"This Best Selling Vantec 4 Bays 3.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0 & eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure with Fan (NST-640SU3-BK) Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
Introducing the NexStar HX4 – a quad 3.5" SATA to USB 3.0 & eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure designed to keep all your hard drive safe and cool. This enclosure features a hard aluminum shell that effectively draws away the heat while an active controlled 80mm fan on top exhausts the hot air from the enclosure ensuring your hard drive is protected and cooled. Integrated with USB 3.0 & eSATA technology; transfer files to and from your computer at blazing fast speeds. Backup, transfer, copy your data quick and easily with the Vantec NexStar HX4 enclosure.
PROS: -With my current setup and PCIE card, I am getting on average 75-90 MBs transfer rates. Currently using eSATA only. My system is older and does not support USB 3.0.
- Its quiet
- Plug and Play
- Great Price!
I recommend for similar intended setup.
CONS: – Short plug in cord length. I want more slack to put in desired location since you do not want to bump/ drop/ ruin/ kill your drives! (has happened to me before.)
- It has a cheap plastic feel! Hard drive pullout handles and tabs cheaper plastic.
- I did not receive all screws to utilize the hard drive handles. 4 drives… 2 sides= 8 screws. Why were only 4 packaged? VERY MINOR inconvenience but a con on purchase nonetheless. Who has spare hard drive screws laying around??
Again, I will be buying this unit again for my next batch of HD. So I do recommend.
Update 1/7/2013: I’ve gotten another one of these enclosures and set up a RAID of 3 drives through ‘disk utility’ in Mac OS X. So far its working as expected. I’ve also been connecting to this enclosure over my Mac Mini’s USB 3.0 port without the USB3 to eSATA adapter and have it has been working flawlessly. I have not yet seen any of the USB 3.0 issues that others have reported. Reads from the RAID array top out at about 190MB/second.
A note to the person who says the unit is not shipped with screws. The screws are attached to the back of a cardboard insert in a small plastic bag. Easy to not see these. My guess is that they were put there to keep them from getting lost in the bottom of the box. Ironic really.
At $99.99 I have no problem with the build quality of the Vantec. It is mostly plastic, but seems to be rigid. It is about the quietest device I have with a fan. It is easy to get the drives in and out and is well ventilated.
I’ve been building systems for 30 years and I am happy with this enclosure.
Update: 29-Jan-2013 ************************************************************
I’ve been running the 4 drives daily to backup the network. These drives not only get data from the network but run backups of the backups. So, one drives copies data from itself to another drive in the same enclosure and also to another external USB 3.0 enclosure. All is working perfectly. I have not had one single problem since installing.
Well, it arrived well packed and protected, the instructions were straightforward (even if a bit small for my eyes), and the device activated all four 1TB drives and showed a blue LED as each one spun up.
I installed it on a server running Windows Server 2012 Essentials and initially all of the drives spun up then only the top drive remained active. I put in the driver CD and used the “Update Driver” function and it found what it needed on the CD and all the drives lit up and stayed on. Easy enough.
Initially, I could see all the files from my last RAID array which was very surprising. I didn’t trust that, though, so I formatted the entire collection of drives as a new Storage Space with parity, and it has been good to go ever since.
I was home alone today and had plenty of time to play with all four drives; three installed within the enclosure and an external USB 3.0. Transferred tons of data from one drive to another, partitioned and formatted most, play movies, music and clips, did some data backup and much more. Didn’t encountered any issues…except for the one described above.
Didn’t use the included pads…really didn’t know of their purpose until I read some reviews here. At first I inserted the drives without attaching the pull-out handles with screws. The drives worked fine, but it’s an inconvenience if you have to take one out, which happened in my case.
Anyway, since one drive had to be removed, I decided to remove all four. This time I used the screws and installed and tried one hard drive at time, instead of all four at the same time. This, in my opinion, makes the job much simpler, especially if the drives are partitioned into two or more partitions. As I installed each drive, I renamed each one according to their respective bay.
For example, I installed the first drive in bay number one and once it was recognized I partitioned it as three separate partitions and renamed each partition as Bay1Music(E), Bay1Videos(F) and Bay1Karaoke (G) respectively. The second partition was named Bay2Movies(H), Bay2WorkRalated(I), Bay3Woodwork(J)…for my woodworking plans and related data. The third was named Bay4Everyting(K) because it contains many of the data that stored on the other two hard drives plus data from drive C.
My only complaint about this item is the cooling fan. It’s not loud per-say, but it rattles, especially at low speed…perhaps an indication of low quality. Overall enclosure construction has the appearance of “OK” quality. It’s not bad, but it’s plastic, which doesn’t lend for a solid construction. The power supply is just a regular laptop power supply. These types of supplies are bulky and one has to deal with two cables; one coming in to the supply and the other coming out…now I have five of these things behind my desk.
My one suggestion with these or any similar enclosure is the use of a power strip with individual switches like the Mr. Dj PSC108 8 Channel Power Strip with Lighted Toggles or surge suppressor like the Tripp Lite TMC-6 Surge Protector Under Monitor 6 Outlet RJ11 6ft Cord 1440 Joule. Electronic equipment can use a lot of electricity if not managed correctly…and electricity is not cheap. A power strip allows you to turn the power off to a piece of equipment, like an external drive enclosure, when not in use while continuing using other equipment.
Once installed, the enclosure has two connection options: USB which works great in legacy 2.0 and native 3.0 modes, and eSATA which would work great if you can find a good eSATA card with port multiplier capability. USB 2.0/3.0 have this feature from the start, so by plugging in one cable you will still see and use four independent drives. A good USB 3.0 card (if you don’t have a port already) will go a long way. For most copy, back up or media file playing applications USB 3.0 will be as capable as eSATA.
Finally, the cooling fan is very quiet even at the lowest speed, you can adjust the speed if you want to. Once you have installed four regular 3.5 in HDDs the enclosure will become quite heavy to carry around so plan your final placement in advance.
So it works great for four drives, Donna what I will do when I need a fifth? Perhaps buy another enclosure and fill it up with four more drives.