Docking Station

seekermeister

Honorable Member
#21
Another thing he said was:

In terms of speed over USB 3.0, its maximum transfer speed is 5Gb/s over USB 3.0.

When using stand alone method, it duplicates 3200MB/minute
I would have thought it would be faster using the stand alone method than interfacing with the PC, because there is less obstacles in between. However "maximum" transfer speed doesn't necessarily mean what is realistic.
 


Mike

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#22
The transfer speed will be limited by the device. A good USB thumb drive will give you around 80-150MB/s on the read transfer with USB3 right now. When you look at what that was with USB2 it was, much, much slower. Most 7200RPM SATA-3 drives never make the 6Gbps specification at all. You would need to RAID those drives until you maxed out the controller at that throughput level. I still feel eSATA was not given a fair shake. On old laptop with the side miniport for PCI-Express cards, its possible to run eSATA or USB3 off of that type of port. These are no longer being built into the laptops because they have native USB3 support with the chipset. Today you still see 6Gbps SAS controllers linked up to server boards as if this is some amazing innovation, with the PCI-E cards often being an outrageous charge.

Either way. it is a close approximation of what you would get, if the drive was installed internally. But the technical specifications for eSATA were in fact faster. The other issue with eSATA was that it often required an external power source, which USB3, on newer devices, do not require. In fact, some of them will now stay on and continue charging. All sorts of rapid charging technology is coming from the implementation of USB3.

I found eSATA to be a better option, early on, simply because you are connecting what would be internal storage using the same technology that is used when you assemble a system. Its the same basic SATA cabling (granted there is the eSATA cabling, but the end connector is basically so that it doesn't fall out all the time like a normal SATA cable would on the inside of a system. The cables also need to be more shielded than internal cables.

eSATA was better than USB3 but it wasn't as easily as accessible. When people go to the store they do not want to hear about putting together their own external hard drive and all of these things - even though it could save them a lot of money. Otherwise no one would buy a Western Digital Passport USB3 drive. They would just buy a laptop hard disk themselves, the external enclosure, actually use a screw driver, and create the partition when they plug it in. The requirement of having an external power source was also a major problem for eSATA, but I still use it to diagnose hard disks, with a StarTech 4-drive that connects via eSATA and a KingWin EZ-Dock for one additional drive.

Better support for ESATA could easily have been built into laptop chipsets. Remember, the early implementation of eSATA ports was using PCI-E cards and cables that connected to real SATA on the inside of a workstation. In a lot of ways this was very similar to the implementation to SCSI on server platforms (Today, the idea of SCSI is becoming even more and more silly as people realize they can just buy SSDs for a much cheaper price, even industrial ones, and create a legitimate off-site backup plan). Some motherboards came out with the eSATA functionality, built into the chipset, but this is more or less a curiosity since USB3 has become widely popular.

Server technology still relies on the five 9 idea. The 99.999% uptime guarantee, which with SMBs and outside of datacenters, is mostly a myth. A small company that needs one domain controller will often find themselves spending $50,000 dollars on server technology for their office that uses outdated, expensive technology like SCSI, that still won't prevent them from a melt-down if the operating system is infiltrated or the system does not have credible backup. I have seen the Active Directory implementation done poorly and incorrectly, even after so much money was spent on a bunch of soon-to-be obsolete server hardware.

Today, I would fully endorse setting up a server that uses eSATA, USB3, redundant backups, and a server motherboard for SSD- not SCSI or SATA storage. It would be best if SCSI would go away completely... some how this is still a sticking point for large consulting firms, presumably due to the ridiculous cost associated with it.
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#23
A very minor point, but internal SATA cables don't fall off, if you use cables with locking connectors.
 


badrobot

Senior Member
#24
As a piece of advice, you don't wanna go headless (no PC/Monitor) when cloning or duplicating a hard drive. It really doesn't sound that easy. In fact, even with PC, it's still not that easy sometimes. You wont' know if there are errors or what is going on during the process or how much longer before it gets done. You might be waiting for hours without knowing that nothing is really going in there. It's stuck or it froze in the middle of the task, etc. And when you pull out the drives without knowing what is going on, you may just do damage to it. USB 3.0 is fast. And don't settle with the idea that it is faster to do tasks without a PC. You haven't done this before, so you really don't know. You won't go wrong with a simple USB 3.0 dock.

Cheers!
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#25
That may be true, but the reason that idea appealed to me, is because the last time I "cloned" a drive was just a couple of days ago, which actually I did using TI Sync, on which I posted a thread about here, regarding the huge amount of fragmentation it produced. That couldn't be seen either, until it had spent a number of hours completing, but in the end, it took over 24 hours to finish, when counting the syncing and defragging together.

If it worked okay, I might use it for more sensitive purposes, but at the moment, I'm just thinking about duplicating my video archives on different drives, and operating blind wouldn't be any worse than I have had to be doing up til now. The only other method that I have not tried yet, is to use the actual cloning function in TI, that was next on the slate.
 


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seekermeister

Honorable Member
#26
Too bad there aren't any Light Peak docking stations available yet.

