USB vs eSATA interface and it's preferences

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by Oleg, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Oleg

    Oleg n00bie

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    Alright. So-many people are clamming that USB is faster than eSATA. Even back in the USB 2.0 days. "eSATA was on top of the line, when considering performances or transfer rate for external storage. Even today eSATA is faster then USB 3.0.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  2. Kwaz

    Kwaz Whine & Cheezy

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    You have question no013?

    What yo question?
     
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  3. Oleg

    Oleg n00bie

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    Well. The question is. Why would someone use slower input when there is a faster one or better?
     
  4. Kwaz

    Kwaz Whine & Cheezy

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    They're portists.
     
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  5. 777

    777 n00bie

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    I haven't seen eSATA port on any of my boards in years. USB port is on nearly every computer made in the last 20 years (unless you're Apple). Nice to know my external 2.5" HDD and flash drives will work on nearly everything.
     
  6. Krispy Kritter

    Krispy Kritter Limp Gawd

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    They can claim whatever they want, all they (or you) need to do is review test speeds.

    In any case, USB3 and eSATA are fairly equal. USB3 or eSATA are way faster than USB2.



    What does that answer have to do with the question that you quoted? The question wasn't which ports were available, it was which was port faster.


    2 of the 3 boards I have at home right now have eSATA onboard, the 3rd system has a PCI-E card to provide the eSATA port.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  7. RandyG

    RandyG n00bie

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    Problem that I run into with USBX is that its got great burst speed for transfer but settles down to a standard speed. eSata doesnt run into that problem. I have a NAS that has both USB3 and esata. I've tested both and the esata gives me a faster consistent speed. No burst speeds, its 1 speed and stays that way through the whole file transfer process. (tested with 30+ Gig file transfers)
     
  8. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    eSATA was my go to port for hooking up docks and caddies till I moved over to USB3/3.1. My current X-99 rig didn't have eSATA but I just put a eSATA port/back bracket in and plugged it into an existing SATA socket and enabled hotplug on it. I didn't bother with an eSATA card as it would just add delay to the boot time. Plus a lot of eSATA gear was just SATAII so not as fast as USB3.0.

    Still better than USB2.0 though.
     
  9. zrav

    zrav Limp Gawd

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    Apart from thumbdrives there are no native USB disks, they all use a controller to translate the USB protocol to the SATA drive in the enclosure. The USB interface is orders of magnitude less reliable than SATA and has higher latency, so I'd definitely use eSATA when possible. Of course, if you are only looking at bandwidth USB 3.1 will beat SATAII...
     
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  10. 777

    777 n00bie

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    The answer to the question was there if you read the question correctly or looked beyond the first sentence of the answer. eSATA also requires separate power supply which is another thing (in addition to its zero presence) that makes it inconvenient. Enormous convenience trumps slightly better benchmarks and theoretically higher reliability.

    My Z170 ITX board doesn't have eSATA, the 8 series board I had before it didn't have eSATA, and I have to go back to a Wolfdale board to find one. None of my cases have any ports on the front panels either and they've also been disappearing on the crappy Lenovo desktops at the office... the ones newer than 3-4 years don't have the ports on the I/O panel anymore.
     
  11. zrav

    zrav Limp Gawd

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    The reliability problems of USB are not theoretical. In a previous employment I developed software to automatically copy data to an arbitrary number of disks in parallel which we used to write to thousands of USB disks. We ran into all sorts of nasty problems which in the end meant we had to checksum every file after transferring to detect corruption. Not to mention wonderful things like shoddy USB controllers that cause malfunction in other connected USB devices...

    As for additional power supply, theres eSATAp, which delivers power over the cable (with a combined data+power connector on the disk side). Dell has it on some of their notebooks, for instance, and there's eSATAp panels that can be installed on PCs.
     
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  12. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well yeah, USB 3 has almost an order-of-magnitude slower response times, which makes it fairly crappy for performance SSDs handling tons of small files. This is due the overhead of a shared bus and using the processor for I/O.

    SATA protocol latency: 6us
    USB3 latency: AROUND 50us.

