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I finally bought a USB 3 handy drive, hoping to take advantage of the speed of the USB 3 ports of my laptop (Dell Inspiron 15R 5520).

The USB port is USB3 (blue inside). The Handy drive is a strontium USB 3.

Unfortunately, the transfer speeds are no different from USB2 speeds. On a folder with multiple small files, the average speed was a paltry 6-700KB/s. On a single large file, transfer speed is 15MBps.

I checked the Device manager and the USB root/advanced tab tells me that the current speed is "High speed". I re-installed the USB3 driver just in case, but it still lists "high speed".

This is a major let down because having fast USB3 ports was a key factor on choosing this computer.

Is there a way to enable super speed or did I just get screwed and need to live with 4 "USB3 ports" which perform no different from USB2 ports.

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What type of media is within the drive? Flash / HDD / SSD? For comparison, on an SSD in a USB3 container plugged into USB2 I get 25MB/s on large files. If you have slow storage plugged into a fast caddy, the USB3 will not help. – Jeeva Sep 28 '12 at 11:07
you need to live with crappy el cheapo handy drives which advertise as "USB3" which having poor chipsets/controllers which don't make use of them – Sathya Sep 28 '12 at 11:50
Wow, those drives are cheap. Didn't realise what "handy drive" was, assumed it was a description. Yeah, with that it's likely cheap flash memory slowing you down. =\ – Jeeva Sep 28 '12 at 12:15
@Sathya: Yeah, I was under the impression that all USB3 devices were born equal. I am starting to get the idea that this isn't quite accurate. The handy drive isn't much of an issue, it's just a cheap thumb drive, but the USB ports performance of the laptop on the other end are a let down. Is there nothing that can be done? – Sylverdrag Sep 28 '12 at 16:19
@Jeeva Cheap drive, no doubt, but the device manager lists the usb hubs as "high speed", not superspeed, even when no usb devices are plugged in, so I assume there is an issue with the USB ports as well. – Sylverdrag Sep 28 '12 at 16:23

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