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Month: January 2013

USB2 vs USB3 external HD benchmark




In this post, I will benchmark an external USB disk, using HDTune and USBDeview. So, this is by no means a professional review, we are only comparing the obtained results. The disk I have used is a Seagate Momentus 7200.3 (120 GB, 7200 rpm), which I recovered from an older laptop. The Seagate is fitted in an el cheapo USB3 external disk enclosure, bought on Ebay for 15,00 Euros.

For the purpose of this test, the disk will simply be connected to an USB 2.0 port and benchmarked. Then it will be plugged in an USB 3.0 port, and benchmarked again. So, it is exactly the same disk, just a different port. The host computer is equipped with an Intel Core i5-2500 processor and 8 GB ram, and runs Win7 x64.


Test results




  • USB 2.0 port

  • USB 3.0 port




  • USB 2.0 port


  • USB 3.0 port




Well, the results are not surprising: the Seagate achieves significantly better throughput when connected to an USB 3.0 port. The numbers simply double. This also demonstrates that USB 2.0 ports really are a bottleneck for external disks. Any regular laptop drive can read/write a lot more data than USB 2.0 can cope with.

So, if you are in the market for an external disk (or disk enclosure), do yourself a favor, and go for USB 3.0.  

Remote Desktop tricks for Linux users


If you like to make RDP connections to Windows machines from your Linux box, it is often convenient if you can set a few things right from the start. As such, I wrote a little shell script around rdesktop, in order to make life somewhat easier for me.
This script does the following:

  • invoke rdesktop
  • set the keyboard layout to Belgian AZERTY
  • set the screen resolution to something that fits the screen of my laptop
  • map a local directory so it is available on the remote Windows box


And here is the script:

# simple wrapper for rdesktop
# set keyb layout on server to azerty BE
# set window size to 1370x840

 if [ $# != "0" ] ;

   rdesktop -k nl-be  -r 'disk:homedrv=/home/david/' -g 1370x840  $1

   echo "$0: No arguments were supplied. Please supply a valid target 
             hostname or IP address."
   exit 1

 exit 0


The script must be invoked with one arument, the hostname or IP adress of the machine you want to connect to. I guess the script is simple enough to understand what it does. Adapt it to your particular needs, and I hope you like it.