Category >> HDD External Storage
OCZ RevoDrive 350 PCIe Solid State Drive 08-04-2014

Today we have for review OCZ's latest RevoDrive 350. With the new model number falling in line with other recent OCZ offerings such as the Vertex 460 or Vector 150, the RevoDrive 350 marks OCZ's fourth generation PCIe-based SSD. Featuring dual or quad SandForce SF-2282 controllers (depending on capacity), the RevoDrive 350 offers up to an advertised 1800MB/s read and 1700MB/s write speeds and an astounding 135,000 to 140,000 IOPS. Utilizing the same 19nm Toshiba toggle flash found in OCZ's other recent offerings, the RevoDrive 350 sports a three year warranty with up to 50GB/day of host writes.

OCZ 240GB Vertex 460 solid state drive 04-14-2014

One of the first announced products to come about as a result of Toshiba acquiring OCZ was the Vertex 460, a marriage of OCZ's Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller and Toshiba 19nm toggle flash memory. Advertising up to 545MB/s sequential reads and 525MB/s sequential writes and from 90,000 to 95,000 4K random IOPS, it appears as if OCZ is right back at the top of their game in the SSD market. Available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities with a three year warranty, the Vertex 460 joins the Vector 150 in OCZ's new lineup of consumer SSDs utilizing Toshiba's toggle NAND flash memory.

Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD 09-09-2013

As most PC enthusiasts know, the right choice of storage media - particularly for the operating system - can make or break the entire build. Earlier this year we reviewed the Vector and Vertex 3.20, two of OCZ's latest SSD offerings and judging by the Kingston data sheet their HyperX 3K looks to bring an equal challenge to the table. Touting 555MB/s sequential reads and 510MB/s writes, the HyperX 3K 240GB SSD offers impressive performance courtesy of the Sandforce 2 controller... all with a three year warranty.

iStarUSA BPU-340 and BPN-DE HDD Enclosures 06-11-2013

The BPU-340 and the BPN-DE series that we are taking a look at today are two different hard drive enclosures that allow for easy hot swapping of hard drives in and out of a chassis. These are quite simple units in design but offer functionality that few vendors out there provide.

ioSafe N2 NAS / RAID Storage Solution 05-29-2013

The ioSafe N2 is one of the newest ioSafe devices that build on an already popular concept: robust and resilient data storage backed by a data protection service. This model combines a fire, water and EMI proof chassis with the power of the Synology DSM allowing users to quickly connect the storage to a gigabit network and utilize it over a LAN. It also includes data recovery protection up to $5,000 out of the box.

OCZ Vertex 3.20 240Gb Solid State Drive 05-15-2013

The key difference this time around, however, is the selection of MLC NAND. As the name indicates, the Vertex 3.20 uses 20nm MLC NAND compared to the larger 25nm / 34nm variants found on the original Vertex 3. It's part of a market-wide push for smaller flash across the board. That aside, everything else under the hood remains virtually the same although LSI now owns SandForce.

AData 500GB USB 3.0 DashDrive Elite 04-04-2013

The item that we have for review today is one of the smallest and lightest external hard drives available, the ADATA DashDrive Elite HE720. Inside its attractive brushed steel skin lies 500GB of storage, accessible via a fast USB 3.0 powered connection. With a size and weight less than most smartphones, the DashDrive Elite easily fits in your pocket or travel bag and with only one cable to worry with, you're not going to be tied to a socket either.

OCZ Vector 256GB Solid State Drive 02-11-2013

Today we take a look at a new Solid State Drive offering from OCZ, the Vector Series SATA III SSD. The Vector joins the Vertex models in OCZ's High-Performance category drives, touting a 7mm low profile design, Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller and either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB capacities. Like the Vertex 4 that Shawn reviewed last year, the Vector Series touts an impressive 5-year warranty. Performance looks to be on par with the Vertex as well, with over 500MB/s claimed sequential read/write speeds (on the larger capacity models) and around 100,000 random 4k IOPS.

OCZ Vertex 4 128GB Solid State Drive 06-18-2012

The Everest 2 platform comes as a result of OCZ’s acquisition of Indilinx in early 2011 but it isn’t the first time we have seen the Indilinx brand stamped on a Vertex drive. The company launched the original Vertex SSD as one of the pioneering flash storage solutions for mainstream users with an Indilinx controller under the hood. OCZ jumped on the SandForce bandwagon with the Vertex 2 and Vertex 3 but have come full circle back to an Indilinx solution with the Vertex 4... well, sort of. But we’ll get to that in just a bit.

OCZ RevoDrive 3 PCI-Express SSD 12-05-2011

The 240GB sample that we have features blistering performance rated at up to 1000MB/s read and 900MB/s write with 130,000 IOPS. This is 260MB/s read and 180MB/s write faster than the RevoDrive X2, a card that included four SandForce controllers to obtain such speeds. The RevoDrive 3 is able to trump those numbers with only two controllers thanks to new advances across the board.

SilverStone DC01 Network Attached Storage device 09-25-2011

A few years ago network attached storage (NAS) devices were only targeted to businesses and enthusiasts, but in the age of digitized music, photos, and movies, most people find themselves wanting a centralized way to manage all of their digital content. SilverStone has come up with the DC01 network attached storage device to fill this niche. With powerful features and simple management, SilverStone has designed a product to please both enthusiasts as well as non-tech savvy consumers.

