Eagle Tech Consus T-Series ET-CSTESU2-BK External HDD Enclosure Review

Introduction

External storage systems have really hit it off in recent years with people wanting to transfer more and more data from one computer to another. The enclosures have evolved to be very easy to use and able to support IDE and SATA hard drives utilising both USB and eSATA connections. However, with USB performance lagging behind, more and more users are turning to eSATA for its much higher read/write speeds. Let’s take a look at the Eagle Tech Consus T-Series to see what kind of performance it can offer…

Company Information – Eagle Tech

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 importance 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.

Specifications

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

Contents & Packaging

The front of the box looks very clear and crisp. The orange central strip with a white top and bottom giving rise to the logos and features at the bottom; a short blurb on the T-series enclosure is also shown above a few pictures showing off the easy installation and LED base. One other very important thing to note here is that the hard drives are not included.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

The back sees the features of each of the four models available in the T-series range. Today, we have the ET-CSTESU2-BK model which is the SATA to USB 2.0 + eSATA edition.

The sides see the specifications and a small graph on the different speeds using different connections.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

In terms of accessories there are only a couple:

  • Quick User Guide
  • Resource CD

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

The resource CD does not contain drivers for the enclosure as you may have expected, in fact the enclosure doesn’t require any drivers, and instead it contains some free software such as the Avast Antivirus Protection and a demo for Disk Doctors (you can get a whopping $200 discount coupon!).

The Product – Eagle Tech Consus T-Series Enclosure

The enclosure is matte black and quite simple in its design. Each side has the silver Eagle logo and, in bright orange, Consus Storage printed next to it.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure ReviewEagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

One end has a vent comprised of numerous small holes and another Eagle Tech logo bang in the centre.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

The other end is brushed aluminium and home to the ports, there are three in total: one for the eSATA cable, one for the USB cable and one for the power cable.

There is also a small on/off switch for powering the drive up (and the LED base). The blue light certainly adds some extra style and brings the product to life.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure ReviewEagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

The base is constructed from clear plastic to allow the blue light from the Light Emitting Diodes to be visible. Four rubber feet are attached to add friction and prevent the enclosure from sliding around; finally a couple of stickers display some bar codes and symbols.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

In order to get inside the enclosure, five screws need to be taken out of the base. The bay where the hard drive will be contained can then slide out.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure ReviewEagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

The bay itself is pretty much empty with just a small blue circuit board at one for the hard drive to clip into. Both the SATA and power connections have been integrated into one connector which the hard drive just pushes on to making installation very simple.

There bottom is slatted in order to allow airflow to circulate around the HDD.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure ReviewEagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

Finally, we come to the cables themselves which all have black plastic coatings. Note that the power supply connection has a US power socket and so can adapter is required for use in Europe.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

Installation

The Test Setup:

ProcessorIntel Core i7 920 @ 2.67GHz
MotherboardAsus P6T
Graphics CardXFX 1GB Radeon 4870
MemoryOCZ Gold Triple Channel Platinum-10666 6GB (3 x 2GB)
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 3.0GB/s 7200.10 500GB,
Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB
Power SupplyNOX Apex 700W
EnclosureAntec P183
OSWindows Vista 64-bit

Once the base has been removed, installation is incredibly easy. Just align the hard drive in the bay and then push it on to the connection.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure ReviewEagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

Then screw the hard drive in through the base to secure it into position.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

Then just connect up the power and the cable of choice to the PC and you’re all done.

Testing

Methodology

When testing HDD enclosures, you are not so much testing the product itself but more how much each type of connection affects the hard drive performance. To do this we look at four different readings: average write speed (MB/s), average read speed (MB/s), burst rate (MB/s) and random access time (ms).

In order to record these values, we used HDTach running the long benchmark. We will be comparing three connection methods; USB, eSATA and straight SATA.

The hard drive used in the enclosure and for all the testing will be a Western Digital 160GB Caviar Blue (WD1600AAJS).

For comparison purposes the Vizo Luxon was also tested.

Results

Performance
First up let’s take a look at the HDTach graphs; the USB speeds remain pretty constant throughout but there is a slight drop for the eSATA.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure ReviewEagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

Let’s see how the Eagle Tech T-series shapes up against the Vizo Luxon…

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure ReviewEagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

Evidently the results are very close together here and the T-series has a slightly better read speed for the eSATA connection whereas a slightly poorer write speed. The USB results are vice versa comparatively and are a long way off the performance of the eSATA results.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

For burst speeds, the T-series is marginally better for both USB and eSATA which is very good indeed.

Eagle Tech Consus T-Series External HDD Enclosure Review

Finally, we come to the final variable which for all the results only differs by 0.6ms. That said, the eSATA readings are identical for both enclosures and the USB for the Eagle Tech product is the victor here over its rival.

Cost
The T-series enclosure is priced at $29 dollars which relates to about £20 – as you can see it’s not a big price tag for a well-performing enclosure.

Conclusion

The T-series is a very accomplished enclosure and shows off Eagle Tech’s ability in this market. Both sets of results were very similar to the Vizo Luxon which performed well and so this shows the good performance here.

The USB results were still a long way off both the eSATA and straight SATA speeds but they are solid enough. On the other hand, the eSATA speeds are getting very close to straight SATA performance which is very encouraging.

To sum it up, this is a very sleek and attractive enclosure that is well worth a look due to the very solid results for both connection methods – good job Eagle Tech!

Pros

  • Solid results
  • eSATA close to SATA
  • Easy installation
  • Stylish blue LED base

Cons

  • USB results still far off eSATA

80

Thanks go to Eagle Tech for providing the HDD Enclosure for review.

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