is the standard

    • Thomas says:

      Hi Jonathan
      With USB 3.0 the performance gab to eSATA has been reduced a lot. I am sure that USB are the number 1 standard also in the future.

  5. Minnepinner says:

    You’ll always need faster ways to send data, so USB 3.0 really is the next step. It’s a standard and i think most people don’t even know what fire wire is…

  6. Jake Ruston says:

    USB 3.0 is definitely the next step, although it’s quite interesting to see the development of another similar technology called Thunderbolt (although only really being used in Apple products at the moment).

    It’s going to be interesting to see which one turns out the best.

  7. Mike says:

    eSATA may have a compatibility issue. Over a year ago I bought a WD external drive with both USB 2.0 and eSATA. Obviously the drive had a higher pricetag because of the eSATA.
    The drive lost connection with the pc after a while. After days and days of trying and mailing with WD support it was confirmed that the drive supported eSATA from specific controllers only.
    Think WD doesn’t include eSATA anymore on their drives.

    • Thomas says:

      Hi Mike
      I don’t think that eSATA have much future after USB 3.0 have been made available. USB 3.0 is so well known and supported everywhere and I think that most providers will stick to the USB standard.

  8. netster says:

    I uses USB3 using Hornettek Slipper. one of the easiest way to convert all HDD to a USB 3 compatible unit. copying files took about 50 -60mb/sec which awesome.

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