OCZ Technology Agility 3 240GB Solid State Drive 06-14-2011

The SSD technology of today is worlds better than what we had in 2009. Better understanding of the technology, mature controllers, Windows 7, SATA 6Gb/sec and even the PCI-e bus have all advanced things to a point where SSDs are coming close to mainstream adoption. Pricing is also much more attractive as well as evident by the drive we are looking at today, OCZ's Agility 3 240GB unit. The Agility 3 is one of three new SATA 6Gb/sec SSDs and is classified as a high-performance drive alongside the higher-end Vertex 3.

MUKii TransImp X3 Plus Hard Drive Enclosure 06-03-2011

The MUKii TransImp X3 Plus is one of many new USB 3.0 hard drive enclosures coming to the market. The TransImp X3 Plus is no ordinary enclosure and MUKii has designed the unit with a few bells and whistles that separate it from other enclosures on the market. Some of those features include a front lit LCD display that shows real time I/O rates, an attractive black aluminum case and a small but effective set of software tools.

Thermaltake Max 5G External Enclosure 03-04-2011

Today we are taking a look at the Max 5G from Thermaltake. The Max 5G is taking a different approach to the external drive enclosures. Where most others seem to aim at making the enclosure as compact as possible, the Max 5G is adding additional cooling in for good measure. This should have an impact on long-term drive health if warm hard drives concern you. The Max 5G comes with dual 80mm fans and blue LED highlights in addition to its USB 3.0 connectivity.

OCZ Vertex 3 Solid State Drive Performance Preview 02-24-2011

What we didn't know at the time (although assumed all along) was that OCZ was also working on consumer level Vertex 3 drives based on a brand new SandForce controller, the SF-2281. The next-generation SandForce controller in OCZ's Vertex 3 consumer grade drive operates across the SATA 6 Gbps interface and is reportedly good for up to 550MB/s read, 525MB/s write at up to 60K IOPS 4k Write. Today we will be taking a look at a beta engineering sample of the new consumer grade Vertex 3 SSD in a 240GB capacity.

OCZ RevoDrive X2 PCI-E Solid State Drive 02-14-2011

The RevoDrive X2 is essentially an original RevoDrive with a daughter card piggybacked on top. This daughter card adds two additional SandForce controllers and room for more memory chips, bringing the total controller count to four. A RAID0 configuration manages the four controllers and memory chips, resulting in what OCZ proclaims is a blazing fast PCIe SSD solution. We were pretty impressed with the original RevoDrive and can only wonder if the follow-up product is equally as impressive.

OCZ 120GB Vertex 2 SATA II 3.5 Inch SSD 12-21-2010

OCZ's latest series of performance SSDs, the Vertex 2 and Agility 2, both make use of the SandForce 1200 controller, and have proven themselves to be very fast performers in our reviews. Despite more and more mainstream users adopting SSDs for their desktop systems, the majority of drives continue to be manufactured in the 2.5" notebook format. When it comes to flash memory drives, space is less of an issue and the 2.5" size is more versatile. As OCZ points out however, a 3.5" drive has a lower cost per gigabyte and is more easily integrated into desktop and server applications without the need for adapters. They now offer both their Vertex 2 and Agility 2 drives in a 3.5" format, and it is the former that we will be reviewing today.

ioSafe SoloPRO 1TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive 12-13-2010

IoSafe has targeted those home and small business users who need a sizable amount of backup space, and can't afford to lose their data to disasters such as fire or flood. Last year Shawn torture-tested their Solo 500GB USB 2.0 product which passed with flying colors. The only complaint he had was the relatively slow USB 2.0 access speeds. For this year IoSafe releases their SoloPRO version offering the same robust fire and flood protection, with higher capacities and new USB 3.0 interface.

OCZ RevoDrive PCI-E Solid State Drive 11-15-2010

The idea of storage over an expansion slot isn't new, as RAM-based hard drives have been around for several years, although popularity has been virtually non-existent and prices were astronomical. OCZ has rejuvenated this idea recently with the release of their Z-Drives and RevoDrive PCI-Express solid state drives. Today we will be taking a look at the latter to see if it's a better option than a traditional 2.5” SSD for desktop environments.

Mukii USB 3.0 Devices 10-15-2010

Today we are looking at two USB 3.0 devices from Mukii. One is a SATA/IDE to USB 3.0 adapter and the other is a hard drive dock with USB 3.0 interface. Mukii is a manufacturer I haven't heard of before, but they have a variety of products listed on their website. They literally offer everything from drive dock adapters to external drive enclosures and all things between.

Thermaltake BlacX 5G HDD Dock 09-29-2010

At the 2008 CES, Thermaltake introduced a novel idea in the category of external storage, the hard drive dock. The BlacX dock supported either 2½" or 3½" SATA drives via a hot-swap, plug-in interface and featured USB 2.0 connectivity. It was an instant success. Although many other manufacturers would soon develop their own versions of the external drive dock, Thermaltake continued to refine their original design with subsequent models that added support for a 4-port USB hub, dual drives and finally eSATA. The item we have for review today represents the latest in the evolution of Thermaltake's drive dock, the BlacX 5G.