EDIT: Or better yet, a Light Peak optical interconnect docking station. Of course then they would need to make a much, much faster SATA drive.
 


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seekermeister

Honorable Member
#27
I have been testing the new docking station (Connectland Dock-3UBT3) according to original box and manual ID, and (CL-ENC50038) according to a label added, apparently because it was sold under the name of Syba. The tests were not nearly as good as I hoped for, as can be seen in the screenshots. 2 TB Front Turbo.png 2 TB Rear Turbo.png 3TB eSATA.png

The first was made on the Front USB 3.0 ports, the second on the rear USB 3.0 ports and the third on a larger drive connected via eSATA for comparison (both drives are SATA II). It shows that something is wrong on the front port, and that at best, it's on about a par with eSATA on the rear port. According the the performance specs that I've read, it should be much better than it is...or am I misunderstanding something?
 


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badrobot

Senior Member
#28
Is your USB 3.0 port from the mobo or an add-on controller?
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#29
No, it is an onboard device, which is run by a NEC Electronics controller.
 


badrobot

Senior Member
#30
No, it is an onboard device, which is run by a NEC Electronics controller.
In that case, I agree, something is wrong. On my Vantec USB 3.0 Dock, I am getting around 300mbps read & write speed which is 10x faster than your readings. That is like a USB 2.0 speed.


read-write-test.jpg
 


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seekermeister

Honorable Member
#31
Found part of the problem...the front port is connected to a USB 2.0 connector. Somehow, I was thinking that I had tw0 USB 3.0 connectors on the motherboard, but rechecking the manual, I find that I only have one, which the rear ports are connected to. Still that doesn't solve the problem with the rear ports performance. At this point, I don't know if the problem is with the docking station or the ports?
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#32
Checking the USB 3.0 root hubs in the Device Manager shows something that seems strange. Even though it says that they are working properly, the Properties window doesn't show the Advanced, Power and Power Management tabs that the USB 2.0 hubs do. Also it doesn't show a location on the General tab. Any ideas as to why that should be? USB 2.0.png USB 3.0.png
 


badrobot

Senior Member
#33
first thing that comes to my mind is the driver. You may want to check for driver updates first.

Edit:

You know what, forget what I said. Mine is the same. I think those USB ports that have "power management" feature etc., are the ones where PC peripherals should be connected (mouse, keyboard, etc.) but can also be used for data.
 


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seekermeister

Honorable Member
#34
Okay, next idea?
 


badrobot

Senior Member
#35
Hard to say because we don't really know which one have problems. The dock or your USB ports? Try a USB 3.0 flash drive if you have one to check your usb3 ports once more.
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#36
Would the fact that the test drive was formatted on eSATA, instead of USB 3.0 make a difference?

EDIT: Even though the motherboard has eSATA III, the controller on the external case is only SATA II.
 


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seekermeister

Honorable Member
#37
Hard to say because we don't really know which one have problems. The dock or your USB ports? Try a USB 3.0 flash drive if you have one to check your usb3 ports once more.
Don't think I have one that is 3.0. The only one that I find at the moment is only 2.0.
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#38
HD Tune 2 TB.png I think that only two of my drives are SATA III, but both are in use as internal drives, which make them inconvenient to test with. Not even sure that either of them would be useful at the moment, because while Googling around, I stumbled on some returns regarding one drive (wdc wd1002faex-00y9a0) that says that the drive needs a firmware upgrade to be properly recognized as a SATA III drive. I couldn't find anything in the Device Manager that clarifies what the case for this drive is, but I did with HD Tune, as shown in the screenshot.

Now the question is where to find the firmware upgrade, because the WDC website is such a maze, that I get lost. Pages and pages of listings, but in no specific order. 1002FAEX.png

EDIT: When I select the 2TB drive that is in the docking station, HD Tune sees it, but doesn't shown anything regarding S.M.A.R.T. data or anything else. HD Tune 2 TB.png
 


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seekermeister

Honorable Member
#39
I just tried another drive in the docking station, and HD Tune doesn't show any data on it either...shouldn't it?

EDIT: Found the reason that one of the drives doesn't show any data, because I got one of my inop drives, instead of the one that I thought I had. With it in the docking station, HD Tune does see the data, but when I put the original 2TB drive in instead, it doesn't. Maybe that means that the drive has a defect, but it does work with accessing files and in benchmarking, so I don't know if that is the reason for the low USB performance or not?
 


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seekermeister

Honorable Member
#40
In that case, I agree, something is wrong. On my Vantec USB 3.0 Dock, I am getting around 300mbps read & write speed which is 10x faster than your readings. That is like a USB 2.0 speed.


View attachment 25374
I got to rethinking this through, and the speed that you circled is in mbps, which is not the same as MB/s, as HD Tune uses. Converting the figure for bytes per second to MB/s, you get ~42. Which is less than the average of ~97MB/s that HD Tune benched mine at.

Not that that is particularly good, because it still is only on a par with the eSATA figure. Not as good as hoped, but perhaps as good as can be expected.
 


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