Tired of large external drive caddies? Time for something smaller and faster
We often have the problem of suddenly coming across an old hard drive, found in the bottom of a drawer, and wanting to know its contents without having to open up a PC case and fit it. Similarly, we have a few spare, smaller capacity SSDs lying around that could be put to good use as backup drives. Again, though, we don’t fancy cracking open the case to fit the drive.
There are, of course, a number of solutions available that allow us to connect a SATA hard drive to a USB port. Some are cradle devices; others are just simple cables with different ends. Most, however, rely on older USB and SATA technology, except for this device from Lindy.
The Lindy USB 3.0 to SATA-3 Drive Adapter, as the name suggests, allows you to connect a SATA-3 drive to your PC via a USB cable. The result is a far better data transfer speed in a neat, convenient package.
The adapter consists of a single unit, with a SATA-3 connection fitted against the side and a builtin USB 3.0 cable and power port for the accompanying power brick, protruding from the end. There’s a large LED on the top of the adapter, indicating power, access and data transfer with a pair of red and blue LEDs.
All you need to do is fit a suitable SATA-3 drive into the SATA slot, plug in the USB 3.0 cable to a PC and plug in the power. The drive will then be recognised by Windows or any other OS, and you can then manage it as you see fit. When you’re done, you can either take the rough and ready way of uncoupling the drive by simply unplugging it, or you can opt to safely eject the USB hardware via the OS you’re working on.
With an older OCZ Agility 60GB SSD attached to the device and connected to our PC via a USB 3.0 port, we managed to get a fairly decent ATTO benchmark value of 325MB/s write speeds, and 295MB/s read on the 8MB test, while the smaller file test, 4KB, scored 93MB/s write speed and 55MB/s read.
When connected to a USB 2.0 port, the 8MB test managed to hit 42MB/s write and read, with 18MB/s write and 16MB/s read on the 4KB test. Incidentally, with a 7200rpm hard drive in place, we scored a more than reasonable USB 3.0 benchmark of 90MB/s write, and 95MB/s read on the 8MB test. Suffice to say, there’s enough speed and stability here for use as a dedicated external backup solution or drive cloning setup.
We were quite pleased with the Lindy USB 3.0 to SATA-3 Drive Adapter. It’s an simple little unit, with enough cable length both on the USB 3.0 cable and power to sit comfortably on your desk without you having to fiddle around too much. And naturally the added bonus of the faster USB 3.0 speeds on offer are appealing to those who regularly transfer large amounts of data. In short, it’s a handy device – one that any IT technician would be happy to have as part of their toolbox or to bring an otherwise defunct drive back to life. And all for a pretty good price too. David Hayward
A handy, fast and uncomplicated device to connect SATA-3 drives externally.