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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Why is G5 USB so slow compared to MBP USB?

Why is G5 USB so slow compared to MBP USB?
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Matthew Attoe
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Apr 20, 2008, 06:11 PM
 
Hi,

The USB 2.0 on my G5 is painfully slow compared to USB 2.0 on my MBP. I done some tests using a 250GB external hard drive and copied the same 7.26GB from each machine to the hard drive and then from the hard drive to the machine using a direct connection (no hubs).

G5 -> Hard Drive = 11m14s
Hard Drive -> G5 = 7m24s

MBP -> Hard Drive = 4m47s
Hard Drive -> MBP = 3m32s

I also tried the same tests running XP Pro on the MBP, and whilst I don't have the timings, it was quite a bit slower under XP than under Leopard.

Does anyone know why this is? And is there anything I can do about it (other than buy a FireWire drive)?

Many thanks,

Matthew
Early 2008 Mac Pro (8 x 2.8), original Core Duo 2.0GHz MacBook Pro
     
imitchellg5
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Apr 20, 2008, 06:26 PM
 
It should be the pretty much the same speed on both machines, with one being faster than the other (I don't know what your G5 or MacBook's specs are). Does it seem slow in other operations as well? Try a different USB port if you can.

A better test would be to see how fast copying that file is on a similar G5.
     
mduell
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Apr 20, 2008, 07:54 PM
 
Apple always had poor USB chipsets or drivers in the PowerPC Macs due to incompetence, indifference, or malice (pick your conspiracy theory). Your MBP figures (26 - 35 MBps) are actually pretty good for USB performance.
     
himself
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Apr 20, 2008, 11:39 PM
 
Other factors could influence your results; how full your hard drive is (can affect seek time and transfer speed), the processing power the machine has (USB is processor-dependent, and a processor running multiple processes while a USB transfer is active will slow down transfer speeds), and the quality of the USB chipset and drivers. You would need a much more tightly controlled environment to get accurate results.

OTOH, I guess the only results that truly matter are from real-world activities.
"Bill Gates can't guarantee Windows... how can you guarantee my safety?"
-John Crichton
     
SierraDragon
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Apr 28, 2008, 10:18 PM
 
What Mark and himself said. Note that USB2 on Macs is overall awful and should be avoided when purchasing hard drives for usage on Macs. Connect via FW800 or better still via eSATA (which of course requires buying the appropriate drives, cards and connectors as needed).

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Apr 28, 2008 at 10:26 PM. )
     
SMacSteve
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May 11, 2008, 09:05 PM
 
I believe that this is because when Apple used a PowerPC chip and board it was not Intel Chipsets. Intel invented USB and thus has the advantage of producing superior chip products for it's x86 type chips.
     
Cold Warrior
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May 12, 2008, 12:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by SMacSteve View Post
I believe that this is because when Apple used a PowerPC chip and board it was not Intel Chipsets. Intel invented USB and thus has the advantage of producing superior chip products for it's x86 type chips.
I use an Intel Core 2 Duo and USB 2.0 speeds still stink compared to Windows boxes.
     
   
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