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Seagate Backup Plus Slim External USB 3.0 2TB Hard Drive Review

Vantec NexStar 3 USB2.0 HDD Enclosure Review

Vantec NexStar 3 USB2.0 HDD Enclosure Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: This sleek black case accomodates any standard 3.5" IDE hard disk.
Filed under: Hard Drives/SSD Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Vantec Apr 11 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives/SSD > Vantec NexStar 3

Drive Installation

The NexStar 3 ships partially assembled, which makes sense considering you need to open the enclosure up to mount the drive anyway. Installing a hard disk into the NexStar 3 was fairly straightforward and took us about 5 minutes or so. The front of the case needs to be slid out, revealing the drive tray, then the hard disk can be plugged in to the internal power and IDE connectors and screwed into the rack.

The entire tray is then slid back into the drive, the hard disk activity LED cable attached and the case secured with a couple of screws. Simple. You will need to ensure that you set your drive to 'master' or 'single drive' setting using the attached jumpers before you install it though.

Once the NexStar 3 is assembled and working, all you have to do is plug it in, switch the power on and attach the USB cable to your system. Windows XP or 2000 will automatically detect the drive and create it under 'my computer' ready for transferring files. If your computer is not USB 2.0 compatible, the enclosure will work just fine at USB 1.1 speeds (12Mbps).

The only irritation we encountered with this enclosure was an inability to get the hard drive activity LED working. We tried plugging it in both ways, but sadly it never lit up.

Performance testing

To test the Vantec NexStar 3's performance, we used Sisoft Sandra 2005, HDtach and a set of timed file transfers. All tests were performed using a USB 2.0 interface. The hard disk used in the Vantec enclosure during these tests was a Western Digital WD400 40GB 7200RPM drive.

If compared to the average USB flash drive, the Vantec enclosure scores some good results. Hard drives are built for sustained data transfer and large amounts of storage, so an external USB 2.0 hard disk case is always going to be a better choice for big backup jobs than a flash-based dongle. Compared to an internal hard drive, the results are quite obviously going to be slower.

HDTach 3.0.1.0 results

The HDTach results illustrate what we saw in our Sandra benchmark. The Vantec NexStar 3 external USB enclosure nets transfer rates of about 30MB/s.

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Contents of Article: Vantec NexStar 3
 Pg 1.  Vantec NexStar 3 USB2.0 HDD Enclosure Review
 Pg 2.  — Drive Installation
 Pg 3.  File transfer speed tests

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