USB 2.0 is Way Faster

November 02, 2009

One of the last things to transfer to the new MacBook Pro was my iPod. I've got a 30 GB 5th Generation iPod that is nearly full; at last synchronization it only had 912 MB free.

Any given synchronization between the iPod and the PowerBook was reasonably quick, since the contents of my music library are fairly static. But the initial load of the iPod, and the one time I had to restore it, took hours and hours. I'd start the process at 6 or 7 pm in the evening and it would still be churning through the middle range of the list at midnight when I'd go to be. The PowerBook only had USB 1.1 ports.

Over the weekend I decided to transfer the iPod to the new laptop, and, based on my experience with a full-synchronization with the PowerBook, I was expecting it to take hours and hours again. However, the MacBook Pro sports USB 2.0 ports. They are on the order of 40 times faster, 480 Mbits/second versus 12 Mbits/second.

480 sounds fast but until you plug the iPod in and restore it (the only way to synchronize it with a new machine) you really don't get a fell for what faster means. The entire process took less than an hour, more like 40 minutes.

Forty minutes instead of eight hours. Wow.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.