USB 3 VS SATA Speed (Comparison Between Them)

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USB 3 and SATA are one of the most popular user interfaces nowadays. Both are used for data read write and transferring. For transferring or copying files, we always prefer the option that provides us with a higher read-write/transfer rate. Basically, if you are only considering USB 3 and wondering whether its speed can surpass SATA’s speed or not. In short, the answer is no.

In today’s article, we are here with the difference between the data transferring rate/speed of USB 3 and SATA. So, to learn in-depth about the speed difference, be with us till the end. Let’s begin then.

 USB 3 VS SATA Speed

Speed Difference Between USB 3 and SATA

Here we have provided a table that includes the difference between USB 3 and SATA speeds. This table will help you to learn about the speed of transferring, copying, and deleting. Here is the table.

ParametersUSB 3SATA
Data Transfer5 Gbps6 Gbps
Copying operations125 MBPS158 MBPS
Deleting FilesApprox. 15,900 Files/secApprox 17,000 Files/sec
Searching Duplicate filesApprox 6800 Files/secApprox 7000 Files/sec
Disk Space AnalysisApprox 50,000 Files/secApprox 50,000 Files/sec
  • Data Transfer Speed: The data transferring speed of USB 3 and SATA is so different. SATA can transfer up to 6 Gbit data per second. On the other hand, USB 3 can transfer a maximum of 5 Gbit data every second. Because of the speed difference, they are used in different interfaces.
  • Copying Speed: For small-sized files, the copying operation in USB 3 can reach a speed of up to 125 MB per second. Whereas, the copying speed of SATA can be 158 MB per second. So it can be said that SATA can deliver the coping operation 30% faster than the operation in USB 3
  • Searching Speed: In a single thread, USB 3-connected devices can search duplicate files at the speed of 6800 files per second but with SATA it can increase up to 7000 files. But when it goes to 4 threads, the increased speed percentage of SATA from USB 3 is approximately 2%.
  • Deleting Speed: In terms of deleting files, SATA has 6 % more speed than USB 3-connected devices. At the 4 threads phase, SATA-connected devices can delete up to 32800 files per second whereas USB 3 can delete approx. 32,000 files/sec.
  • Disk Analysis Speed: At the single thread phase, both can analyze disk space at Approx 50,000 Files/sec.

Bonus Tip

When you are comparing the speed between SATA and USB 3.1/2, or even 3, SATA will lose the lead. USB 3.1 has 10Gbps, and USB 3.2 has 16Gbps whereas SATA has a speed of 6 Gbps. So, here you can see the clear difference in the speed!

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Is USB 3 slower than SATA?

USB is slower than the speed of SATA. In copying operations, SATA is 30% faster than USB 3. SATA is also faster in deleting, data accessing operation than USB 3.

Is USB 3 as fast as SSD?

The data transferring rate of USB 3 is 5 GB per second. Whereas, a typical SSD has a speed of 500 MB/sec. So, USB 3 is not as fast as SSD.

Is USB as fast as SATA?

Not all USBs but USB 3.2 transfers data at a speed of 10 GB per second. Whereas, SATA can deliver up to 6 GB/ sec. In some cases, USB can be faster than SATA.

Is USB 3 fast enough for HDD?

It depends on the hard disk drive you are using. Typically, a hard disk drive can transfer 200 MB per second. So USB 3 is more than fast enough for HDD.


In this overall discussion, we can be clear about the speed difference between USB 3 and SATA. In most of these performances, SATA is faster in transferring data than USB 3. But most of the pc support the USB port. So in spite of these benefits of SATA, people are using USB 3.

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