USB 3.0 Flash Drive Roundupby Zach Throckmorton on July 29, 2011 11:15 AM EST
USB 2.0 flash drive performance in a USB 3.0 port
Finally, we tested whether USB 2.0 flash drives benefit from 'up-plugging' into a USB 3.0 port. I expected improved performance compared to use in a USB 2.0 port, and suspected the improvement would be noticeable but not dramatic. Is there any point in plugging USB 2.0 flash drives into USB 3.0 ports?
This is likely not even a noticeable difference.
Read differences of small files are likely barely perceptible between the two interfaces.
It appears that my suspicion about USB 3.0 giving a performance boost to USB 2.0 drives was correct, though it's not particularly large.
Like the PDF read time differences, the MP3 read time differences are going to be difficult to notice.
Can you tell the difference between 3 minutes, 23 seconds and 3 minutes, 4 seconds without a stopwatch?
Sometimes every second counts!
The real-world transfer times show that while USB 2.0 flash drives do, in fact, perform faster when 'up-plugged,' this improvement is very minor, to the point of being nearly or not at all perceptible. That said, if you have USB 3.0 ports available, you can shave a few seconds off your transfer times by sticking your USB 2.0 flash drives into them.