The docking station was quite easy to take apart after removing the four screws at the bottom of the unit.

Since the unit has the tendency to become a bit top heavy due to the upright mounting of hard drives, we have some ballast at the bottom to lower the center of gravity.

JMicron's JM20330 is the PATA to SATA bridge chip for the IDE drives (PDF Specifications) mounted on the underside of the PCB. It supports up to 1.5 Gbps transfer rate which should be plenty for all IDE drives.

JMicron's JMS551 is the USB 3.0 to dual SATA 3G bridge. One of the SATA ports is connected to the JM20330, while the other is connected to the SATA connector on-board. The bridge is compliant with SATA II (3 Gbps) specifications. The chip doesn't support UASP (USB attached SCSI protocol). However, it does have some low power mode support which allows the disks to spin down after being inactive for some time.

For readers curious about how a loaded dock would look like when connected to a system, the following picture should prove helpful.


Introduction and Testbed Setup SATA and IDE Performance Benchmarks
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  • alacard - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    And they work well, highly recommended. (just make sure when you open the box you got a new one (no scratches), the older models have major flaws, and startech will rebox returns and send them out as new).
  • Paul Tarnowski - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    I'll have to look it up. I've had USB 3.0 for almost a year and I still haven't a single device for it. This one might just give me the excuse to get one.

    BTW, I've never heard of SCSCI. But I'm guessing from usage that it's a Type-0 Protocol, right?
  • Chuck_NC - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    The single HDD version with built-in fan that I have has worked very well. It is finicky when used with a USB3.0 hub (random disconnects, noticed on large file copies), and won't pass Smart data to older SATA and eSATA ports. The adjustable fan is loud, but when dialed up to full speed, even keeps the fastest spinning drives cool (tested up to 10K drives). I have tried other units, especially some that use port multiplier technology with severely poor results. Have been very happy with this one on both USB3.0 and eSATA. The eSATA port seems to be faster on most machines that I have.
  • Rix2357 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Lots of these USB 3.0 to hard drive adaptors don't spin down the hard drives after inactivity. I care a lot about this because I keep mine attached to the notebook as an almost permanent storage and if they don't spin down, the hard drives get pretty hot after awhile.
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Yes, it does! I have mentioned that in the review also.
  • AstroGuardian - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Doesn't it have a detrimental effect on the drive life that it's positioned vertically?
    Especially for older IDE drives which were probably placed horizontally for most of their life time.
  • sheh - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I've always been uneasy about that too. Also some of these decks keep the drives in an angle, I think. I wonder not only about used drives but also new.

    I recall reading something about drives being designed to run when positioned straight in any orientation, but it still makes me wonder.
  • AssBall - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I really doubt it will make a difference. I have run drives hanging upside down off a power cable for 4 years without any issues. Run several of them sideways as well, and never could tell any difference in lifespan.
  • Lerianis - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    That is an old-wives tale. Modern hard drives (last 10 years) are meant to be able to run fine when mounted in any way. Stood up, on it's side, sitting on it's top, etc.

    As long as the drive doesn't vibrate and move, the drive should be fine. SSD's, of course, with no moving parts, you don't even have to worry about the drive moving.
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Got a source for that claim? I've not heard it before and many smaller cases have hard drives mounted vertically.

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