Inateck FE2007 USB 3.0 Drive Enclosure with 3-Port Hub Review

Introduction


I’ve taken a look at quite a few of Inateck’s products so far, and I have yet to be disappointed. They are taking known concepts but improve on them with a twist of some sort. They have done exactly that again with their new FE2007 Tool Free UASP USB 3.0 HDD Enclosure with built-in and powered 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub.

Thanks to the power of the USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP), the FE2007 is able to utilize the entire USB 3.0 bandwidth and provide excellent transfer speeds.

You connect the enclosure directly to your system via the micro USB port on the one side of the enclosure and that is all you need to do. The enclosure is both tool-less and driverless. Another bonus feature is the ability to power down the inserted drive when you don’t need it. Save on your power bill and save lifetime on your drive.

There is one problem that you often run into and that is the problem with too few USB ports. This is especially the case on notebooks and compact systems that generally have fewer ports, but not exclusively. Inateck added a three-port USB 3.0 hub to the enclosure and increases the functionality of this tiny device a lot.

There is a second USB cable included that isn’t for data transfer, but rather to provide extra power to the connected devices. This allows you to use more power hungry devices at the same time and charge mobile products faster.

 

The top cover slides off without the use of much force, at the same time it still stays where it should be when closed. The enclosure has the same width internally as your 2.5-inch drive, so all you need to do is slide it in until it’s plugged into the SATA connector and close it again.

Inateck’s FE2007 can take 2.5-inch drives with a height of up to 9.5mm, making sure that you’re also able to mount the thicker drives.

Inateck also included a foam pad with the package that helps to keep a thinner 7mm drive in place inside the enclosure. This is especially useful when you take the enclosure with you on the go.

I’d also like to point out that I really like how Inateck is packaging their products. For the most part the package is just a brown box with a sticker. While this might be boring, no one actually looks at the box after you got it and it’s much better for the environment as well as saving production costs and machine maintenance that ultimately would end in a more expensive products. Well done.

Inateck FD1005 Top-Loading HDD Docking Station Review

Introduction


Inateck probably has the widest array of docking stations and enclosures for hard drives and solid state drives and today I’m pleased to be able to take a look at another sweet looking on. The Inateck FD1005 is a single-bay top-loading docking station for SATA hard disks that connects through USB 3.0 and supports UASP for maximum transfer speeds.

Top loading docking stations are probably the easiest to use, especially if you switch your hard drives a lot. The Inateck FD1005 allows you connect a hard disk or solid state drive to your computer by simply plugging it into the docking station and turning it on. It couldn’t get much simpler than that. When you then also get top transfer speeds on top of that, then we have something worth considering.

Creating backups of large amount of files across multiple hard disks can’t get much easier than this. The Inateck FD1005 supports the newest SATA 3 hard disks with up to 6TB capacity, so storage limitation isn’t a thing that you’ll run into either. The dedicated 12V power connection ensures that the drive always has both enough power and a general stable power supply. The power button helps you to securely unplug your drives better by powering them down before you plug them, but it also allows you to just turn it off when you don’t need it for a while, without the need to unplug everything.

The power button helps you to securely unplug your drives better by powering them down before you plug them, but it also allows you to just turn it off when you don’t need it for a while, without the need to unplug everything.

Inateck’s FD1005 is a very compact one-bay unit and as such it needs a stable footing. Mechanical hard drives aren’t light, especially not when we deal with those that are packed with full with platters. Inateck added four tiny rubber feet on the bottom to prevent it from sliding and gave it additional weight by adding a metal block inside.

And the two work great in conjunction. I tried placing the enclosure with my WD RED 6TB hard drive on a surface with an angle and it stayed right where I placed it. Running several HDD benchmarks to bring the drive into vibration didn’t change this either.

The cover has a small static opening fitting for a 2.5-inch drive while the rest of the cover folds back when a drive is inserted and springs back into place to cover and protect the opening when the drive is removed again. In the photo below, I used a DVI protective cover to keep it open while taking the photo.

Inateck used the ASMedia ASM1153E chip which is a one-chip solution with embedded USB and SATA controller, as well as its own memory. Previously I’ve mentioned that the enclosure supports up to 6TB drives, but that’s only because that’s the biggest I can test with right now. Theoretically, the only limitation for a docking station like this is the GPT limit of 18 exabyte (although Windows file system is limited to 256TB per drive), meaning that future 8 and 10TB HDDs shouldn’t be a problem either.

