I-NA215U USB 3.0 enclosure with maximum transfer rate of 5 Gb/s is an excellent choice for anyone that is looking for a light and stylish casing for their 2.5” format drive.
The Ineo I-NA215U USB 3.0 enclosure is priced at $35.99 at NEWEGG.
- The sleek design, portable, conveniently save data anywhere
- Super light weight, super easy to carry, and superspeed USB 3.0
- Contemporary design is fashionable with an elegant trend
- Stylish Vogue Casing design
- USB 3.0 transfer rate up to 5Gbps. USB 2.0 transfer rate up to 480Mb/s
- Truly Plug and Play and Hot Swappable
- Supports: Windows 98SE / 2000 / Mac / Linux for USB 2.0
- Supports: Windows XP / Vista / 7 for USB 3.0
Interface: USB 3.0 to 2.5” SATA HDD
Supports: SATA I/II Hard Disk Drive
Data transfer rate: USB 2.0: 480Mbps / USB 3.0: 5Gbps
Maximum Speed: 5 Gb/s
System Requirements: Windows2000 / XP / Vista / 7, (32/64-bit)
Instruction Light: Blue LED
Dimensions: 138x81x15 (mm)
Overview of USB 3.0
USB 3.0 has undergone as set of significant changes to achieve its newly attained efficiency. Aside from the standard four wires, (two used for differential data, one for power and one for ground), USB 3.0 is equipped with 4 more wires to support additional differential data. There is a pair of wires designed specifically for receiving and a pair specifically for transmitting. Another drastic change is the new signaling method. Polling, previously used in USB 2.0, is no longer used. Instead, the signaling is asynchronous. Therefore, USB 3.0 is bi-directional, whereas with USB 2.0, the information could only be transmitted in one direction at a time.
It is important to know that while the USB 3.0 can utilize the maximum transfer rate of up to 5Gbps, current hard drives can barely reach the maximum capacity of 3.0. However, new technology such as RAID or SSDs do exceed the capabilities of USB 2.0, and make USB 3.0 worth acquiring. A lot of new products are appearing on the market, which are able to surpass the transfer limitations of USB 2.0. This increases the potential for USB 3.0 becoming the standard in the future.
USB 3.0 is perfectly compatible with 2.0, which means that even if the ports or the external devices have been modified to USB 3.0, old devices will still work properly. The old devices are simply unable to take the advantage of the newly added 4 wires, but the old signaling pins still remain in the same spots as in 2.0.
Another improvement is that USB 3.0 is able to provide a larger amount of power to the external devices. A more power hungry hard drive will be easily satisfied with the 900 mA, in comparison to USB 2.0’s 500 mA. USB 3.0 is also energy efficient. While it is able to provide up to 900 mA, in idle mode, it only supplies the device with 150 mA, which is not a significant increase from USB 2.0’s 100 mA idle.
Pictures & Impression
The I-NA215U Plus has a rather unique packaging that stands out. The front of the box reveals the actual product, which allows the customer to a see a glimpse of what they are getting. The INEO emblem appears throughout the package, clearly showing that the company takes great pride in its product. The back of the box provides a clear explanation of all the features and specifications of this product, including USB 3.0, which demonstrates a significant improvement over USB 2.0 in the provided chart. The I-NA215U Plus shows a great spectrum of compatibility with both Mac and PC, and is supported by a variety of operating systems, including the now ancient Windows 2000. Compatibility and the easy plug and play feature, which does not require a driver installation, make the I-NA215U Plus universal and suitable for any customer.
The product is nicely sealed and protected within the package. The enclosure itself is placed on the box with the auxiliary items (refer to the item list below) and is covered by the translucent plastic cover. Such packaging allows easy access to the product.
Contents of the box include the following:
- I-NA215U Plus External Hardrive Enclosure
- USB 3.0 Cable
- User Manual
The instruction manual serves as a clear guide on how to get the device working within minutes for both Windows and Mac OSX. The screwdriver provided with the case is convenient and allows for quickly assembly of the functional enclosure. The USB 3.0 cable does appear to be thicker than that of USB 2.0, due to the additional wires added on the inside to increase the transfer rate.
The enclosure is extremely light, due to its polycarbon alloy composition. It has dimensions of 138 x 81 x 15 mm, which is slightly larger than the iPhone, but still small enough to fit into a pocket. The top has a white color covered with a nice translucent plastic, which gives the silver Ineo logo a somewhat of a three dimensional effect. The bottom is metallic gray, and has four screws that allow easy access inside.
