Zalman USB 3.0 Dual Hard Drive Docking Station - Testing

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Zalman USB 3.0 Dual Hard Drive Docking Station
Specifications
Testing

Zalman Dual Hard Drive Docking Station - Testing:

The testing of a hard drive dock is pretty straight-forward. We are going to do some file copy tests first to show the "real-world" performance of the Zalman dual HDD docking station, we will then run some hard drive performance tests in the next section to show how the hard drive that we've installed can perform.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB hard drive.

If you would like to compare our results to another comparable device you can check out our review of the Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 3.0 dock over here. We have run the same set of tests on both hard drive docks for easy comparison.

Let's see how this hard drive dock performs....

 

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After this first test I was pretty much ready to throw my old USB 2.0 hard drive dock into the garbage. For smaller file transfers the time difference wasn't huge, but as we started copying bigger files the time savings between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 was substantial. In the grand scheme of things 7GB of file transfers isn't that much and if you were using this dock to fill up a 500GB (or bigger) drive you could easily save hours of waiting.

In the next test we'll run some hard drive benchmarks to see just how well our hard drive is performing while in this dock.

 

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So there we go, once again we can very easily see that USB 3.0 offers a significant improvement over USB 2.0 speeds. USB 3.0 isn't the limitation of these tests, at these speeds the hard drive is the component holding us back from even better scores, if you were to drop a SSD drive into this dock chances are good you'd seen even better performance.

So there we go, testing complete, let's move onto the final section of our review.

 

Zalman Dual Hard Drive Docking Station Final Thoughts:

A hard drive dock might not be the most exciting product on the market, but if you are in a "computer-related" industry or are just an avid computer user chances are good you've got one already (or want to get one). The Zalman ZM-MH200 U3 is pretty snazzy and works as advertised and thanks to USB 3.0 outperforms previous USB 2.0 docks significantly. I've used a USB 2.0 hard drive dock for years and never really thought much about how long it took to transfer files back and forth until I got my hands on this dock and now it feels like watching paint dry when using a USB 2.0 dock.

This hard drive dock is pretty easy to like thanks to some of its features. The ability to put your two drives into RAID (or JBOD) configurations might not be for everyone, but some more extreme users out there might be able to put that to use. The build quality of this dock is also very good and I'm pretty sure it won't have much trouble standing up over the long haul. Not only is it built well it also has a very nice finish to it and it won't look like a sore thumb sitting on your desk.

The MSRP at time of publishing for the Zalman ZM-MH200 U3 was approximately ~$79.00 USD thanks to a quick search online. While this dock is definitely more expensive than other docks we've tested in the past, the features it offers (RAID Support, Energy Saving, USB 3.0) still make it a decent value. For someone who is only using one hard drive at a time it probably doesn't make sense, but I can think of many applications where having the ability to dock two hard drives would be very handy (data recovery, making a copy of a hard drive straight onto another hard drive). I would say this product is probably more aimed at the "Power-User" or "Computer Administrator" rather than the average home user.


Probably my biggest beef with this hard drive dock is the positioning of the power switch (power switch is located on the rear of the dock). It's not the end of the world to have to reach in behind the dock to turn it on and off but after a couple tests I found myself turning around the dock so that the rear of the dock was facing out so that I could quickly power on and off the dock. Zalman does include a "Green Power Management" feature on this dock that powers down the hard drives after 10 minutes of inactivity so you can probably leave the dock on for the most part without worrying about your drives running 24/7.

At the end of the day it's pretty easy to like the Zalman Dual Hard Drive docking station thanks to the unique features that it offers. While this dock might not be for the "Average" user I'm quite certain "Power-Users" and "Administrators" will appreciate the ability to dock two hard drives at the same time. Overall the Zalman ZM-MH200 U3 scored very well in our testing and has earned our "Editor's Choice - Gold" award.

 

Pros:

  • Great performance thanks to USB 3.0
  • Easy to Use
  • High Quality Construction

 

Cons:

  • Power button could be easier to access

 

BCCRating

Gold 
 

I'd like to thank Zalman for sending us their Dual Hard Drive Docking Station. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.