Patriot Gauntlet PCGT25S USB 3.0 2.5 Inch Enclosure 09-01-2010

Inside of the box we find a USB 3.0 cable, a USB power adapter, instruction manual, software, and the enclosure itself. The Gauntlet features a very nice black aluminum finish. It has a bit of a heft to it, but it really feels solid in the hand. I suspect it could take quite a beating and still protect the drive inside - well, more so with a solid state drive than a traditional spinning disk. The top of the enclosure displays the Gauntlet logo with the Patriot logo on the front.

OCZ 60Gb Agility 2 SATA II 2.5 SSD 08-02-2010

One of the leading pioneers bringing SSD technology to the mainstream marketplace has been OCZ, and the item we have for review today is their Agility 2 drive based on the SandForce 1200 controller. The SandForce-based Agility 2 replaces the previous generation Indilinx-controlled Agility that Rutledge reviewed last year. Based on specifications, the Agility 2 is very similar to OCZ's Vertex 2, like the 50Gb model that Shawn had a look at last month. OCZ offers these models in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 40/50/100/200/400Gb on the standard drives to 60/90/120/180/240/480Gb on their Extended Capacity versions.

iStar BPU-2535v2 HDD-SSD 2.5 to 3.5 Adapter 07-31-2010

The product we have for review today, the BPU-2535v2, allows you to install up to two 2½" SATA hard drives or solid state drives into an external 3½" drive bay. The drive slots are hot-swappable and feature key locks to prevent someone from walking off with your drives. With the growing popularity of SSDs and their frequent use in desktop machines, which are not traditionally setup for 2½" drive mounting, adapters like the BPU-2535 are needed to provide a solid method of installation. The fact that this iStar unit can fit not just one but two 2½" drives into one 3½" bay will be sure to please those enthusiasts who are using dual SSDs in a RAID configuration.

Vantec NexStar SATA to USB 3.0 Adapter 07-29-2010

Why is USB 3.0 a big deal? Well to some it might not be... yet. It is rather new, so not many machines out there have it. If your machine doesn't have it, providing you have the room in your case, you can get an adapter card. USB 2.0 has a peak speed of 480MB/sec while USB 3.0 has a peak speed of 5Gb/sec. Those numbers speak for themselves. In this case Vantec revised their SATA to USB 2.0 adapter that connects to the back of a drive.

OCZ Vertex 2 50GB Solid State Drive 07-12-2010

The drive we have for evaluation today is the OCZ Vertex 2 50GB, the successor to the popular Indilinx-based Vertex we looked at a year ago. As you may have guessed, the Vertex 2 uses the SandForce SF-1200 which is now used in several other drives from other manufacturers besides OCZ. But what makes the OCZ drive unique is a custom firmware from SandForce that is optimized for maximum IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second).

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 500GB Portable Hard Drive 07-08-2010

USB 2.0 is most popular due to wide compatibility but transfer speeds are slow in today's standard. Other options like FireWire, eSATA and the recently introduced USB 3.0 offer much more bandwidth but of course many computers don't support these various interfaces. Until now, the tradeoff has been speed versus compatibility. But with Seagate's new FreeAgent GoFlex portable hard drive, you can get the best of both worlds. The GoFlex drive ships with a standard USB 2.0 interface but what makes this drive unique is the ability to remove the interface and replace it with a complete different interface.

Crucial 128GB C300 RealSSD SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive 06-23-2010

As NAND Flash technology has continued to develop and Solid State Drive manufacturers push the envelope of controller speed, we have seen performance figures that approach, and even bump against, the threshold of SATA 3Gb/s bandwidth limitations. Thus the need for a new standard, SATA 6Gb/s, is making its way into design specifications of new hardware. However to date there has been only one solid state srive manufacturer to bring a SATA 6Gb/s product to market, Crucial with their C300 RealSSD series. Join me as I take a closer look at the Crucial 128Gb C300 RealSSD SATA 6Gb/s drive.

SilverStone HDDBOOST 06-16-2010

SilverStone produces a variety of products from cases and power supplies to coolers and storage enclosures. With the HDDBOOST, the basic concept is that we are combining the storage capacity of a traditional hard drive with the speed capabilities of a solid-state drive. That alone would be a good reason to look into the HDDBOOST but furthermore this device is targeted at users who have an existing system and would like a speed increase but don't want to reinstall the operating system and start fresh. SilverStone claims that an existing host drive can see an increase in performance of up to 70%.

Western Digital My Passport Essential 320GB External Drive 05-30-2010

The next thing you notice if you are familiar with previous versions is the lack of a rubber flap over the MicroUSB port. It looks like they did away with it when converting from USB to MicroUSB. The MicroUSB port is smaller and recessed and there is a small pinhole LED light on the front to show activity on the drive.

Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue 64GB Solid State Drive 05-28-2010

We have looked at quite a few budget and mainstream solid state drives over the past year or so from the likes of OCZ Technology, Patriot Memory and Transcend. At first glance this may seem a bit odd to the casual observer when you consider that none of these companies are known for producing traditional mass storage drives. But as we know, SSDs are comprised of physical memory chips which is exactly what all of these companies specialize in. Even so, it just seemed unnatural to discuss this new storage medium without the presence of storage giants like Western Digital and Seagate. Just over two months ago, however, Western Digital silenced my concerns and introduced their first consumer-grade solid state drive, the SiliconEdge Blue in capacities of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. Today we will be taking a look at the 64GB model and see how it compares to other similarly-priced products.

