In order to optimize transfer speeds to external drives using the GNARBOX 2.0 SSD, it’s important to understand the technical underpinnings of both USB-C ports provided on the unit.
- The USB-C port to the left of the screen is a standard host port, which means you have a single line for reading data and a single line for writing data.
- The USB-C port to the right of the screen is a Dual-Role Port, which means you have a single line for reading data, a single line for writing data, and a single line for charging.
Generally speaking, data is read from a source (ie: memory card via card reader) and written to a destination (ie: hard drive). In the event that you are writing to two destinations, a good tip to remember is to separate them across the two USB-C ports for maximum speeds.
When two devices connected to a single port are performing the same action, this causes transfer speeds to be cut in half. For example, if we were to connect two hard drives to the same USB-C port using a hub and write data simultaneously to both hard drives, the maximum transfer speed would be halved.
Instead, the way to maximize the transfer speeds would be to plug one of the hard drives into the left USB-C port and the other hard drive into the right USB-C port. That enables each hard drive to have its own line for writing data.
In some instances, you may be using a card reader to transfer to a single hard drive. Because you are reading from the reader and writing to the hard drive, you are able to plug both the reader and the hard drive into the same USB-C port using a dongle or hub while still maintaining top speeds. We recommend connecting the reader and hard drive to the USB-C port to the left of the screen as this enables you to simultaneously charge the GNARBOX using the USB-C port on the right.
Charging While Transferring
If you’re interested in charging your GNARBOX while transferring to two hard drives, you can utilize a USB-C hub that provides Power Delivery (PD). Please note that not all USB-C hubs with Power Delivery are supported. Recommended hubs that we have tested and found to be compatible are shared at the end of this article.
When connecting a USB-C hub that supplies PD you will need to connect via the following steps:
- Connect the GNARBOX 2.0 SSD charger to the USB-C hub.
- Connect the USB-C hub to the GNARBOX 2.0 SSD.
- Connect your external hard drive to the USB-C hub.
Please do not disconnect the GNARBOX charger from the USB-C hub while transferring. This can cause transfer failure due to a drop in power.
A USB-C hub with PD is not necessary if you are connecting a card reader and a single drive to the left USB-C port.
Accessory and HDD/SSD Optimization
One key thing to note is that the slowest device or accessory could dictate the overall transfer speed. This could be an SSD, HDD, memory card, cable, etc.
For example, if you backup an XQD card that can deliver 350MB/s read speed to two external drives, one being an SSD with a write speed of 400MB/s and the other being an HDD with a write speed of 130MB/s, the transfer will run at a max speed of 130MB/s. This is important to consider when you are designing your workflow for maximum speed. Try to avoid mixing SSDs and HDDs to maximize transfer speeds
A Note on SSDs
In terms of external SSDs, many SSDs will generally have a fast initial transfer speed, but after a portion of the transfer takes place, the speed drops. This happens with many well-known and frequently used SSDs on the market. At the bottom of this article, we recommended a few that do not experience this issue and therefore, really allow you to capitalize on the transfer speeds using GNARBOX 2.0 SSD.
A Note on Cables
When it comes to cables, we recommend our supplied USB-C to C cable as we know they has been tested to exceed our speed requirements. If you need extra cables, we recommend purchasing at least a USB 3.1 gen 1 cable for fast transfer speeds.
Most USB-C to C cables sold through vendors operate at USB 2.0 speeds (<60MB/s). These cables are intended for charging purposes, not data transfer. You can find cables that we recommend at the bottom of this article.
When utilizing checksums to verify data integrity, we recommend choosing xxHash64 over MD5. xxHash64 provides sufficient security and data verification without inhibiting transfer speeds. While MD5 provides cryptographic security, the algorithm does restrict transfers to 350MB/s during a copy. In most cases, xxHash64 is preferred, unless there is a production requirement for MD5.
Hubs without Power Delivery (PD):
Hubs with Power Delivery (PD):
USB C to USB C Cables:
- Nimaso USB C to USB C Cable (USB 3.1 gen 1)
- Ugreen USB C to USB C Cable (USB 3.1 gen 1)
- Amazon basics USB C to USB C Cable (USB 3.1 gen2)
- Anker Powerline USB C to USB C Cable (USB 3.1 gen 2)
USB A to USB C Cables
- Anker Powerline USB-A to USB C Cable (USB 3.1 gen 1)
- AUKEY USB A to USB C Cable (USB 3.1 gen 1)
- Amazon basics USB A to USB C Cable (USB 3.1 gen 2)
- Amazon basics USB A to USB C Cable (USB 3.1 gen 2)
Fastest external SSDs for the GNARBOX:
- SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD (USB 3.1 gen 1)
- SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable External SSD (USB 3.1 gen 2)
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