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-- Vantec NexStar 2 External 5.25" Device Enclosure
-- Category: Review
-- Posted by: merlinicorpus
-- Posted on: 2005-01-07
-- Price: ~ $50.00 USD
-- Pages: 1 2 3 4 [ 5 ]
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Before we start testing the drive, here are some basic features taken from the Vantec website:

  • Integrated 40x40mm Cooling Fan
  • Transfer Rates Up to 480Mbps With USB 2.0
  • Easily Add A 5.25" Device to Any System With USB
  • Hot-Swappable: Plug & Play Without Rebooting
  • Easy Installation: No Need To Open Computer

For testing purposes I ran the Nero CD/DVD Speed Test with the drive connected to USB 2.0 and on a regular IDE channel.  I used my trusty I Love Bees DVD for all of the read tests and burned a few 16x DVD-R disks to test burn speeds.

When burning DVDs I noticed very little difference in burn speed at all.  The drive had both the fastest and slowest burn time on IDE, but the difference was so small that you wouldn't notice it in the real world.

DVD read speed was a slightly different story.

Firewire Testing
click to make bigger

IDE Testing
click to make bigger

The top image is the drive when placed in the NexStar running on USB 2.0.  The second is the same drive when placed on the secondary master IDE bus.  As you can see, there is very little difference in the overall read speed.  However when placed in the NexStar, the drive seems to use more CPU cycles.  Also interesting to note, the drive had consistently better seek times while in the NexStar, but had vastly better burst transfer rates on IDE.

While there are some slight performance differences, you aren't likely to notice any of this in a real world situation.  For all intents and purposes, the drive behaves just like it would on a standard IDE bus.

When I was putting the drive together I was pleasantly surprised by the way it was designed.  The original NexStar seemed like it had been sketched out on a napkin and thrown together out of spare parts overnight.  This wasn't the case on the redesigned model.  Everything was well thought out and solidly constructed.  There is ample cooling, no tiny screws, a standard power cord, and some shock protection.  Best of all, the new model looks much better than the old one.



Pros:

  • Solid design
  • Good documentation
  • Active cooling
  • Fast transfer rates
  • Visually appealing
  • Quiet


Cons:

  • May not work with longer drives

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