Are some USB connections faster then others? (Yes, and wow)

If you deal with video, you are constantly battling against transfer speeds. A high data rate from the drive to the editing software can make the difference between being able to edit, and wanting to throw your computer out the window.

I’ve been meaning to do this test for a while, to have a definitive answer on which drives perform best out of which USB port on my computer.

To set the stage I have an TUF GAMING X570-PLUS running a AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-Core Processor. I have an additional 4 USB ports on a serial adapter, a usb-c on my NVIDIA GF RTX 2060 Super, and an external hub connected by USB – C.

I ended up testing two drives, one solid state (a SanDisk 2tb) and one LaCie rugged 2tb – both USB C with BlackMagic Disk Speed Test.

TOP NUMBER IS LACIE / BOTTOM NUMBER IS SANDISK SSD

Top Ports USB
120/110
385/415

Top Back USB
115/110
395/415

Mid Back USB
115/115
860/900

USB C (direct, no hub)
115/115
860/890

USB C (with hub)
USB-C 40/40 USB3 115/105
USB-C 40/40 USB3 420/420

GPU USB-C
115/105
925/910

Serial USB
115/105
215/220

TAKE AWAY:

First, the type of drive not only makes a huge difference, but which port it is attached to. SSD’s are 8x faster unless the port doesn’t allow for high speed transfer (denoted by a USB10 symbol usually above the port.

Second, the GPU USB C port was a surprise being the fastest, and I wonder if I was using the GPU if performance would dip.

Third, Serial ports suck in general

Forth, even though there are a set of 4 USB 3 ports on the back of the computer, two (the Mid Back ports) seemed to be twice as fast)

Fifth, and perhaps most surprising was that the USB C port on the hub I have is horrible at only 40mbs. The USB3 connector should always be used.

Obviously your MB will be different, but it is important to do the test once at least to know that you are working with the fastest port possible. Tonight … I will sleep like a baby.