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USB 3.0-to-SATA Adapter Gives HDDs SuperSpeed

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

Now here's a nifty little device for those old hard drives stacking up and collecting dust like old nudie magazines. USB peripheral manufacturer Brando has devised of a way to connect those SATA HDDs by way of USB 3.0. via its new Unitek USB 3.0 to SATA adapter (Y-1034). The device can even be used with older IDE-based drives using an extra IDE to SATA docking converter.

What's even better is that not only can the old drives toss around data a "theoretical" speeds of 5.0 GB/s, but they're instantly turned into external HDDs. "Now you do not have to worry about the data in your old hard disk because the he UNITEK USB 3.0 to SATA Adapter (Y-1034) helps to transfer data from IDE/SATA HDD to other devices," the company said.

Of course, the drawback here is that--in addition to paying a meager $48 plus shipping costs--you'll need a USB 3.0 compliant motherboard or PCI-e card installed to use the SuperSpeed connection. The specs reveal that it's still compliant with USB 2.0, so it seems possible to use the new adapter in current, USB 2.0 machines.

According to the company, the adapter supports Windows XP, Vista, the new Windows 7, and Linux. The device also handles HDD capacities up to 2 TB.

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  • 9 Hide
    AtuBrian , December 28, 2009 9:43 PM
    "those old hard drives stacking up" you would think of ide drives not sata. -1
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , December 28, 2009 9:45 PM
    Now this looks like it'll be a great device to add to my arsenal for when I work on other systems and I have to pull the drive to check it for any serious problems before working directly on the system in question.

    It always helps to be prepared when doing tech support. :) 
  • -9 Hide
    azgard , December 28, 2009 10:30 PM
    I knew you guy's were slow on the uptake, but damn welcome to 3 weeks ago on your own website.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/usb-3.0-performance,2490.html
  • 7 Hide
    nick_nz , December 28, 2009 11:10 PM
    @azgard - Now, I've taken my share of shots at toms in its current guise however in this case I think you are being unfair. This article is about a USB3 to SATA adapter. The article you linked is about USB3 itself. Related:yes, same:no.

    To me, this appears to be a good, well timed primer for the USB3 reviews that are no doubt coming in the near future.

    Kevin - good on ya for a short, accurate article...
  • 7 Hide
    rand_79 , December 28, 2009 11:37 PM
    Renegade_WarriorNow this looks like it'll be a great device to add to my arsenal for when I work on other systems and I have to pull the drive to check it for any serious problems before working directly on the system in question.It always helps to be prepared when doing tech support.



    translation: faster to copy porn off the customers computer before returning it.

    just kidding
  • 4 Hide
    lashabane , December 28, 2009 11:43 PM
    Brando, it's got what geeks crave.
  • 2 Hide
    MitchMeister- , December 29, 2009 12:00 AM
    atubrian"those old hard drives stacking up" you would think of ide drives not sata. -1


    "The device can even be used with older IDE-based drives using an extra IDE to SATA docking converter."

    Did you read the article?
  • -6 Hide
    AtuBrian , December 29, 2009 1:03 AM
    MitchMeister- IDE to SATA docking converter."Did you read the article?

    yes its pointless device
  • 0 Hide
    uh_no , December 29, 2009 3:11 AM
    MitchMeister-"The device can even be used with older IDE-based drives using an extra IDE to SATA docking converter."Did you read the article?


    pretty sure the device doesn't come with the ide-sata converter.....
  • 0 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , December 29, 2009 3:33 AM
    atubrianyes its pointless device

    Your message is pointless. This is a gread device if you want to actually upgrade older parts or if you have a new motherboard and you can still use your old HDDs to make them a bit faster. Its nifty until usb3.0 becomes mainstream and then this will be forgotten...
  • 0 Hide
    theholylancer , December 29, 2009 4:20 AM
    atubrian"those old hard drives stacking up" you would think of ide drives not sata. -1

    i have a few 320 and 160 stat 1s that needs this treatment, not for 42 tho...
  • 3 Hide
    gilbertfh , December 29, 2009 5:05 AM
    This article actually struck a chord with me. I do have old hard drives sitting around that I haven't used in years. With a device like this and the IDE adapter I could easily go thru them check for old data that I may want to save and scrub it so I can get rid of it. Before I get flammed for it... Yes, I know I could hook them up into my system and go thru them in that fashion but this device would make it a lot more convenient and maybe I would be more inclined to get off my butt and do it :) .

