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Last post Author Topic: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock  (Read 9000 times)

MilesAhead

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Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« on: April 01, 2010, 10:43:11 AM »
I took the USB 3.0 plunge.  This can be a good solution for those with off the shelf PCs where adding an internal HD is not so easy. Or you may just want to have USB 3.0 for the future. If you have a PCIx1 Express slot free and can deal with opening the side panel and inserting a card, this is probably the way to go.

I added an SIIG USB 3.0 card.  This is the model:

http://www.newegg.co...5150161&Tpk=siig usb 3.0 card

Note: At the time I bought it, it was a better deal at $39.99 with free shipping.

The Sharkoon USB 3.0 docking station is the current deal.  $52.99 with free shipping:

http://www.buy.com/p...c/101/214876940.html

A couple of notes.  After I installed the SIIG card I had to wait for the Sharkoon so I hooked up a Seagate USB 2.0 external.  Even with the USB 2.0 I got a throughput improvement of about 15 to 20%. I use WD Caviar Black 3 Gb/sec in my docks.  With the Sharkoon USB 3.0 dock I was able to read a 6 GB Macrium Reflect image from the dock to my HD at 90 MB/sec.  Explorer can be optimistic with speed assessment in the copy dialog info, so I used Clementime stopwatch and PCalc to compute the rough transfer speed.  It really got the 90 MB/sec.  CrystalDiskMark was giving sequential read/write speeds of about 86 MB/sec before I defragged the WD.  Since the drives are plugged into a UPS I enabled the "Performance" setting for the USB 3.0 card in Device Manager to turn on write caching.

I was hoping for large file copy at around 80 MB/sec having looked at some online benchmarks before buying.  So far I'm very happy with the results.

The Sharkoon comes with a 6' USB 3.0 cable and a power pack.  Also has an On/Off push button.  I think the Sharkoon is made in Germany.  The power pack plug has a slot in it so you can slide in one of 3 provided adapters for electric outlet types.

The only mystery so far with the Sharkoon is if there is or isn't a way to toggle the inactivity spin down.  It seems to have some intelligence built in about when to spin down the drive.  But after a day of use I did not get any "drive not ready" errors.  If I tried to play a movie on the drive that was spun down, the player just waited for the drive to spin up, and continued. I'd prefer to keep the drives spinning all the time, but these Caviar Black run a bit hot.  They way Sharkoon does it may be a good thing in the long run.

If any of you have the Thermaltake BlacX USB 2.0 docks, the Sharkoon looks nearly identical.  The only difference I found other than speed is the BlacX doesn't spin down my drives when inactive.


cranioscopical

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2010, 11:21:41 AM »
Thanks for posting your info, MilesAhead!
I noticed a week or so back that WD offers a drive+USB 3.0 card combination.

MilesAhead

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2010, 04:15:25 PM »
Thanks for posting your info, MilesAhead!
I noticed a week or so back that WD offers a drive+USB 3.0 card combination.

Yes, they are coming on now.  I wonder when the USB 2.0 dumping will start?

It's really making a nice difference not having to output to the same physical drive that is reading the input.  It feels like I have a faster machine already.

I did a MakeMKV rip from HD and I got nearly 100 MB/s rather than the usual 40 or 50.  Really smooth!

cranioscopical

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2010, 05:45:42 PM »
I wonder when the USB 2.0 dumping will start?
I think it already has begun. The prices for drives up to 2Tb seem remarkably low at some of the big-box stores.

Since I have multiple internal drives, those USB-only external drives that I have are more than fast enough for their purpose (back-ups). Mind you, rather like (I suspect) many members here, the fact that I do not need something doesn't necessarily quench the urge to own it.  ;)

Innuendo

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2010, 07:02:14 PM »
I took the USB 3.0 plunge.  This can be a good solution for those with off the shelf PCs where adding an internal HD is not so easy. Or you may just want to have USB 3.0 for the future. If you have a PCIx1 Express slot free and can deal with opening the side panel and inserting a card, this is probably the way to go.

I took the USB 3.0 plunge myself, though I don't see myself using it anytime soon. Just built myself a new computer & figured I may as well get a motherboard that featured USB 3.0 (and Sata 3) as the price difference was negligible between getting it and not getting it.

MilesAhead

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2010, 12:53:13 AM »
I have to admit, the Caviar Black I have in the dock is running much cooler with the auto spin down. So far I like this thing. It's always nice when you get something and it performs a bit better than you expect instead of the other way around.

I ordered a second unit since I couldn't find the "toaster" model with the dual drive slots at any online store in the U.S.  I've got 2 USB 3.0 ports.  Might as well use 'em both.

