For testing the Vantec NexStar 3 NST-360U2-BL we had used a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) 320GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache hard drive. Installing the Serial ATA hard drive was a quick and straightforward process without even opening up the user manual. Unlike some poorly manufactured drive enclosure, we ran into no hiccups during the install process and everything had fit perfectly.
We had tested the Vantec NexStar 3 using its USB 2.0 connection. When using Fedora Core 6 as well as Fedora 7, we had run into no Linux compatibility problems with the drive enclosure itself or the Seagate hard drive as a result of the USB 2.0 to SATA adapter. Sunplus Technology manufactured the USB to Serial ATA bridge.
For testing the Vantec NexStar 3 we had compared its performance against that of an onboard Serial ATA connectivity provided by the motherboard. The test system consisted of a Tyan Tomcat i5000XT motherboard, dual Intel Xeon E5320 Quad-Core (Clovertown) processors, and 4GB of RAM. The speed performance was conducted by using hdparm for read benchmarks.
The hdparm read results when the Seagate 7200.10 320GB drive was connected directly to the Tyan Tomcat i5000XT motherboard was 79.04MB/s, and when using the USB 2.0 interface with the Vantec NexStar 3 its read speed was 32.98MB/s. When it comes to the build quality and the overall package of the NexStar 3, it's definitely a 3.5" SATA HDD enclosure that we love. Under Linux we had run into no problems with the enclosure and were very fond of its design, respectable transfer rates for USB 2.0, and the NST-360U2-BL selling retail for less than $30 USD. If you are in the market for such a drive enclosure, the Vantec NexStar 3 is definitely worth checking out.
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Phoronix Product Rating: 9 / 10