    Something that wasn't mentioned in this article and I am very interested in is if by utilizing this device could the drive hooked up be bootable?
  • 0 Hide
    SchizoFrog , December 29, 2009 7:11 AM
    What I don't understand, and please explain if you can, is how the transfer rate has anything to do with the read/write speeds of said devices? Surely these devices are limited to the read/write speeds of the disk heads and not the data transfer method?
  • 0 Hide
    SchizoFrog , December 29, 2009 7:12 AM
    P.S. If this is the case, why do HDDs not use the full speed potential of S-ATA?
  • -1 Hide
    buckiller , December 29, 2009 7:12 AM
    usb 2 usnt so slow that you couldnt already be doing this... I have a usb2/sata/ide converter from like 4 years ago that works great.

    yeah usb3 will speed it up but who has a usb3 slot? this sounds like a placed ad to me.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 29, 2009 9:23 AM
    If you peel apart an external HDD's casing, won't you see similar "converter" parts, anyways? One of my external USB HDDs failed on me and so I had to take it apart to run it as an internal from SATA. I imagine that I could probably use the old external parts to rig up some other drives through USB if I wanted -- the only difference being that it would be USB 2.0. So, the advantage here is USB 3.0, no? Buckiller and Schizofrog make good points, I think: Will these really old drives make much use of the higher transfer rate? Many of the HDDs on the market hit around a 1.5 gb/s transfer rate and use Sata II or III (I think?). Sata II can handle well above that rate, as can USB 3.0. So, again: is this really speeding anything up? It's just the convenience of jacking it in through USB as opposed to cracking your case and running it internally.
  • 0 Hide
    Computer_Lots , December 29, 2009 2:22 PM
    I have a USB2 version of this same thing that has SATA and IDE connectors on it. I think I paid like $15.00 for it. Aside from the USB3 addition, this isn't exactly revolutionary.
  • 0 Hide
    zelannii , December 29, 2009 2:41 PM
    and what does this do that an e-SATA bracket and an eSATA to SATA adapter cable with power support can do for $15? If you mainboard does not support hot-plud SATA ports, then you need an eSATA adapter card, but those are only $20-35 depending on brand and availability.

    You're limited to barely SATA 1 speeds on any drive made exceps SSDs anyway, and you certainly don't have "old" ones of those just kicking around. That means even your onboard SATA 1 ports are going to support Sata II drives via eSATA connectors t faster than USB2 speeds. There are no spinning disks that can exceed SATA 1 by more than minor margins, and you also likely don't have those kicking around old and unused...

    You need no external case if it's for occasional connectivity. There are docks available that take both 2.5 and 3.5" drives hot plug that support eSATA ports as well.

    This cable is a pointless system as all board i can find that actually support USB 3 already have a native eSAAT port as well, and you would not buy a USB 3 card and a $35 adapter to do what a simple eSATA cable and card already can.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , December 29, 2009 7:03 PM
    gilbertfhThis article actually struck a chord with me. I do have old hard drives sitting around that I haven't used in years. With a device like this and the IDE adapter I could easily go thru them check for old data that I may want to save and scrub it so I can get rid of it.


    And spend $50 for it? You can do this today without spending more than $20 or so. You buy an External HD IDE case. Drop the drive in (don't bother with the cover) - transfer your data to the bigger,faster and newer drives. Then run ERASER (free from download.com) to erase the data on the HD. Then you can give away your drives, sell them or recycle.

    Here are 35 choices: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010010092+1053807123+1053907126+1054107130&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&Subcategory=92&description=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

    Vantec is upper end. The really cheap ones will fail quicker. These all plug into USB2.0 (some include firewire)
  • 0 Hide
    gilbertfh , December 30, 2009 5:09 AM
    After I read this article I went on a scavenger hunt to 1) Find this product and the price and 2) to see what other options are out there. Yes as so many people pointed out there are many USB 2.0 products just like this out there and for a better price. USB 2.0 would be fine for simply doing simple read/write processes but if you are wanting it as a easily hot swapable viable boot device with existing drives that you may have laying around then IMO USB 3.0 is a better option.
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