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midix

Looking for a reliable USB 3 two-bay 3.5 enclosure

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Posted · Original PosterOP

As the title says, I'm looking for an external storage device that is directly attachable to a PC and has two bays, so I can manage two 3.5 disks at once. I don't need any RAID modes, just two disks visible as separate devices from a Windows 10 machine (and maybe also Linux, but I could live without proper Linux support).

 

I have looked at some candidates from Mediasonic (cannot find in my country, would have to order from Amazon.de), Raidsonic, some less known brands but almost all of them had complaints about reliability or working much too slow for modern USB 3 standards (UASP is needed to make them faster, but not every device has it) or being unable to expose two separate disks or not supporting more then 2TB per disk (I need at least 4TB).

 

In worst case, I could sacrifice speed, but it must be reliable without slowing down or disconnecting for no obvious reason.

 

Does such enclosure exist? Something with USB 3.1 or even 3.2 with UASP and stable speed, no overheating, solid construction?

 

Or is it too exotic device and I should go for a NAS instead (but it seems an overkill for my needs)?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks, I was considering docking stations as the worst case scenario, but I'd prefer a closed case. Docking stations leave disks exposed and positioned vertically, so it's a bit dangerous if I want to leave disks in for long time.

 

Or I could come up with some ghetto solution with a case over the disks and turning them horizontally :D  But I'd prefer something out-of-the-box.

 

Bare adapters might not work at all (or work unreliably) for 3.5 disks because they might require more power than 2.5, especially if I connect two of them at once.

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12 minutes ago, midix said:

Thanks, I was considering docking stations as the worst case scenario, but I'd prefer a closed case. Docking stations leave disks exposed and positioned vertically, so it's a bit dangerous if I want to leave disks in for long time.

 

Or I could come up with some ghetto solution with a case over the disks and turning them horizontally :D  But I'd prefer something out-of-the-box.

 

Bare adapters might not work at all (or work unreliably) for 3.5 disks because they might require more power than 2.5, especially if I connect two of them at once.

i've never had any issues with Vertically mounted drives, and exposing them isn't an issue either. it's not like you're going to be spraying grape soda in a fine mist all around the room regularly..... right?

 

bare adapters seem to work fine for 3.5 drives. the power isn't an issue in a healthy drive. 

they'd be two seperate adapters, so even if you connected two at once you aren't increasing the power load on a single adapter, just maybe the USB bus inside the computer. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Well, I intend to keep the drives somewhere behind the table on the floor in the corner of the room, and then dust might accumulate on the drives very soon. I could put some case over them, but then I would be worried about temperatures.

 

Anyway, I will go for a docking station only if I cannot find a reliable enclosure with a temperature-controlled fan.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Oh, that Thermaltake Duet has maximum capacity of 2 TB, will have to look for a newer model anyway.

 

And some 3.5" drives require 12V power - I'm not sure which USB adapters have such conversion built-in (suspect that the ones without external power don't have 12V, but maybe I'm outdated and all modern USB3-SATA adapters have 5V->12V converter for 3.5" drives).

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks, I just did some digging about these.

 

For Silverstone, I can get only TS231U-C but it costs 125 EUR which is a hefty price (it has RAID built-in, which I don't need - that's an issue with most 2-bay cases, unfortunately).

The same with OWC OWCMED3FR0GB - good quality but too many features to pay for.

 

ICYRaid - no signs of these models nor in my country, nor closest Europe Amazon sites (DE and CO.UK).

 

Sigh. I guess, quality always come with features I don't want to pay for. It's tricky to find something high quality but basic, and thus somewhat cheaper.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Yep, I can search, I have seen Orico, Mediasonic etc. and they all have so much negative reviews about points that matter to me, or a bunch of flaky features (RAID in this price segment is rubbish, better not have it all than risking your data).

 

This this product category seems to be ignored by most of the "big players" who, in theory, could provide more reliable solutions. Unless I go for OWC, which is more Mac-oriented and so expensive that I can buy a NAS for that price.

 

And also this product category is not popular enough to collect detailed experience stories about quality, speed, durability in long term. So, for now I'll get some cheaper docking station and we'll see how it goes. If it fails, I'll go for a NAS.

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