Thermaltake BlackX Duet HDD Docking Station Review

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:wO94Hb1t8m328M:http://www.microcenter.com/images/shared/products/0319674_359182.jpgWhen you deal with customers computers day in and day out popping out their HDD and putting it into your testing rig starts becoming a tedious task; either you leave the drive vicariously lying on the table next to your tower while you scan it, or you spend the time to mount it into the chassis. Either way you are looking at lost time or potential damage. Docking stations are a techs dream all you need is a small amount of desk space and the ability to plug a couple cables in. Now docking has gotten even better and Thermaltake rises to the occasion with the new Blacx Duet which give you the ability to run 2 HDD at a time and hot swap them as your needs change. Let’s check it out:

 

 

 

Provided by: Thermaltake

Price: $47.67

Closer Look:

Specifications and Features:

Enclosure Interface eSATA
USB 2.0
Transfer Rate eSATA: up to 3Gbps
USB 2.0: up to 480Mbps
HDD Compatible SATA I
SATA II
HDD Capacity All 2.5” or 3.5” SATA HDD up to 2TB (per slot)
OS Compatible Windows 7 / Vista / XP / 2003 / 2000  ;  Mac 10.3 and later
Material ABS Plastic
Power Input: 100-240V / 50-60Hz ; Output: 12V / 2A
Dimension 140 (W) 120.82 (D) x 69.49 (H) mm
5.51 (W) x 4.76 (D) x 2.74 (H) in
Accessory eSATA Cable
USB 2.0 Cable
Power Adaptor
Fan N/A
Weight 3 lbs
Special Features
  • Copy & Transfer data between Hard Drives & Computers
  • Hot-Swap Capability for Rapid Multi HDDs Access & Exchange
  • Compact Docking Station Design maximizes Heat Dissipation & Exhaust
  • Supports eSATA Transfer Speed up to 3Gbps
Read & Write 2 Hard Drives simultaneously
Supports All 2.5” & 3.5” SATA Hard Drives up to 2TB (per slot)

Hot-Swap Capability for Rapid Multi HDDs Access & Exchange
* When utilizing eSATA interface, Port Multiplier feature is required on the host system’s eSATA
controller for two hard disk drives to be seen at the same time.  All USB supports Port Multiplier function.

Supports eSATA Transfer Speed up to 3.0 Gbps
Supports USB 2.0 Transfer Speed up to 480 Mbps
Windows & Mac OS Compatible
Rapid Data Access & Exchange w/ Single eSATA or USB Cable Connection
Open docking station design maximizes heat dissipation
RoHS Compliance
SSG (Solid State Grip) Technology: Anti-Slippery Grasp Base

Testing:

I will bey using ay 1TB backup hard drive in the docking station and then running the same tests that we always use for Enclosures. I will begin the tests by running HDtune to find the average MB/s speed, the access time, the burst rate, and also the CPU usage. I will also be timing how long it takes a 10MB, a 100MB, and a 500MB file to transfer to the hard drive. I will be running these tests for both the units USB and eSATA functions. I will be putting the Thermaltake BlacX Docking Station up against the Sunbeam Tech Docking Station.

USB – HDtune

Docking Staion

Sun Beam Tech

Docking Station

Thermaltake BlacX

Docking Station

Ave MB/s

33.3 MB/s

33 MB/s

Access Time

15.5 ms

16 ms

Burst Rate

27.8 MB/s

27.8 MB/s

CPU Usage

3.1%

3.6%

USB – File Transfer Speed

Docking Station

Sun BeamTech

Docking Station

Thermaltake BlacX

Docking Station

10 MB

1 second

1 Second

100 MB

4 seconds

5 Seconds

500 MB

16 seconds

15 Seconds

eSATA – HDtune

Docking Station

Sun Beam Tech

Docking Station

Thermaltake BlacX

Docking Station

Ave MB/s

102.2 MB/s

103 MB/s

Access Time

15.2 ms

15 ms

Burst Rate

111.7 MB/s

111.7 MB/s

CPU Usage

1.4%

1.3%

eSATA- File Transfer Speed

Docking Station

Sun Beam Tech

Docking Station

Thermaltake BlacX

Docking Station

10 MB

0.5 Second

.5 Second

100 MB

1 Second

1 Second

500 MB

6 Seconds

5 Seconds

Conclusion:

Overall The Thermaltake Blacx is a winner. I love the features it offers and the expandability of the extra drive slot. Another point I really liked is the use of an eject button I have used other docking stations without this feature and it can be a bit hairy getting the drives out in a matter that doesn’t make you cringe every time.

Would I recommend this product? Yup, it is well made and simple to use. This is a very specific piece of equipment and it isn’t for everyone for everyday use. But if you are already listing off the uses in your head chances are that the Blacx Duet will be a major times saver for you and you should pick yourself up one as soon as you can.

Pros:

  • Simple
  • Eject Button
  • e-SATA and USB Compatible
  • Good Speeds

Cons:

  • None that come to mind

 


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