Vantec eSATA ExpressCard UGT-ST450CB
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 02-17-2010
Provided by: Vantec

I'm using the following hardware to test out the Vantec eSATA ExpressCard. Although Vantec does not specifically list Windows 7 as being supported, I had no issues installing the 32bit Vista driver.

Lenovo Thinkpad T500
Windows 7 32bit Pro
Geeks eSATA Powered Enclosure
Hitachi 2.5" 100Gb 7200rpm SATA HDD

The Geeks enclosure will run off a powered eSATA connection, however the Vantec ExpressCard does not support this, so a USB cable must be connected to power the hard drive. This is still preferable to using an AC adapter for greater portability although it will shorten the battery life of the notebook. The supplied software CD does not have an auto-run feature nor will it auto-detect the correct driver to use. The user must manually browse to the ST450CB folder and find the appropriate driver to use for your version of Windows.

Once the correct driver is loaded the Vantec card is detected as a Silicon Image Sil3132 SATA Controller and the hard drive shows up in Disk Manager. Although there is no indication on the card when a device is properly connected, a green LED will light while there is drive activity. There are two LEDs, one for each eSATA port.

HD Tune measures disk read performance at 25-50MB/s with an average throughput of 39MB/s. Although in this case we're limited by the performance of the drive itself, this is still more bandwidth than what is available via USB.

CrystalDiskMark confirms HD Tune's average read speeds of around 40MB/s for large, sequential files, with write speeds measuring around 15% slower. Again, this is about the limit of this particular drive, but certainly faster than the typical 30-35MB/s seen with USB connections.

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