Inside the enclosure there is a spare screw. Three rubber pads are placed there for drive protection and absorption of vibration caused by the spinning platters. Despite the presence of these pads, however, the actual protection provided and vibration absorbed are disappointingly minimal. The top contains a USB 3.0 port and the controller. The controller chip is an ASM 1051, created by AS media, has been proven on multiple occasions to perform up to 10 times more efficient than any USB 2.0 chip. Hard drives can be mounted into the enclosure easily, without requirement of any additional screws.
As mentioned earlier, this enclosure has a wide spectrum of compatibility. It supports any 2.5” SATA I or SATA II drive. This also extends to solid state drives, which easily exceed the maximum transfer rate of USB 2.0. In this review we are using top of the line 128 GB N-series solid state drive produced by Zalman to test the performance of USB 3.0 enclosure as well as an average 2.5” 7200 RPM hard drive produced by Seagate.
The Ineo Technology I-NPC01 PCIe USB 3.0 card is an easy solution for those who are not able to keep up with modern technology and constantly update their computer systems. While USB 3.0 demonstrates a great improvement over USB 2.0, only the latest motherboards are equipped with USB 3.0 ports. At the same time, considering that newer motherboard are primarily geared towards features rather than performance increases, replacing an old motherboard for the sake of getting USB 3.0 port is highly impractical. The I-NPC01 PCI-E adapter demonstrates the same performance as USB 3.0 ports on the newer motherboards, and is a practical and cost-efficient solution for those who want the performance of USB 3.0 without breaking the bank for a new motherboard.
The Ineo Technology I-NCP01 PCI-E USB 3.0 card is priced at $45.00
The I-NPC01 PCI-E USB 3.0 card, equipped with the NEC Superspeed USB 3.0 controller, is capable of supporting a transfer rate of up to 5 Gbps, and providing two fully functional USB 3.0 ports. These chips are almost universal for all USB 3.0 systems, and demonstrate excellent performance. The card requires a PCI-E x1 slot, but can be placed into any PCI-E slot for convenience. The driver provided with the card has a wide spectum of compatibility with almost any operating system, including Windows 2000.
- Support PCI Express Base Specification Revision 2.0
- Single-Lan (x1) PCI Express throughput rates up to 5Gb/s
- Compliant with Universal Serial Bus 3.0 specification revision 1.0
- Supports USB data transfer rate of 1.5/12/480/5000Mbps
- Expands two external USB3.0 Super-Speed ports on the system
- Hot-Swapping feature allows you to connect/disconnect devices without powering down the system
- Interface: Single-Lane (x1) PCI Express Gen2
- Supports: SATA I/II Hard Disk Drive
- External USB 3.0 Ports: 2
- Maximum Speed: 5 Gb/s
- PCB Dimension: 80 (W) x 68.5(L)mm
- System Requirements: Windows2000/XP/2003/Vista/7, (32/64-bit)
PICTURES AND IMPRESSIONs
A USB 3.0 2 port adapter I-NPC01 is nicely packaged in a plastic enclosure with a cardboard back. A translucent front provides a general view of what the product looks like. General information, including features and specifications, is provided on the back of the packaging.
The package includes the I-NPC01 USB 3.0 adapter, intruction manual, and a small hard drive CD. The instruction manual provides clear guidelines on how to set up this card, as well as additional information about features and specifications. I-NPC01 requires a single PCI-E x1 slot and allows for a full use of two USB 3.0 ports. Installation is very simple and shouldn’t pose any problems even for those unfamiliar with computer hardware.
The top of the adapter card contains the NEC controller chip, with the ability to support the transfer rate of up to 5 Gbps. This type of controller is used in many of the newer motherboards with the capacity to support USB 3.0, and delivers excellent performance. The side panel contains two blue USB 3.0 ports (blue ports are indicative of USB 3.0 support). Each of the ports contains 8 threads in order to support a singificantly faster transfer rate in comparison to USB 2.0.
Testing and Methodology
In order to provide conclusive and objective results, four well-known and proven benchmarks as well as real life testing were used on three different external enclosure set ups. External enclosure set ups were designed to show a difference between USB 2.0 enclosure vs USB 3.0 enclosure as well the universal compatibility of reviewed I-NA215U USB 3.0 to both basic laptop 2.5” hard drives and top of the line solid state drives.
