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StarTech PEXESAT322I PCI-Express x1 Low Profile Ready SATA III (6.0Gb/s) 2 Int/2 Ext SATA Controller Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: As long as you read and follow the manual, StarTech's card provides additional SATA ports on Windows 7, 8.1, 10, and Server 2012 R2 systems. It is far from a perfect solution, but if your system is port-limited, adding a pair of internal or external ports is made simple.

If you are connecting traditional hard drives (i.e. not SSD drives), the port multiplier option may be useful. Transfer speed is limited by the x1 slot bandwidth, so connecting to a SSD or fast RAID 0 will not give the speed you expect. Than said, we haven't seen issues with drives mysteriously dropping or becoming corrupted.

Cons: The SATA III 6.0Gb/s is somewhat misleading. The card itself is SATA III capable. Unfortunately even a single SATA III SSD easily saturates the PCIe x1 connection. Attaching two SSDs is a waste of money. If, however, you have an extra hard drive and external enclosure or two around, this StarTech card gives more consistent throughput than a standard USB 3 connection along with lower CPU usage. If you use a UASP capable USB 3 enclosure along with Win 8.1 or 10, that blows this card away.

Other Thoughts: As other reviewers mention, read the manual. It's short, concise, and necessary. There are a few potential gotchas that you may face depending on your system and intended usage.

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SAMSUNG 850 EVO MZ-M5E250BW mSATA 250GB SATA III Internal SSD Single Unit Version
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: We are standardizing on Samsung drives for the majority of our computers. EVO or Pro series for laptops and workstations, Pro for servers. They are not necessarily the best performer in any single category, but the combination of features, performance, and service from Samsung top all other manufacturers.

The 850 EVO is fast, no questions about it. Naturally the small capacity (256 GB) version here isn't up to what you see from larger varieties, but it is impressive nonetheless. If you need faster speeds, either buy a larger drive or switch to Samsung's Pro line.

Samsung also supports full drive encryption and, for those of us in a business environment, it is TCG Opal 2.0 compliant as well.

Samsung's implementation of drive features, firmware upgrades, O/S optimization, etc. are seamless and well thought out. When new firmware is available, you just click through a dialog, reboot, and you're done. None of the rebooting to a recovery partition or USB stick as is required by some other vendors.

Samsung's support has been great as well. This particular drive lost its brain shortly after being installed. Samsung's support first emailed a couple of diagnostic tools and, when that proved unsuccessful, overnighted a replacement drive. We have had similar experiences with an Pro series drive that died prematurely, and it is nice to see that Samsung provides the same level of service in the consumer space.

The bundled software is actually useful. The Drive Magician is not a resource hog and offers optimization and performance benchmarking features. The drive migration software works auto-magically.

Cons: You do pay a slight premium for Samsung's performance and reliability.

Other Thoughts: Be aware that this is a bare drive. It does not come with spacers and screws to handle non-standard setups.

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CORSAIR Flash Voyager GTX 256GB Flash Drive Model CMFVYGTX3-256GB
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Worth the expense if your time is valuable 08/19/2015

This review is from: CORSAIR Flash Voyager GTX 256GB Flash Drive Model CMFVYGTX3-256GB

Pros: I purchased this drive as a portable, convenient backup device. Our business is advertising photography, so file sizes get huge. I use the Corsair drive in situations where packing a full-sized backup SSD is not practical. It proved to be perfect for the task; 80+ GB file transfers completed quickly.

Corsair lists impressive transfer rate specifications. On a capable computer, you can get benchmark performance very close to the specs. I measured max sequential writes of 363 MB/s - a little better than the specs.

Getting full performance from this drive requires at least Windows 8.1 and compatible hardware. For example, transfer speeds on a i7-equipped Dell XPS 13 were close to Corsair's specs, while a low-end Dell Inspiron 13 only reached 70% of the specified rate. Windows 7 also does not allow full performance.

The drive itself appears durable. The metal case isn't just for looks. It has survived a couple month's of being smashed in a gear bag, used in hot, humid climates, and being left outside during a tropical downpour. I'm sure Corsair doesn't recommend such mistreatment, but I for one am glad they overbuilt this thing.

Cons: I agree with other reviewers about the size issue. The Flash Voyager GTX is too wide to allow plugging in adjacent (horizontal orientation) USB plugs. A portion of the neighboring slot is covered. Vertically stacked slots are OK, as long as the second device you are plugging in is not overly fat.

I had occasional problems with overheating during large transfers in hot weather. These occurred when writing at least 150 GB of data in 90+ degree heat. The drive case became very warm and then the drive disappeared from Windows. A few minutes of cooling off restored normal operation.

Other Thoughts: Other reviewers mention that you cannot both attach a lanyard to the Flash Voyager and clip the cap to the end of the drive during use. That's true and I see their concern. A redesigned case with a lanyard hole in the corner or other such innovation would make the drive less prone to loss.

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Ethan H.'s Profile

Display Name: Ethan H.

Date Joined: 12/30/03

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 84
  • Helpfulness: 45
  • First Review: 10/19/05
  • Last Review: 08/27/15
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