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It’s here. No really, USB 3.0 is officially off and running, and CFgear is proud to be one of the first to offer it to our customers! USB 3.0 represents the third major upgrade to one of the world’s most powerful and popular, data storage devices. We took our incredibly popular Swivel and Exactmatch drives, and crammed them with all new technology. The end result is our new and improved USB 3.0 flash drives! Utilizing our new state-of-the-art drive, you’ll be able to load, transfer and store huge amounts of data that would never have been possible before! The possibilities are endless ... Warp Speed Ahead!.
The new USB 3.0 flash drives are typically sized on the larger end of the spectrum as their primary uses are for large-scale data transfer and storage. CFgear is happy to offer them from 16GB+!
We’re all familiar with USB 2.0; it’s been the standard in external data and power connections since it came out in 2000. Many of our clients are now asking us to help them understand what exactly USB 3.0 is all about. We've compiled a list of common USB 3.0 questions and answers. If the answer to your question about flash drives is not listed below, please don't hesitate to contact us at any time.
What is a USB 3.0 Flash Drive?
A: USB 3.0 was designed to help address the limitations found in standard USB 2.0 technology. Have you ever tried to move your entire music library from a 16 GB flash drive onto your best friend’s computer? It takes FOREVER! USB 2.0 is typically limited to a maximum transfer rate ranging anywhere from 2-20 MB/second (writing), and 10-30 MB/second (reading). The new 3.0 connection allows users to transfer significantly larger amounts of data without slowing you down. The experts over at PCWorld.com agree, saying that it boosts the, “maximum throughput of USB from the 48Mbps of USB 2.0 to the 480Mbps of USB 3.0.” Now this, in and of itself, is a fantastic new feature that is going to be adopted in corporate and consumer applications alike. As though this wasn’t enough, the new 3.0 specs include an upgraded and completely redesigned power management system, featuring an increase from around 100 milliamps of charging power to over 850mA. At CFgear, we’re seeing an incredible durability in the quantity of cycles that the USB 3.0 can handle. Normal testing stops around 100,000 cycles, and the drives held up even better than anticipated with a smaller than 25 cycle decrease in read/write speeds over those massive cycle tests.
Q. Can I use a USB 3.0 flash drive with my current hardware setup?
A: The short answer is YES. The developers of USB 3.0 understood that a great deal of the benefit with a flash drive is its ease of use. As a result, USB 3.0 was developed with backwards compatibility in mind. You can plug a 3.0 flash drive into a USB 2.0 port, and you can expect it to work without issues. Now, you ARE going to be bottlenecked by the 2.0 port itself, but you can expect a 3.0 flash drive to run significantly faster than a standard 2.0 flash drive. To answer the question scientifically, we did an extensive round of testing with our 3.0 flash drives in the lab. After hundreds of hours in R&D, we can confidently report that you’ll be able to expect read and write speeds that are typically 5 times faster than a standard 2.0 drive.
Q. How would I use a 3.0 flash drive?
A: Well to answer that question we did a little more testing of our own, and here’s what we came up with: Remember when you tried to upload your music library to your buddy’s computer? With USB 3.0 you could move 100 of the newest MP3’s over in less than 10 seconds! If we tried it with a 2.0, it could take more than an hour. Maybe you downloaded a digital copy of the movie you got for your birthday or Christmas and want to put it onto your wife’s PC instead. You could save it onto your USB 3.0 flash drive in less than a minute! However, saving it onto a USB 2.0 flash drive would literally take all day. In terms of sheer capacity, a USB 2.0 flash drive is usually limited to about 32 GB in size. A standard USB 3.0 flash drive isn’t nearly so limited. A 256 GB version, for example, should hold nearly 10 Blu-ray’s, 54 DVD’s, 48,000 MP3s or 51,000 images. With capacities in this range, USB 3.0 is likely to become the first and best option for data storage on the market today.
Now, you may be asking yourself, how in the world does this USB 3.0 drive achieve the added speed and performance? One of the most obvious changes is the addition of an additional physical bus, which has been added in alongside the more conventional four found with USB 2.0. USB 3.0 developers have also added an additional 5 wires (two additional transmitters and receiving lines, and an additional ground) for a total of 9.
This type of wiring configuration gives the 3.0 device expanded functionality, while ensuring that it’s still backwards compatible with USB 2.0 with the standard Type-A connection. USB 3.0 is also using a bi-directional interface which is a huge improvement to USB 2.0’s half-duplex arrangement which only allows data to move in one direction. To illustrate the differences between standard high speed 2.0, and super speed 3.0, we’ve put together a few diagrams and pictures for you on this page.
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