SilverStone TS11-C USB 3.1 Docking Station Review

by - 5 years ago

«»

Introduction


SilverStone TS11-C USB 3.1 Docking Station Review

We have tested quite a few of SilverStone’s storage solutions in the past and while the new TS11-C external hard drive docking station might look like previous models, it is special as it comes with the newest technologies. In the past, we have been limited by the USB 3.0 protocol and its maximum 5Gbps transfer speeds even though we connect a 6Gbps capable drive to the docking station. SilverStone’s new TS11-C should make up for this as it uses the USB 3.1 connector for a transfer speed of up to 10Gbps.

SilverStone’s TS11-C is an external hard drive docking station that is made to accommodate either a 2.5-inch or a 3.5-inch drive at speeds up to 10Gb/s with its USB 3.1 Gen2 capability and it also features the new Type-C connector. Since USB is plug and play, as long as you have your USB drivers installed, which also means that this docking station is plug and play. You don’t need any additional drivers to get going, just plug it in, add a drive and turn it on. It is almost a given with a docking station like this, but it’s still worth highlighting that the TS11-C supports USB Attached SCSI protocol (UASP) which allows much better transfer rates in systems that support this compared to those who don’t.

SilverStone_TS11C-Photo-rear

The body itself is gold coloured and made of aluminium. This aids the passive unit itself to stay cool, but it also helps the inserted drive to dispose of its heat. This isn’t as much an issue when used with solid state drives, but mechanical drives need quite a bit of cooling. The cover itself is made of plastic to prevent your drives from being scratched. The top slot cover is a two-piece item that automatically folds back as you insert a drive. The small gap for 2.5-inch drives also helps with the positioning on top of the connector.

SilverStone_TS11C-Photo-front

The docking station is built around an ASMedia ASM1351 chipset that provides this unit with its USB 3.1 Gen2 capability with speeds up to 10Gbps through the Type-C connector. The included USB cable uses a normal type USB connector which also makes it easy backward compatible with USB 3.0, 2.0 and 1.1. The internal SATA3 interface is also backward compatible with SATA2 and SATA1 drives, as it should be.

SilverStone_TS11C-Photo-connector

With an external device like this that is highly portable, you might want to take it on the road with you too in order to connect extra storage to your mobile devices such as laptops and modern smartphones. SilverStone thought of this too and added a power adapter with exchangeable plugs to be used in pretty much every place on earth no matter what plug type or voltage available.

SilverStone_TS11C-Photo-bottom

Feature Highlights

  • USB 3.1 type-C connector with Gen2 up to 10Gb/s super speed transfer rate
  • Supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) function for even faster performance
  • Aluminum body with tool-free and tray-less design
  • Supports all 2.5 and 3.5-inch SATA drives up to any capacity
  • Plug & play with support for hot-swapping
  • Multinational adapter socket included

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers information and might as such be subject to changes in possible future revisions of the product.

SilverStone_TS11C-SS-specs

Package and Accessories

The box uses the same gold colour as the device and is overall a great looking product packaging. The front shows how the docking station looks and tells you what it is.

SilverStone_TS11C-Photo-box front

The rear of the box contains the specifications and a few more details about the docking station and what drives it can take.

SilverStone_TS11C-Photo-box rear

Inside the box, we find a USB 3.1 Type-C to Type-A connector, a user manual, and the multi-regional power adapter next to the docking station itself.

SilverStone_TS11C-Photo-box content

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Test Procedure


There are two things we are interested in when testing an enclosure like this. We want to know how well it perform by means of total speed possible as well as how big an effect the adapter will have on the transfer rates.

This is the same as we were looking for when testing USB 3.0 enclosures, but the increased performance of USB 3.1 forces us to rethink the testing methodology. My old testing drive has been used so much that it no longer provides stable results that can be used for comparisons, so it has to be replaced. Since USB 3.1 offers up to 10 Gbps, we need a faster drive and our real limitation won’t be the USB anymore, but the SATA3 with its 6 Gbps interface.

While we can’t fully utilize the USB 3.1 protocol due to the drive’s port limitations, we can still get a comparison to a native connection and see how much, if at all, the performance is impacted. Since there is a bridge from one bus to another, there should theoretically be a minor impact, but if that’s true is something that the benchmarks will tell us.

SilverStone_TS11C-Photo-setup

Test system:

Software used:

  • Windows 10 Pro 64Bit
  • AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
  • Anvil’s Storage Utilities 1.1.0
  • AS SSD Benchmark 1.7.4739.38088
  • ATTO Benchmark 2.46
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 64-bit

Drive in product

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

AIDA64


AIDA64 is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for home users. It provides a wide range of features to assist in overclocking, hardware error diagnosis, stress testing, and sensor monitoring.

It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives and is compatible with most Microsoft Windows operating systems. It also has a disk benchmark tool, and that is the one we’ll be using.

