Sunday, October 31, 2010

File transfer benchmarks

A little test I did to know what is the fastest way to transfer files from my laptop to my desktop.

Materials and Methods
  • Windows copy-paste was used for all tests except the last one where the program teracopy was used.
  • Time was measured using a stopwatch. Time starts with a right click > paste and ends  when the windows copy dialog disappears
  • For teracopy, the times in the log were used
  • For network transfers, the speed in mb/sec was also given. The value comes from window's own copy paste dialog. 
  • Also, a speed in Mbps was given, this comes from a program that measures my network uploads and downloads
  • For the flash drive and portable hard drive, the time to unplug the device from the laptop and transfer it to the desktop was not measured
  • I transfered files in 640 mb chunks, essentially a small folder with a few files and the bulk of the bytes are in a 600+ mb file. The files were created by steam's backup game function. Results might be different if used many small files
  • I used only one folder per method, a different folder each time to negate caching. Yes I know, its a small sample size
  • USB 2.0 was used for the flash drive and the portable hard drive
  • The flash drive was a lexar firefly 8 gig
  • The portable hard drive was an old 40 gig 2.5 inch IDE in a transcend enclosure
  • The router was a Belkin F6D4230-4 wifi N 150 router
  • The laptop uses wifi-G
  • My desktop has a  320 gig seagate SATA drive. All transfers "to desktop" will use this drive
  • My desktop also has an older 80 gig seagate drive. It's IDE but plugged into the motherboard's sata port via an IDE to SATA converter. This was the destination drive in the HD do HD transfer test

1. Flash drive

from laptop to flash drive = 1:19
from flash drive to desktop = 0:31
total = 1:50

2. enclosure

from laptop to enclosure = 0:53
from enclosure to desktop = 0:29
total = 1:32

3. wifi g

2.7-2.8 mb/sec
23-24 mbps

4. lan
70-80 mbps
8-9 mb/sec

5. hd to hd
60-70 mb/sec

6. teracopy over lan
7.3 mb/s
60 mbps
1:38 plus 0:16 for verify, total of 1:54


The fastest in raw transfer rate was the enclosure. However if you add the time needed to copy over the files from enclosure to desktop, it comes in second. Its even slower if you add the time needed to disconnect and connect.
The overall winner for sheer speed is LAN

the end

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the end

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