WD RED 2.5-Inch 1TB in Four-Disk RAID Review

Introduction


Western Digital launched their WD RED line quite a while ago, and it’s been a successful one. We’ve previously had a look at how the 2.5-inch version with 1TB capacity performs as a single disk, but we’ve yet to look at how four of these will do in a RAID environment. The WD RED drives are primarily built for NAS usage, but they’re also well suited for SOHO users who want more performance and reliability in a small size.

Network attached storage is getting more traction every day and more and more people take the plunge into the world of NAS, but not everyone wants a large system. A tiny NAS with 2.5-inch drives is the solution, and the WD RED drives are perfect for this. They come as both 750GB and 1TB versions, but it’s the 1TB version that’s on the bench today.

The 2.5-inch WD drives run with an Intellipower spindle speed of 5400RPM and come with 16MB of cache, and an SATA 6Gbps interface. They’re rated to handle a workload of 120-150TB of data per year, which should be more data throughput than most small businesses will put their drives through.

The NAS optimized firmware, called NASware 2.0, is an exclusive technology to WD that gives their drives far more enhanced reliability with a 35% improvement in MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) over their standard desktop drives, better compatibility with NAS systems, and a more energy-efficient operation which in turn leads to lower operating temperatures, a longer warranty for piece of mind and a system known as 3D Active Balance Plus. This dual-plane balance control, has helped to drastically increase the reliability of the drives – with a better balance, there are far fewer vibrations and this means the platters will degrade at a much lower rate thus increasing the longevity of the drive and its performance.

The 2.5-inhc drives themselves are 9.5mm thick, which really isn’t a lot considering the capacity. The drives are powered by the Marvell 88i9446-NDB2 high-performance storage controller and it is paired with the Samsung K4H2816380-LCC 16MB cache chip. The motor controller is WD’s own Nautilus that handles the Intellispeed capabilities.

Inateck FE2004 USB 3.0 HDD External Enclosure Review

Introduction


I’ve had the pleasure to have a closer look at quite a few of Inateck’s docking stations and enclosures so far, and it has been a pleasure every time. Today I’m taking a closer look at the Inateck FE2004 2.5-inch portable HDD and SSD enclosure. The FE2004 enclosure connects through a USB 3.0 connection for great transfer speeds thanks to the 5Gbps bandwidth and it can take drives up to 9.5mm height.

The Inateck FE2004 has a delicate and simple appearance. The only thing that stands out from the black enclosure is the battery indicator and company logo. The manufacturing is great and every part fits together without gaps or edges that you’ll feel. The surface also feels very smooth and it’s generally an enclosure that is pleasant to touch and hold.

A portable enclosure also has to be convenient to carry and light weight. Inateck’s FE2004 is both as it only weighs 90 grams the rounded corners make the 130 x 83 x 13 mm small enclosure easy to slide into even the tightest pockets. The USB cable is detachable so you don’t break it during transport and can pack it all better. A detachable USB cable also allows you to replace it with a longer or shorter one depending on your needs.

The FE2004 would be a great expansion for laptop users to store all their extra media such as films and images, ready to stream when needed and without the need to take up that little precious internal storage that most laptop users are bound to. The enclosure is

The enclosure is suitable for 9.5mm and thinner drives. There is a pre-mounted foam pad inside the enclosure to keep thinner drives such as 7mm SSDs mounted properly and prevent them from rattling around and Inateck also includes a second foam pad with the enclosure in case you ever need to replace it. A minor thing that costs them maybe a cent, but one that is extremely convenient for the user buying the product.effectively.

The bottom side of the enclosure has four tiny nipples as feet and while they don’t look like much, they do provide a better grip on the surface than the other side does. Place on the top side, the enclosure could easily slide off a smooth surface, but the feet hold it in place.

Features

  • Built-in foam pad, protect hard disk effectively
  • Blue and red power supply/HDD LED activity indicator
  • Suitable for 9.5mm and thinner 2.5-inch SATA HDD and SSD.
  • Super Speed USB3.0 offer Speed up to 5Gbps
  • Compatible Operating Systems: Windows 2000/Windows Me/Windows 98/ XP /Vista/ 7/ 8, Mac OS 9.1/10.8.4 above
  • Hot Swap & Plug and Play: No reboot and additional driver is needed
  • Tool-Free design: Mounting a drive in three-second without tools and mounting screws.

 

OCZ Vector 180 480GB in Four-Disk RAID Review

Introduction


We’ve recently taken a look at how two OCZ Vector 180 960GB drives would perform in a RAID setup and to no one’s surprise, they were amazing. So how can we kick this up a notch? Easy, we take four of these amazing OCZ Vector 180 drives and try a RAID setup on them; now this is what I call fun and I love being able to test this setup.