Enclosure USB Speed

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-aida suite

Read and Write Tests

The Random Read and Write tests measure the random performance by reading or writing variable-sized data blocks at random locations on the surface of the drive. The Random tests are actually a combination of both speed and access times as it moves the position before each new operation.

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-aida read random

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-aida write random

Average Access Times

The Access time tests are designed to measure the data access performance by reading or writing small 0.5KB data blocks at random locations on the drive surface.

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-aida read access

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-aida write access

Baseline SATA3 Comparison

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-aida suite

Read and Write Tests

The Random Read and Write tests measure the random performance by reading or writing variable-sized data blocks at random locations on the surface of the drive. The Random tests are actually a combination of both speed and access times as it moves the position before each new operation.

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-aida read random

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-aida write random

Average Access Times

The Access time tests are designed to measure the data access performance by reading or writing small 0.5KB data blocks at random locations on the drive surface.

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-aida read access

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-aida write access

Connection Comparison

SilverStone_TS11C-Chart-AIDA_read access

SilverStone_TS11C-Chart-AIDA_write access

SilverStone_TS11C-Chart-AIDA_random

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Anvil’s Storage Utilities


Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a new benchmarking utility that is completely free to download and has the ability to test mainly hard drives and solid state drives, but also any other form of storage medium that you can throw at it. As well as testing the drive in a variety of benchmarking tests.

Enclosure USB Speed

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-anvils compr

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-anvils incompr

Baseline SATA3 Comparison

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-anvils compri

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-anvils incompri

Connection Comparison

SilverStone_TS11C-Chart-Anvils_comp

SilverStone_TS11C-Chart-Anvils_incomp

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

AS SSD


The AS SSD software determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains five synthetic and three practice tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system caches. In Sequential tests, the program measures the time it takes to read and write a 1GB file respectively. To give a clearer picture of the drives tested, I’ve chosen to include all tests. Special the copy test is one that I think is relevant on the consumer level as it gives the user a view of one of the operations he’s going to do many times.

Enclosure USB Speed

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-asssd combined

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-asssd compr

Baseline SATA3 Comparison

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-asssd combined

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-asssd compr

Connection Comparison

SilverStone_TS11C-Chart-ASSSD

SilverStone_TS11C-Chart-ASSSD_random

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

ATTO


The ATTO Disk Benchmark is a performance measurement tool is for Microsoft Windows. It measures your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. It has multiple options to available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. ATTO Disk Benchmark can be used to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives.

Enclosure USB Speed

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-atto

Baseline SATA3 Comparison

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-atto

Connection Comparison

SilverStone_TS11C-Chart-ATTO

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

CrystalDiskMark


CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random 4KB/512KB read/write speeds.

Enclosure USB Speed

SilverStone_TS11C-Bench-cdm

Baseline SATA3 Comparison

SilverStone_TS11C-BaselineBench-cdm

Connection Comparison

 

SilverStone_TS11C-Chart-CDM

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Final Thoughts


Pricing

SilverStone’s TS11-C isn’t the cheapest docking station around, but it is definitely also one of the best we have seen to date. At the time of writing, it can be yours for $59.99, $42.50, or €62.76 at the US, UK, and German Amazons.

Overview

SilverStone really outdid themselves and created an amazing docking station with their new TS11-C. The docking station doesn’t just come with a beautiful gold finish on top of an aluminium enclosure, it also packs the newest connection standards. We get a USB 3.1 connection from a Type-C to a Type-A port for compatibility from the newest to the oldest specifications.

The performance was superb and there really isn’t much to point the finger at. In the past when we have tested USB 3.0 enclosures, we were used to worse results from USB than SATA. That is a scenario that has changed with the introduction of USB 3.1 that is quite a bit faster than the current SATA3 interface. Naturally we saw a little performance impact when it come to the random performance, but that is to be expected just as the access times will increase slightly. That said, it is still miles better than what we’re used to from USB 3.0 and the SilverStone TS11-C USB 3.1 docking station really impressed me. What did come as somewhat of a surprise, was that our OCZ Vector 180 SATA3 drive performed better in the enclosure than on a native and direct SATA3 connection in almost all our benchmarks.

Thanks to the USB interface, the TS11-C is fully plug-and-play whether you are a Windows or a Mac OS user, but it is recommended to have a modern operation system in order to support UASP, which the enclosure also does.

Pros:

  • USB 3.1
  • Impressive performance
  • Universal power adapter
  • Beautiful aluminium finish
  • Supports both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives

Cons:

  • none

“SilverStone’s TS11-C is without a doubt the best docking station we have tested to date. It isn’t just a very beautiful device, it also surpassed our native SATA speeds in almost every benchmark.”

Extreme-Performance

SilverStone TS11-C USB 3.1 Docking Station Review

Thanks to SilverStone for providing this review sample

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Test Procedure
  3. Aida64
  4. Anvil's Storage Utilities
  5. AS SSD
  6. ATTO
  7. CrystalDiskMark
  8. Final Thoughts
  9. View All

Author Bio

Add a Comment

Related Posts

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES