2,5 and 3,5 enclosures

Discussion in 'hardware' started by m00nbl00d, Jun 7, 2011.

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  1. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    I'd like to ask you, finest Wilders members, your opinions (any opinion is welcome!) about 2,5' and 3,5' HDD enclosures.

    I still haven't decided whether I'll pick a 2,5' or 3,5' HDD. It will depend on the price of both the HDD and enclosure combined. I already know which HDDs to buy, it will be an Western Digital, with at least 500GB.

    Don't ask about how much money I'm willing to spend, because it will differ from country to country, and most likely not even the same currency.

    But, I can say that I'm not looking for anything fancy. Just an enclosure that offers an efficient cooling; if it has an appealing design, that would be a plus, but not the most important thing.

    Just share your knowledge and then I'll take the best pick, considering the overall price.

    Thanks. :thumb:

    P.S: I was actually considering a dual docking station. And, my first look was a Thermaltake BlacX Duet 5G ST0022U, but so far I couldn't find any shop that sells it here. I did find shops selling a Sharkoon SATA QuickPort Duo USB3.0, but considering only a couple of shops sell it, they don't sell it cheap. If you know more...
     
  2. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Just sharing:
    One option that I use is no enclosure. I got a WD 3.5" internal drive and I put it in a dock made by Vantec. It's called Nextar harddrive dock. That way I can swap the drives. One other thing I bought at Wlmart is an el-cheapo little 4" fan which I turn on when I use the drive since heat is the big enemy. The drive never gets warmer than my hand. And the portability of the little fan is useful to blow the air against the laptop when it is doing some hard, long, disk work.

    It's white, has a nice blue light when on, and another when it reads/writes, but the metal drive sticks up so is not all that pretty.
    The dock can use SATA drives (my laptop does not) 2.5" and 3.5" because it has two slots like a toaster. Connected by USB, works like a charm when turned on for my laptop backups, etc.
    This is likely what I have
    -http://www.vantecusa.com/en/product/view_detail/295

    500GB - ouch. I wonder how long defragmenting will take. I have 200gb partitioned to make maintenance quicker.
     
  3. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    All docking stations seem to be similar, all toaster-like designs. They are the best tools if one has to work with several (or many) 3.5 and 2.5 disks and frequent swaps. But they are not stylish, and do not seem to me as reliable and durable as good metallic enclosures.

    I have used Vantec enclosures for several years without any problem. Currently I have a 3.5 inch USB 2.0 with a 500 GB disk and a 3.5 USB 3.0 with a 1 TB disk. Both are used for saving backups and images of the system partition.
     
  4. Triple Helix

    Triple Helix Webroot Product Advisor

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  5. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Toaster :) LOL! good that someone else sees it as such.
    NexStar.png
    includes few routers within the shelf space
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  6. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Well, the quest for docking stations is revealing itself very frustrating. :ouch: Either I can't find them, or the ones I find are very expensive, because only one or two computer shops are selling it. :argh:

    I think I'm rather going to get a 3,5" enclosure. Seems to be the only viable solution. There are plenty of those selling, by the way. I'm going to take a look at those from Vantec that user Robin A mentioned.

    What are your opinions regarding the 3,5" enclosures? I'm doing some research, including those Vantec... But, if you were the ones picking one, which one would you pick (including USB 2.0/3.0)?


    Thanks
     
  7. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I picked up some Lian Li 5" enclosures. They can handle hdd or cd/dvd. I liked that aspect. They stay cool, but are somewhat large. I have had a couple others.

    Honestly, I have used my WD Passport 500gb drive 100 times more than my others. It is so portable and from what I can tell as fast as any other USB drive. I have tried ESATA, and that is faster. But for multiple uses, I like the Passports now above all other types.

    Sul.
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Well, a toaster it may look like, but it does make perfect toast so not sure that is a bad thing! ;)

    Thermaltake eSATA Docking Station works great for me, and it accepts 2.5 or 3.5" drives.

    Okay, maybe not perfect toast but thus far, it has performed perfectly as an external drive device. Plus, though it accepts USB, I like that it is eSATA.
     
  9. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Looks nice. eSATA is a good option to have. USB 2.0 will limit a 3.5" drive quite a bit but it works when it is the only option. 480Mbps sounds good until you convert Mb to MB and subtract the overhead you really end up with about 30 MB/s.
     
  10. axial

    axial Registered Member

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    I have the white toaster model as shown in the previous pix, Vantec Nexstar with USB2 and eSata. I haven't been 100% happy with it and am junking it now.

    One issue is that it seems too easy to get the drive connectors slightly misaligned when putting the drive in, to the point where there is concern that the drive's power pins might be bent.

    Second issue is that while doing a long backup recently the drive was left in the toaster and some hours later I found the drive had tilted just slightly to one side, enough that the drive was making considerable noise as if it wasn't spinning evenly, very alarming indeed. Testing shows the drive is fine, but it seemed a very close call.

    The unit is quite light and it seems too easy to accidentally knock it, or the drive itself. I keep it on a piece of waffle-weave, non-skid shelf foam.

