With the overabundance of benchmarking software out there, I have to include just a couple to let you get some numbers. However impractical they are, they are still useful in gauging standards. I personally prefer to use real world benchmarks (usage). In the interest of appeasing the masses, I do both. Software for testing was SiSoft Sandra 2004 SP2 and HDTach 22.214.171.124. The drive performed as it was expected to being a USB 2.0 Drive, giving us 22 MB/sec in Sandra and 27 MB/sec in HDTach. Part of the disparity is that HDTach is very clear in saying that this is BURST speed.
During use, I was completely annoyed with the noise that the cooling fan produced. I was so annoyed, in fact, that I ended up removing it. If there were a word to describe it, I would have to choose – LOUD! Although the cooling was more for the power components inside then the drive, it still performed as it should without the fan in place.
The best part of reviewing a product like this is destroying it. I like to do a drop test with external enclosures and external devices because I know not everyone is perfect and perfectly graceful at all times. I started out with the normal amount of banging around that something could experience on the desk of a geek. Nothing surprising to report, I then decided that this wasn’t enough. Dropping it from 2 feet still produced no damage worth reporting. When I decided to drop it from 5 feet I was left with a dead drive. Now you can see why I used my lil’ 10 gigger I had on the shelf. I must admit that most consumers aren’t going to be dropping their drive from 5 feet, but it is still nice to know what happens if you do.
My experience with the Spire enclosure left me wanting more. The problems with the cable and activity LED just could not keep my focus on the pluses. It was a nice try Spire, if you can fix the cable problem and the glue problem you will have yourself a product you would find on my desk any day. I like the fact that they decided to use a standard power adapter instead of some proprietary garbage you can’t replace without spending the cost of another enclosure. Fix that, and I will be one happy camper.
Please Note: The representative from Spire has informed me that this was a pre-production model. I am still waiting to hear back to see if any of these issues have been addressed in the final model. I will keep this updated!
UPDATE: Latest news from Spire is that there will not be a final model of this product.