Saturday, November 22, 2008

Performance of copying files to an external drive

Did some tests to see if the claim of the "fast copying" programs are true. Below is the results I got from copying a Firefox profile from a laptop hard drive (NTFS) to an external USB2 hard drive (WD Mybook Home 1TB as FAT32) on Windows XP SP3. The Firefox profile was 18.6MB (19,552,413 bytes), 630 files & 174 folders. This contains lots of small files, which usually hurt performance when copying & deleting. I copied 5x100MB files from the laptop to the external drive to make sure there is nothing in the drive buffer (which only takes about 10 seconds), to make the results fair. The WD Mybook Home has Firewire400 & eSATA ports as well, but I didn't try those (but I have done some informal testing in the past, and USB2 & Firewire seemed to be pretty equal.)

The Results:

ProgramversionTimeMaintain folder dateFree?Notes
Beyond Comparev2.4.3209.8sYesNo
FastCopyv1.9196.1sYesYesdefault 32MB buffer
TeraCopyv1.22426sNoYesdefault (to another HD)256KB buffer
WinXP explorer copy97s (stopwatch)NoYesExt. HD still spinned for a while afterwards
Based on the results, FastCopy is my new "copy bulk amount of files" program of choice.
Please suggest any other programs or configurations to try...