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Old September 15, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Default Enclosures or?

I'm wondering what to do since I wanted to add a 'data' drive to my system. Also, I was asked to help someone else and I determined that they want a (data) drive that they could, in theory, bring over to other computers they own. They currently have one drive in one of their computers and another 'data' drive (2TB) not set up yet. So, what to do? Can someone give me some advice? I need around three or that was the plan. These are expensive, though, right? Also, I have read mixed reviews on these. Some people swear by the NexStar brand but this was a while ago. Also, I think some people don't particularly like them. I thought those that have a fan sounded like a good idea since they can get hot. Although, at least two of the drives are the 'green' variety or at least, run at the slower speed. But, I think one drive is a 7200rpm drive. Would an "ordinary" HDD enclosure be sufficient?

I looked on ebay but to my surprise, there didn't seem to be any 'good deals.' Also, the shipping charges were exorbitant, as usual. :-( Any recommendations and/or advice? How should I set it up? We both have older systems. So, there's no usb 3.0 ports and so the choices are eSATA or USB. Otherwise, we'd have to order usb 3.0 'cards' as well but that's probably not necessary? What gives the max. speed? I'm mostly curious about that.

I've been using USB 2.0 for a while but recently hooked up two of the data drives to eSATA ports in the computer. The increased speed is great so I think it's worth it to use it if I can. But, it's not like these are the OS drives so they might not be accessed every day or a lot. But, as there is various data and videos on the drive, it needs to be accessible. I thought this meant 'hot-pluggable' in which I can just swap one drive ofr another.... a matter of unplugging one (usb/esata) cable and plugging in the other drive (enclosure)? Ok, I rambled on enough and I am looking on shopbot for some options but I need 'the best' scenarios/options combined with 'affordable' prices. Is it best to have enclosures with fans? I know some people use 'docking stations' but I thought that idea wasn't too good because the drive is exposed to the elements. Too easy to get dust and not sure it's good to have the parts out there like that. Comments/Advice/Recommendations?!?????? Help!!! :) P.S. it's not my fault regarding the formatting. Not sure what's going on. :(
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Old September 15, 2012, 08:57 AM
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The Thermaltake MAX5G ST0020U looks pretty interesting for $40. Two 80mm fans. Any thoughts?
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Old September 15, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Your choices are indeed usb 2.0/3.0 or eSata, but you can still plug a usb 3.0 device into a usb 2.0 port on your computer (it won't run at 3.0 speed though) I think that usb 3.0 is close to the speed of esata.

Depending on your motherboard chipset and OS, eSata is hotswappable/hot-pluggable. These drive enclosures are pretty reasonably priced:

http://http://ncix.com/products/?sku=44833&vpn=ST0014U&manufacture=Thermaltake
This enclosure has 2 drives, but to access them via esata, your sata controller has to support port multiplication, otherwise you would have to use usb to see both drives. I'm not sure how good this enclosure is.

These look more like standard drive enclosures.

Mediasonic Smart Drive 3.5IN SATA HDD External Hard Drive Enclosure USB3.0 eSATA Black - Mediasonic - HD6-SU3S2
Mediasonic ProBox SuperSpeed 3.5IN SATA HDD External Hard Drive Enclosure USB3.0 - Mediasonic - K32-SU3


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Originally Posted by fubar View Post
The Thermaltake MAX5G ST0020U looks pretty interesting for $40. Two 80mm fans. Any thoughts?
Looks like a cool drive enclosure. I would just be worried about noise from those fans and dust getting in there. I would imagine that the fans are either on or off, so there wouldn't be any fanspeed control to adjust them. If you are reading/writing from the drive constantly, then that may be a good choice as it will keep the drive much cooler than an enclosure without a fan.
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Old September 15, 2012, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandelioneater View Post
Your choices are indeed usb 2.0/3.0 or eSata, but you can still plug a usb 3.0 device into a usb 2.0 port on your computer (it won't run at 3.0 speed though) I think that usb 3.0 is close to the speed of esata.

Depending on your motherboard chipset and OS, eSata is hotswappable/hot-pluggable. These drive enclosures are pretty reasonably priced:

http://http://ncix.com/products/?sku=44833&vpn=ST0014U&manufacture=Thermaltake
This enclosure has 2 drives, but to access them via esata, your sata controller has to support port multiplication, otherwise you would have to use usb to see both drives. I'm not sure how good this enclosure is.

These look more like standard drive enclosures.

Mediasonic Smart Drive 3.5IN SATA HDD External Hard Drive Enclosure USB3.0 eSATA Black - Mediasonic - HD6-SU3S2
Mediasonic ProBox SuperSpeed 3.5IN SATA HDD External Hard Drive Enclosure USB3.0 - Mediasonic - K32-SU3

edit:

Looks like a cool drive enclosure. I would just be worried about noise from those fans and dust getting in there. I would imagine that the fans are either on or off, so there wouldn't be any fanspeed control to adjust them. If you are reading/writing from the drive constantly, then that may be a good choice as it will keep the drive much cooler than an enclosure without a fan.
Thanks for the reply! Well, my reasoning is that the fans will keep it cool so whether they die or not doesn't seem to be too much of an issue. After all, the other enclosures don't have a fan. They're just in an aluminum box, aren't they? I have fans in my computer (5?) and I think I've only had one die. That's true though that there won't be much if any speed adjustment or control. The noise aspect or factor is a very good point, though! Maybe, I should look at the enclosures with just one fan? The reviews on that Thermaltake seem to be mixed. I was reading newegg reviews and a lot of enclosures get decent reviews but there's always a few that are really negative. I guess that is the way with newegg reviews? :)

I just think my NextStars get a bit too warm for my liking so I worry. It could just be the drives and any further drives I'd buy for data storage would be the 5400 variety but still, any of these drives without a fan-type of enclosure would have totally passive cooling. Even if you don't use it often, it seems a bit of a risk to me. Any bit of cooling helps? Or maybe I'm just paranoid? :-)

The only other reason I can think of for getting an enclosure with a fan is most don't seem to be much more expensive. Maybe $5 more. My mobo is LGA775/P45 and I think it has the hotpluggable SATA controller. I can tell a difference when I use eSATA instead of USB 2.0. Getting an ESATA/USB 3.0 enclosure would be future-proof? Any new system is bound to have at least usb 3.0.
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Old September 15, 2012, 09:45 AM
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Yeah, any new system will almost certainly have 3.0. I think esata and 3.0 are very close in terms of speed with esata perhaps beating it a bit. I think that if you are going to get an enclosure with a fan, I'd definitely go with the dual 80mm one you linked in a previous post. I have a single little black fan in my dlink NAS enclosure and I keep is turned off because at even at its slowest setting it is abnoxiously loud, and it doesnt hardly move any air. Plus those little black fans have a tendancy to die rather quickly.
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Old September 15, 2012, 10:10 AM
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The enclosures with the single fan are 80mm, I think. Won't it be more quiet than 2? I'm sorry but I'm not sure why you recommend the (Thermaltake?) dual-fan one?

It seems these, Rosewill, Thermaltake and Vantec, with a fan or two, ranges from $40 to $43 (I think) so it's just a matter of preference and whether one wants a fan or dual.

That's how I see it, anyway. Maybe I'll be slapping myself because it's too noisy(!) but I guess I'd like to think I'm protecting the drives over convenience and price (maybe). Although, I really don't want my computer stuff much louder than it is now. :)
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Old September 15, 2012, 10:34 AM
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if the fans are too loud then I'm sure you could always unplug them.
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