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Brando Hooks Up (S)ATA Drives To USB 2.0

Test Setup

System Hardware
Processor(s)2x Intel Xeon Processor (Nocona core)3.6 GHz, FSB800, 1 MB L2 Cache
PlatformAsus NCL-DS (Socket 604)Intel E7520 Chipset, BIOS 1005
RAMCorsair CM72DD512AR-400 (DDR2-400 ECC, reg.)2x 512 MB, CL3-3-3-10 Timings
System Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar WD1200JB120 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, UltraATA/100
Mass Storage Controller(s)Intel 82801EB UltraATA/100 Controller (ICH5)
NetworkingBroadcom BCM5721 On-Board Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Graphics CardOn-Board GraphicsATI RageXL, 8 MB
Benchmarks
Performance Measurementsc’t h2benchw 3.6
PCMark05V1.01
System Software & Drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, Service Pack 1
Platform DriverIntel Chipset Installation Utility 7.0.0.1025
Graphics DriverDefault Windows Graphics Driver

Conclusion

Brando’s USB 2.0 to SATA/IDE adapter can be a very valuable asset if you need to access data on a SATA or UltraATA drive as quickly as possible. Not everybody has a spare system or the time to shut down the computer, open it, and hook up another drive. Not to mention notebooks : you would have to buy a PC-Card-based SATA or UltraATA controller for if you wanted to attach a regular hard drive. Brando’s solution is purely based on USB 2.0 and works just like any other external storage device, which makes it easy to handle.

Though the adapter unit also offers a high-density ATA connector, designed for 2.5" and even some 1.8" hard drive models, we were not successful in making it work. You may, however, purchase a regular ATA to high density ATA adapter if you need to plug in such a unit. All of the 3.5" hard drives we tried worked properly, whether using SATA/150, SATA/300, UltraATA/133 or UltraATA/100.

Finally, the product is particularly interesting because of its reasonable street price of $20-40, depending on where you get one, and whether it is made by Brando itself or other companies. At this price, we can image enthusiasts and administrators buying one of these simply as a "just in case" item to keep around, ready if needed.

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