    As a result I'm only buying horizontal enclosures from now on. Haven't found one that I'm particularly keen on yet though, waiting until USB3 and eSata combos come out.

    This might be overkill for your needs, but SPCR has an interesting review of an Icy Dock internal docking solution.
    http://www.silentpcreview.com/icydock-mb973

    Another possibility is the Antec drive bay,
    http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product1.php?Type=NA==&id=MjA3Ng==
     
  11. axial

    axial Registered Member

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    One other issue with the Vantec is that the power button being on the front makes it much more likely to inadvertently press it (clutter? whose desk has clutter...), and conversely more difficult to press intentionally without risking jarring the spinning drive because the unit is so light.

    The Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB has the power button on the top, which seems a much better design.
     
  12. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    OK.

    Considering that I'm kind of in a hurry to get a new external HDD, and having other factors under consideration (like the lack of docking stations around here lol), I decided to take a quick a look at prices again.

    I've found an Western Digital My Book Essential 3.0 1TB 3,5" to be quite accessible. Just a tiny bit more than what a Western Digital My Passport Essential 3.0 500GB 2,5".

    So, considering I'd be getting the double (so to speak), my pick is for the first.

    I don't think I'm shooting myself in the foot. :doubt:
     
  13. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    I own 2 of these (2TB each, essential edition) and I somewhat regret the purchase.
    For the money, I cold've taken 2x3TB internal SATA3 drives, put them in something like this, and gain in quantity as well as in quality. It's an aluminum case in the el cheapo category, but still far better than that awful MyBook plastic.
     
  14. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Is your only complain the fact My Book Essential have plastic cases? Could you define "awful"? Do you mean ugly? Or that they're simply bad in terms of cooling?

    By the way, do you happen to know which HDDs they have inside? Is it Caviar Blue or Green?

    I still have my mind open for a separate 3,5" HDD + enclosure. I did some research and I found a somewhat accessible Western Digital Caviar Green (http://www.wdc.com/global/products/specs/?driveID=763)

    If I get to find an accessible enclosure, then I'd go that route. Otherwise, I think I'm stuck.

    I did find an online store selling a Thermaltake Max 5G 3,5" at an affordable price, and I could pay after receiving the product only. I'm not very fond of giving away my home address like that, though. I'd rather personally buy the merchandise, than buying it online.

    After some research, I came to the conclusion it would either be an Western Digital 2,5" 500GB (http://www.wdc.com/global/products/specs/?driveID=875&language=1), which is a bit less expensive than the 1TB My Book Essential, but obviously half the quantity (so to speak), or precisely the 1TB My Book Essential, which is a just a tiny bit more than the 2,5" 500GB model.

    :argh: :argh:
     
  15. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    OK.

    My most recent research lead to me this external enclosure, which allows to use either a 2.5" or 3.5" and hot swapping.

    -http://www.soyntec.com/item/hdd_box_350_solid_graphite

    It seems to be very interesting. I think it's also an elegant enclosure. And, it might be an alternative for those wishing to use either a 2.5" or 3.5" and hot swapping, rather than buying docking stations.

    I found an online shop selling it at quite an affordable price.

    I'm trying to find some reviews.
     
  16. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    It is an elegant docking station.
     
  17. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Which is also an external enclosure. :D So, an alternative to those not wishing to buy the toasters. :argh:
     
  18. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    Well I had a misfortune of dropping (ouch!) one of them from the height of about 1/2m on a thick carpet, a shock I imagine woudn't be a problem for any decent enclosure. HDD was OK, but the case kinda opened... a bit. It did not break, the shiny plastic cover just fell out of place by a mm or 2, but I am wary of messing with it as the plastic bends on pressure and generally feels soft and squeaky.
    A fact I also do not like is that MyBooks cables are using mini USB connectors (on B end) instead of standard ones, reasons are obvious I believe.
    btw, my MyBooks are older models, without on/off switch, so I also have a misfortune of messing with the cables.

    I was sure that info was on WD site, I can't find it now. But many have opened the enclosure (i.e. here and elsewhere), and it looks like MyBook's using Greens for all editions.

    I don't find cooling an issue, Greens are low power. External HDDs are mostly used for storage, so it's not like they're spinning all the time. Still, I'd prefer aluminum over plastic.

    Sorry for the late reply. Cheers,
     
  19. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    No problem! :thumb:

    I appreciate the feedback. :) It's always great to have other people expose their experience and their views, based on the experience they had/have. Somehow, I'd expect the plastic case (whatever brand) to be resistent to shock.

    You had some bad luck there. Hopefully, nothing happened to the HDD, which would have been far worse.

    I think I've come a conclusion. I'm going to research some more to find other stores selling them cheaper, but considering price-quality, I think I'm getting a Thermaltake Max 5G (USB 3.0) enclosure and a separate HDD from Western Digital (Caviar Green 1 TB 3.5"). At first, I was considering 500GB, but the difference of the minimal price isn't that much, so the 1TB is a better buy.
     
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