ME-320 External USB 2.0/IEEE1394 Enclosure

Article Index
ME-320 External USB 2.0/IEEE1394 Enclosure
ME-320 Installation and Test Setup
ME-320 Benchmarks and Performance
ME-320 Conclusion and Wrapup

Introduction:
 

When I first received this enclosure, my first goal was not necessarily to write a review. I'll be honest, I bought this enclosure because I needed something to be able to take to service calls for data backup. Essentially, I'm reviewing something I bought, whether I like it or not. I really hope it doesn't suck . . .

 
This review is not meant to be a definitive product review; instead it will be a detailed overview and comparison regarding external storage by using both the USB 2.0 and Firewire interfaces. (Yes, there will be benchmarks.) I found the results of these tests quite interesting, and I hope that you will as well. Before we get into things any further, let's take a look at the enclosure.
 

This enclosure is meant to handle any IDE or ATAPI device and convert it to either 1394 or USB 2.0. It comes with everything you need to get started. Inside the box you'll find:

  • 5.25"/3.5" External Enclosure
  • USB 2.0 Driver CD
  • USB 2.0 Manual
  • IEEE 1394 Manual
  • 3' Firewire Cable
  • 4' USB 2.0 Cable
  • 6' Power Cord
  • Bag of Screws for mounting 3.5" Hard Drive and Optical Drives.

As I said, everything you'll need to get started.

 

 
For those of you who aren't familiar with USB 2.0 and Firewire, the theoretical data transfer rate of USB 2.0 is higher than Firewire. USB 2.0 is rated at 480Mbits/sec = 60MBytes/sec, and 1394 is rated at 400Mbits/sec = 50MBytes/sec. According to the specs, USB 2.0 is faster, but we'll have to wait and see if specs matter.
 
Before you head on over to the next page for the Installation and Test Setup, here are some more pics: