Portable Performance: Four USB 3.0 Enclosures For Your 2.5” Drive

Test Settings

Test-System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-920 (2.66 GHz, 8MB Shared L3 Cache)
CPU CoolerRosewill FORT120
MotherboardGigabyte X58A-UD7, BIOS F6 (03-11-2010)
RAMKingston KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX (6GB)
DDR3-2000 at DDR3-1600 CAS 7-7-7-20
GraphicsSapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB
725 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4000
OS Hard DriveWestern Digital Velociraptor WD3000HLFS, 300GB
10,000 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16MB cache
Test DriveCrucial RealSSD C300 256GB SATA 6 Gb/s
USB 3.0 HostIntegrated NEC D720200F1, PCIe 2.0 (x1)
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCorsair CMPSU-850HX 850W Modular
ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 10.3
ChipsetIntel INF 9.1.1.1020
Benchmarks
h2benchw 3.13Sequential and Sustained Reads and Writes (KB/s)
Interface Bandwidth (MB/s) and Access Times (ms)


We wanted the most direct PCIe 2.0 connection to the chipset possible, and got it using an X58 motherboard from Gigabyte. The X58A-UD7 graced our recent high-end System Builder Marathon PC and a full review of the board is forthcoming.

Proven at speeds beyond 300 MB/s, Crucial’s SATA 6 Gb/s RealSSD C300 is the fastest drive we could get our hands on for today’s review.

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28 comments
    Your comment
  • Anonymous
    I know this isn't relevant, but what is in the pcie1 slot?
    0
  • Gin Fushicho
    You guys are really benching cases? I figured they'd all be close to the same anyway.
    3
  • Crashman
    SubSonix1I know this isn't relevant, but what is in the pcie1 slot?


    Nothing, the slot is covered by an extended chipset heat sink.
    5
  • TomD_1
    So basically, they all have identical hardware, and IMO all look ugly
    -4
  • Crashman
    TomD_1So basically, they all have identical hardware, and IMO all look ugly


    You forgot to mention they all fit in a shirt pocket. That is the most important part.
    1
  • thejerk
    Scraping the bottom of the barrel for non-iPad news?
    -10
  • warmon6
    thejerkScraping the bottom of the barrel for non-iPad news?


    Um.... few things,

    1. They haven't been just covering the ipad. They been covering alot of other things.

    2. This isn't news. This is a review. Learn the difference.
    7
  • kelfen
    if ya think about it this is more cost effective per GB to buy one of these and a hard drive then buying a usb drive
    1
  • Anonymous
    Good... so I can share my pirated movies more faster?( sarcasm )
    -7
  • rooket
    What's the performance like if you use it with a hard drive? Just same as usb 2.0 I'd imagine? Odd that they're only hitting 35MB/sec with USB 2.0. It should go 60MB/sec. Why is this only half the speed?
    -1
  • shin0bi272
    Hey great review... will be nice when I actually get a usb3 mobo or card... transferring 1.03TB of data over usb2.0 is just a total PAIN in the backside. I should have just opened the case and plugged the drive directly into the pc I know but I didnt and I had to wait about a DAY because of my laziness. Now with usb3 that wont be an issue and its good to see that at least someone is benchmarking external enclosures. Granted I do have to agree with the sentiment that you guys must be bored or out of stuff to review if youre reviewing external enclosures lol. But thanks all the same.
    -1
  • Snipergod87
    rooketWhat's the performance like if you use it with a hard drive? Just same as usb 2.0 I'd imagine? Odd that they're only hitting 35MB/sec with USB 2.0. It should go 60MB/sec. Why is this only half the speed?


    USB 2.0 always tops out at 30-35MB/s because of the overhead. Thomas was wrong in saying they can reach 60MB/s.
    2
  • delazaren
    why the hell design a plug that consists of two parts???? No way an engineer designed this, it must have been a committee of some sort.
    -1
  • mark0718
    How do the they know that the external boxes and not the motherboard side is the limiting factor?

    Actually, is one side or the other by itself the limit. Perhaps there
    is a transaction overhead that is the some of both sides' response time,
    rather than a turn-around time that would be limited by the slower side.
    -1
  • cadder
    Quote:
    why the hell design a plug that consists of two parts????


    To maintain compatibility with USB 2.0 cables and plugs. Buy one of these enclosures, plug in a standard USB 2.0 cable, and connect it to your laptop. Plug in the 3.0 cable and connect it to your desktop.
    -1
  • cadder
    Quote:
    Nothing, the slot is covered by an extended chipset heat sink.


    Ah, better views of it are here:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128413&Tpk=X58A-UD7
    -1
  • warmon6
    Anonymous said:
    USB 2.0 always tops out at 30-35MB/s because of the overhead. Thomas was wrong in saying they can reach 60MB/s.


    Yep, So true. If there wasn't as large of a overhead, maybe HDD, SSD, Flash drives could run at a moderately comfortable 45-50MB/s on usb 2.0.
    -1
  • thejerk
    warmon6Um.... few things,1. They haven't been just covering the ipad. They been covering alot of other things.2. This isn't news. This is a review. Learn the difference.


    I have a review of your mom: She's awesome.
    -1
  • Anonymous
    "We have no idea why a clear plastic sheet runs through the Kingwin ATK-25U3-BK interior"

    Keeps drive PCB from possibly touching the metal enclosure and shorting out. There are some scenarios which could lead to this: the bottom of the enclosure being pushed in or the drive not having bottom screw holes.
    -1
  • FrozenGpu
    thejerkI have a review of your mom: She's awesome.


    LOL! you too?
    -1