You probably don’t think of file copying as something that slows you down. Until you have a big pile of data to copy, and then you start shaking your head in disbelief. Thirteen minutes? Thirteen minutes? Just to copy those Photoshop files to a backup drive? Are you serious?
Most of the time, it really isn’t a problem. A typical, well-maintained Windows computer will copy a file in a fraction of a second, even if it’s a few megabytes. Speeding that up will save you, well, fractions of a fraction of a second. However, once you start copying gigabytes of data, whether it’s huge files or lots of smaller ones, then all those fractions start to add up to quite noticeable savings.
If you’re working with any of the following, you may find it worth while to look at alternatives:
- Large graphics files
So what can you do?
Well, Windows isn’t actually particularly good at copying files, and Windows 8 is actually slower than Windows 7 or Windows XP. It’s good enough most of the time, but if you need to do a lot of copying, then you may be better off using a separate tool to do it.
In tests, you can see that file copy tools can result in nearly 30% speed increase over standard Windows copying. Raymond Computers performed three different tests, copying different size files in different ways. Here’s how much time they saved, compared to Windows 7:
- Test 1: 169s – 110s
- Test 2: 90s – 86s
- Test 3: 87s – 64s
However, you need to choose wisely. No single tool outperformed the others, and the one which placed first or second in the first two tests, Extreme Copy, did worst in the third. There are also user interface issues to consider – some are friendlier than others, and some just plain don’t work reliably. Find the one that works best for you.