USB 3.0 HDD Dock that supports 4TB drives

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield
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Asmedia ASM1051
In reply to Sean Nelson, Mar 29, 2013

Their .pdf doc with tech specs shows that it's using an Asmedia ASM1051 bridge chipset.

http://www.startech.com/media/products/SATDOCKU3E/PDFs/SATDOCKU3E_Datasheet.pdf

That's a pretty good chipset by most accounts.  But, you're only going to get SATA II speeds to a drive.   More about it here:

http://www.asmedia.com.tw/eng/e_show_products.php?cate_index=97&item=90

It was launched in 2010, and you can find some videos about it online showing throughput.  For example, watch the video in this article and you'll see how it performs.   They also have benchmarks on the screens showing the improvement you'd get with the ASM1051E (versus standard ASM1051), since the ASM1051E supports SATA III, and the ASM1051 doesn't (which is why the speed with an SSD is maxing out at under 300MB/Second with the ASM1051, and they're showing faster speeds with the ASM1051E).

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/14696/asmedia_asm1051_usb_3_0_controller_shows_actual_10x_increase_over_usb_2_0/index.html

IOW, even if using an SSD capable of faster speeds in it, you're probably going to max out at just under 300MB/Second with an enclosure using the ASM1051.

That's a common issue with most of the USB 3.0 enclosures and bays now.   Of course, that's still a dramatic improvement over USB 2.0 enclosures (as you'll probably see speeds close to 10 times as fast with the one you bought via USB 3.0).

But, very few enclosures are using a bridge chipset capable of faster SATA III bus speeds yet (for example, the ASM1051E or one of their other newer bridge chipsets that support SATA III) .

IOW, even though they have bridge chipsets that support SATA III (like the ASM1051E), it's tough to find an enclosure that uses one of those SATA III capable USB 3.0 to SATA III bridge chipsets.  I spent some time looking at feedback about enclosures online not long ago, and was frustrated that I couldn't find one with reported speeds greater than 300MB/Second with one using an SSD that's capable of faster speeds.   My guess is that the cost difference between the ASM1051and ASM1051E (or one of the other chipsets supporting SATA III) is too great for most enclosure manufacturers to switch to it, since most users are going to use an Enclosure or Docking station with something other than the fastest SSDs anyway.

Of course, that's not an issue unless you wanted something allowing more than 300MB/Second via a USB 3.0 connection to an external SSD with faster speeds.

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JimC
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