linux ssd usb file transer speed test

Linux SSD USB HD file transfer speed test

I just finished a file transfer speed test between SSD, USB and regular hard drives. The test directory which I moved between the hard drives consisted of 451 video files and the transfer size was 5.3 Gig. To get an accurate readout, I did all of the transfers via the Linux terminal by issuing the time command before moving the files. The results are presented below.

Hard drive details

I’ve transferred the files between a desktop and a laptop computer. Both run on Linux and no applications were open while the files were transferred.
The external drives are connected via the computers USB 3 ports.

The desktop PC has the following drives:
Primary drive: 256 Gig SSD
Secondary drive: 1000 Gig @ 7200 Rpm
External SSD drive: Samsung T5
External USB drive: Seagate 1.5 Tb @ 7200 Rpm connected via USB3

The laptop hard these drives:
Primary drive: Samsung 860 EVO 256 GB SATA SSD
External drive: 750 Meg @ 7200 Rpm connected via USB3

linux ssd usb file transer speed test

How I performed the test

All transfers were made in the terminal and prefixed with the time command.
Here are the exact results:

From eternal USB Seagate 7200 Rpm drive to internal 7200 Rpm hard drive
$ time mv vKnowlege/ /run/media/tempaccname/D1000/
real 0m41.072s

From internal 7200 Rpm hard drive to external Samsung 500 GiB SSD
$ time mv vKnowlege/ /run/media/tempaccname/Samsung_T5/
real 0m31.224s

From external Samsung 500 GiB SSD to 256 Gig SSD /home/tempaccname/Documents
$ time mv vKnowlege/ /home/tempaccname/Documents/
real 0m10.537s

From /home/tempaccname/Documents to external Samsung 500 GiB SSD
$ time mv vKnowlege/ /run/media/tempaccname/Samsung_T5/
real 0m13.244s

Transferring files over the network

Transfer Test over a Gigabit Network

Test 1 from laptop SSD to desktop SSD drive
File size: 4.6 Gig (W10 ISO)
$ time mv Win10_1903_V1_English_x64.iso /home/tempaccname/Downloads/
real 1m8.443s

Test 2 from laptop SSD to desktop SSD drive
File size: 1.1 Gig (testfile.tar.gz)
$ time cp testfile.tar.gz /home/tempaccname/Documents/
real 0m16.255s

Transferring images and video from Android smartphone

Samsung SSD connected to Huawei P20 Pro phone with USB3 cable

I use my smartphone which runs Android to take tons of images and videos. The device has 128 Gig of internal storage which I back up on a regular basis. The fastest way to do so is using the USB3 cable with came with my Samsung T5 SSD. Luckily, both devices can quickly be interchanged and transferring from the smartphone to the desktop PC is much faster than Bluetooth.

Unfortunately, I don’t have exact times because I deleted the test directory after the above tests. Still, the advantages are huge and it feels as if the transfer is just as fast as transferring from my Samsung SSD drive.

Why I made this test

Almost all of the content I create is work related. Because of that, I spend a lot of time making sure that everything is backed up properly. Backing up data means moving it to various storage locations all over the network.
The reason why I made this test is simply to give me idea of how much more efficient external SSD drives are in comparison to the older spinning type drives. The test went as expected. From this point forward, I won’t invest in anything else but SSD drives.


My Netgear switch is the best option to transfer small files over the network. For anything larger than a single ISO file, it is quicker to unplug the external SSD drive and move if from computer to computer. Then again, those transfers run in the background so it all depends if time is an issue.

If you want to test your drive speeds then a great way to go about it is to prefix every cp or mv command with time. Arch Linux is a speedy operating system and every command that runs can be timed. Without timing I’d be guessing but now I know that the difference is big. Even external drives, when connected via USB3, are a great choice when it comes to backing up data.

In addition, unplugging a drive once the backup has completed is an additional security feature because what is not connected can not be accessed. I hope that this data is of use to others. Thank you for reading.

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