So I posted a couple days ago about the write protect enclosure, and now I have some hard figures on it.
Where to purchase
I purchased mine from miniinthebox. There appear to be some other suppliers, but miniiinthebox works (just make sure to opt out of the spam they send you, I had to log back in later and find the checkbox buried in account settings).
So for my initial purchase, I bought 4 of them (at ~$20 per enclosure, it isn't a bad purchase). Gave one to a fellow techie, the other three are present in this review. I have them used with three different drives:
- Samsung Evo 240 1TB msata drive (in a 2.5" adapter)
- WD Blue 1TB mechanical drive
- Toshiba 750GB mechanical drive
Both mechanical drives are 5400RPM. I tried a 7200RPM drive, but there wasn't quite enough juice to run it (would probably work with a Y cable).
Here is the three drives, along with a zalman zm-ve400 enclosure for comparison
Cat for scale
End of the drive, has a OTB button (which will never be used), and also an additional DC Jack for extra power if needed. The LED is also quite bright when in use.
Enclosure when apart. The two sides slide onto the enclosure, and each is held in with two *very* tiny screws (4 total). requires a PH00 screwdriver to properly screw in (none provided). Four additional screws hold the drive in the enclosure.
Picture of the chipset being used. the ASM1053 identification is barely visible, couldn't get the camera to zoom close enough for that detail. The same chipset is used in all four drives received.
SSD being used for testing:
Does it work?
Short answer, yes. The write protect switch does indeed work as expected. It is worth noting that flipping the switch while in use doesn't do anything, so if you want to protect a drive, flip the switch *before* plugging in.
Performance is quite decent, especially with UASP support for SSDs.
UASP is a feature built into new chipsets (new being anything with a 3rd generation intel or later). Note that UASP *only* works if the device, the USB chipset, *and* the software support it (windows 8 or linux only for the most part). It allows USB to emulate a SCSI device, and dramatically increase the IOPS (input output per second) of the device. For a mechanical drive, this isn't really anything interesting. For an SSD, this does make a difference.
Here we see a zalman drive alongside two of the SSK enclosures. The zalman drive (which does not support UASP) only shows up as a "USB Mass Storage Device". The two SSK enclosures show up as "USB Attached SCSI"
First, for the baseline, we will test the internal 250GB SSD (inside the computer). That gets around 500MBps read/write, which is about what we expect
Now we test the SSD in the enclosure. We are getting around 250MBPS both read and write, which is not too shabby and about what we can hope for out of USB 3.0
Now it's time to show how UASP really shines. I re-ran the test on my older 2nd gen i5 computer, which does not support UASP. Read is approximately the same, but you can see how the write performance suffers dramatically. The max IOPS also goes *way* down. Ouch.
Finally, lets test a mechanical drive. Wow, look at that IOPS. Why does anyone use mechanical drives as their system drive anymore?
Not much to say here, I have booted about three dozen computers from these drives, and they appear to work just fine as boot media. There has been an odd computer here or there that doesn't supply enough power to the mechanical drives, but the solid state drive seems to work every time.
If you want a cheap and reliable enclosure with a write protect switch, this is the way to go. I like my zalman drive, and still use it for the ISO capabilities, but you can't really beat a physical switch to make sure nothing nasty gets on your tools.