Anyone use Harddrive Docks?

Started Apr 14, 2015 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,342
UASP is the key (not BOT as used by most USB 3.0 setups)

SushiEater wrote:

...Also, buy one with eSATA if you have it on your computer. Much faster than USB 3.0 because of the latency.

USB 3.0 is very fast now, *IF* you are using UASP (which requires a USB 3.0 controller chipset with drivers that support UASP, as well as a USB 3.0 to SATA III Bridge Chipset with firmware that supports UASP)

See this page about it from 2012 (and newer bridge chipsets are much faster than something like the older Asmedia 1051 being discussed in that older article).

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/usb-3-uas-turbo,3215-4.html

The Intel USB 3.0 Controller chipsets found in newer motherboards tend to be the fastest when used with UASP compatible drivers, and the Asmedia 1053e USB 3.0 to SATA III Bridge chipsets tend to be the fastest you'll find in USB 3.0 attached enclosures and docking stations.

The older Asmedia 1051 series USB 3.0 to SATA III bridge chipsets were not too bad either, if they were upgraded with newer firmware over time by the vendor selling the enclosures or docking stations. But, the latest 1053e is faster.

Note that there is an even newer Asmedia ASM1153e (versus ASM1053e) chipset that starting showing up in place of the ASM1053e chipset around February. But, it's my understanding that the newer Asmedia ASM1153e has the same performance as the Asmedia ASM1053e, only with some additional power saving features built in.

UASP support started appearing a while back, with Asus launching it in some of their motherboards first, requiring Asus licensed drivers for that feature to work (even when it's an Intel USB 3.0 Controller chipset on the MB, since their driver checks to see if it's being used with an Asus motherboard or not).

If you look at some of the older Asus articles on it, you'll see UASP support shown as an Asus exclusive feature:

http://event.asus.com/mb/2010/The_Best_USB3_Experience/The_UASP_For_USB3.0.htm

Anyway, UASP uses a "4 pipe" model where each signal type has it's own path, allowing for out of order execution and more; whereas the older BOT protocol still being used by USB 3.0 implementations is serial in nature, with slower transfer rates due to latency issues, etc.

Some of the other MB makers are now starting to include UASP drivers for use with Win 7, too (but, they have to license UASP, passing on that cost to consumers).

With Windows 8.x, Microsoft provides UASP capable drivers that work with UASP compatible USB 3.0 Controllers from Intel, Asmedia and others.

But, as mentioned, the Intel USB 3.0 ports are fastest.

Here's a review showing a USB 3.0 enclosure using an Asmedia 1053e USB to SATA bridge chipset with a system using an ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe Motherboard that includes USB 3.0 ports from both Intel and Asmedia controllers. Note that the Intel Z77 ports were faster with that enclosure:

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Motherboards/Oyen-Digital-MiniPro-eSATA-USB-30-Portable-Hard-Drive-Enclosure-Review/Device-P

IOW, the Intel USB 3.0 ports using UASP drivers were faster, followed by the Asmedia USB 3.0 ports using UASP drivers. But, even the Intel 3.0 Ports without UASP drivers were still faster than the eSATA port built into that motherboard (for one thing, it's SATA II versus SATA III)

Most USB 3.0 attached docking stations are still using a SATA II interface to the drive, and are not using a UASP compatible bridge chipset either.

So, for best performance with a USB 3.0 docking station or enclosure, you really need to be using Intel USB 3.0 Ports from your computer with UASP drivers, combined with an enclosure that has a newer UASP compatible USB 3.0 to SATA III bridge chipset like the Asmedia 1053e (or just released Asmedia 1153e).

Here's another review of docking station using an Asmedia 1153e (only with an Asus board that only has Intel USB 3.0 Ports).

http://www.legitreviews.com/inateck-fd1006c-uasp-usb-3-docking-station-review_158422

A direct SATA III connection is still a bit faster due to no conversion overhead needed. But, with a UASP compatible setup, there's not a lot of speed loss like you see with most USB 3.0 attached docking stations and enclosures using much slower chipsets that are not UASP compatible.

Basically, the OP has a new Dell XPS 8700 computer using an Intel USB 3.0 C220 (8 series) eXtensible Host Controller (this Dell uses an Intel Z87 chipset) running Windows 8.1 (and Win 8.x includes native UASP USB 3.0 drivers).

With Win 7, you need to find UASP compatible drivers from board makers like Asus or Gigabyte. But, with Win 8.x, Microsoft includes native UASP capable USB 3.0 drivers that work with chipsets that support UASP (like the Intel chipsets you'll find used in 7/8/9 series motherboards).

So, one of the docking stations using an Asmedia 1053e (or newer 1153e) USB 3.0 to SATA III bridge chipset with UASP support should work fine with the OP's new computer when plugged into one of the Intel USB 3.0 ports (using Microsoft Win 8.x drivers supporting UASP)

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JimC
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