Also got one of those new Caviar Black 640 GB with the 64 MB cache.  The spec for it says max sustained throughput is 126 MB/sec.  I'm curious how it will do in the dock.  Anyway, since I mentioned it, I did find a deal on that too!!  Drive shipped FedEx ground for $77.05.  About $10 is shipping so that may vary with your location but not by much.

http://www.excaliber...lack-wd6402aaex.html

I never tried Excaliberpc before.  But it seems worth a gamble.  I found some good reviews online and didn't notice any horror stories.  Egg has a good price on the same drive but they stick drives in bubble pack, toss 'em in a box, and ship UPS ground.  I've heard the terms UPS and DOA in the same sentence too often to risk it.  I did Egg for one of my drives and just paid the extra to ship FedEx ground.

I'm thinking maybe I should get some of those plastic drive protector thingies instead of putting them in the anti-static bag in the box when not in use.  It's always a pita to get the damn drive in that bag!

Do you guys have any standard doodads for such use that are quite cheap?



MilesAhead

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2010, 12:56:27 AM »
Mind you, rather like (I suspect) many members here, the fact that I do not need something doesn't necessarily quench the urge to own it.

I hear you.  I think some people would rather drive with a "Suicide Knob" than have rack & pinion steering!  If only I could get one with snow flakes spinnin' around inside!! :)

edit: btw it's after 2:00 AM here.  Guess I'm gettin' silly.  Better log off. :)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 01:10:19 AM by MilesAhead »

CleverCat

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2010, 02:23:09 AM »
[ Mind you, rather like (I suspect) many members here, the fact that I do not need something doesn't necessarily quench the urge to own it.  ;)

sometimes I need to go by this:- 'Don't have what you like, like what you have!' ;D

cranioscopical

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2010, 08:09:24 AM »
sometimes I need to go by this:- 'Don't have what you like, like what you have!' ;D
Oh, sagacious feline!

Innuendo

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2010, 10:41:11 AM »
Egg has a good price on the same drive but they stick drives in bubble pack, toss 'em in a box, and ship UPS ground.  I've heard the terms UPS and DOA in the same sentence too often to risk it.

This is why I will only buy retail drives. Sure, you spend a bit more than buying a bare drive, but for the extra money you're getting better packaging, often a better warranty, and sometimes you'll even get a SATA cable thrown in with the drive. Can never have too many spares, I've found...

MilesAhead

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2010, 12:52:12 PM »
I did get one of my 750s from SuperMediaStore.  The standard shipping is FedEx ground.  And at the time at least, the box came with large foam blocks cut in the shape of the drive, with the drive in an anti-static bag.  No cable.  But for my purpose, swapping with docs, it was fine.  The box makes for decent storage.  (But I have to look into those plastic drive cases.  That looks like the way to store 'em.) Price is a bit high.  I looked around their site and it looks like they haven't moved up to the Caviar Black 64 MB cache models(6 Gb/s) yet.  Just 32 MB.



JavaJones

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2010, 04:02:45 PM »
Apparently Western Digital talked to a number of the larger retails shipping their drives, including Newegg and Amazon, and asked them to improve the packaging they used. I recently bought several WD 2TB drives from Amazon and they each came in their own box, with plastic molded holders securing the drive, and the drive in an antistatic bag. Seemed fairly decent packaging...

- Oshyan

MilesAhead

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2010, 04:41:09 PM »
That would be good news.  I don't have the reference to the page anymore but there was in an Egg customer review this big write-up why to use FedEx ground rather than UPS.  A system builder guy who is a mod on another board swears it's true about the DOA with UPS.  Supposedly in the conveyor system they use there's a 6 foot drop at one point.  According to the system builder mod the "head slap" from the drop is what kills the drive.  Apparently even good padding can't guard against it.  Non UPS shipments seems to increase the chances of getting a functional drive.

Trouble with a lot of these online stores is they want you to ship the thing back and pay a restocking fee even if the thing was broken when they put it in the box.  With return policies like that I keep my purchases under $100.

CleverCat

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2010, 01:32:14 AM »
[ Mind you, rather like (I suspect) many members here, the fact that I do not need something doesn't necessarily quench the urge to own it.  ;)

sometimes I need to go by this:- 'Don't have what you like, like what you have!' ;D

 :-*

Innuendo

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2010, 09:14:09 AM »
sometimes I need to go by this:- 'Don't have what you like, like what you have!'

Very good advice to have when it comes to computer components! Unless, you are doing....

1. Gaming
2. Editing video (hobby or vocation)
3. Ray-tracing (hobby or vocation)
4. CAD (hobby or vocation)

But of all those, #1 is the deadliest to one's wallet.

Shades

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2010, 10:14:16 AM »
CAD can be very expensive, easily rivaling or surpassing Gaming. Have you seen the prices nowadays for the FirePro (ATI) range of videocards?   

Here in Ciudad del Este (a border city between Paraguay and Brazil) you can buy new computer gear for cheap to reasonable prices. But still, for the price of one of these FirePro video cards alone I can buy a very decent and complete Gaming rig. I assume that this situation is the same all over the globe.

