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Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station Review



Now we get down to the performance side of the review. I have seen early runs of USB 3.0 at CES 2010, but this is the first time since getting my USB 3.0 motherboard that I have been able to see the true speeds first hand. I am going to be running a series of benchmarks that will test the speeds of the dock and the drives that are attached to it. I will be using three drives in the tests, a Seagate 750GB 7200 RPM 3.5 inch HDD, a Seagate Momentus HT 500GB Hybrid Drive, and an OCZ Vertex 2 120GB Solid State Drive. I will also be using the same three drives in the original BlacX and a Kingwin EZ-Dock for comparison. The EZ-Dock features USB 2.0 and eSATA so both interfaces will be run to show the differences between USB 3.0 and eSATA.


Testing Setup:


Comparison Docks:


Drives used:



  • Average Transfer Rate (HD Tune)
  • Access Time (HD Tune)
  • Burst Rate (HD Tune)
  • CPU Usage (HD Tune)
  • Physical Disk Drive Index (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
  • Physical Disk Access Time (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
  • File Systems Drive Index (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
  • File Systems Access Time (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
  • Real world transfer time



HD Tune:

HDTune allows you to do many things with hard drives beyond benchmarking, however, for the purposes of this review I just used it for benchmarking. After the benchmark finished I recorded the Average Transfer Rate, Access Time, Burst Rate, and CPU Usage.




SiSoft Sandra:

SiSoft Sandra allows you to run a veriety of hardware benchmarks on your PC. For the purposes of testing I investigated Physical and File Systems in both Drive Index and Access Time. Upon completion of each test I marked down testing statistics




Real Time File Transfer:

Here I take 10MB, 100MB, and 500MB zipped files and transfer them from Internal drive to external and internal to internal. During each transfer I start a stopwatch at the beginning and stop it at the end and then record the time it took for the transfer to complete. For me 1 second was an instant transfer, as in no dialog box showed for it, it completed before one could be displayed.



The USB 3.0 tests' performance just literally blew away the USB 2.0 tests' performance. There was just no competition between the two. The transfers were that on par with the internal and eSATA connections, which allows you to have internal transfer speeds from an external dock.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: Continued
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing
  5. Conclusion
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