Vantec NexStar 3 SuperSpeed 2.5-inch USB 3.0 Enclosure 05-26-2010

Shawn just recently finished up the review of the Vantec NexStar 3 SuperSpeed 3.5-inch USB 3.0 Enclosure, and today I have the exact same product but in a 2.5-inch frame. This enclosure is sized for smaller notebook drives and designed for fast storage on the go. With up to 4800Mb/s theoretical transfer rate, USB 3.0 should be perfect for a solid state drive even, and whereas the 3.5-inch enclosure doesn't quite fit an SSD correctly, this 2.5-inch version will. Not to mention how much easier it will be to carry around. Immediately we can tell from the pictures that the 2.5-inch version looks nearly identical to its bigger brother, with the same mirror finish and chrome trim, gloss black color and blue LED lighting. The aluminum frame is of course smaller to accommodate the notebook drives, but other than that it's hard to tell the two apart.

OCZ Enyo USB 3.0 Portable Solid State Drive 05-24-2010

While at CES earlier this year we stopped by OCZ Technology's suite for a look at what they had planned for the coming year. The focus of their display was the emerging solid state drive market with several new and updated lines on display. While there we were also shown a prototype of their upcoming USB 3.0 portable solid state drive which was nameless at the time. Preliminary read / write speeds looked promising and the drive itself was encased in a sleek brushed aluminum enclosure. That prototype would eventually be called Enyo and we have one of the first production samples for review here today.

Vantec NexStar 3 SuperSpeed 3.5-inch USB 3.0 Enclosure 05-17-2010

The hype is finally over regarding USB 3.0 and we are now beginning to see compatible devices trickle into the marketplace. Most new motherboards like the recently reviewed ASUS P7P55D-E Deluxe and MSI 890GXM-G65 come with native USB 3.0 support but even those with older boards can take advantage of faster speeds using a USB 3.0 PCI-e card. USB 3.0 flash drives are few and far between at this point, but hard drive enclosures like the Vantec NexStar 3 SuperSpeed 3.5" we have for review today are readily available from multiple manufacturers.

Computer Geeks 2.5-inch USB 3.0 Drive Kit 05-07-2010

So far this year we have tested several USB 3.0 devices including a USB 3.0 drive dock and two USB 3.0 external enclosures. Today we have a USB 3.0 kit for review from Computer Geeks that is comprised of a USB 3.0 ExpressCard, USB 3.0 enclosure and a 2.5" SATA drive. By combining the interface card, enclosure and drive into one bundle, Geeks offers a complete package upgrade for those laptop users on the go who need fast, affordable storage. Join me as I take a closer look at the Computer Geeks USB 3.0 SuperSpeed 2.5" External Hard Drive Kit.

Sunbeamtech USB 3.0 Airbox External Enclosure 05-05-2010

Sunbeamtech has released a new USB 3.0 version of its popular Airbox 3.5" External SATA Enclosure which we have for review today. In addition to the Airbox, Sunbeamtech also offers a 2.5"/3.5" USB 3.0 docking station and a dual-port USB 3.0 PCI-E 1x expansion card. The Airbox USB 3.0 enclosure is identical to their eSATA version with the exception of the interface. It is an aluminum body, single 3.5" drive external enclosure featuring an 8cm blue LED cooling fan and detachable stand for optional vertical orientation.

OCZ Solid 2 Solid State Drive 05-03-2010

Today we will be looking at the successor to the original Solid, the Solid 2. The Solid 2 is one of two drives currently listed under OCZ’s value family; the other being the Onyx which is their bottom line entry level unit. While this drive won’t feature any of the cutting edge advancements seen in enterprise level drives, it will be interesting to see what has trickled down to the value line over the course of a year.

Kingwin DockMaster USB 3.0 HDD Dock 04-22-2010

Kingwin has added three USB 3.0 devices to its product roster this year, two SATA enclosures (one 2½" and one 3½") and the DockMaster SATA HDD dock we have for review today. The DM-2535U3 is a single bay drive dock that accepts either 2½" or 3½" SATA drives. It features USB 3.0 connectivity for bandwidth up to 5Gb/s and plug and play capability. Facing competition from an overabundance of USB 2.0 drive enclosures and the already super fast eSATA interface, can USB 3.0 really surpass the popularity and speed of existing devices?

Patriot Torqx 64 GB SSD 02-24-2010

SSDs still may be a few years away from mainstream acceptance due to the high cost of ownership versus a spinning drive, but for the enthusiast looking to round out their system or someone wanting to give their notebook a kick in the pants, there is no single upgrade that will do that better than a solid state drive. Today we will be taking a look at a drive from Patriot Memory, the 64 GB Torqx.

Computer Geeks eSATA Enclosure HE-2521B 02-20-2010

External drives are indispensable when it comes to transporting large amounts of data or having a means of portable storage for backup. There's no doubt that USB flash memory drives are hard to beat when it comes to small and lightweight, but sometimes they just don't offer enough capacity. The external drive enclosure we have today from Computer Geeks is a very small unit designed for a 2½" SATA notebook drive, and features two methods for connecting to a computer, either through USB 2.0 or eSATA. As an added bonus it supports powered eSATA, a new standard for supplying operating voltage for the unit over the same cable that's used for the data stream so a separate AC adapter is not required.

