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 Post subject: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:39 am 
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Can anyone rate the pros and cons of these 3 HDD docking units?

Attachment:
Cavalry HDDx2 Dock.jpg
Cavalry HDDx2 Dock.jpg [ 6.54 KiB | Viewed 5644 times ]

Amazon Page

Attachment:
StarTech HDDx2 eSATA Dock.jpg
StarTech HDDx2 eSATA Dock.jpg [ 7.01 KiB | Viewed 5644 times ]

Amazon Page

Attachment:
Thermaltake eSATA HDD Dock.jpg
Thermaltake eSATA HDD Dock.jpg [ 3.8 KiB | Viewed 5642 times ]

Amazon Page

I don't know the quality of the products but I want to buy one to use when trouble shooting HDD problems.

Would you advice against a docking station in favor of a standard external HDD enclosure if the primary use would be to work on problems with SATA drives?

-Evan


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:42 am 
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I would get the Startech the first one is inly USB (slower if you have Esata on your PC) the last one only has one port.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:03 pm 
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Aside from the obvious advantage of eSATA and the ability to support 2 drives, do you know if any company SHOULD or SHOULDN'T be trusted? I wouldn't want to buy a cheap product with more features. I want to make sure I buy a quality product. Also, do you think these products (docking stations specifically) are just as reliable as external enclosures?

-Evan


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:02 pm 
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First one out (usb only as stated by David)

Second one out (bad power connector, don't like din plugs for power) plus it uses 2 esata ports so not much different than 2 of the third one.

Third one wins. I just acquired two of them which cost a little less than one of the second one. They have good barrel style power connectors and are usb or esata like the second one. Plus, it is a little cheaper for 2 of those than one of the second one.

Just my 2 cents (and 2 cents isn't worth much these days anymore) <g>

Mike.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:08 pm 
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Using industry standard 12V barrel style power connectors is key. I insure that all external enclosures I purchase use that exact same type of power adapter, that way they are not only interchangeable, but if one fails, replacements are easy to come by. I'll be ordering a couple of the 3rd one for myself. Scott.

PS: Its pretty obvious that the "StarTech" and "Thermaltake" units are both made by the same mfr., so the internal components, connectors, build quality and such would likely be the same.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:02 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback. I guess now all we need to know is who sells it the cheapest. Every 2 cents counts after all.

-Evan


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:55 pm 
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This model was recommended by a friend after directing them to this post.

Attachment:
Vantec NexStar NST-D100SU SATA to USB 2.0 and eSATA Hard Drive Dock.jpg
Vantec NexStar NST-D100SU SATA to USB 2.0 and eSATA Hard Drive Dock.jpg [ 10.8 KiB | Viewed 5601 times ]

Amazon Page

He bought his for Christmas and the USB variant suited him. How does it stack up? Any bad parts or superior parts on this one?

-Evan


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:21 pm 
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The Vantec doesn't have the standard 12V power connector, which rules it out for me. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:24 pm 
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Didn't even think about the power connectors! of course with a Industry standard connector a replacement can be easily purchased :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:34 pm 
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Scott,

I was looking at some reviews from buyers on newegg are claiming that the unit's SATAII connection is only capable of SATA (1.5GB/sec). Specifically these two posts.

3/26/2009 2:54:34 PM by ASG Computers
3/13/2009 6:27:22 AM by Digital

A newegg video that is referenced (search for "Thermaltake BlacX ST0005U") is used as an argument. I would watch the video to make a specific point but our family has a movie on in the room with the computer :( :D

Are they right or are their HDD's likely not capable of the throughput they are expecting and in fact their HDD is the actual bottleneck? I did also see someone claim that device manager reports it as only 1.5GB/sec. I'm thinking they are using an adapter card that isn't SATAII and once again don't realize where their bottleneck is.

-Evan


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:37 am 
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Yep, most of these docking units only support 1.5Gbps (150MBps data throughput due to 8b/10b encoding), despite what they say on the box. There aren't any drives that can exceed 150MBps in sustained throughput anyway, so that really isn't that big of an issue.

Still, this does point out that most of these devices do not work in a "pass-through" fashion, and may not be helpful in a data recovery situation. Scott.

PS: Note that "SATA II" is an incorrect designation for SATA 3Gbps.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:03 pm 
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I just wanted to update this post since Thermaltake has a dual drive version of their eSATA HDD docking unit called the BlacX Duet.

Image
At the time of this writing, the single HDD BlacX is $33.99 and the dual HDD BlacX Duet is $44.99. Both have eSATA connections and are available at Amazon.

Scott/Mike, since buying one the BlacX Duet units would cost $23 less than 2 of the BlacX units do you have any reason other than (not having) port multipliers?

Scott wrote:
PS: Note that "SATA II" is an incorrect designation for SATA 3Gbps.
Looks like the Serial ATA International Organization changed their website a little bit. Here is the *current* page for SATA Naming Conventions.


Last edited by Evan on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:10 pm 
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I don't recommend that dual-drive unit due to potential power problems. While it does use the standard 12V barrel connector power adapter I like, a single 12V adapter of the type that I see being used is insufficient for dual drives. I'd stick with two single drive units until something better comes along. Scott.

PS: Updated naming convention reference in previous post, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: HDD External Docking Units
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:07 pm 
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Thanks for following up and keeping things clear. I'll keep an eye out for any changes.

-Evan


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