Which is fast, faster, fastest? I would appreciate a slowest to fastest list including USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800 and eSata.
In bits per second, that is:
In Bytes per second, that is:
For the speed/throughput/bandwidth of more devices have look at this article on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_device_bit_rates#Peripheral
There you go.
You should note that these speed are theorical speed, in fact, you will never experience these speed in everyday life.
Wikipedia gives a quite comprehensive comparison: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#Comparison_with_other_buses
Intel Thunderbolt, as per the Wikipedia Sata link just above, is 10GB/s
Also, none of these answers so far give any practical/useful information. Theoretical maximum and real-world speeds can vary wildly, and only some significant actual testing will give meaningful answers.
So far, I haven't found many such tests. There's one at Crunchgear.com:
But even this leaves some question, as perhaps their specific USB 3.0 implementation is not optimal. (we need more variety to be sure, and even then, your system (or any given system) may not produce comparable benchmarks)
Another seems to suggest USB 3.0 "Turbo" (whatever that is?) has a bit over eSATA, at sansdigital.com:
But I have to question that, suggesting ~200 MB/s hard drive read/write speeds - unless hard drives have dramatically improved recently, I don't believe those speeds are physically possible, and suspect those speeds are just cached.
It's probably relatively safe to go with eSATA or USB 3.0 and get speeds that are close to optimal... as long as there's nothing choking your chain, so to speak. (poorly designed or cheap component, etc., causing a bottleneck) We really need more real world comparisons with various different hardware components.
protected by studiohack♦ Aug 31 '11 at 6:10
Thank you for your interest in this question.
Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?