Eagle Tech Consus
The external hard drive market has grown quickly with vast amounts of data needing to be moved from one system to another that a USB drive simply cannot handle. The preferred connection method is now by far eSATA with its greater performance namely for read and write speeds. However, many users still require the older USB 2.0 connection as their cases do not allow for easy eSATA usage and so most enclosures offer both connections. Today, we take a look at an enclosure focused purely on the older connection; with the focus solely on the USB outlet, will it be able to punch above its weight and produce some good results? Let’s take a look…
Eagle Tech’s Take on the M-Series
Speed matters! No other enclosure offers the performance and convenience of this tool less enclosure. Truly hot swappable: just snap in your hard drive and it is ready for use. Works like a HDD reader without the bare drive risks. Solid aluminium construction improves heat dissipation to prolong the lifespan of your hard drives. Patented F.I.T. ensures smooth drive loading/unloading at all times. Supports latest 1.5TB drives.
- Solid aluminium
- Works like a HDD reader without bare drive risks
- Just snap in your drive and it is ready for use
- Completely tool less and hot swappable
- Patented F.I.T. (Fast Installation Technology)
- Virtualization software by VMWare (30 day trial)
- Plug-n-Play via USB 2.0
- Usage: Quick hard drive imaging and multiple OS boot up
- Type: External drive enclosure
- Form Factor: 3.5”
- Hard Drive Compatibility: 1.5TB
- Internal Interface: SATA I/II
- External Interface: Hi-speed USB 2.0
- Data Transfer Rate: 480Mbps
- Power Source: Universal Switching Power Adapter (5V/12V 2.0A)
- Power Input: 100-240VAC, 50/60Hz
- Certification: FCC, CE Certified and RoHS compliant
- O.S. Required: Microsoft Win98SE/Vista/ME/2000/XP Mac OS 9.0 or higher Linux
- Dimension: 7.2 x 4.9 x 1.2 inch
- Weight: 2.6 lbs
Contents & Packaging
The packaging, as with the T-series enclosure, is clad in vibrant orange which certainly catches the eye. A large image of the M-Series enclosure occupies the right hand side with the features bullet pointed on the left along with some orange badges at the bottom emphasising some of the more important details such as lifetime tech support and tool-less installation.
The back is home to a multitude of information. The F.I.T. (Fast Installation Technology) is outlined in the centre complete with some explanatory images. A short blurb and the specifications are also present and last but not least, the correct model has a black sticker next to it – the bad news is this particular model will only support a USB 2.0 connection and not eSATA.
A number of accessories accompany the main enclosure:
- Power supply
- USB cable
- Installation manual
- Resource CD
- Key (to open the enclosure)
The resource CD not only contains a step-by-step tutorial on setting up the product but also a Disk Doctor’s Data Recovery demo and avast! Antivirus Home Edition – so you do get a few added extras with your purchase to sweeten the deal.
Powering the M-series enclosure is a small power supply with a US mains plug; therefore for use in the UK an adapter will be needed but the input voltages (110-240) are such that a transformer isn’t required.
Eagle Tech M-Series ET-CSMSU2-BK
The enclosure itself is matte black and appears to be more practical than stylish. The black mesh exterior does look the part though and could easily sit on any computer desk without looking out of place. A small Eagle Tech logo is found at one end and an LED strip at the other to indicate when the device is powered up.
The enclosure boasts transfer speeds of 480MB/s which should be adequate but we’ll see how it shapes up later.
The underside of the M-series enclosure has rubber pads in each and every corner allowing the enclosure to just sit flat. Alternatively, a small plastic base is included so the enclosure can be seated upright depending on what best suits the user.
A small bar code sticker shows the model number and a few symbols for recycling and other purposes.
The two ends are the key parts of the design; one is shiny black and contains the two ports – one for the USB cable; one for the power – and the on/off switch. Above are a few logos, RoHS compliant etc.
The other, whilst at first glance appears relatively plain, opens up using a small key at the top allowing a 3.5” SATA hard drive to slide into place hence installation is very easy living up to the F.I.T. (Fast Installation Technology) label – no screws or tools are required.
The Test Setup:
|Processor||Intel Core i7 C0 920 @ 2.67GHz|
|Graphics Card||XFX 1GB Radeon 4870|
|Memory||OCZ Gold Triple Channel Platinum-10666 6GB (3 x 2GB)|
|Hard Drive||Seagate Barracuda 3.0GB/s 7200.10 500GB,Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB|
|Power Supply||NOX Apex 700W|
|Enclosure||Cooler Master ATCS-840|
|OS||Windows Vista 64-bit|
When testing HDD enclosures, you are not so much testing the product itself but more how much each type of connection affects the hard drive performance. To do this we look at four different readings: average write speed (MB/s), average read speed (MB/s), burst rate (MB/s) and random access time (ms).
In order to record these values, we used HDTach running the long benchmark. We will only be comparing the USB results to straight SATA as the M-Series ET-CSMSU2-BK does not have the option of eSATA connectivity.
The hard drive used in the enclosure and for all the testing will be a Western Digital 160GB Caviar Blue (WD1600AAJS).
For comparison purposes the Vizo Luzon and Eagle Tech T-series were also tested.
Although of course this set of results will not get anywhere close to that of eSATA performance, the M-series USB performance comes out on top. Albeit by quite a small difference, the speeds are higher than some good competition from both the ET T-Series and the Vizo enclosure.
Again, the ET-CSMSU2-BK model proves it worth by an extra 0.8MB/s for the burst speeds – nothing major but an improvement on other enclosures for sure.
Finally, we come to random access time which obviously for SATA hard drives is going to be much higher than the newer solid state drives but the results don’t tend to differ that much from enclosure to enclosure. AT 15.6ms it’s not quite as good as it could be but it’s only 0.1ms off the T-series which is a fairly insignificant difference.
CostThis particular enclosure from Eagle Tech will only set you back around £20 which is not going to break the bank.
The USB results are very encouraging from the M-Series enclosure are very encouraging and for the most part they came out above both the T-series enclosure and the impressive Vizo Luxon. The speeds are still far off eSATA standards but then USB 2.0 is never going to get close.
What’s disappointing is that this model doesn’t support the eSATA connection and with maybe users turning to this alternative transfer method due to the much increased transfer rates, it’s a wonder Eagle Tech only implemented eSATA into a different model instead of making it universal across the whole M-series range.
That said, for users looking for USB connectivity, this model is right up there in terms of performance. Combine that with an incredibly easy installation method, a few software freebies and you have a very attractive package that is certainly a tempting purchase.
- Great performance
- Very easy installation
- Free Software CD
- Good aesthetics
- No eSATA connection
Thanks go to Eagle Tech for providing the HDD Enclosure for review.