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Windows 7: Dock Vs Enclosure

23 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
Dock Vs Enclosure

hey sevenforums,

soon i will be getting some new green drives for backups because my old one is almost full anyway im not sure which would be a better option..

1. buy a Vantec Nexstar Dual SATA Hard Drive Dock (USB3.0) and then store the drives in a anti static bag or plastic case when not in use

2. buy a Vantec NexStar 3.5'' USB 3.0 Enclosure NST-380S3 for better protection and cooling

at the moment i only need 1 external green drive but i will add more in the future

would it be worth adding a product like this for some kind of cooling to the dock or no point because it wont be accessed for very long?

Arctic Cooling Arctic Breeze USB Desktop Fan
Arctic Cooling Arctic Breeze USB Desktop Fan [AC-BREEZE] - $19.00 : PC Case Gear

ive read mixed opinions about the older dock models but some good ones about the usb 3.0 model

would anything bad happen to the drive because it pops up like a toaster or is it perfectly safe? lol


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2010   #2

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit / XP Home sp3

It's mostly a personal preference I would think. Since your stating your not going to be using the drive for any length of time cooling shouldn't be an issue.

When I have the funds I'm going to go the way of the dock since it can be used with either a 3.5 or a 2.5 inch drive and some can be hot swapped. Just is a more versatile usage situation.
JMO Fabe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I own a couple of the Thermaltake eSata/USB2 enclosures and they are great (1 at work and 1 at home). They are currently only $24 from NewEgg after a rebate - Thermaltake BlacX ST0005U External Hard Drive SATA Enclosure Docking Station 2.5” & 3.5” USB 2.0 & eSATA

Both my home computer and work laptop have eSATA I get plenty of speed from USB 3.0 wasn't a requirement for me.

I simply leave the hard drive in the dock when it's not being used, I just turn off the power to the DOCK so that the hard drive is not spinning.

Extra cooling has not been an issue for me as well. My drives barely get warm. I use the Samsung SpinPoint HD204UI 2TB drives with mine. Got them for about $90 from NewEgg.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Dec 2010   #4
James Colbert


I use a front sata panel:

Akasa Thermal Solution

Less than $15 when I bought it and comes with the data and power cable.

I keep my drives in a stack on one of my desks. Works well, and, running in AHCI mode, I can merely plug one of the bare drives in and, just like USB, it recognizes and mounts the drive. And it has the same write speeds as an onboard sata (which is what it is).

I have been considering a dock. When I build another system, it will likely have native USB3. I suppose then I will try a sata-USB3 dock and compare the speed. For now, this works great.

Dirt cheap if you already have the drives.
Mulitple drives at your fingertips, ready to plug in and use in seconds.
no need for multiple enclosures.
Great for easy access rotating backups
If you attach an akasa to your designated system drive sata port, you can easily use other OS's by switching the drives (no hot swapping for that, though).

The possiblities are endless.

As with all HDs, one must be careful not to drop or bang the drive around.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I use an internal WD Green 1.5 TB hard drive for general backup.

But--I do use a simple dock for backup purposes as well. Every couple of months I connect the dock and insert a spare 320 gig drive into it and then drag and drop my data to it, as if it were a huge USB thumb drive. Works very well for that purpose. It's just another backup that I can then store off site in case my house burns down or my PC is stolen.

The alternative was to make DVDs or use USB thumb drives--but those choices are very tedious or expensive when dealing with close to 300 GB of data. This way I can take advantage of an otherwise unused and retired hard drive.

No heat issues. The drive gets warm to the touch just as it would if mounted internally, but not excessively.

I saw no advantage in my case in getting an enclosure. If I were using the 320 gig drive daily, then maybe an enclosure might make sense--but in my case the dock sits in the closet unconnected until I break it out for a new backup.

The dock is a Rosewill RX-DUS 100, purchased for $30 from New Egg. It has both USB and eSATA connections, but my motherboard does not support eSATA--so I just use USB. No problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate

thanks for the replies everyone, if anyone else has any comments to add feel free to do so :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I used the USB 2.0 version of this enclosure. - Rosewill RX358 RX-358-U3B Full Aluminum Cover, metal tray 3.5" Black USB 3.0 External Enclosure
The fan is noisy, but can be turned off.
I would choose it over the NST-380S3 - VANTEC NexStar 3 SuperSpeed Aluminum 3.5" Black USB 3.0 External Enclosure because you do get a fan and it's well built.
It's always better to have cooling than no cooling at all, IMO.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate

thanks for the link p5bdkw, the vantec has a aluminum case which draws the heat away but yeah a fan is always better :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2010   #9

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

I have 2 Samsung Spinpoints HD 103SJ in rosewell enclosures. Both are esata and USB. I use the esata. One has a fan and the other does not. Neither gets more than luke warm. Of course, I don't keep them running all the time but have run them for several hours with no problems at all. I love them. On either one I can do an image with macrium in just over 3 minutes. It takes 7 to do one with my USB 3.0 external.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate

thanks for the reply essenbe
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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