Okay, I have to admit right away that this setup is halfway cheated, yet it shouldn’t have any performance impact. I only have two 480GB drives, but I also have two 960GB drives that use the exact same components. This means that I’ll just treat the 960GB drives as 480 ones and it won’t have any impact on our tests except that it will have a slightly different total space displayed. It’s really rare that I have four disks of the same brand for such a test, and I just didn’t want to let this chance slip away – and I’m sure more than a few of our readers will appreciate to find out how four of these drives will handle themselves in a RAID environment.

The new OCZ Vector 180 is the follow-up drive to the already successful Vector 150 series and on the base it’s still the same drive. It has however gotten a refresh in both parts, performance, and features, and it’s a drive well worth the attention that it’s getting here. With four drives at my disposal, I also got all the RAID modes available that the Intel RST has to offer: RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, and I’ll be testing the drives in each available setup. The only place where I’ll only be using the two 480GB drives is the RAID 1 setup and this is a natural limitation based on the setup. Two disks are just max here.

The Vector 180 drive is based on the well-known, and in my opinion amazing, Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 controller and it’s coupled with Toshiba’s A19nm NAND that we’ve seen perform great in any drive that it’s been used in. The drive is categorized as an enthusiast drive and that with good reason, the performance is great with a rated sequential speed of 550MB/s while reading and 510-530MB/s at writing. The random performance gets close to the 100K on 4K benchmarks, which isn’t bad either, not at all.

All the basic features like SMART, TRIM, and Garbage collection that is a must in every SSD these days are covered, but OCZ didn’t stop there. They also took something that’s usually reserved for enterprise-class drives and added it to their consumer drive and it’s called PFM+. PFM+ stands for Power Failure Management Plus and it helps to prevent data loss in the event of a sudden power loss. The drive has built-in capacitors that can provide enough power to flush the data from the cache to the NAND in the case that the power to the system should fail. Critical data can be saved with addition and it’s a great feature to have in any system.

OCZ’s Vector 180 comes with an official endurance rating of 50GB/day which is quite impressive for both desktop and server-grade disks. It also carries the amazing 5-year ShieldPlus warranty if the worst case situation should happen, where you can get around the hassle and troubles of normal RMAs and just get a new drive instead of the failed. I can not stress enough how amazing this is and you should give this warranty an extra look before you purchase your next SSD. It might be enough to change your mind on what to get, I know it did for me.

When it comes to what is bundled, then we find the usual great content inside the OCZ packaging. We get both a 3.5-inch adapter for those cases that aren’t suited for 2.5-inch drives natively as well as a key for the Acronis True Image disk cloning software so we easily can clone our old and slow drive onto our new and fast SSD. Other available capacities besides the 480GB are 120GB, 240GB, and 960GB.

Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ512GCSU 512GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Toshiba’s drives are mostly sold as OEM models and built into other products such as workstations and laptops, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to get a good spin on my test bench. Today I’m taking a closer look at the Toshiba HG6 series of solid state drives, more specific the Non-SED model with 512GB capacity (THNSNJ512GCSU).

The HG6 is a series of mainstream SATA Solid State Drives that combine high performance with power efficiency to satisfy a wide range of applications from notebook PCs to servers in the data centers. Toshiba is the inventor of NAND flash memory technology, so we know that we have some of the best on our hands when dealing with these drives.

Toshiba leverages its NAND flash memory expertise to optimize the performance and data integrity, integrating enterprise-class technology such as the Toshiba Quadruple Swing-By Code (QSBC) for improved error correction and reliability. It is the 2.5-inch drive that I’m taking a look at today, but the drive is available in a wide variety of form factors such as mSATA and M.2 2280 and with capacities between 60GB and up to 512GB.

Toshiba’s Quadruple Swing-By Code (QSBC) technology is in improved error correction code (ECC) that is said to be far superior to the otherwise used technologies and as such should provide you with far better data security. It also features End-to-End Data Protection, S.M.A.R.T., TRIM and Garbage collection. The drives support Read-only mode for emergency and serial ATA DIPM (Device Initiated Power Management), HIPM (Host Initiated Power Management) and Device Sleep for reduced power consumption.

The reduced power consumption from the above-mentioned features is great for use in laptops and so it the drives weight of just 53 grams. The HG6 is using Toshiba’s own A19nm Toggle 2.0 MLC NAND Flash memory as well as the in-house created Toshiba T635879BXBG SSD controller. It comes with a normal mean time to failure for this market segment of 1.5 million hours and an expected product life of 5 years. Since this is an OEM product, the warranty is based on whatever product you’ve purchased with it built-in.