Vantec eSATA ExpressCard UGT-ST450CB 02-17-2010

Many years ago it was quite common to find notebook computers sporting PCMCIA cards. If you wanted to add a Token Ring, Ethernet or Modem to your laptop, you had to buy a PC Card that plugged into one of the available slots in the side of the chassis. Even after these devices began to become integrated, there would be new technologies emerge that required purchasing an add-in card, although the need for such expandability slowly waned as USB became the popular choice for external peripherals. With the advent of SSD technology and eSATA interfaces, it has become easy to saturate a measly 60MB/s USB 2.0 connection. Obviously a faster method of transfer is needed and USB 3.0 just hasn't materialized as quickly as we hoped. Thus for review today we have the Vantec Dual eSATA ExpressCard.

Thermaltake BlacX Duet HDD Docking Station 11-19-2009

The BlacX Duet we have on hand today is the third in the BlacX series of hard drive docking stations from Thermaltake. We first saw the BlacX at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show and got our hands on a review sample a month later. We came away from that review very impressed with the concept and implementation, although USB-only transfer left us wanting more. The second coming of the BlacX, dubbed the SE version, featured a 4-port USB hub but still failed to deliver eSATA transfer capability. With the latest release of the BlacX, Thermaltake has done away with the 4-port USB hub, added a second slot that allows for two drives to be mounted simultaneously and finally added eSATA compatibility. This is looking more like the BlacX we hoped for nearly two years ago.

Vantec NexStar Universal Storage Adapter 10-18-2009

As a computer service technician, I know for certainty that having the right tools for the job is essential to a speedy and profitable repair. Little gizmos like power supply testers and a digital multimeter can help to rule-out or diagnose problems in a fraction of the time. One problem I have always run into is testing hard drives, as you usually need another system to test them out in. This usually leads to a congested workbench, crammed with testing systems for IDE, SATA, and laptops for the smaller form factors. Today we take a look at a solution to this problem offered by Vantec, the NexStar Universal Storage Adapter.

ioSafe Solo 500 GB Rugged USB External Hard Drive 08-26-2009

If you spend a lot of time working on your computer, whether for business or pleasure, there is little doubt that you have amassed a great deal of invaluable data. Sure, you can take steps to prevent data loss such as backing up your information onto multiple drives, an external drive or even burning data to an optical disc. But these measures typically only protect you against hardware failure or possibly theft. What would happen if your house caught fire and burned to the ground, or a flood passed through and totally destroyed all of your home’s contents?

OCZ Agility 120GB MLC Solid State Drive 08-23-2009

As both popularity for SSDs and development of their technology grow, manufacturers are beginning to release their second generation SSD product lines. Today we have for review OCZ's second generation "mainstream" SSD, the OCZ Agility 120GB SSD. Back in May, OCIA.net site owner Shawn Knight had a chance to look at the first generation of mainstream SSDs from OCZ. That mainstream SSD, the Apex, performed exceedingly well for its price-point. Today, we'll see how substantially SSD consumers benefit from the development of technology over time.

2x OCZ Vertex 30 GB Solid State Drives in RAID 0 07-06-2009

Users interested in a blazing fast RAID0 SSD setup but don't require that much storage have other options, however. Another popular line of SSDs from OCZ is the Vertex, which starts out at only 30 GB versus the Apex entry level model at 60 GB. The Vertex is categorized as a performance solid state drive and although it uses the same multi-level cell (MLC) technology as the Apex, there are some notable upgrades inside, including the Indilinx SSD controller and the inclusion of 64 MB of onboard cache. The Vertex is more expensive per GB than the Apex, but the dual 30 GB configuration we will be tinkering with today will only set you back $300, half the price of the dual Apex drives we used... but only 25% of the capacity.

Kingwin EZ-Dock 2 HDD Docking Station 06-29-2009

Late last year we reviewed the Kingwin EZ-Dock hard drive docking station, where it earned our Seal of Approval for its features and price. Kingwin has followed up the original EZ-Dock with its sequel, the EZ-Dock 2. In addition to the 2 in the model name signifying the second in series of hard drive docking stations, it could also be construed to refer to the fact that it now supports not just one, but two drives operating either independently or in conjunction with each other.

KingSpec 32GB 2.5 PATA SSD 06-03-2009

There are a multitude of aging notebooks and laptops out there, such as my IBM ThinkPad T40, that are incapable of being upgraded to take advantage of the latest SATA hardware. With a 1.5GHz Pentium M processor and 1GB of memory, the old T40 has system specs similar to the more modern netbooks that have become increasingly popular of late. But with a hard drive that's five years old and only 60GB in size, the T40 gets quickly left behind in the performance department, as it chugs along with slow read/write speeds and high access times. Can installing a current, leading-edge SSD sporting the old PATA interface breathe new life into this 5-year old paperweight? Join me as I aim to find out!

2x OCZ Apex 120 GB Solid State Drives in RAID 0 05-04-2009

Taking all of this into consideration, most users simply can't afford / stomach the pain to spend $800 for only 64 GB of storage capacity regardless of what kind of memory it uses. But, these same users also desire something that is quick and won't cause stuttering / pauses when used as an OS drive, a common problem with early generation SSDs. For those that fall into this category, OCZ created the Apex Series of solid state drives. Utilizing an internal RAID 0 configuration to help eliminate poor performance and stuttering, can the OCZ Apex live up to our expectations of what a midrange MLC-based SSD should deliver?

