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 Post subject: External HDD enclosures
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:24 am
Posts: 8
Hello,
I have been looking for a bit of time for an external eSATA enclosure for HDD. The purpose of HDD - main storage drive for my laptop when I come back home (music, films).

The HDD I am planning to buy will be either Samsung Ecogreen or WD Greenpower, 3.5'', 5400 -> so hopefully not a very hot one. Therefore, I believe that passive cooling might be enough.

Browsing through the Internet and this forum I have come across the following options:

No fan:
Vantec Nextar 3 (VANTEC NST-360SU-BL) - seems to be quite good, fanless. My top choice at the moment.
Rosewill RX81-MP-SC - looks great, cold, but quite expensive ($80!!!)
Icy Box IB-390StUSD-B - recommended here and there, quite expensive ($80), difficult to get in US (but easily importable).
Coolermaster X-Craft - ?

With fan:
Rosewill RX-358-S BLK - good Newegg reviews, "decently quiet", standard 10mm fan.
Antec MX-1 - nice, but getting very noisy after some use, fan not replaceable. Quite an old product.

I would be grateful for your help and opinions. If any of you has ever used any of these enclosures - some comments would be highly appreciated!

Best regards,
Theriel

//edited after comments below for completeness.


Last edited by theriel on Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:38 pm
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Location: ontario
if you dont have the hard drive yet, you could consider something from the samsung story station line. i had a 1.5 TB version that was very quiet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:11 pm 
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I bought the Rosewill a few weeks ago. The included fan is decently quiet and it's a standard 10mm fan, so you can change it if necessary.
There is NO vibration dampening inside the enclosure, so any vibration will be amplified. I have an old 320 GB seagate drive in it, and the vibration is terrible. Maybe it'll be better with a newer drive.
It's easy enough to take appart but it takes some time, so it wouldn't be my firt choice if you're going to change the drive regularly.
Other than that, it cools well (it's what made me buy it) and is decently made. I'm sure it will do just fine with a quiet drive.
Hope that helps.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:15 pm
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Last week I bought a Velocity Elite Series 3.5in Enclosure Ver 2, USB 2.0, eSATA, Black for CAN$27.99. It is powered by an external power 'brick' and has no fan and no vibration damping except for 4 rubber feet. The drive I put in this enclosure is a WD 500 RE which is a moderate noise and vibration generator. It works fine and there is nothing weird happening so far.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:24 am
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Has anybody used Vantec Nextar 3 and/or Rosewill? I am trying to choose between these two models and I am not sure if it is worth paying much more for Rosewill...

Best,
Theriel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:34 am 
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 1:19 am
Posts: 489
Location: Australia
i've got a vantec nexstar3.
it's nothing special- hard mounted hdd, the case is quite thick though and helps reduce noise a bit, it also gets warm so it seems to cool well too, even though there's no direct contact with the hdd. transfer speeds are good over usb2, about 30mb/s read and write.

i've also got a cooler master xcraft.
it's a bit bigger which sucks, but that's because of the tool-less installation. noise is similar i think, the hdd is on springs but there are lots of holes in the case, plenty of plastic too which i don't like. one thing it is outstanding for is cooling, direct contact between the lid and hdd through a thermal pad works well.

i've got a wd green in my vantec and it gets only lightly warm, i think a fan is unnecessary for a green hdd, although if i was to leave it on 24/7 and the ambient was high i would consider a fanned enclosure.

you're paying for the firewire in the rosewill.

speeds though esata should be similar across the board.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:26 am
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Location: Belgium
I have that Vantec, as well as a colleague of mine. He had no problem at all with it using eSATA, but mine wasn't always detected by Windows.
This could be caused by the different eSATA controller on our motherboards. I had at that time a midrange Asus board, and he had a high-end gaming motherboard from Asus. It had another eSATA controller than mine.

The same Vantec case was also not detected by my Synology NAS, so I recently bought a new eSATA enclosure from Sharkoon:
http://www.sharkoon.com/html/produkte/e ... .html?id=7
It didn't get detected either by the NAS, so I also bought a new disk drive from Seagate.
In the end, the Sharkoon with the Seagate disk wasn't detected either, but the Vantec with that disc was.

So, long story :D
Just to indicate, eSATA could be quite complicated :evil:
It seems it's a combination of different factors if it will work for you or not.
1. eSATA controller on your motherboard
2. the controller in the enclosure
3. the disk you put in the enclosure

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:21 am 
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Location: King of Prussia, PA
I've tried a Sabrent and a Rosewill, two models from each with USB2.0 and eSATA. All four had problems with Windows properly detecting and detatching the eSATA drive. It worked sometimes, but not others. This made the faster data rates not worth it, so I use them with USB2.0.

My plans are to try USB3.0 in the next year sometime. Some are claiming they get very impressive data rates. You'll need a USB3.0 interface at the computer and the peripheral device.

I've read a lot of complaints and references to "complications" regarding eSATA over the last year and a half, whereas problems with USB are far fewer, so my recommendation is to stick with USB2.0 until you see proven models with USB3.0 and then make the upgrade.

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 Post subject: Re: External HDD enclosures
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:00 pm
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Location: Central CA
Any updates on this topic? I am once again on the prowl for a quiet desktop drive enclosure.

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 Post subject: Re: External HDD enclosures
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:41 am 
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Location: King of Prussia, PA
My opinion hasn't changed from holding off on eSata and waiting for USB3.

Now that I've seen USB3 external enclosures in use, some of which don't even require a power cable when used with notebook (2.5" or smaller) HDDs or SSDs, I think more than ever the best answer for high-speed external enclosures is USB3. The ease of use and predictable reliability of USB remains my preference for those reasons where removable peripherals are concerned.

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 Post subject: Re: External HDD enclosures
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:56 am 
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Location: Guatemala
Davinator wrote:
My opinion hasn't changed from holding off on eSata and waiting for USB3.

Now that I've seen USB3 external enclosures in use, some of which don't even require a power cable when used with notebook (2.5" or smaller) HDDs or SSDs, I think more than ever the best answer for high-speed external enclosures is USB3. The ease of use and predictable reliability of USB remains my preference for those reasons where removable peripherals are concerned.


USB3 enclosures are really good, but not perfect, eSata is still faster coming from a sata native source like HDD, this difference is not huge, but there will always be overheads into changing. One huge advantage of USB is power through the cable, the only issue is not all ports can power all hdds, i would assume that most USB3 ports can power 2.5 hdds, but in the case of the USB2 its not the same, even some enclousures require dual connectors, not saying its a big deal, but its not as simple. I have build my own portable drives with Hitachi 5k500b and Eagleteck mesh 2.5 enclosures, and it works great with this combo, you can power them with one usb2 port and they transfer at the limit for what USB2 is capable, the drives are very quiet, so im happy with them. Recently i bought a Hitachi 5k750 and with the same enclosure i cant power it with 1 cable, with 2 is fine. The only downside of the eagletech is still usb2, so now i just bought a usb3 coolmax 2.5 enclousure, will see if the 5k750 can be used there, my guess is that in usb3 it will be fine, but on usb2 ports ill get the same issue, but just a guess.

Also recently my best friend bought an USB3 toshiba 750 2.5 prebuild and seems to be working great with 1 cable on usb2 n usb3 ports, so in the future i might not bother with enclosures and how they end up being picking depending on the drive and ports.

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 Post subject: Re: External HDD enclosures
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:08 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:00 pm
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Location: Central CA
As the semi-proud owner of a Mac mini, eSata and USB 3 aren't options for me. I think I'm going to go with this:

http://www.stardom.com.tw/sohotank_st2_spec.html

It probably won't be really quiet, but the fan unit looks replaceable.

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