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Looking for a SATA II Drive Enclosure

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
.....for a single 3.5 SATA III hard drive enclosure, with eSATA II / USB 3.0 and a fan, that spins down the drive while its idle. I'm hoping I can find something with a UL safety approved power adapter.

Yes, I was originally looking for something else, but I have been educated on the subject and now I understand what I actually need. The thread has changed. Its best to just skip to page 2 >>


Original OP (Click to show)
Original OP

I have four new WD SATA III 6.0 GB/s Black 7200 HDDs and I need to use as two separate external or removable backups for two separate computers. Just drove to DC to pick them up. smile.gif I simply want to be able to use them to store important data, put them somewhere safe like in a fireproof box, and pull them out every number of months to keep new stuff backed up.

Few issues though. These are 7200's, so they'll get toasty when used for several hours at a time if they're locked away in a box without adequate ventilation or a fan. Also, I paid for SATA III drives, so naturally I want them to work at their intended SATA III speeds. frown.gif Another major concern is them spinning down while not being used, I don't want them burning out if someone forgets to unplug them and put them away.

I'm looking for a real solution, not a static bag, a clump of wires, and a bridge controller. I want to do this properly, but I don't know what all my options are so I don't really know what the price limit should be. The drives cost $80 each. Should I stay around there or go higher?

This is not a subject I know a lot about. All my searches for 6.0 Gbps eSATA III storage solutions have resulted in rack mount products, enclosures for multiple drives, and other solutions for servers and massive amounts of data.

The only single HDD enclosure I could find was the StarTech S3510BMU33ET. $55 @ Newegg. The ventilation is minimal at best, but strangely it seems to have a fan shaped vent at the back.... like an afterthought or a message from R&D. "Guys upstairs wouldn't let us add a fan, so we're going to do this to piss everyone off.". mad.gif Another thing that worries me about it, I don't see a UL badge on the power adapter, so I'd have to find one for it. I don't know for certain if these drives will burn up in this enclosure if used for several hours at a time, but I'm guessing yes? *sigh* There has got to be something other than this....

I could really use some help finding a solution, unless that enclosure is the only thing available. frown.gif

Goals:
1.) Keep the drives safe in a casing, enclosure, or assembly of some sort, external or removable of any kind is all fine. Temporary cases for hot swap drives make me nervous, because you still have to handle a bare naked drive. That makes me really uncomfortable, especially in this house. I will only do this as a very last last resort.
2.) eSATA / SATA III 6.0 Gbps speeds.
3.) Keeps the drives cool enough for a few hours of use.
4.) Must spin down.

Sorry... that's a lot to read but I put a lot of thought into it. I will give away reps for anyone who's helpful, though I may not remember to do it at first. (Remind me if I forget!)

Edited by Drahadis - 3/29/14 at 6:59pm
post #2 of 17
The Startech you linked is too new to know if it's any good or not. Startech products tend to be hit or miss. I have a couple of cute little Startech 2.5" docks I love; the only problem I ever had with them was one of the USB2.0 Y-cables went bad (I had fun finding a replacement; I now have a few spares just in case). However, I've seen both good and bad reviews on other Startech products.

Since you already have drives, take a look at this Vantec enclosure. This unit gets excellent reviews; the only serious, credible complaint I saw on this one was a bright blue LED on the front. Fortunately, the enclosure comes with the power lead for the LED disconnected. I suspect that you could just leave it disconnected as long as you make sure it can't short out (I deal with bright LEDs by taking a black Sharpie felt pen to them to dim them). The enclosure works with both USB 3.0 and e-SATA and is hot swappable so, to spin it down, you should be able to just kill the power (it has a power switch although it's a bit awkward to get at if using the stand instead of using it horizontally).
     
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post #3 of 17
Mechanical drives dont saturate Sata 2 controllers, so sata 3 are not really needed.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CravinR1 View Post

Mechanical drives dont saturate Sata 2 controllers, so sata 3 are not really needed.

Technically, that is true however, in the real world, SATA III HDDs work faster and have a larger buffer. I have two 2TB WD Blacks in my desktop rig: one is an older one rated for SATA II and the other one is SATA III. The SATA III HDD is noticeably snapper than the SATA II HDD, even when I ran them in a SATA II dock. Besides, the OP already has the HDDs; you just can't buy SATA II HDDs anymore unless they have been collecting dust on a shelf somewhere.
     
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post

The Startech you linked is too new to know if it's any good or not. Startech products tend to be hit or miss. I have a couple of cute little Startech 2.5" docks I love; the only problem I ever had with them was one of the USB2.0 Y-cables went bad (I had fun finding a replacement; I now have a few spares just in case). However, I've seen both good and bad reviews on other Startech products.

