Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Some USB 3.0 benchmarks

After transferring large amounts of data and working with hard drives a lot, it interests me to compare the performance of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. I have one of each of these ports on my Samsung laptop.

In March 2013, I bought a Kingston DataTraveler 111 8GB, and I wanted to compare it to another flash drive, the SanDisk Cruzer Red 4GB, which I purchased in August 2012. The Kingston is a USB 3.0 flash drive, whereas the Cruzer only supports USB 2.0. The tool I used to compare these two was HD Tune, which is free for read-only benchmarks.

Read benchmarks for USB flash drives
Using the USB 2.0 port Using the USB 3.0 port
SanDisk Cruzer Red Kingston DataTraveler 111 SanDisk Cruzer Red Kingston DataTraveler 111
Transfer Rate: Minimum (MB/sec) 19.0 25.4 20.7 60.4
Transfer Rate: Maximum (MB/sec) 29.7 29.6 29.2 72.2
Transfer Rate: Average (MB/sec) 27.7 26.4 28.3 64.8
Access Time (ms) 0.8 1.0 0.5 0.7

According to Wikipedia’s page on USB, the maximum transfer rate of a USB 2.0 link is 35 MB/s, and we see this port reaching very near that, with maximum transfer rates of 29.6 and 29.7. Without doing multiple trials of any of these experiments, we can see that the Kingston DataTraveler is much faster at reads over a USB 3.0 port than the SanDisk Cruzer on either port. However, the comparative write performance of either of these drives remains to be seen.

Sidenote: My pet peeve about USB ports is that (1) laptop manufacturers place them too close together, and (2) USB flash drive manufacturers make flash drives that take up a large profile. The result is you can only fit one flash drive at a time on the USB ports that have been packed too close together.

New laptop

I just received a Samsung Series 7 Chronos NP700Z3A. In short, it is a really nice piece of hardware, though the software is a bit of a pain to work with Ubuntu. I’ll write more about that later.

What I like best so far is the high resolution screen. It is a 14″ 1600×900, which is about 132 pixels per inch (PPI) according to the PPI calculator. This is higher than the typical computer screen, at 90 PPI. However, it is much lower than, for example, the screen resolution of the new iPad, which has about 260 PPI.

It came with Windows 7 Home Premium SP1. I ordered it from the Microsoft Store, so it has Microsoft Signature, which means it isn’t loaded with bloatware or other nonsense. It is quite nice to receive a new machine and not have to de-install a lot of “helpful” software. I did a little price comparison and the Microsoft Store was $50 cheaper, plus it had free shipping, and I received a $200 credit for the store. So overall I feel like it was a good deal.

Of course, the first thing I did when I booted it up is install some useful programs. These include some utility programs:

  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Dropbox, to sync my documents from my other machine.
  • KeePassX, for my encrypted password database.

Also some programs to edit my documents in Dropbox:

  • LibreOffice
  • Notepad++
  • Dia, which I am currently using for UML diagrams in computer science class

And some additional programs for computer programming: