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StarTech 4 Port PCI SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Adapter Card with SATA / SP4 Power Model PCIUSB3S4
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: -Works in a PCI slot.
- Adds USB 3.0 ports to an older model PC.
- Easy to Install.
- Comes with Half-Height/Low Profile bracket.
- Ships with Rensesas Drivers on CD.
- Actual Read/Write Speeds close to those on SATA III bus.
- Works with a Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p SFF Desktop.

Cons: - High Cost. This is twice the price of an equivalent PCIe card.
- Not Plug N Play. Requires loading drivers from CD.
- Windows OS will not recognize card.

Other Thoughts: I needed more high speed USB 3.0 ports for a Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p SFF desktop that I had set up as a Plex Server. I had already used up the one PCIe slot for an eSATA card and only had a PCI slot left. This was the only 4-port USB 3.0 PCI card I could find so I purchased it. The cost was more than double that of a PCIe card from the same manufacturer but it was the only one to fit the requirements.

Other reviewers have stated that Windows OS will not recognize the card automatically. The card comes with a CD that has the Rensesas drivers on it and the instruction manual that comes with the card clearly and specifically states how to load the drivers. If your PC doesn't have CD drive, you can download the drivers from the startech.com USA website.

After switching out the bracket for the low profile one to fit in the PC, installation was quick. I did need to make a slight adjustment to the bracket (loosening the screws and readjusting the position) to get the USB 3.0 cables to fit in the ports. That only took a minute, or so.

After loading the drivers from the CD and rebooting, the PC the card was recognized and has functioned flawlessly.

I tested read/write speeds using a 3GB .mp4 file and a Seagate 5TB External Enclosure Expansion Drive.

Using the USB 2.0 ports on the PC I got the following:
Read - 24.2MB/sec maximum
Write - 22.0MB/sec maximum (more like 18 MB/sec average)

Using the USB3.0 ports on the Startech PCI card I got the following:
Read - 97 MB/sec maximum
Write - 87 MB/sec maximum

If I do the test on a Lenovo ThinkServer TS-140 that has SATA III buses and USB 3.0 ports connected to the same Seagate 5TB expansion drive I get the following:
Read - 134 MB/sec
Write - 111 MB/sec

Yes, the Startech USB 3.0 ports are slower than those on a new machine with SATA III bus but they are 4X faster than the USB 2.0 ports on the PC. This is definitely a great improvement.

If you are transferring large amounts of data, you will definitely appreciate the speed increase!

In conclusion, if your PC does not have the ability to use a PCIe card and you need higher transfer speeds than USB 2.0 provides, this is the only PCI card available new. It is pricey, but it works. I deducted one egg because of the high cost and because the card is not PnP. The card appears to be well built. I hope it lasts.

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SAMSUNG D3 Station 4TB USB 3.0 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggs Samsung D3 4TB Ext. HDD - Update, Drives Failing! 01/20/2015

This review is from: SAMSUNG D3 Station 4TB USB 3.0 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive STSHX-D401TDB Black

Pros: - Low Price on Sale
- Large Capacity.

Cons: - 50% Failure Rate after 6 Months Use!!
- Drive Enclosures are not as Sturdy as Seagate Enclosures.
- Drive Read/Write Speed is Less than Equivalent Seagate Enclosures.
- No Heat Sink in HDD Enclosure.

Other Thoughts: These Samsung D3 External HDD Enclosures have Seagate 4TB HDD in them. I had previously written a review of these enclosures when I had them for less than a month in use. I purchased Eight of these 4TB drives because I thought they were a great deal at US$109/each. When I first purchased these drives, my testing indicated that they were slower than the equivalent Seagate Expansion HDD Enclosures and that the enclosures were less sturdy but I gave them 4 eggs.

I have encountered Two Major problems that make these Samsung D3 HDD's completely unacceptable for use.

First is that the drives drop connection to the server/client PC when I was attempting to back up drives to these external drives. I was never able to write more than about 100GB worth of data to the drive at any one time without the Samsung drive dropping out. I would have to unplug the drive and re-plug it in to have the drive recognized by the network. Using these Samsung D3 HDD Enclosures to back up storage drives was impossible for me.

