PCSTATS Main Page Follow PCSTATS on Facebook PCSTATS RSS Feed PCSTATS Twitter Feed + Motherboards
+ Videocards
+ Memory
+ Beginners Guides
News & Advanced Search  Feedback?
[X]   Directory of
Guides & Reviews
The PCstats Forums

Beginners Guides
Weekly Newsletter
Archived Newsletters

+70 MORE Beginner GUIDES....  

Contact the Suite 66 Advertising Agency
Seagate Backup Plus Slim External USB 3.0 2TB Hard Drive Review

Vantec NexStar HX NST-330SU3 Hard Drive to USB 3.0 / eSATA II External Case

Vantec NexStar HX NST-330SU3 Hard Drive to USB 3.0 / eSATA II External Case - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: The Vantec NexStar HX NST-330SU3 is an economical external hard drive enclosure for 3.5" SATA II drives that permits extra storage space to be easily added to any desktop computer via USB 3.0 or eSATA cable.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Hard Drives Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Vantec Aug 23 2012   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives > Vantec NST-330SU3

The Vantec NexStar HX NST-330SU3 is an economical external hard drive enclosure for 3.5" SATA II drives that permits extra storage space to be easily added to any desktop computer via USB 3.0 or eSATA cable. The Vantec NexStar features a small 80mm fan to help keep the HDD from overheating over prolonged hours of use - a problem with always on external drives which forget to spin down the disk during idle periods. Unlike 2.5" notebook external drive enclosures that operate over powered eSATA or USB cables, the NexStar HX does rely on a small 12v DC power adaptor to spin up the 3.5" hard drive (not included), cooling fan and status lights, so it's not useful for on-the-road applications.

The key feature of Vantec's NexStar HX external drive enclosure is that it supports both super quick USB 3.0 which operates at ~625MB/s and eSATA II which averages around 300MB/s transfer speeds.

Given the speed gains of USB 3.0 over USB 2.0 (625MB/s vs. 60MB/s), it's really worth the upgrade if your motherboard supports USB 3.0. The NexStar HX is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports too, incidently. Size wise, the NexStar HX chassis has the same shape as a metallic book standing 5.5" tall and 2" thick. The outer case is made from nice brushed anodized black aluminum panels, the inner frame is injection moulded plastic. The unit ships with all the cables you'll need to operate it; including a power adaptor, a 1 meter long USB 3.0 and meter long SATA data cable. The Vantec NexStar HX retails for around $40 bucks, so it's quite affordable.

Vantec NexStar HX External HDD Enclosure

INCLUDES:  Installation Guide, USB 3.0 cable, eSATA cable, AC power adaptor.

Data: USB 3.0 / eSATA II
HDD Support: 3.5" SATA I/II
Power: 12v DC
Cooling: 80mm fan


Estimated Price: $40 USD/CDN

Installation isn't 100% tool free; four screws hold the aluminum cover in place which needs to be removed before a 3.5" SATA hard drive can be inserted into the unit. It supports hard drives up to 3TB (according to Vantec). Once open, flip back a plastic locking tab, slide the 3.5" drive towards the SATA power/data connector and close the tab to lock the hard drive in position. Reattach the aluminum cover plate and you're done.

Operation is as simple as hooking up the power, data cable (either USB 3.0 or eSATA) and turning the unit on.

At the back of the Vantec NexStar HX enclosure are USB 3.0 and eSATA data connections, a power switch, 12v DC power jacket and fan control switch. Along the front edge of the chassis is a blue LED indicator light that flickers in unison with drive activity. There's no Kensington lock receptacle to keep the enclosure from walking off, go figure.

USB 3.0 or eSATA Data Cable?

Only one data cable should be connected to the Vantec NexStar HX external drive enclosure drive at a time, depending on your systems capabilities that means either the USB 3.0 cable or the eSATA cable.

The eSATA cable is measures transfers data at SATA II speeds of 3.0Gbit/s (~300MB/s).

The USB 3.0 cable measures 1 meter long as well and transfers data at 4.8Gbit/s (~625MB/s).

The USB 3.0 cable has the added benefit of being backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports - a much more common data port but limited to a relatively sluggish 0.48Gbit/s (~60MB/s) maximum bandwidth. USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 devices.


USB 3.0 and eSATA data cables are included.


While you can use either USB 3.0 or eSATA cables to connect the NexStar HX external drive enclosure to a computer system, the best results are with USB 3.0.

Modifications for Data Safety

The Vantec NexStar HX external hard drive enclosure is black in colour with an aluminum shell and nice grippy rubberized feet if you choose to stand it upright.... but don't do that. Ever. Since desktop hard drives lack motion sensors to retract the read/write heads, PCSTATS strongly recommends laying the NexStar HX enclosure on it's side.

I can't tell you how many people have written into PCSTATS after reading our Beginners Guide to Hard Drive Data Recovery because their external hard drive case tipped over or fell off a table... taking their (unbacked up) family photos and home movies into digital oblivion. Sometimes those photo's are recovered with the help of PCSTATS's guide, sometimes the fall physically damages the disk and the only solution is professional data recovery which typically costs about $1,000 a TB.


Bottom of the unit, note the two rubber feet.

To that end, PCSTATS modified the Vantec NexStar HX enclosure slightly be removing the rubber pads from the base, cutting them in half and relocating the four pads to the back aluminum panel as shown in the above photo. Don't cover the screw holes if you do this, you'll need to get at them to swap the hard drive out in the future.

Next up, a closer look at the NexStar HX drive enclosure...

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Vantec NST-330SU3
 Pg 1.  — Vantec NexStar HX NST-330SU3 Hard Drive to USB 3.0 / eSATA II External Case
 Pg 2.  Closer look at the NexStar HX Drive Enclosure

SEARCH PCSTATS 
Use the power of Google to search all of PCSTATS and the PCSTATS Forums. Tell us what you think of this new feature - FEEDBACK?
   07 / 29 / 2014 | 2:54PM
Hardware Sections 


google
 
PCSTATS Network Features Information About Us Contact
FrostyTech
TransmetaZone
BeginnersPC
PCSTATS Newsletter
PCSTATS Forums
ShoppingList Assistance
Tech Glossary
Technology WebSite Listings
PermaLink News
Archived News
Submit News (Review RSS Feed)
Site Map
PCstats Wallpaper
About Us
Employment
Privacy Policy
Advertise on PCSTATS

How's Our Driving?
© Copyright 1999-2014 www.pcstats.com All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of Use.