Question Which setup is faster for offloading data cards?

Jan 15, 2020
I am doing some research for offloading data from camera cards that each hold up to 1TB of data, via a USB C card reader.
The backup will be controlled via software that can control the backup to read from the card reader and write to external 2 drives simultaneously (external drives, powered independently)
I am trying to understand the better setup which results in the fastest transfer speed.

[using a 2018 Mac Book Pro 15" / latest OS ]

Option A

The card reader and and both hard drives run through an external Hub such as below:
and is controlled via a single USB C port - does the data still run through the Laptop

Option B - i am assuming this is faster but would like some verification or feedback
the Mac has 4 x USB C ports. Each device is plugged into a USB C port and managed centrally.

Does this make sense? I have a schematic but cant seem to find a way to upload an image....

Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


I would agree that option B has the potential to be faster, but I would also call it "safer"
I would much rather accidentally interrupt a single device during transfer than accidentally interrupting all your devices at once and potentially seeing large data loss.
Reactions: RhythmicFilms
I agree with the direct ports, mainly for the reason of interruption or an issue with a single device potentially tying up the entire bus.

Otherwise, there shouldn't be an speed issues as usb is supposed to be full bandwidth to each device even when using a hub. In fact, the multiple ports on most systems is actually just a built-in hub. 🆒

And I've tested this on usb2.0 back in the day when I would shoot 2-4GB each weekend and need to offload them to my file server as fast as possible as well as the external backup drives--they all went as fast as the OS could move.