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  • alacard - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    And they work well, highly recommended. (just make sure when you open the box you got a new one (no scratches), the older models have major flaws, and startech will rebox returns and send them out as new). Reply
  • Paul Tarnowski - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    I'll have to look it up. I've had USB 3.0 for almost a year and I still haven't a single device for it. This one might just give me the excuse to get one.

    BTW, I've never heard of SCSCI. But I'm guessing from usage that it's a Type-0 Protocol, right?
    Reply
  • Chuck_NC - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    The single HDD version with built-in fan that I have has worked very well. It is finicky when used with a USB3.0 hub (random disconnects, noticed on large file copies), and won't pass Smart data to older SATA and eSATA ports. The adjustable fan is loud, but when dialed up to full speed, even keeps the fastest spinning drives cool (tested up to 10K drives). I have tried other units, especially some that use port multiplier technology with severely poor results. Have been very happy with this one on both USB3.0 and eSATA. The eSATA port seems to be faster on most machines that I have. Reply
  • Rix2357 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Lots of these USB 3.0 to hard drive adaptors don't spin down the hard drives after inactivity. I care a lot about this because I keep mine attached to the notebook as an almost permanent storage and if they don't spin down, the hard drives get pretty hot after awhile. Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Yes, it does! I have mentioned that in the review also. Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Doesn't it have a detrimental effect on the drive life that it's positioned vertically?
    Especially for older IDE drives which were probably placed horizontally for most of their life time.
    Reply
  • sheh - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I've always been uneasy about that too. Also some of these decks keep the drives in an angle, I think. I wonder not only about used drives but also new.

    I recall reading something about drives being designed to run when positioned straight in any orientation, but it still makes me wonder.
    Reply
  • AssBall - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I really doubt it will make a difference. I have run drives hanging upside down off a power cable for 4 years without any issues. Run several of them sideways as well, and never could tell any difference in lifespan. Reply
  • Lerianis - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    That is an old-wives tale. Modern hard drives (last 10 years) are meant to be able to run fine when mounted in any way. Stood up, on it's side, sitting on it's top, etc.

    As long as the drive doesn't vibrate and move, the drive should be fine. SSD's, of course, with no moving parts, you don't even have to worry about the drive moving.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Got a source for that claim? I've not heard it before and many smaller cases have hard drives mounted vertically. Reply
  • sheh - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Cables running to the back? What's the idea? Reply
  • FH123 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Due to bad experiences with products like these, my first question would be more fundamental than the benchmarks: Does it work reliably? I've had multiple enclosures from Akasa which plain didn't. They consistently caused CRC errors when validating Ghost backups. This happened with multiple units on multiple machines with backups that were subsequently verified to be good, when the drive was put directly into a machine. As far as I recall I even tried different hard drives. In other words, I ruled out that it was anything but the enclosure as best I could. Did you validate data integrity or did you just take that as a given?

    I also own an older eSata version of the StarTech product you reviewed, but never really used it because of the pungent smell from of my particular unit, perhaps from the soldering job. Can you report on the smell of yours? No, I'm not kidding, the smell of mine is really strong and I swore off StarTech units as a result.

    A still different adapter that I own, while mostly working fine, causes backups to hang every so often.

    The common thread with many of these products seems to be JMicron chipsets. It seems impossible to avoid them. Ever since Anandtech reported on the JMicron issues with the first OCZ SSDs, of which I owned one, I've become weary of that company. My GigaByte motherboard works very reliably, except every now and then, after a boot, the mouse cursor locks up at regular intervals. This was improved, but not eliminated, by updating a JMicron driver for the PATA chipset in the machine.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    We do not take data integrity as a given. I have actually used the unit to back up a couple of IDE (40 GB) and SATA drives (256 GB SSD / 1 TB HDD) sector-by-sector using HDDGuru's Raw Copy Tool : http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-Raw-Copy-Tool/ : and I had no trouble mounting the copies as virtual drives and accessing the data as well as restoring it back to the drive using the same software / docking station.

    My review unit didn't have any specific smell, but I really can't vouch for every unit out there.

    JMicron's chipsets are cheap and quite common. SSD controllers are a different beast because there is no single right way to perform the activities of a SSD controller. SATA and USB bridges are fairly straightforward and it is just a matter of implementing the specifications. Note that the IDE bridge in this product has been around since early 2004 and the USB3 bridge has been around since late 2009. Plenty of time for customers to report issues with the chipsets and get it fixed in a new tape out / firmware update.
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I own two USB 3 HDD docks (single drive only) from Vantec, and they work rather well. However, there's one small annoyance that I have with them... the drives will sometimes vibrate. Since I have mine positioned on top of my tower, the resonance with my case makes a rather annoying buzzing noise. I usually solve this by shoving something in the slot with the drive.

    Does this enclosure suffer from the same problem?

    Also, what made you want to review this enclosure over the numerous other brands? I know when I was searching for a new USB 3 enclosure, I saw a few different brands. I'm also curious... I noticed the Apricorn self-powered USB 3 SATA adapter, and I was wondering how that compares to a powered adapter. I think Anand used one in a recent review.

    What's amusing is that I considered buying it, but I shied away because I had never heard of the brand Apricorn before. I bought a Crucial M4 SSD with the transfer kit (the normal one went OOS). I like having spare adapters, so I didn't mind too much. Well, I opened the box to find... an Apricorn adapter. It actually works rather well so far with my old SSD, which makes me rather bummed that I passed on them so quickly.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    There is no specific vibration dampening mechanism, but I really didn't encounter anything out of the ordinary. (Every dock I have seen has some amount of vibration, and it actually depends on the drive being used).

    As for why this kit was reviewed, it basically depends on what product a company pitches to us at a given point in time (whether it is relevant to our readers / current coverage) and whether the editors have time to review the product at the time of pitching :)

    If you want us to review any particular brands, let us know and we can always try to approach them for evaluation units.
    Reply
  • Lerianis - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Even server farms have swapped them out. Sounds to me like it would have been better to have both slots SATA so you can use both of them for hard drives. Reply
  • vectorm12 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    In Sweden you can pick one of those up but instead of StarTech it's branded deltaco. Wonder if it's just some gadget that's been labeled god knows what or if it's the same company using different names. Reply

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