At the 6 month mark, these drives have started to fail catastrophically. By that I mean that the drives will just stop and drop off the network and fail to be recognized, or anything else. All the data on the drive is lost. I took a drive that failed out of the enclosure and mounted it into a server bay to see if it was just the enclosure driver board. Nothing. The drives were dead. So far, I have had 50% failure of these Samsung D3 4TB HDD's.

Fortunately, I have backups (and backups of backups).

These are literally the first Seagate HDD's I have ever had fail. I have Seagate Enclosures purchased before and after these Samsung D3's. None of them have failed or give any indication of problems. I purchased these drives in 3 separate lots to minimize the chance of failure from one particular batch/run of HDD's. All of them seem to have the problems.

This is disconcerting, to say the least. I have only had problems with the Samsung D3 4TB Drives. I have a couple of the Samsung D3 3TB External Drives and those seem to be working fine. So Far.

In conclusion, The price of these Samsung D3 External 4TB HDD made them very attractive, especially if you are purchasing quite a few. The high failure rate and dropping out when transferring lots of data make them completely unacceptable as storage media.

Spend the extra US$20 and buy real Seagate HDD's and Enclosures or spend US$30-US$40 more and buy Hitachi or WD drives. It is definitely worth it to buy better drives if it saves you the hassle of having to fix a bunch of failing drives and worrying whether you have got everything backed up immediately on multiple drives.

I will not be buying Samsung HDD's again.

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SAMSUNG D3 Station 4TB USB 3.0 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs Samsung D3 4TB USB3.0 Ext HDD STSHX-D401TDB 11/25/2014

This review is from: SAMSUNG D3 Station 4TB USB 3.0 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive STSHX-D401TDB Black

Pros: - Low Cost.
- Quiet
- Reliable
- Large Capacity
- 3 Year Warranty
- USB 3.0

Cons: - Not the fastest External HDD available.
- Difficult to remove the outer case without damage to the case.

Other Thoughts: These Samsung 4TB drives were on sale for the lowest cost I could get 4TB HDD's of any kind. The internal drives are Seagate 4TB 5900rpm drives and they came with a 3 year warranty. I normally buy Seagate drives and have been very happy with them (I own more than 20) for reliability and longevity. Seagate only offers a 2 year warranty on their External HDD's so I bought the Samsung version instead.

I do not use the included backup software by either Samsung or Seagate so I cannot speak to the quality or usability of that. I can only speak to the actual physical hardware.

I have eight of these Samsung D3 drives. Some are still in their original enclosures, some are in a NAS RAID array. I will say that the Samsung enclosure is different than the Seagate enclosure. The Seagate enclosure is more angularly rectangular with an internal metal heatsink and little space between the drive and the plastic enclosure walls. Samsung has a larger enclosure with no metal heatsink and rubber bumpers about 5mm thick to cushion the actual HDD in the enclosure. The Samsung enclosure is made to sit edgewise where the Seagate is made to sit flat. It is hard to say whether the Samsung has better heat management than the Seagate enclosure which I put on its side to be like the Samsung. The Samsung enclosure has better ventilation than the Seagate enclosure.

Performance wise, I believe that the Seagate enclosures are slightly faster than the Samsung enclosures based on direct comparisons between equivalent file transfer read/writes to both. The difference is no more than 10% and often less than 5% depending on the type and size of files being transferred.

If you take the HDD out of the enclosures (voiding the warranty) and put them in a server/PC/NAS, the drive performance is improved and the drive performance is the same whether it came out of a Samsung or Seagate enclosure.

I recommend these Samsung 4TB External HDD if you can get them on sale. I paid US$109 each for them at Newegg which was the lowest price I have seen to date for 4TB HDD's. So far, out of 10 drives purchased, I have had Zero DOA, Zero with Bad Sectors, and Zero with read/write failures or corruption. They seem to work good in a NAS RAID (RAID 1) configuration and I use them as drives in video servers where they are being read and written to every day and are running 24/7.

I gave the rating of 4 eggs because these drives in the Samsung enclosure are not as fast for read/write speed as the equivalent Seagate HDD enclosures.

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R T.'s Profile

Display Name: R T.

Date Joined: 01/11/12

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 94
  • Helpfulness: 62
  • First Review: 01/17/12
  • Last Review: 05/07/15
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