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

Something For Nearly Everyone

All four of today’s drive enclosures passed our quality inspection, all performed identically, and all included a high-quality USB 3.0 cable. So which one would we chose?

Aesthetics is the biggest differentiating factor between these devices and our opinion on aesthetics might differ from yours. There are a few smaller differences, such as the auxiliary power cable not included with the Eagle Tech Consus ET-CS2FSU3-BK, but we don’t plan on using any of these boxes to connect a high-power drive (such as Seagate’s 7,200 RPM parts) to a low-power USB 2.0 port. SIIG’s JU-SA0312-S1 was the only model with screw-free drive installation—if that’s important to you—while Kingwin’s ATK-25U3-BK comes with an activation button—if you can figure out what to do with it. If we’re going to get that fussy, we’d might as well move back to the discussion of aesthetics and mention that the Eagle Tech model is supplied with two different designer lids to suit the changing tastes of some users.

We did criticize the 195 MB/s limit of the ASM1051 bridge used by all four devices, but we understand that most users will not spend hundreds of dollars on the fastest-possible SSD drive simply to have a slightly faster portable device. Instead, most buyers will either purchase a new high-capacity notebook drive or reuse one from a previous system. All four of these enclosures exceed the performance limits of any 2.5” SATA mechanical drive and thus any product the buyer selects from today’s test should become the perfect unit for his or her personal needs. Pick your own favorite and you’ll come out the winner.

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28 comments
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  • I know this isn't relevant, but what is in the pcie1 slot?
    0
  • You guys are really benching cases? I figured they'd all be close to the same anyway.
    3
  • 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
  • So basically, they all have identical hardware, and IMO all look ugly
    -4
  • 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
  • Scraping the bottom of the barrel for non-iPad news?
    -10
  • 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
  • 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
  • Good... so I can share my pirated movies more faster?( sarcasm )
    -7
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 248497 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
  • 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
  • "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
  • thejerkI have a review of your mom: She's awesome.


    LOL! you too?
    -1