I recently brought a Icy Dock MB881US-1S-1 Hard Drive Dock. It supports eSATA and USB. I got it because I do lots of backing up of hard disks, and the USB->IDE bridges are great....but Sloooow. I thought I would try this one out because the eSATA interface in theory should make the unit faster.
For the test I used a Seagate 7200.11 ST3160813AS 160Gb Drive and HDD Tune. My motherboard is a ASUS P6T SE with Jmicron onboard JMB36X eSATA.
A few things about the unit:
1) To support hot swapping I had to (a) enable the onboard esata in bios (b) set the mode to AHCI so it supports hot swap (not IDE mode).
2) I also had to update the esata jmicron driver for windows 7 from the jmicron site (to 220.127.116.11)
3) It supports both 3.5" and 2.5" drives.
4) I also got it to work (hot swap too) with IDE drives by using a IDE/SATA bridge, but this mini review is limited to native sata drives.
5) The unit comes with power pack, esata cable, usb cable and sata to esata cable/bracket.
Here is the link to the product:
Not bad with an average of 89.4MB/s.
Average 87.1Mb/s - again pretty good.
**** USB-IDE BRIDGE ****
Well pretty clear drop here 33.3MB/s (vs 89.4MB/s eSATA)
Again a lot slower at 25.7MB/s.
I noticed that the eSATA does taper off as time goes on but the overall performance is faster. I am not sure how slow the eSATA would go if the test was run for longer?
Pretty happy so far and its hot swappable like the USB bridges too.
The ICY DOCK is available at various places - I picked mine up for about $75.
Using Drive Image XML I backedup 10Gb of data. With the USB-IDE/SATA bridge it took 18:27 vs 5:06 using eSATA Icy Dock. Thats quite a time saving......
PS: Roll on USB 3.0!!!