Note:
As an ATI fanboy I could not be bothered to look up similar type of videocards from different manufacturers like NVidea, Matrox etc.

JavaJones

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2010, 04:32:53 PM »
I agree, anything that "requires" a workstation-level graphics card (and CAD is one of the few apps that technically benefits significantly from it) is going to hurt the wallet a lot more than a nice games machine. The absolute top of the line gaming card available right now, the Radeon 5970, is about $700 (and is out of stock everywhere :D). That card will get you about a zillion frames per second in just about any game today, as long as you have a decent CPU (e.g. Core 2 Duo above 3Ghz or i7 920/860 at least). By comparison the top of the line workstation card the Quadro FX 5800 (nvidia) is $3000 and yet 2 or 3 generations older than the 5970. It's not great for games, but it'll antialiasing the crap out of your CAD lines. ;)
http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16814133253

- Oshyan

Innuendo

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2010, 07:15:13 PM »
By comparison the top of the line workstation card the Quadro FX 5800 (nvidia) is $3000 and yet 2 or 3 generations older than the 5970.

Remember the good ole days when a hacked driver would turn your Geforce card into a Quadro?  :)

MilesAhead

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2010, 01:56:28 PM »
Hmmmmm, this setup is working better than I expected so far.  When I ran Crystal Disk Mark on the partition at the front of the WD 750 GB Caviar Black 32 MB cache, it showed sequential read/write of 103 MB/sec.

It will be interesting to see how it functions with 2 docks.  I should have the new hw by Thursday.


MilesAhead

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2010, 12:41:42 PM »
I got the WD 640 GB Caviar Black 64 MB cache.  Initial benchmark in the Sharkoon with Crystal Disk Mark shows sequential read/write scores in the mid 130s MB/sec.  Still waiting on the 2nd Sharkoon.  It will be interesting to see how the SIIG card handles 2 USB 3.0 docks simultaneously.

I'm doing a slow format on it the HD now.  The next video muxing job should be fun with this as the source drive! It seems to read a tad faster than write.  My internal drive may need to be defragged just to keep it fed though.  That's more likely the reason for the difference.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 12:44:10 PM by MilesAhead »

cranioscopical

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2010, 06:15:08 PM »
Nice to see a man having fun with his toys  :)

I've managed to curb the urge to run out and get some. I'll play vicariously, with your help.

MilesAhead

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2010, 10:37:04 AM »
Nice to see a man having fun with his toys  :)

I've managed to curb the urge to run out and get some. I'll play vicariously, with your help.

I feel the same way every time I see a guy drive by in one of those Italian sports cars.  :)

Right now just tapping my finger waiting for the delivery van.

edit: got the 2nd one set up.  Everything is pretty much as expected.  Doesn't seem to bog at all copying from one dock to the other through the ports on the same card.  The speed is more dependent on what HDs you happen to have in the docks.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 11:49:47 AM by MilesAhead »

cranioscopical

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2010, 03:10:39 PM »
got the 2nd one set up.  Everything is pretty much as expected.  Doesn't seem to bog at all copying from one dock to the other through the ports on the same card.  The speed is more dependent on what HDs you happen to have in the docks.
Nice when something works out as well as you hoped, or even a little better  :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:

MilesAhead

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2010, 03:55:19 PM »
Yeah, this was a good move.  Makes using this quad core fun again. :)

MilesAhead

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Re: Sharkoon USB 3.0 QuickPort Dock
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2010, 02:28:58 PM »
btw if anyone is considering these USB 3.0 docks, the longer I use them the more I wish I got the SIIG USB 3.0 station with fan right off.  The Sharkoon method of cooling is allowing the drive to spin down from idle time out.  The SIIG just seems better quality.  The power switch feels like a much more positive action.  The HD in the dock is blood warm but not hot to the touch.

If you leave a performance drive like WD Caviar Black spun up in the Sharkoon docks they get quite hot.  Ok maybe for watching TV for a few hours but to leave spun up all the time on your PC is not such a great idea.

I ordered another SIIG.  Granted the power consumption is a bit greater but it just seems like a better design.  No moving parts other than the fan and power switch(no eject button etc..)

I can leave the HD running overnight and it's not hot, whereas the Sharkoon the drive is hot to the touch and I get a bit of that electronics smell that tells me the operating temperature is not ideal.

Live and learn. :)

edit: btw I don't know if it's hype but they are hinting at buy.com that stocks are running low.  Currently you can get an SIIG USB 3.0 superspeed dock with fan for about $57 with 2 day shipping.  That's the best price I've found. Plus with the 2 day shipping you get Saturday delivery rather than it sitting on the truck if the weekend happens to intervene.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 02:31:50 PM by MilesAhead »