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Eagle Tech ET-CS2XMESU2-BK 2.5 SATA to eSATA/USB Enclosure

Eagle Tech ET-CS2XMESU2-BK is a 2.5 hard drive enclosure that comes with USB and eSATA ports that is also designed to be install completely tool-less. It may just be the perfect enclosure for those who need portability and performance. Check it out.

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INTRODUCTION

If you are a regular reader of Bjorn3D.com, you will know that we have reviewed many external enclosures for both 2.5” and 3.5” hard drives. We have been a big fan of the enclosures that not only comes with USB ports but also eSATA ports simply because of the share better transfer rate from the eSATA ports. Many 3.5” hard drive enclosures we have reviewed in fact have already come with eSATA port but so far we have not seen many 2.5” enclosure that comes with eSATA port. They are slowly appearing to the market as more and more motherboard manufacutrers are incorporate such connector on the back I/O. If you have a motherboard with such port, it would be a good idea to have an enclosure with eSATA port built-in so you can fully take its transfering performance advantage.

 

Today, we have received the Eagle Tech’s ET-CS2XMESU2-BK, which is a 2.5” SATA to USB/eSATA external enclosure. The Eagle Tech’s 2.5” enclosure is packaged in a small box where on the front and the back of the box, you will find enough information about the enclosure. You will notice the enclosure is designed with F.I.T, fast installation technology. It is just a fancier name for “tool-less”.

 

We see Eagle Tech places the enclosure in a separate compartment inside of a cardboard box. Next to it is where all of the accessories lie. The accessory and the drive is divided with a cardboard divider. We like such packaging as it will prevent any of the accessories moving around during the shipping that may result in a damaged drive.

About Eagle Tech Computers Inc.

 

Precision Engineering

Eagle Tech Computers, Inc. is a trusted OEM supplier of power supply, rackmount chassis, network attached storage NAS (RAID, Gigabit LAN, Wireless 802.11a/b/g), external hard drive enclosures and other storage related products. Our extensive experience in designing, manufacturing and marketing high quality PC components that meet and exceed customer application requirements has enabled us to grow beyond manufacturing. Our core competence is in innovative external storage solutions.

Recognizing the needs of modern computer users to store and share digital files across multiple platforms, Eagle Tech constantly monitors consumer needs to ensure timely development and introduction of innovative external storage products into the consumer market. We remain a high quality technology solutions provider dedicated to satisfying the demands of modern computer users – mainstream, enthusiasts and SOHO professionals.

Eagle Tech understands the importantance of your data and strives to provide customers with reliable and easy to use products that are backed with responsive technical support staff. If there is a more innovative way to store and access your important data, you can count on us to make it happen for you – at affordable prices, rugged constructions and stylish designs.

 

Eagle Tech ET-CS2XMESU2-BK

Here is what you will receive with the pacakge:

  • The enclosure
  • An eSATA cable
  • An USB cable
  • An USB power adapter
  • A pouch
  • Drive Disk
  • Manual
  • Drive stand

 

The enclosure looks a bit plan in our opinion. Although, we do not care too much about the exterior looks of the enclosure too much since beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder. We would love for an enclosure to stand out among the crowds if possible. There is only one color to choose, which is black. I do not mind the black color but for some of people, a more colorful enclosure would suite their taste better.

 

The Eagle Tech’s enclosure is constructed primarily with solid aluminum. As you can see from the picture above, it’s the same boxy look as many enclosure. We think a little rounder body around the corner or edge would make it more attractive to the potential buyer. Aluminum is used to cover the main body of the enclosure while the front and the back of the enclosure is made with plastic. We can see that the top of the enclosure has a mesh honeycomb look surface. Despite its lack of aesthetic, the unit is built quite solid and durable. I guess if you are a more functional type of guy, it would be your drive.

    

Four little rubber feet are being taped onto the back of the enclosure to prevent it from scratching the surface when it is placed flat on a table. The back is where you will find the DC-In, USB connector, and the eSATA connector. Just above the eSATA connector is where the hard drive LED is located.

Installation

The folks at Eagle Tech have designed a rather easy way of installing the hard drive. You simply insert the metal ejector that is hidden underneath the stand to the right side of the enclosure. Then the front panel will pop out. Once the front panel pops out, you simply align the hard drive to the connector and push the hard drive into the enclosure. Then close the panel and it will automatically locks the front panel into the drive. I like such installation mechanism. By the way, in case you lost the metal ejector, you can also use a paper clip to eject the front panel.

 

Ejecting the hard drive out of the enclosure is just as simple. You simply pull the movable front panel which is connected to a metal plate that lies below the hard drive. As you pull the panel, it will push the hard drive out of the enclosure.

 

 

The metal is only on the left side of the enclosure, so it does not pull the hard drive evenly, so we are not sure if it would potentially cause damage to the hard drive or the SATA connector. A warning to those who may need to remove the hard drive is to pull the enclosure slowly.

On the back of the front panel you will find that Eagle Tech has placed a small piece of rubber where it will give provide a bit of buffer to the hard drive in the event of accidental drop. This will prevent the hard drive dislodge from the SATA port and collides with the front panel.