The drive doesn’t use a RAM buffer like most SSDs on the market, but rather relies on the Adaptive Size SLC Write Cache technology that assumes a similar function as Samsung’s TurboWrite feature. It is treating a portion of the NAND as SLC for write operations to improve performance before flushing the writes to the MLC when idle. It’s also to be noted that Toshiba used thermal pads on all chips, providing the most efficient heat dissipation for high-performance systems such as servers.

OCZ Vector 180 480GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


We have had a look at the 960GB capacity of the new Vector 180 series already and today it’s time to take a closer look at the smaller sibling with 480GB capacity. The new mainstream and entry-level server SSD is packed full of great features and performance, and the 480GB capacity will probably hit the sweet spot for most people interested in this drive.

The drive is aimed at the mainstream market but still delivers more performance than most do in this segment and it lands right in the middle of features and performance. OCZ’s Vector 180 is built around the in-house created Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 controller that has been coupled with the latest generation of Toshiba’s A19 MLC NAND flash for great sequential speeds up to 550MB/s and a random performance up to 100k IOPS. This is surely a drive that will wake the interest of enthusiast.

The drive doesn’t just come with great speeds, it also has a great endurance with an official rating of 50GB/day. OCZ’s Power failure management plus (PFM+) is a great new feature that prevents partial data loss and corrupting in case of power failure. There are capacitors that ensure the data at rest is safe but all user data in the DRAM buffer will still be lost in the case of sudden power loss. The capacitors ensure that all metadata is safe and that the drive will continue to operate normally after a power loss, i.e. the NAND mapping table won’t be lost, which can brick the drive or at least slow down the next boot up as the drive has to go through recovery process. While not perfect, it’s a really great feature and extra security to have.

The 480GB model is using a total of 16 Toshiba A19nm NAND and two Micron RAM chips just like the 960GB model does, but they’re half the capacity, of course.

You can easily relax for the next five years as OCZ’ ShieldPlus warranty covers your drive, even without receipt or proof of purchase. This is absolutely one of the best warranty services around. Vector 180 comes with a full bundle including 3.5-inch adapter and Acronis True Image disk cloning software. Other available capacities are 120GB, 240GB, and 960GB

Silicon Power Slim S80 240GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Silicon Power has been in the storage business for a long time and I’m glad to finally be able to put one of their drives on the bench and take it for a test run. Today I’m taking a closer look at the SP Slim S80 solid state drive that comes with promises impressive performance and is available with capacities up to 960GB. It is however, the 240GB model that I’m taking a look at today.

The Slim S80 is equipped with a Phison PS3108-S8 SATA-to-Flash micro-controller to deliver sequential transfer rates up to 550MB/s reads 500MB/s writes while offering impressive 4K random speeds of up to 80,000 IOPS. With such a performances, the Slim S80 can significantly reduce both boot times and quickly load applications as well as provide a higher reliability than traditional hard disk drives and provide higher reliability over traditional hard drive.

Silicon Power’s Slim S80 is carrying its name thanks to the 7mm height for use in ultrabooks, ultra slim notebooks, and similar narrow spaced usage areas; on top of that it only weighs 63 grams. Solid state drives are perfect to use in mobile devices thanks to the lack of mechanical parts so they aren’t affected by shocks and vibrations in the same way.

Built with both S.M.A.R.T., Wear Leveling techniques, and Error Correction Code, the Slim S80 should guarantee data safety on top of the great performance and a long lifespan. The used Phison controller also supports AES encryption to keep your data safe and DevSleep for a low power consumption in mobile devices.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 32GB/60GB/120GB/240GB/480GB/960GB
  • Dimensions: 100mm x 69.85mm x 7mm
  • Weight: 79g
  • Vibration Resistance Test: 20G
  • Shock Resistance Test: 1500G Max
  • Read up to 550MB/s、Write up to 500MB/s
  • 7mm slim design suitable for Ultrabooks and Ultra-slim notebooks
  • SATA III 6Gbps backward compatible with SATA II 3Gbps
  • Supports TRIM command and Garbage Collection technology
  • NCQ and RAID ready
  • Implemented with ECC technology to guarantee data transmission reliability
  • Built-in with SMART monitoring system
  • 3-year warranty

Besides the Phison controller, the S80 has 16 of Toshiba’s 19nm flash chips and a 256MB Nanya RAM chip.