USB 3.0, we test the real speed of USB 3.0

USB 3.0

Although it was introduced in 2008, USB 3.0 technology is slowly coming to our computers. Today, almost all new devices have USB 3.0 ports . It increases the speed of its predecessor, up to 10 times more than the previous USB 2.0 . Using it, we can achieve data transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbits / s. Or at least that's what the theory says.

At we wanted to put this data to the test . And see what is real about speed. To do this, we have got a pendrive that uses this technology and a compatible computer . The device chosen is a SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 pendrive with 64 GB of storage. And we have connected it to an Acer Aspire V3-571G laptop (of course with its corresponding USB 3.0 port).

Stopwatch in hand, we have measured how long it really took to transfer the files from the pendrive to the computer, and from it back to memory. We choose a large file. In this way, we can check if the transfer speed is maintained over time throughout a long copying process. For this, we select a movie in HD quality, totaling 4.3 GB in size. First we transfer it from the computer to the pendrive. The movie takes a total of 52 seconds to transfer to the memory unit.

In this way we realize that the speed is high, but it does not reach the expectations we had. 4.3 GB in 52 seconds is equivalent to a transfer speed of 0.66 Gbits per second.


It should be noted that the way data transfer capabilities are indicated can be misleading. Technology USB 3.0 speed data transmission promises up to 5 Gbits per second . It is important to differentiate between Gigabits and Gigabytes. The former are often used when talking about transmission speeds and the latter when we talk about data storage. 8 Gigabits equal one Gigabyte.

The "return trip" from the file to the computer was a little faster, but not very different. This time it took 50 seconds to complete the transfer, giving a transmission speed of 0.69 Gigabits per second.

However, keep in mind that the 5 Gbit per second promises are based on measurements made under ideal conditions. There are a lot of factors that influence transfer speed. Furthermore, these data transmission speeds are higher than the theoretical maximum offered by USB 2.0 technology: 480 Mbit per second.

Sandisk USB 3.0

The memory we have used deserves separate attention. The SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 64 GB offers in addition to its memory, a free 2 GB storage in the cloud . In addition, it comes with a data encryption program to improve the security of the files that we keep in it. 64 Gb is one of the highest capacities that we can find in a memory of this type.

Of course, you have to perform a small procedure to take advantage of all its capabilities. To handle files larger than 4 GB we will have to format it in NTFS format. It is a simple procedure that is carried out from Windows Explorer . You just have to right click on the pendrive icon and select "format". On the screen that appears, it will give us a choice between several types of files. You just have to choose the NTFS and hit "start". The procedure will only take a few seconds.