Although eSATA port in theory is capable of power external devices, many of current eSATA ports on the motherboards lack such ability. As a result, an additional power is needed. We are not certain if the enclosure would work for the motherboard with bus-powered eSATA port without the need for the additional power cable.

The enclosure draws power directly from the USB ports. Eagle Tech includes a Y type of USB connectors where you hook up two USB connectors to the motherboard to draw the needed power. We actually would prefer to see the enclosure powers directly with the USB port and not with the DC-In. This would just simplify the need to carry additional cable.

As expected, the enclosure will work with Windows 98SE/ME/2K/ Vista, Mac OS 9.0 or higher, and Linux OS. There is no driver that is needed for most of the moderm OSes.

TESTING

System Configuration

Processor

Intel E6600 Core 2 Duo

Motherboard

EVGA nForce 680i SLI (BIOS P30)

Memory

Team Group TXDD2048M800HC4DC-D

Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda Barracuda 7200.10 SATA ST3400620AS (16MB cache) 

 Western Digital WD2500KS-00MJB0 SATA (16MB cache)

Graphics Cards

Foxconn 8600 GTS

Sound Card

Creative X-FI

Operating System

Windows XP SP2

The test is conducted with the Seagate ST96023AS (60GB, 7200 rpm, 8MB cache) hard drive installed in the Eagle Tech iNeo NA205UE. In addition, we threw in a few extra SATA and IDE enclosures we have in our lab. For the SATA enclosure (ICY DOCK MB633UR-1S and Eagle Tech ET-CS2LSU2-BK), we used the same 2.5” SATA hard drive but for the IDE enclosure (MB448UR), we paired it with the Toshiba 8026GAX (80GB, 5400rpm, 16MB cache). Do keep in mind that the results are highly dependant on the hard drive that is used.

RESULTS

HD Tach 

Feature/Specification

 Burst Speed (MB/s)
Average Read (MB/s)

Random Access (ms)

CPU Usage (+/- 2%)
ET-CS2XMESU2-BK (SATA) 
101.0
36.9
15.0
10
ET-CS2XMESU2-BK (USB) 
36.7
33.4
15.2
9
Eagle Tech I=NA205UE (SATA)
129.9
36.9
14.9
2
Eagle Tech I-NA205UE (USB) 
35.3
33.3
15.2
7
HornetTek Rhino (USB)
37.4
33.4
15.2
7
Eagle Tech I-NA205UE (USB) 
35.3
33.3
15.2
7
Eagle Tech ET-CS2LSU2-BK
35.2
33.2
15.3
4
 ICY DOCK MB663UR-1S with Seagate ST96023AS (internal)
37.5
33.3
15.2
5

ICY DOCK MB663UR-1S with Seagate ST96023AS (external)

35.4
33.3
15.2
4
 ICY DOCK MB448UR with Toshiba 8026GAX (internal)
35.1
29.6
18.2
5
 ICY DOCK MB448UR with Toshiba 8026GAX (external)
35.1
29.5
18.3
3

The external USB enclosures generally offer very similar results because the limiting factor usually is depended on the hard drive that is used. We can see that the HornetTek’s Rhino is able to offer 2MB/s better burst speed than the Eagle Tech’s enclosure and tie with the ICY Dock’s enclosure. It’s average read speed is the best among the enclosures tested but the CPU usage is a tad higher than other enclosures. 

TEMPERATURE

The hard drive temperature is a bit disappointing for the enclosure. The hard drive’s idle temperature is 41C while under load it gets up to 47C. We do know that the enclosure is able to conduct heat quite effectively because the exterior heats up when the drive is in full use. However, it is apparently that the drive’s metal body will not be sufficient to keep the hard drive running cool enough.
A

CONCLUSION

Like any external enclosure, the Eagle Tech’s ET-CS2XMESU2-BK’s performance is par with the rest of the packs. With its inclusion of the eSATA port, users would sure come to appreciate the better throughput if your system supports such technology. We like the overall good quality built and the very convenient installation process.

We are not a fan of the fact that this enclosure uses the additional power cable instead of powering it with the included USB port. Also, we are concerned about the temperature of the drive under load. Despite the fact the enclosure is very effective in conducting heat away from the hard drive, it is still a bit hotter than what we would have liked to see.

Although, look is usually not a big deciding factor with the hard drive enclosures, we actually would love to see more variety and color selections to satisfy different groups, especially if you consider the selling price of $26.99 at various online retailers. It would actually makes such enclosure stands out among other competitors that are offering similar features and price range.

We are trying out a new addition to our scoring system to provide additional feedback beyond a flat score. Please note that the final score isn’t an aggregate average of the new rating system.

  • Performance 7
  • Value 8
  • Quality 9
  • Warranty 8
  • Features 8
  • Innovation 7

Pros:

+  Very solid construction
+  USB and eSATA port included
+  Power via USB port
+  Nice accessory bundle
+  Easy to install

Cons:

-  Poor cooling performance
-  Requires additional power cable to power the drive
-  Not the most exciting enclosure and no other color selectoin
 

 The HornetTek Rhino will receive a score of 7.5 (Pretty Good) out of 10.

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