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Thermaltake BlacX Duet Review



For testing I primarily compared the USB and eSATA interfaces to an Internal SATA interfaces using HDTune and SiSoft Sandra. In HDTune I did some simultaneous testings to see how well the dock performed when accessing both drives at the same time. When I tested with two discs I used the Seagate ST3500320AS and ST3500418AS drives which come in at 7200.10 and 7200.12 RPM respectively. When doing the regular comparison tests however I only used the ST3500418AS both internally and in the docking station. I also included real world transfer testing to compare the dock to internal connections.


Testing Setup:


Drives used:

  • Seagate 500GB 7200.10 (ST3500320AS)(Used in dual disc tests)
  • Seagate 500GB 7200.12 (ST3500418AS)(Used in all single disc tests)



  • 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.



I really wasn't surprised to see that the eSATA interface kept up with internal SATA. I had half expected the results to match but this might be limitations of eSATA, who knows. Of course USB didn't even come close to keeping up with either the eSATA nor the internal interfaces. Also, it wasn't a surprise that the performance dropped when attempting to access both devices in either eSATA or USB modes. Sadly I doubt many people prospecting this dock will be able to utilize both drives in eSATA mode considering current Intel onboard SATA chipsets do not possess the ability to see Port Multipliers. So unless you luck out having a onboard SATA chipset with this functionality or a SATA add-on card you're out of luck.

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