Testing the Rosewill
RX-358-S-SLV will consist of looking at a couple benchmarks and monitoring the drive's outer skin temperature while in use. As a point of reference, the 250GB Maxtor Maxline III SATA 3Gbps drive installed will be tested connected directly to a standard SATA 3Gbps connection, as well as via eSATA and USB 2.0.
The first test executed was HD Tach RW 184.108.40.206, a hard drive specific benchmark that provides four pieces of information regarding the drive being tested. The chart below shows the CPU utilization, random access time, average read speed, and burst speed of the three conditions. Lower values are desirable for CPU usage and random access time, while higher values are better for average read speed and burst speed. While the burst speed was much better on SATA as compared to eSATA, the fact that the average read speeds are nearly identical is what caught my attention. This addresses my second major beef with other enclosures, as it is the eSATA transfer rates which aren't always what they should be.
Next we have the results from SiSoftware's Sandra Lite 2008.1.12.34. This benchmark provides several results, and a pair were selected to represent the performance of each drive configuration. Lower values are desirable for the random access time, while higher values are better for the drive index. Here we see confirmation of what HD Tach indicated, that the eSATA performance is just as good as the SATA performance, and that both are quite respectable. While USB 2.0 can't compete with SATA or eSATA, it does do well for itself.
The final test was to monitor the drive's skin temperature using a thermal probe affixed to the center of the top surface. With the drive active and under stress from a "full" test from HD Tach, the digital display from the thermal probe was monitored for the maximum sustained temperature. Considering the issue of the fan being way louder than I am willing to accept, I was very hopeful that the drive would stay nice and cool without the fan in use.
Much to my delight, the chart above reveals that with or without the fan the drive remains at a safe operating temperature. While having a silent fan available for extra cooling would be nice, I am willing to use it without the fan due to the slight temperature difference noted.