Have you heard you tech savvy buddies talking about their new ESATA drive and you have no idea what they are talking about? Well, they are not talking in a different language, they are simply talking about one of the newest hard drives. These drives are offer a faster read speed than older drives and are not becoming a new standard in the desktop PC world. There are always faster and more reliable hard drive technologies being tested and used, this is where the future of hard drive technology is heading right now. If you want to be able to join in on the next “geek” conversation with your friends and maybe even tell them a thing or two, keep reading.
What are ESATA Enclosures?
ESATA is the external extension of the SATA device protocols. ESATA stands for External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. SATA is the current standard for hard drives in PC’s. ESATA allows the speed and convenience of SATA to be applied to devices external of the PC. These often come in the form of ESATA Drive enclosures. These are devices that contain one or more SATA HDD’s but which reside outside of the PC and are connected via a special ESATA cable. They offer all of the convenience of standard external drives, but with the speed associated with internal SATA Drives. Compared to the more conventional interface for external drives, USB2, the speed differences are enormous. SATA can operate at up to 6Gbps, while USB2 is limited to 480mbps. While neither standard offers real world transfers at those rates, the difference is speed is fairly accurate.
What to look for in ESATA Enclosures
ESATA Enclosures come in a myriad of formats. From simple, single drive setups to large raid boxes using SATA Port Multiplexing to attach many HDD’s over one SATA connection. Many ESATA Enclosures come with USB connections as well, allowing you to connect to older, less feature packed PC’s which lack the ESATA Connection, thus giving you a universal option when needed, and a high performance option when available. Cooling fans are often incorporated and are a good idea in any enclosure. HDD’s typically have some airflow provided to them inside a PC and they should get the same in an external box.
Where to buy ESATA Enclosures
As with most electronics, there are many reputable internet retailers who provide a wide variety of models at competitive prices. Some good places to start would be:
www.amazon.com – Amazon offers many different ESATA Enclosures, from the simplest single drive versions to multiple drive, port multiplexed options.
www.newegg.com – They offer many models of enclosures at very competitive prices.
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