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StarTech Thunderbolt Dual SSD Enclosure S252SMTB3

Even though it is popular to use a network attached storage sometimes it is nice to have storage closer to the computer, for example for Timemachine backup on a Mac or just as a way to add more storage space on a laptop with a small SSD. The Startech enclosure we are reviewing today, the StarTech Thunderbolt Dual SSD Enclosure S252SMTB3,  comes with a Thunderbolt interface that not only lets you daisy-chain it with several other peripherals but also offers a lot of bandwidth making it a perfect option for increasing the storage space on a Mac Book Air or other computer with little initial storage. After testing it turns out that it performs just as well as expected with just a few minor complaints. Read on to find out more.

Specifications and Features

Hardware
Interface Thunderbolt
Bus Type Thunderbolt
Number of Drives 2
Drive Size 2.5in
Compatible Drive Types (Type and Rate) SATA
Drive Installation Fixed
Number of 2.5 inch bays 2
Supported Drive Height(s) 15mm
Fan(s) Yes
Fans 1 – 50 mm
Fan Bearing Type Ball Bearing
Chipset ID DSL3510L/INTEL
Connector(s)
Drive Connectors 2 – SATA Data & Power Combo (7+15 pin) Female
Host Connectors 2 – Thunderbolt™ (20-pin) Female
Performance
Maximum Data Transfer Rate 10 Gbps
Type and Rate Thunderbolt – 10 Gbit/s
UASP Support No
Type and Rate SATA III (6 Gbps)
RAID No
Max Drive Capacity Currently tested with up to 2TB 5400 RPM hard drives
Hot Swap Capability No
Temperature Alarm No
Software
OS Compatibility Windows® 8 / 8.1 (32/64bit), 7 (32/64), Vista(32/64), XP(32/64)
Windows Server® 2012, 2008 R2, 2003(32/64)
Mac OS® 10.x (Tested up to 10.9)
Linux
Physical Characteristics
Color Silver
Enclosure Type Aluminum
Max Drive Height 0.6 in [15 mm]
Product Length 5.2 in [133 mm]
Product Width 3.7 in [93 mm]
Product Height 2.5 in [63 mm]
Product Weight 17.3 oz [490 g]
Indicators
LED Indicators 1 – Status (Power)
1 – Drive 1 Activity
1 – Drive 2 Activity
Power
Power Source AC Adapter Included
Input Voltage 100 ~ 240 AC
Output Voltage 12 DC
Environmental
Operating Temperature 5°C to 35°C (41°F to 95°F)
Storage Temperature -20°C to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F)
Humidity 5% ~ 95% RH
Packaging Information
Shipping (Package) Weight 47.4 oz [1344 g]
What’s in the Box
Included in Package 1 – Thunderbolt 2.5” HDD Enclosure
1 – Thunderbolt Cable
1 – HDD installation screw kit
1 – Universal Power Adapter w/ regional power cables (NA/EU/UK/AUS)
1 – Rubber foot set
1 – Instruction Manual

Since this merely is a drive enclosure there are not any special features to speak of. There’s room for two 2.5″-drives with a max height of 15 mm and a small fan can keep them cool if needed. Two Thunderbolt connectors handle the connection to the computer and any other peripheral you want to hook up.

Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt is an interface that offers a lot. It combines PCI Express (PCIe) and DisplayPort (DP) into one serial signal alongside a DC connection for electric power and you can daisy chain up to 6 peripherals including displays and storage enclosures. So far the interface however  is pretty rare in PC laptops and computer though and the few motherboards from Gigabyte and ASUS  that offers Thunderbolt cost an arm and a leg. Most laptops today come with a mini-DisplayPort which is the same form factor as a Thunderbolt connector but only carries the display signal. The one computer maker that has invested heavily into Thunderbolt is Apple. We’ve seen before with FireWire that Apple does not have a problem going their own way and right now all their computer-products come with a proper Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 (the newer version with up to 20 Gbps of bandwidth).

Review Overview

Build-quality - 9
Performance - 8.5
Features - 8.5

8.7

The StarTech Thunderbolt Dual SSD Enclosure is a great little Thunderbolt-enclosure that not only can daisy-chain other devices but also offers great performance for your SSD-drives regardless if you use RAID0 or RAID1.

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One comment

  1. How this is “Great performance” when those SSDs should go up to 1,2 GB/s in raid 0? Even internal MBA m.2 SSD is getting up to 738MB/s reads. This product looks like “half-way” developed, bacplane, poor fan mounting solution… 225$ ?! For what, 20$ Thunderbolt chip ??!

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