Storage Accessories: Move, Cool, Multiply


It's really interesting to have a look from time to time at the curious, useful or even some of the useless devices that are sent to our test labs. Some of them arrived here without us specifically asking for them, while others we requested for our in-depth tests. You certainly remember the questions I asked in the introduction of this article. Indeed, the four products were more than just capable of meeting the application challenges associated with storage and convenience.

The Addonics port multiplier helps to turn one eSATA port into as many as five eSATA ports - but you need to be sure that your controller that operates the eSATA port supports the AHCI mode (Advanced Host Controller Interface). Typically, this is not the case for all first-generation eSATA solutions, but for virtually every modern system. However, it is questionable whether it makes sense to purchase the $99 Addonics Port Multiplier or to go for an eSATA controller for half the price instead. (Compare Prices on eSATA Solutions)

Silverstone's MS05 portable hard drive, which comes with an eSATA-powered 5.25" drive bay, is one of the prettiest solutions when it comes to conveniently using a mobile hard drive both at home and while you're on the road. The device runs at maximum performance using eSATA when it's inserted into the drive bay, and it can also be used with a USB 2.0 connection when you travel. With a little trick you can also utilize eSATA. Unfortunately, the finishing of the drive is not as pretty, although the base material (aluminum) works well in our opinion.

Sunplus' USB-2.0-to-eSATA adapter is a piece of hardware that no enthusiast will want to miss, as it allows every eSATA device to be attached to a USB port. USB 1.1 works as well, but you will want USB 2.0 to get decent performance. It was nice to see that this product translates the eSATA protocol into USB 2.0 at a throughput similar to what native USB 2.0 devices offer.

Finally, Titan offers the TTC-HD90, which actually works as promised. It is supposed to both dampen hard drive noise and passively cool high performance 3.5" hard drives. We tried a Western Digital Raptor WD740 drive and were surprised to see the results. The mixture of contact pads and aluminum acting as a heat spreader works well.

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