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I have seen 10Mbyte/sec for cp on a 50G file to an external USB3 ext4 (after starting out at 107Mbyte/sec from a SATA internal disk), so your figures are just a little worse. Looks like a buffering problem. tar does allow selecting a block factor (increase its buffer) with the -b switch, and while -b 200000 didn't help, -b 2000000 did get the rate up to ...

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