WD Caviar Black 1TB Hard Drive 04-16-2009

It is the WD Caviar Black 1TB drive I will be taking a look at today. The Black series, in addition to offering the greatest performance of Western Digital's consumer lineup of Caviar drives, also includes the same five year warranty as their more expensive Enterprise class. Sporting a class-standard SATA 3.0Gbps interface, 7200rpm spindle speed and a whopping 32Mb of cache, the WD1001FALS represents Western Digital's top of the line consumer grade hard drive.

OCZ Solid Series SSD Drive 02-27-2009

When it comes to Solid State Drives, the old adage holds true... speed costs, how fast do you want to go? OCZ's own SSDs such as their Core series of drives, have often garnered praise for their fast read/write times, but like other brands have been priced out of reach of the average consumer. To combat this OCZ has released their Solid Series, a value line of SSD drives for the masses. The 30Gb model they sent over for review today can be found for right around $100. But at that price can it live up to the OCZ name? Or is it merely a glorified USB thumb drive in disguise?

Kingwin Big Drive KM-TB235 RAID Enclosure 02-15-2009

As a follow-up to our EZ-Dock, Kingwin sent over the newest model in their external drive line-up, aptly named the Big Drive. The Big Drive is a dual SATA RAID enclosure, supporting up to 2Tb volumes using JBOD, RAID1, RAID0 and Safe33/50 configurations. It can be connected via USB 2.0 or eSATA interfaces and supports the latest Windows and Mac operating systems.

OCZ Throttle eSATA Drive 8GB 02-10-2009

Today, we have for review one of OCZ’s newer releases, the OCZ Throttle eSATA Drive. OCZ has been producing removable storage for a number of years now, and has, at long last, released an eSATA thumb drive. Promising read speeds of up to 90MB/s and write speeds of up to 30MB/s, the Throttle is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

OCZ Gold Series 8GB SDHC Memory Card 01-12-2009

It's been close to two years since we last took a look at a SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) memory card. At that time, SDHC was just beginning to be implemented into consumer devices and thus, support was pretty scarce. Like any new technology, it was only a matter of time before it caught on with the masses. Fast-forward to today, where SDHC has made a successful transition, effectively replacing the older SD format and has become the most popular memory card format. Capacity has also increased, with SDHC cards currently available up to 32GB in size. Today we will be taking a look at a slightly smaller card in the OCZ Gold Series 8GB SDHC Memory Card.

Kingwin EZ-Dock 12-17-2008

Right on the heels of our Sunbeamtech HDD Docking Station review comes another external drive storage product from Kingwin, the EZ-Dock. Although offering similar features to the Sunbeamtech and other units, the EZ-Dock isn't just another copy of the same design. It supports both 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives and can be connected via the USB 2.0 or eSATA interface. It also offers a one-touch backup option that is not available on many of the other docking station brands.

Sunbeamtech SATA HDD Docking Station 12-11-2008

In the months following CES 2008 we have seen a proliferation of hot-swap hard drive docks come to market that all bear such a striking resemblance to the original BlacX that we can only come to the conclusion that Thermaltake is licensing the design. Such is the case with the product we have for review today, the Sunbeamtech HDD Docking Station. Like the original, the Docking Station supports 2.5" and 3.5" SATA hard drives up to 1Tb in size in an easy-to-use hot-swap base connected to the computer via USB. While the original BlacX did not support eSATA, that has since become an added feature and one the Sunbeamtech Docking Station also offers.

Thermaltake VI-ON External USB Drive Enclosure 11-13-2008

The Thermaltake VI-ON offers a couple different flavors, either a USB/eSATA interface or USB-only, and is available in a high gloss black or white. All versions support 3½" SATA drives up to 1TB in size, and feature a SMART active cooling system and embedded drive suspension to reduce vibration and noise. The one we have for review is the black, USB-only model.

Transcend 2.5-Inch 32GB Solid State Drive 08-15-2008

One product category that has grown rapidly in popularity recently is the Solid State Drive or SSD. By using an array of flash memory chips grouped together in a standard-sized enclosure, the SSD offers several benefits over a traditional hard disk drive. For one, they have no moving parts, so they operate completely free of noise. They also produce very little heat, which should make them ideal for use in tight spaces where cooling is a concern, like laptops and other portables. Their greater tolerance for vibration and shock are also a boon for notebook use, as is their lighter weight.

Icy Box IB-3218 Enclosure 08-03-2008

A few months ago I reviewed the Icy Box NAS 4220 dual-drive enclosure from Raidsonic. They've taken the best features of the NAS box and incorporated them into the product we have for review today, the Icy Box IB 3218. Bearing a striking resemblance to the NAS 4220, the IB 3218 uses the same housing and drive mounting mechanism, but without the network interface.

iStar T5F-SS SATA Hard Drive Rack 07-22-2008

iStar originally catered more towards IT professionals and the like, but in recent years, they have started creating products that the average consumer can use on a daily basis. Items such as ATX computer cases, hard drive coolers and external hard drive enclosures are all items now offered by iStar. Today we will be taking a look at one of iStar's new products, the T5F-SS, a mobile hard drive rack for use with any 3.5" SATA drive.