Since you already have drives, take a look at this Vantec enclosure. This unit gets excellent reviews; the only serious, credible complaint I saw on this one was a bright blue LED on the front. Fortunately, the enclosure comes with the power lead for the LED disconnected. I suspect that you could just leave it disconnected as long as you make sure it can't short out (I deal with bright LEDs by taking a black Sharpie felt pen to them to dim them). The enclosure works with both USB 3.0 and e-SATA and is hot swappable so, to spin it down, you should be able to just kill the power (it has a power switch although it's a bit awkward to get at if using the stand instead of using it horizontally).

I actually looked at that and was originally considering it... until I noticed its only eSATA II and someone in here also said it doesn't let your drive spin down unless you turn it off, which is pretty much the same thing as just unplugging it. frown.gif I shouldn't have to manually make an enclosure spin the drive down, it should do it on its own.

I've noticed some people complaining that Vantec has an obsession with LEDs. I hate computer and electronics products that act like attention whores. HEY LOOK AT ME!!!! *BLINK BLINK* LOOK AT ME!! HEY OVER HERE!!! *LIGHTS UP ENTIRE ROOM* Tired of so many companies making cases, parts, and accessories that do that. There's even a car now... I think a kia, hyundai, or a scion, that has speakers that does that. *sigh*

I'll comment more later, for now going to bed.
Edited by Drahadis - 3/27/14 at 1:12am
post #6 of 17
For small writes I believe 6.0Gb/s can actually help a bit for mechanical drives. It allows faster writing to the cache, and once it's in the Cache it can then write to the disk as fast as possible form then on, but the effect will almost go unnoticed since 3.0Gb/s is already fast enough.

Really, 3.0Gb/s is quite fast. With no overhead, 3.0Gb/s directly translates into 375MB/s..
No current spinner on the market can saturate that and since Cache sizes are usually only as high as 64MB, which is a 6th of the per-second speed from Sata III you're not going to really see much improvement.

Since you're only looking to use this for spinning disks, I wouldn't worry so much about the Sata III 6.0Gb/s speed unless you're planning to fit an SSD in the enclosure in a later date with a 2.5" -> 3.5" mount or something. The only important thing to look for in external enclosures is USB3.0 if you're going with USB, because USB2.0 is so incredibly slow it will hold back almost any mechanical drive purchased in the past 10 years.


Just what kind of data are you backing up? And how much? If you're afraid of using a hot swap bay due to handling the bare drives, maybe an SSD would be a good option for you. They're quite durable and forgiving of mistakes, and some don't even have the circuitry exposed making it quite hard to screw them up.
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post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drahadis View Post

I actually looked at that and was originally considering it... until I noticed its only eSATA II and someone in here also said it doesn't let your drive spin down unless you turn it off, which is pretty much the same thing as just unplugging it. frown.gif I shouldn't have to manually make an enclosure spin the drive down, it should do it on its own.

I've noticed some people complaining that Vantec has an obsession with LEDs. I hate computer and electronics products that act like attention whores. HEY LOOK AT ME!!!! *BLINK BLINK* LOOK AT ME!! HEY OVER HERE!!! *LIGHTS UP ENTIRE ROOM* Tired of so many companies making cases, parts, and accessories that do that. There's even a car now... I think a kia, hyundai, or a scion, that has speakers that does that. *sigh*

I'll comment more later, for now going to bed.

Dang but you're getting particular! Reread what I wrote. To spin the drive down, just turn the darned thing off. I did that for years with an old WD external drive by just ejecting the drive in the computer and pulling the power plug from the drive; the Vantec is hot swappable so no ejecting is necessary and it has an ON/OFF switch. Having an external drive automagically spin down is overrated. You won't save enough power to be noticeable nor will it make any noticeable difference in HDD life. Since you are using these for backups, you shouldn't keep them HDD connected to your computer anyway unless you are actually reading from or writing to them to avoid potential data loss from accidental deletion, malware infection, etc.

I already told you two ways to deal with the LED; just don't connect the stupid thing or take a Sharpie to it. Again, reread what I wrote, all of it!

Only the e-SATA connection will be at SATA II. For most applications, that would be plenty fast for a HDD. Unless you have a SATA III e-SATA port on your computer (many are only SATA II), you won't gain much, if any. The USB 3.0 is rated for up to 5.0 Gb/s but you probably won't get that kind of speed in actual use, no matter what kind of an enclosure you use. A USB 2.0 connection is the one that will really throttle an external HDD and should be avoided.

