A quest to find a fast enclosure for multiple SATA 3.5" hard drives

This blog post documents the quest I'm undertaking to find a fast enclosure for multiple SATA 3.5" hard drives, supporting both USB 3 and eSATA, and the ability to read from both hard drives at the same time with at least 275 MB/s total speed. So far I haven't found a fast enough enclosure, so the quest is till ongoing. I'll keep updating the blog post with speed benchmark results.

The maximum sequential read speed my drives support are 112 MB/s and 170 MB/s. (There are much faster drives on the market, e.g. Seagate IronWolf NAS 10 TB can read 250 MB/s in the first 1 TB of the disk.)

I've decided not to order the IcyBox IB-RD3662U3S, because my online research indicates it would be too slow. It uses the chipset JMicron JMB 352 (produced in 2014), which doesn't support UASP (thus it's slow and it uses too much CPU) and maximum SATA speed is 3 Gbit/s.

I've ordered the StarTech S3520BU33ER instead, which uses the chipset JMicron JMS 562 (also produced in 2014), which supports UASP and maximum SATA speed is 6 Gbit/s. I'll run the benchmarks after it arrives.

I've also found OWC 0GB Mercury Elite Pro Dual RAID USB 3.1 / eSATA Enclosure Kit, which is potentially even faster. It supports USB 3.1, eSATA, UASP, and claims to be very fast: more than 400 MB/s over both USB and eSATA. It also uses the same chipset: JMicron JMS 562. It's avaialable from amazon.com and from the manufacturer's webshop (with expensive international delivery).

Depending on the computer it can be much faster to connect the 2 hard drives within separate single-drive enclosures, using separate USB 3 ports or using an unpowered hub. I'm not pursuing this option right now, because I have other uses for my USB ports, and I want low CPU usage (eSATA uses less than USB 3).

For a home media server, it may be cheaper to buy a NAS, e.g. QNAP TS-251+ with Ethernet and HDMI ports, DLNA with full HD video transcoding and other media server features, with maximum transfer speed of 224 MB/s. (Other kinds of QNAP NASes don't seem the be any faster.) However, with a NAS I wouldn't get the flexibility and configurability of stock Debian operating system running on a stock amd64 CPU with 4 GiB of RAM on this machine.

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