SilverStone TS01 2.5-Inch SATA RFID External HDD Enclosure 07-18-2008

I don't know about you, but I have quite a bit of data that I wouldn't want others to have direct access to. Items such as e-mail archives and financial records could potentially be disastrous in the hands of someone with malicious intent. Those who carry around vital data in external enclosures are even more at risk, as this data is "out and about" quite often and subject to loss or theft. If you fit into either of these categories, SilverStone recently released an external 2.5" hard drive enclosure that uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to encrypt the contents of the drive inside, rendering it useless without the RFID sensor key to unlock it.

Kingwin Elite Series Hard Drive Enclosures 06-05-2008

The team over at Kingwin recently sent word that they would like for us to check out their latest hard drive enclosure, the Elite Series. The Elite Series 3.5" SATA enclosures, built of dual process anodized aluminum, feature a one touch back up system and are USB 2.0 and eSATA compatible. How will this combination of features stack up against the heavy competition already in the marketplace?

Thermaltake BlacX SE Hard Drive Dock 05-29-2008

For testing, I used two programs, HD Tach and HD Tune, to test the write and read speeds of the drive in the dock. For reference purposes, the drive used was a 3.5” Maxtor 320GB, 7200 RPM SATA Drive. During testing, I was curious to see how having USB devices plugged into the hub would affect drive performance as they share the same USB bus to the computer.

Liteon EZ-DUB External CD/DVD Writer 05-28-2008

Lite-On Corporation has been in the optical drive business since 1999 and makes many of the products that OEM system builders use in their computers. But they also sell products in the consumer retail market which are typically priced in the lower end of the scale compared with some of the equivalent models from other major brands. For this reason they're a popular choice for many home builders as well.

Eagle Tech N and I Series HDD Enclosures 05-21-2008

You may have seen some Eagle Tech products while shopping the online e-tailers. They certainly offer some attractive prices, especially their power supplies. But Eagle has a fairly wide selection of gear, from chassis to speakers, power supplies to external storage. Today I have for review two of their hard drive enclosures, the latest N and I series USB attached storage.

Western Digital Caviar GP 1 TB SATA HDD 05-18-2008

As various components become more advanced, they also require more power to operate. According to Western Digital, the average 1 TB hard drive has a power consumption rating greater than 13.5 watts. Western Digital's new GreenPower drive, which we will be looking at here today, claims to shave 4-5 watts over typical drives in the same category. Any power saving is a welcomed addition, but will the drive's performance be hampered to accomplish this?

Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock 05-11-2008

The problem with all earlier forms of removable media is capacity. Even a 16 or 32 gig flash drive can be a little small for some uses, and they are pretty expensive. Think about it, you can pick up a 500 gig HDD for the price of a 16 gig thumb drive, or a 750 gig for the price of a 32 gig thumb drive. For that matter, you could get a RaptorX for the price of the 32 gig flash drive. Today, we will be taking a look at the Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock, an external solution for simple swapping of hard drives.

Sans Digital MobileSTOR MS2UTN+ 04-19-2008

Today I have one of Sans Digital's newer enclosures for review, the MobileSTOR MS2UTN+. Utilizing the SIL 5744 chipset, the MobileSTOR offers the typical dual drive configurations such as JBOD, Spanning (BIG), RAID0 and RAID1, but also something I haven't seen before, SAFE33 and SAFE50.

Thermaltake Muse R-Duo Enclosure 03-25-2008

There are a number of devices Thermaltake offers that you might not be aware of. For example, last month we reviewed a unique data retrieval product from them, the BlacX hard drive dock, which allows users to easily hot-swap SATA drives from a convenient desktop base unit. Today I have another of Thermaltake's newer storage solutions for review, the Muse R-Duo RAID.

Icy Box NAS 4220 Enclosure 03-23-2008

Today I have for review an Icy Box multi-drive NAS device, the IB-NAS4220-B. NAS is short for Network Attached Storage, and unlike a typical external hard drive enclosure which must be connected directly to a host computer in order to access, a NAS device uses a network client to allow access across a shared medium, like Ethernet.

OCZ Rally2 Turbo 8GB Flash Drive 03-03-2008

There are so many thumb drives out there, some fast and some slow, some high capacity and some smaller than a quarter, that it’s really easy to brush them aside and think that those differences don’t really matter. OCZ wants to discourage this kind of a mentality and it shows from their diverse lineup of USB flash drives, from durable to speedy to high capacity. Today we’re going to have a look at the OCZ Rally2 Turbo 8GB USB flash drive, which promises to provide impressive speeds (up to 35MB/s read) while maintaining high capacity (available in 4GB and 8GB modules).

Rosewill RX353-S BLK USB eSATA HDD Enclosure 02-15-2008

The Rosewill RX353-S BLK is a SATA drive enclosure that offers both USB 2.0 and the latest eSATA interfaces. The aluminum case accepts any single 3½" SATA drive, either SATA150 or 300, with support for NCQ and up to 1TB of capacity. With the USB 2.0 connection, transfer rates of up to 60MB/s are possible and 300MB/s with eSATA, depending on the drive used.

Thermaltake BlacX USB Hard Drive Docking Station 02-08-2008

Thermaltake took note of this and created a product that really stood out at the show, a hard drive docking station known as the BlacX. The idea behind this product is so simple and yet, so ingenious that I am shocked that nobody else has thought of it yet. Simply put, the BlacX is a USB 2.0 hot-swappable 2.5" and 3.5" SATA docking station that accepts all hard drives up to 1TB in size.

Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB 01-12-2008

With drives as large as 1TB (that’s a terabyte, you know… 1024GB) available in mainstream technology, the once considered monstrous 500 giggers now seem like pocket change and are the budget user’s choice buy. Today we’re going to have a look at Western Digital’s 500GB Caviar SE16 (WD5000AAKS) drive, one of the most popular drive for system builders lately.

Rosewill RX81US-HT-35A-BLK USB eSATA HDD Enclosure 12-17-2007

For those of you familiar with shopping at New Egg you've undoubtedly heard of Rosewill. There are literally hundreds of products sold through the Egg under the Rosewill brand and compared to pricing on some of the name brand products, the Rosewill gear is usually quite inexpensive. But do these house brands have the same quality as traditional 3rd party manufacturers?

Kingwin Z1 Series SATA Hard Drive Enclosure 11-16-2007

But, like many other "base" products... take the ATX computer case as a good example, there are so many different creative spins being implemented that it keeps things fresh. Today we will be taking a look at the latest external 3.5" hard drive enclosure from Kingwin in the Z1 Series 3.5" External Hard Drive Enclosure.

OCZ Technology ATV Turbo USB 2.0 Flash Drive 10-05-2007

Aside from the general design, this drive is anything but classic. It boasts some pretty spiffy features and even makes some bold claims, such as being 100% weatherproof and fully submersible in water. Water, eh... well then, let's just see if the OCZ ATV Turbo drive can back up these claims in both frozen and boiling states!

Vantec NexStar SX SATA & IDE External 2.5-Inch HDD Enclosures 09-25-2007

The packaging for each enclosure is nearly identical, with a photo of the drive on the front of the box as well as a few key features. The back of the box goes into further detail of the enclosure. Upon opening the box, we find a screwdriver, a set of screws, driver + installation disc, USB cable and the enclosure itself, tucked away securely in a leather carrying case.

Vantec EZ-Swap EX 2.5 Inch HDD Enclosure 09-16-2007

Today I will be looking at my second 2.5" HDD enclosure in as many months, in the Vantec EZ-Swap EX 2.5" drive enclosure. This enclosure offers a different mix of features, which may prove to be more useful that those on the Icy Box.

Icy Box IB-266StUS-B External HDD Enclosure 08-23-2007

Laptop hard drives are now being used in external enclosures instead of traditional 3.5" drives for a number of reasons. These drives are much smaller and generate less heat and noise than 3.5" drives. Write speed and capacity limitations were once a point of concern for laptop drives, but that is now a thing of the past. Today I will be looking at the Tagan Icy Box IB-266StUS-B, an external 2.5" drive enclosure that offers a variety of connection configurations and flexibility.

Cirago 10GB External HDD 07-29-2007

There are a variety of ways to carry data with you. You could buy a notebook computer and schlep it with you everywhere. That can be helpful if you need processing power or internet access on the move. Not everyone, however, has the extra cash for another computer, or the shoulder muscle to tote around a heavy laptop.

OCZ Secure Digital HC 8GB Card 06-25-2007

I will be testing the SDHC card using my laptop (HP Pavilion tx1119us) and digital camera (Nikon D80 DSLR). I will be using HD Tune and SiSoft Sandra to measure read / write, access times and such.

Galaxy TVisto Multimedia External HD Case 04-08-2007

One of my favorite features of the TVisto is the ability to play .ISO files directly. This means that you can rip a DVD and have the TVisto play the .ISO file as if it were the actual DVD, complete with menus, special features, etc. This is a great way to back up your DVD collection and take it with you anywhere you go.

Western Digital 320GB USB/FireWire My Book 04-03-2007

Right away it's clear to see where the name of the product comes from - it looks like a book! The front of the My Book has two clear rings. The inner ring is lit with a blue LED to show the remaining free space on the drive. The outer ring also has a blue LED and acts as an activity light, flashing when data is copied to or from the My Book.

Vizo Technology Luxon 3.5 Inch HDD Enclosure 12-23-2006

Now, let's consider power. I don't particularly care for getting power by USB, and that isn't an option here if you are using SATA interface. An internal power supply causes a few problems. It adds to the size and weight of the enclosure, plus adds heat. Vizo decided on an external AC adapter, and was kind enough not to use a "wall wort" style.

OCZ 8GB Mega-Kart USB2 Drive 11-18-2006

I tried two different approaches, the first using a single large (700MB) ISO file, followed by a collection of around 500 smaller JPG files (250MB) and recorded the amount of time it took to copy these to the drive (Write) and from the drive (Read) separately. Transfer rates were calculated from these times and the Read and Write speeds were averaged to compare to results from HD Tach and HD Tune.

OCZ Technology 2 GB Secure Digital Dual Memory Card 09-21-2006

OCZ began to diversify their offerings in 2004 with the release of power supplies aimed specifically at gamers. Since that point, OCZ has continued to expand their horizons, now offering cooling solutions to go along with their already wide array of products. Today we will be taking a look at yet another one of their new innovative products in the 2 GB Secure Digital Dual Memory Card.

OCZ Ultra-Slim Mini-Kart USB 2.0 Flash Drive 07-25-2006

After getting the Mini-Kart out of the packaging, you find that it has it's own clear plastic carrying/storage case. This storage case does come in pretty handy really and will help you keep track of the drive. If you have any sort of clutter at all on your desk, you stand a good chance of losing track of the drive; it's that small. Trust me, it happened to me more than a few times.


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