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George Morgan
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USB 3.0 vs. Sata III


The bandwidth of SATA 3 is 6 gb/s but the bandwidth practically supported is 600 – 1000MB/Sec (depending on chipset). Similarly, for USB 3.0 is, 5 Gb/s , with practical throughput of 640mbps.

In both cases, its the device which gets maxed out while reading or writing is usually the slower one. Even if you have a fast external USB 3.0 but your internal HDD cant read that fast, your overall bandwidth would be limited. You can only transfer what you can read practically. To get maximum benefit of both USB 3.x and SATA, both the drives must have have read and write speeds of equal range, eg: if internal reads data at 500 mb/sec and external can write at 500 mb/sec, you now have maxed out the “system” bandwidth.


Name Type hardware Sequential Random or Write Factor
vs HDD
M1 Mac Mini Internal  SSD 10 GB/s 4 GB/s
External M1/NVME 4 GB/s
USB 3.0 External SSD 640 MB/s
Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB Internal SSD 370 MB/s 52 MB/s
Pcloud External 1 Gbit 40 MB/s
Synology External NAS 100 MB/s
Synology 2 Port Aggregation 1 Gbit 200 MB/s 3
4 Port Link
1 Gbit 350 MB/s
WD10EACS Internal HDD 62 MB/s 1.12 MB/s
Via IcyBox




Icy Box




Used Unused
HDD3: Films Main 1730 GB 132 GB
 See Details on Backup page
HDD4: ByYearTill2014 1448 GB 414 GB


Internal Drives


The Mac Mini 2011 has SATA II which is capable of ~600 MB/s. The hard drive however is the bottleneck in this case. Fast hard drives will get around 100-120 MB/s reading sequentially.




-Western Digital 3.5″ 5400 Green Drive 1TB 89MB/s read 91MB/s write
-Seagate Barracuda 3.5″ 2TB 7200rpm (from a current 2013 Time Capsule) 147MB/s read 170MB/s write
-WD Scorpio Blue 2.5″ 1TB 5400rpm 110MB/s read 110MB/s write
-WD WD3200BMVS 2.5″ 320GB 5400rpm 59MB/s read 60MB/s write
-Toshiba 2.5″ 160GB 5400rpm 45MB/s read 35MB/s write
-Toshiba 2.5″ 120GB 5400rpm 45MB/s read 33MB/s write



External Drive


Transcend Store Jet 500 


3-4 times quicker



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