Speaking about backups, you are to be commended for wanting to backup your data now instead of waiting until after you have a catastrophic data loss but two months between backups is a rather long time. Keep in mind the that any data you generate since a previous backup will be subject to loss until you do get it backed up. I do daily data backups onto external drives (actually bare internal HDDs that I plug into an internal dock in my computer) using FreeFileSync. Using FreeFileSync is much faster, safer (if using the versioning feature), and easier than just copying data over to a backup drive. I just plug in the backup drive, open up FreeFileSync, and let it do all the work; the amount of time it takes can vary from a minute or two to no more than half an hour, depending on the amount of new or changed data that needs backing up (I have dumped as much as 20GB a day onto my computer but, typically, it's only a GB or less); cloning my data drives to external drives would take three hours or more no matter how much or how little data had changed. By doing my backups daily, I reduce the amount of data I could lose if something goes pear shaped in my computer dramatically.
Edited by Lady Fitzgerald - 3/27/14 at 7:29am
     
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Lady Fitzgerald, not to be rude.... but when you're done telling me what I should want, could you please read the OP? lol I'm not suddenly saying I want eSATA III and an enclosure that spins down an idle drive, its right there in the OP.

Yeah, I have a new PC with SATA III that can be changed to hot swap. I just have to run a cable a PCI back plate insert with eSATA III sockets. I'm exploring the option of getting an eSATA III expansion card while still looking for a PCI eSATA III back plate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post

Technically, that is true however, in the real world, SATA III HDDs work faster and have a larger buffer. I have two 2TB WD Blacks in my desktop rig: one is an older one rated for SATA II and the other one is SATA III. The SATA III HDD is noticeably snapper than the SATA II HDD, even when I ran them in a SATA II dock. Besides, the OP already has the HDDs; you just can't buy SATA II HDDs anymore unless they have been collecting dust on a shelf somewhere.

Exactly what I've read on a few other places. I like snappy, and that's exactly why I'm trying to get an eSATA III enclosure. biggrin.gif

However, there is one mechanical drive I've heard of that can take good advantage of SATA III. The new Seagate Constellation drives. They're supposed to be some of the fastest SATA III mechanical drives you can get, from what I hear. 128 cache! They're an enterprise drive and a little bit spendy, but if they really are that fast it sounds like its worth the cost. Probably great for gaming and still cost far less than SSD drives per GB. I don't know why I haven't seen any reviews on them. Be nice if someone did that. I might end up upgrading to one if I want a bigger drive for fast media and gaming. SSD still costs way too much per GB. That's why I'm not using one for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CravinR1 View Post

Mechanical drives dont saturate Sata 2 controllers, so sata 3 are not really needed.

Can I ask you to back that up? Is there a review somewhere that compares the speed difference of two of the same drives, with one on SATA III and one on SATA II? It needs to be a modern quality SATA III drive though, like a WD SATA III 7200 Black 3.5, or something that's comparable or better. I'd really like to know what the time difference is when writing something like 500 Gigs in a real world situation. If its true there really isn't a difference, I'll get a SATA II enclosure. smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post

The Startech you linked is too new to know if it's any good or not. Startech products tend to be hit or miss. I have a couple of cute little Startech 2.5" docks I love; the only problem I ever had with them was one of the USB2.0 Y-cables went bad (I had fun finding a replacement; I now have a few spares just in case). However, I've seen both good and bad reviews on other Startech products.

I just contacted Startech, and they're sending me pictures of the unit and how the assembly works, with a closeup of the power adapter. I also asked him if he can find out if it spins the drive down while idle and he said he'd find out

I also told them they should contact overclock.net or any good hardware review website about testing this new eSATA III product with quality, speed, and thermal tests since it seems to be the only single drive eSATA III enclosure available.
Edited by Drahadis - 3/27/14 at 3:02pm
post #9 of 17
I give up. You are overthinking all of this. Several people have given you good advice and you keep choosing to ignore it. Good luck!

Btw, you will be disappointed with an expansion card. What little gain you might get will be more than offset by longer boot times.
     
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drahadis View Post

Can I ask you to back that up? Is there a review somewhere that compares the speed difference of two of the same drives, with one on SATA III and one on SATA II? It needs to be a modern quality SATA III drive though, like a WD SATA III 7200 Black 3.5, or something that's comparable or better. I'd really like to know what the time difference is when writing something like 500 Gigs in a real world situation. If its true there really isn't a difference, I'll get a SATA II enclosure. smile.gif

SATA II Speeds
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#SATA_revision_2.0_-_3_Gbit.2Fs_-_300_MB.2Fs

Average HDD Speeds
100-200MB/s

SATA II is well beyond fast enough to not limit the drive.
SATA III Is simply unnecessary.

Writing the whole size of the drive multiple times over, the difference from SATA II to SATA III may only be a couple of seconds after hours and hours of constant use, and even that's not guaranteed.


SATA III for external enclosures is just marketing mostly. People see 6.0Gb/s and assume it's twice the speed, when it's actually almost 100% useless. Most drives that aren't high performance or new will do just fine with even SATA I speeds.
Edited by Shadow11377 - 3/27/14 at 3:34pm
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