    This is the place where you can get SATA and NVMe latency numbers:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7843/testing-sata-express-with-asus/4

    And USB3 latency analysis is found here:

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/13831008/what-is-the-minimum-latency-of-usb-3-0

    But for hard drives and entry-level SSDs, USB3 is indistinguishable from eSATA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  13. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I think it's silly to use anything but SATA / eSATA for a drive that is going to be attached to the same desktop computer pretty much all the time. I think it's silly to use anything but USB for a drive that is intended to be portable and/or is regularly moved around between computers.

    With that said, USB has come a long way. I ran out of SATA ports in my file server, and no extra PCIE slots to add more SATA ports. Some of the SATA drives that were in there did not really contain important info (but still too important to delete), so I just moved those drives over to USB so I could use the SATA ports for newer, bigger drives.
     
  14. RandyG

    RandyG n00bie

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    GotNoRice All valid points man. It really depends on your usage. esata works for me as it fits your 1st thought. dedicated and had to transfer a bunch of large files initially.
     
  15. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    There is actually eSATA with power, see here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESATAp

    My motherboard has 2 eSATAp ports but I don't have any eSATAp cables.
     
  16. Ranulfo

    Ranulfo Gawd

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    Anyone who thinks 2.0 was better/faster than e-sata is smoking crack. Plenty of laptops had combo usb/e-sata ports for a reason up until 2013 or so. Two of my old dell home user/commercial laptops from that era had e-sata combo ports let alone business models.

    E-sata is king for a number of reasons already mentioned. Some utility programs don't work well over usb as well. The only place usb wins is ease of use/compatibility. Maybe 3.1 will win out speed wise in time.
     
  17. zrav

    zrav Limp Gawd

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    Not as long as the disks in the enclosures remain SATA.
     
  18. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?

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    I would rather use eSATA, but you can't find motherboards with the port anymore. I used a PCIe card with it for a while, but USB3 is everywhere, so it's a matter of convenience. The power issue is the biggest problem for convenience. Yes, there are powered eSATA ports, but they are even harder to find than regular eSATA.

    The X58 board I'm using now has it, but I have to take the dock with me to use the drives anywhere. Easier just to throw it in a USB3 enclosure and get a PCIe card to handle the front panel USB3 connections.
     
  19. SomeGuy133

    SomeGuy133 2[H]4U

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    This also depends on if USB is using USB protocol or HDD protocol. I forget the terms.

    ah

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_Attached_SCSI

    UAS was added to USB 3.0 but it was optional. Some USB 3.0 devices or enclosures may not support it. USB 3.1 it was required.

    cant find source showing it was optional but i remember reading that a year or two ago and buying a usb 3.1 enclosure to be on the safe side.
     
  20. Oleg

    Oleg n00bie

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    Well. If it's on-board eSATA, and USB they are both have shared bus bottleneck, but still eSATA is the king whether it's shared or self-powered. On top of it all, eSATA 3 has max bandwidth of 6 GB/s when USB 3.0 can only reach up to 5 GB/s.
     
  21. JBark

    JBark 2[H]4U

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    Not 6GB/sec, but 6Gbps, and with 8b/10b encoding the max speed is actually 4.8Gbps or 600MB/sec.

    3.0 and 3.1 Gen1 are 5GBps or 640MB/sec
    3.1 Gen2 is 10Gbps or 1250MB/sec
    3.2 is 20Gbps or 2500MB/sec

    As long as the USB drive is using UAS like mentioned a couple posts above, the speeds should be fairly close to the theoretical max, even random access which is normally horrible over USB. Note that UASP unfortunately isn't required even with 3.1 Gen2, as evidenced by the recent WD My Passport SSD. It's such a glaring oversight by WD, they've got an M.2 SSD sitting behind a 3.1 Gen2 chip, but with UASP disabled it's like 5x slower than it should be.

    The one place where I really find eSATA useful is firmware flashing and that sort of stuff that relies on a regular AHCI commands. I've never actually run across anything that actually had an eSATA3 port, and most motherboards seem to have none, but luckily most will let you set specific SATA ports to hot swappable, and I just use a SATA->eSATA cable with my external eSATA dock.