[kwlug-disc] USB3 expectations?

Chris Irwin chris at chrisirwin.ca
Sat Jun 19 11:00:38 EDT 2010

On Fri, 2010-06-18 at 21:07 -0400, unsolicited wrote:
> But, vis a vis eSata, why go down the USB road? OK, I know, no eSata 
> port. But also, likely, no USB3 port.
> Internally, be it internal flash drive or bay, you know it's going to 
> be SATA based, not USB based.
> > SATA-III will also benefit "Small" virtualization users with
> > on-host storage. "Big" virt users will have centralized network
> > storage (and thus still benefit according to your rule above), but
> > us smaller guys running multiple VMs locally will potentially see a
> > benefit.
> Right, I get the whole SATA III thing, if drives are a bottleneck, 
> it's the USB3 thing that nobody's said 'Why?' over eSata, yet.

I don't have an answer. I think eSATA will be faster, but whether or not
you actually need that speed.... One of the big benefits of USB is that
it is used for more than just storage. But what else needs to transfer
that much data? Video & Still cameras are glorified mass storage

I wonder if we'll see USB3 "RAM" extenders. Plug it in and it holds your

> >> - even on a home connected web server, the limitation will be ISP
> >> speed, not disk speed? IIRC, typically systems are disk bound,
> >> but there's a whole lot of 'stuff' between the CPU and disk,
> >> preventing an increase in disk speed from providing an equivalent
> >> increase in system speed? (And this is even presuming sufficient
> >> requests are coming in sufficiently often to "make 'it'
> >> worthwhile"?
> > 
> > I use unison to sync $HOME between my laptop and server. It runs on
> >  both local and remote hosts, examines my data on each, then
> > presents a merge-list (which it executes using an rsync-like
> > method). The part where my two $HOME directories are being examined
> > takes more time (by far) than the actual data sync over the network
> > (even using wifi). Faster disks on my server, even given the 'slow'
> > network link, would still be a benefit.
> Hold on, is the issue there disk speed, or CPU speed calculating the 
> deltas?

I'd say disk speed. I have an SSD in my laptop, and unison indicates it
is waiting for the remote 

> >> - if drives are SATA, and the bus is USB3, why USB3 instead of
> >> just staying with (e)SATA?
> > 
> > Getting a USB3 enclosure for your drive would allow backwards 
> > compatibility with USB2 hosts -- granted, most eSATA enclosures
> > also have USB2.0 ports anyway. Some SATA chipsets don't like hot 
> > unplugging.
> > 
> > eSATA drives need a separate source for power, versus one
> > power+data cord for USB.
> Right, but your .jpg above shows that ain't necessarily so.

The only problem is: when can you assume people have that? I still see
laptops that come exclusively with VGA output, nevermind DVI, HDMI, or

> So, the USB / firewire 'next level' race is back on, but joined by 
> eSata now.

The fight is on for storage devices. USB already won everything else. I
don't see firewire going after they keyborad/mouse/webcam connector

Chris Irwin <chris at chrisirwin.ca>
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