[SOLVED] How much speed difference would it make? USB transfer

I am not sure if this is the right place to ask.

I am using asus n13u b1 running 19.07.7 with usb hdd. The transfer speeds i get is as follows:

5-6 MBps read, 2-3 MBps write (over wireless, router next to PC) 10-12MBps read, 4-5 Mbps write (over lan cable)

how much of a speed boost would i get if i were to buy archer a7? Just need a rough idea!


too many unknown variables... 'usb hdd' could mean alot of things

  • chipset? (usb drive external controller)
  • drive model?

most routers become cpu/physically-io bound for file operations... so anything with under 1.4Ghzx2 I would not be expecting much from...

Standard sata hard drive 7200 RPM
I don't know which chipset this external controller has, when hdd connected to pc using usb, i get around 35-38 MBps read speed.
archer a7 v5 this one

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yeah... suppose with usb2.0 wont matter much... anything more than a usb2.0 thumbdrive is not designed to handle / drive optimally...

for storage alone... i'd say no that's not a reason to upgrade...

I just want to know if it's worth the upgrade... n13u b1 with 384Mhz or a7 with 750Mhz.
Well, i use storage with aria2 downloader.

Both are quite weak for today's standards. Furthermore you wouldn't want the file transfers to choke your internet connection. Either separate the functions of router and nas, or get a beefy router with multiple cores and over 1GHz freq.

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I am using different router for internet, this one is only for nas and downloads

A raspberry pi with dietpi os would be a better idea in my opinion.


Yeah I know... It's just that it's costs more than my budget for the time being and I'm getting a cheap deal of a7 like 15 bucks.

how is the disk formatted? NTFS (windows default) is very heavy for OpenWrt.

I have tried most common formats.. fat32, ext2,3,4 before finally going with NTFS. Fat32 has the same speed as NTFS as i observed. Ext2,3 seemed a bit slower. Ext4 speeds are quite close to NTFS and fat32.

Not using fat32 because of its 4gb limit.
Not using ext4 due to not able to mount the partition in windows pc for file transfer.

The ASUS RT-N13U B1 is based on a ramips RT3052 SOC, single-core, 384 MHz mips 24Kc, it's severely underpowered (CPU bound) for your plans - and the figures you get are in line of what I'd expect for this device. Yes, an archer a7 will be faster than that, but it won't be good either (less than twice the performance you're getting now). These routers haven't been made with NAS uses in mind and aren't capable of doing with satisfactory performance, modern multi-core ARM routers tend to be better in this regard, but even those aren't made for that task either.

trendy's advice to look into alternatives, e.g. RPi4, is the only sensible choice here.

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exFat is really what you looking for. NTFS is too heavy and as you point out FAT32 has 4gb limit.

Also new kernel builds have got exFAT in the kernel directly. Wether OpenWRT is using those kernels is another matter :slight_smile:

EXT4, XFS & exFAT Enjoy Some Nice Improvements With Linux 5.13 - Phoronix

I have a PI4 with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on it. Used for docker containers and a Plex server which uses an external 4tb off a powered usb hub. Recently upgraded from using a usb3 stick as its root fs to a external SSD (thus the need for powered usb hub as two powered usb3 devices is too much for the pi to supply power to)

Works beautifully. The ssd is FAR better for read/writes but running it off a usb3 stick is still acceptable. It worked ok from the Sdcard but sdcards are prone to corruption if the power glitches.

OP might want to consider devices with SATA ports. Some are quite cheap on eBay: Click for ToH list

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And just to make me eat my words...

OpenWrt 21.02.0 Fourth release candidate - Release and security announcements - OpenWrt Forum

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How much performance increase are we talking about here with exfat in kernel directly compared to ntfs? Can you be able to give me a general idea?

If it's more than significant then i would definitely try fourth RC.

There was a time when ntfs seemed heavy on system, it was taking all of cpu when downloading something off of aria2, but after playing with mount options a bit, managed to get it going again with low cpu utilization. It didn't improve file transfer speeds though.

I'm using a Pi4 with ubuntu 20.04 not openwrt however my external drive is more than fast enough for streaming my Plex server :slight_smile:

root@ubuntu:~# hdparm -tT /dev/sdb

 Timing cached reads:   1852 MB in  2.00 seconds = 927.15 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads: 162 MB in  3.00 seconds =  53.94 MB/sec

for comparison my SSD via adaptor is :

 Timing cached reads:   1844 MB in  2.00 seconds = 923.04 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads: 956 MB in  3.00 seconds = 318.21 MB/sec

:edit: also exFat is perfect for swapping between windows or linux. I however cheat and just SMB mounted the external for lazy copying over the network. However when i do have a fair bit of data to throw at it, I power down the pi and plug hdd into my pc for direct usb3 transfers.

Thats due to the kernel NTFS being buggy and old. The FUSE driver is far better. However the kernel driver is going to get a massive update shortly.

The New NTFS Driver Looks Like It Will Finally Be Ready With Linux 5.15 - Phoronix

Well, thanks for performance test...

here's my results from the same command.

root@OpenWrt:~# hdparm -tT /dev/sda

 Timing cached reads:   170 MB in  2.01 seconds =  84.57 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  84 MB in  3.01 seconds =  27.95 MB/sec
root@OpenWrt:~# hdparm -tT /dev/sda

with a7, it might go over or below 250, if that's what you're saying then i guess it's not worth it.