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I have a Western Digital Scorpio Blue (WD500BEVT) 2.5" 500 GB HDD which, as purchased years ago, is in an enclosure with a Mini-B USB connector (Yes, MINI). When I transfer files to/from my PC, I get a transfer rate of 30-35 MB/s. I also have a Seagate SRD00F1 500 GB drive which has a USB 3.0 Micro-B connection Wikipedia image of connectors. This drive achieves 100-105 MB/s, or roughly 3 times faster than the other drive.

Would getting a new case with a USB 3.0 micro-B connection for the WD drive allow it to transfer at a rate comparable to the Seagate?

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    Probably, depends on the actual performance of the Scorpio drive. USB 3.0 will definitely not be the bottleneck though. USB 2.0 is probably slower than the drive and causing a bottleneck.
    – Romen
    Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 15:24

2 Answers 2

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Ok, I thought I'd circle back and answer my question, since I went ahead and got the enclosure.

I tested the transfer rate of the drive in its new enclosure, it sustained 80 MB/s for some files, but on average it's 65-70 MB/s, which is about twice as fast as before, so it's an improvement.

About the drives themselves: The WD drive is definitely not of the same type as the Seagate one. I don't dare open up the Seagate case since it doesn't look like it was meant to be opened easily. But in any case, when it's plugged in, SCSI is part of the description, which I think is why it gets up to 100-105 MB/s. (Edit: due to it spinning at a higher RPM)

In any case I'm happy with the outcome.

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  • because it's a HDD and not a SSD, if it were connected directly via SATA cable (sata2 or sata3) you would generally see ~150MB/sec speeds. While USB3 has capability of 5gbps or ~600 MB/sec there is overhead of hdd sata coverting to usb3 then back over to pcie at the motherboard so you see down around 100 MB/sec. The best way to go with an external disk hdd or ssd is with esata (provided your pc/laptop has such a port)
    – ron
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 20:35
  • usb2 was the most common and most compatible so you will see that the most, with usb3 a close second if not more common today. esata being there when you need it is hit or miss unfortunately... that time you hope it's there to make use of it will be that hardware which doesn't have it.
    – ron
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 20:38
  • usb2 was limited to 480 mbps or 60 MB/sec, which is why you only saw ~30MB/sec.
    – ron
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 20:46
  • and I'm not sure what the status of esata is these days compared to the evolution of USB, and if usb 3.2 external disk enclosures are available; the new signaling of usb3.1 even, is better than 3.0 and that makes a difference, 3.2 would probably be best especially with ssd
    – ron
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 20:49
  • @ron, eSATA is no longer relevant or even the "best" connection for an external storage device now that we're already on USB 4.0. In fact, lots of enclosures that had eSATA only had SATA 2 on them anyway. A USB 3.0+ enclosure with UASP is fast enough for pretty much any hard drive (I believe that's what OP bought anyway) and would also allow an SSD to achieve way more than 100 MB/s. If they're getting "only" 100 MB/s then that's the limitation of the actual storage device.
    – Romen
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 21:00
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Since your max transfer rate is 30-35 MB/s, that sounds like USB 2.0 is your bottleneck. So yes, theoretically, putting it in a USB 3.0 case should result in faster data transfer. I couldn't quickly find what the actual hard drive is inside the SRD00F1, so I can't tell you for sure if you'll see the same speed out of your 5400 RPM drive.

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