USB 3.0, is it worth adding?

  Housten 13:00 17 Jun 2011

Good afternoon,

As I have mentioned before I bought a Mesh about 4 and a half years ago, so I don’t think it is worth asking whoever has taken over Mesh the question I would like an answer to!

The computer has as its OS Windows 7 Home Premium 64b Bit, the processor is Intel 2 core [email protected],4GHz and a Windows Experience Index of 5.5 ( I don’t know if this is good or bad! ). As the computer is working I feel I should be able to find out what motherboard I have, but I have tried in ‘Control Panel’ and I can not find out what it is! Is shown when I boot up? As I am not usually watching at that point, I am afraid I don’t know! Although it could be ASUS

What I would like to know is if it is worth adding USB 3 to it, which I understand is 10 times faster than the USB 2 which is what I have on the computer at the moment. The reason I wish to do so is that I am finding that backing up can take up anything up to 2 hours, and I find it extremely boring. In order to get USB 3 I am certain I will need some sort of card which, and from what I have seen on Amazon this will need some sort of power connector. It would appear that the cable I would need to connect it to a portable HD comes with the card, but not the power connector so I need to know what this should be at least – approximately.

Also any information on how to connect the card to my motherboard, would be extremely useful. A point that did occur to me is that my computer is under my desk, so apart from connecting the card to the motherboard is it necessary to have the card inside the ( smallish ) tower case? As I see it – and I am probably wrong – the only requirement would be the HD. My main partition ( C ) is 33 GB and my other partition is 49 GB, so if these speed claims are correct then I would wish to back up both independently and then only C from then on so a 120/160 GB HD would/should be large enough. Does anyone know which would be best and/or cheapest of the current HDs?

Many thanks in anticipation.

  scotty 13:10 17 Jun 2011

USB3 can be added to a pc by adding a card which fits in a PCI slot. You would need to buy USB3 peripherals to gain any benefit (and don't expect a 10x improvement).

Have you considered adding a second harddrive internally to use for your backup?

  wee eddie 13:13 17 Jun 2011

Those reports on USB3 Peripherals, that I have read so far, have expressed disappointment that the promised 10x speed increase has not been reached.

I can't be certain but my memory of those reports suggests a general improvement of about 3x over USB2, which is actually quite significant but only really of use if one is transferring large files on a regular basis.

  Nontek 13:16 17 Jun 2011

[link text][1]

[1]: Download and install the Free SIW, this will then tell you all you need to know about your computer.

As far as USB3 is concerned, I don't think it is of any use unless you have or intend to buy any USB3 compatible peripherals.

  Nontek 13:18 17 Jun 2011 now why didn't that work?? Try again ...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:00 17 Jun 2011

Forget USB3 Thunderbolt see hereis the next big thing as far as fast connections are concerned.

  Housten 15:36 17 Jun 2011

Many thanks, Everyone.

Fruit Bat /\0/\ I saw your suggestion about Thunderbolt, of which I have heard nothing. Havimg spent some 30 minutes or so looking round I am extremely disappointed not only at the, apparently, limited range of manufacturers but at the postulated cost. In my question I mentioned 120/160 GB as being about the size I would need but even looking at USB 3.0 HDs I can not find one this small! I have a LaCie which is 500 GB and I think I will just have to continue using it for the foreseeable future! I am going to have to put this idea down as being an interesting possibility but not really worth the cost, time and effort!!

As I said before many thanks Everone for taking the time and making the effort.

  Ian in Northampton 18:05 17 Jun 2011

Housten: what you have to appreciate, the way the disk drive industry works, is that they typically find ways of increasing storage capacity, but keeping a comparable price point to what went before. Thus, where you once paid £100 for 250GB, then it was £100 for 500GB, then £100 for 1TB and so on. What it means is that it's no longer cost-effective for them to make smaller capacity drives any more.

And I'd disagree with Fruit Bat /\0/\ re Thunderbolt. I think USB 3.0 has a better chance of succeeding and becoming the standard.

  robin_x 18:49 17 Jun 2011

I regularly make 60-70GB images via USB2 and they always work out at 1GB/min using Macrium, Easeus Todo or W7 Imaging.

I find Paragon Backup a little slower. And W7 backup.

In all cases I continue to work while imaging runs in background. But my laptop is only 18 months old not 4+ yrs. (Athlon II Dual core)

As mentioned before you will see an improvement if you have a spare SATA connector on the motherboard and use that instead of USB.

Just need SATA data cable and power cable and internaL HDD.

You could open up your LaCie and use that if you don't want to buy an additional drive.

Otherwise £40 for a new ~1TB Internal HDD.

  Flak999 19:07 17 Jun 2011

I have recently bought a new computer with USB 3.0 available on the motherboard. To go with this I have just bought a new western digital 1Tb USB 3.0 external HDD, I know that this is not a scientific test but my backups that I take using Acronis roughly take half the time to complete using the new drive.

  jimforrest 19:24 17 Jun 2011

What on Earth are you backing-up that it takes 3 hours? Surely your back-up programme only backs up files that have changed - and not the thousands that are identical? It should take minutes.

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