In-Win Dragon Rider
Intel Core i7 930 @ 3.8GHz
ASUS P6T Motherboard – LGA1366
Corsair 1333Mhz 6GB (3x 2GB) Kit
Thermalright True Black 120 with 2x Noctua NF-P12 Fans
1x Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200.12 Hard Drive
External Hard Drives / SSDs
Zalman N Series 128GB SSD
1x Seagate 7200.4 500GB Hard Drive
In-Win AMMO USB 2.0 Enclosure
Ineo I-NA215U USB 3.0 Enclosure
Palit GTX460 Sonic Platinum 1GB GDDR5 Video Cards
3x Noctua NF-P12 120mm Fans – Side
1x In-Win 120mm Fans – Front, Back and Top
Ineo I-NPC01 2 Ports PCI Express Adapter for USB 3.0
SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W
Crystal Disk Mark
HD Tune Pro
Real Life Backup Test
Crystal Disk Mark
HD Tach 188.8.131.52
USB 2.0 8MB zones
USB 2.0 32MB zones
USB 3.0 8MB zones
USB 3.0 32MB zones
USB 3.0 SSD 8MB zones
USB 3.0 SSD 32MB zones
HD Tach confirms the results first observed in Crystal Disk Mark. In HD TACH results with the use of USB 2.0 enclosure, the transfer rate remains at a constant value of 40 Mb/s per second, and signifies that USB 2.0 limit is reach. USB 3.0 demonstrates a normal graph for a standard hard drive, where the transfer rate slows down over time, but the average transfer rate is in the 90-97 Mb/s, depending on the size of the files. Finally, SSD demonstrates a phenomenal average transfer rate of 196 Mb/s which is definitely a significant increase for a single bay drive.
ATTO disk benchmark
USB 2.0 7200 rpm hard drive
USB 3.0 7200 rpm hard drive
USB 3.0 Zalman N-series SSD
The ATTO benchmark demonstrates a difference of transfer rates of both read and write, dependent upon varying file sizes ranging from 0.5 KB to 8192 KB, with the total size of all files being 256 MB. In both USB 2.0 and 3.0 enclosures that had an HDD at 7200 RPM, a transfer rate is observed until the file sizes reach 16 KB each. Then USB 3.0 is able to reach an average transfer rate of 87 MB/s, while USB 2.0 remains at 40 MB/s, with both read and write rates being almost the same. In SSD testing, there is a clear difference between read and write as the size of individual files increases. While the average write rate is about 186 MB/s, average read rate is 196 MB/s.
HD Tune Pro
USB 2.0 7200 rpm hard drive
USB 3.0 7200 rpm hard drive
USB 3.0 Zalman N-series SSD
HD tune pro confirms results observed in other benchmarks. However, unlike other benchmarks, HD Tune Pro shows the access time as well as the burst rate. There is a difference between the burst rate of the USB 2.0 enclosure and the USB 3.0 enclosure, which was not observed in other benchmarks. Access time observed is significantly faster for the SSD (0.1 ms) in comparison to standard hard drive (16.5 and 16.6 ms), which is normal, since solid state drives are designed to provide exceptionally fast access.
Real Life Testing
|Copying 267 files of varying formats (22.5 GB)|
|USB 2.0 enclosure with Seagate 7200 rpm||10 min 10 sec|
|I-NA215U USB 3.0 enclosure with N-series Zalman SSD|
|I-NA215U USB 3.0 enclosure with N-series Zalman SSD||1 min 57 sec||192.1 MB/s|
While benchmarks are able to provide precise results, real life testing is still essential since file formats and sizes are extremely varied during an average transfer. As a result of real life testing, the USB 2.0 enclosure provided an average transfer rate of 36 MB/s, which is significantly lower than the I-NA215U’s 68.6 MB/s. With the use of an SSD, the Ineo I-NA215U was able to provide an average rate of 192 MB/s, which is impressive.
The Ineo I-NA215U USB 3.0 enclosure is an optimal single bay enclosure suitable for any user. With a large range of compatibility, and the ability to support both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, as well as the ability to accommodate both older 2.5” SATA I/II hard drives and newer solid state drives, it is an enclosure that will stay relevant for a while. Stylish design and light polycarbonate alloy composition make this enclosure a compact and durable companion that can be carried anywhere. Material heat resistance is truly impressive, and while the enclosure is thin, no signs of heat were noted on the surface. This enclosure demonstrates an excellent performance and is able to allow access to any external hard drive at practically the same rate of an internal drive. Though a single bay enclosure, it is also capable of supporting hard drives that are just being released, and therefore, has versatility for the future.
While the enclosure has a myriad of positive characteristics, there is some room for improvement. Although enclosure is light and stylish, the inner matrix does not seem to provide significant protection to the hard drive. It would be nice if enclosure was able to provide more features, instead of going for raw style and simplicity.
|OUR VERDICT: Ineo I-NA215U USB 3.0 enclosure|
|Summary: While Ineo I-NA215U USB 3.0 enclosure is an excellent product with great performance more features would certainly be welcomed. For it’s unique style and excellent performance, the Ineo I-NA215U enclosure earns the Bjorn3D Bronze Bear Award.|