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maratus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 12, 2009
634
149
Canada
So, I've been looking for a really compact and fast USB3.0 enclosure to use with SSD. I still have two G-Drive Minis, but they're way too thick and such protection and cooling isn't needed anymore with SSD.

Here's my list of the requirements:

- USB 3.0
- SATA 6G controller
- As thin as possible
- Good build quality (no plastic crap!)
- Replaceable (at least not completely sealed) 2.5" drive

Top three candidates were Lacie Rugged USB3.0 + Thunderbolt, OWC Mercury Elite Pro Mini and Buffalo Thunderbolt MiniStation. All these guys are almost 1" thick..... And I wasn't sure if any of the modern G-Drives had SATA 6G, which I really wanted.

But here's a new Lacie P9223 Slim, which is their recent product! :eek:

laciep9223slimlr.jpg


11mm thick unibody enclosure with slide-in plastic frame that holds a 7mm drive. P9223 comes with either 500GB single-platter Seagate 5400rpm HDD or 120GB SSD. The latter is rated at 400MB/s, which means ASMedia SATA 6G controller lives inside. Moreover, it turned out that HDD version uses the same controller and.... boy it's fast!

All tests are done with the Samsung 840 (500GB 2.5" SSD) inside. I didn't bother to run benchmarks with stock HDD and replaced the drive immediately :D

Blackmagic Disk Test
Write: 315 MB/s
Read: 435 MB/s


screenshot20130319at150.jpg


XBench 1.3


screenshot20130319at152.png


AJA System Test

screenshot20130319at163.png


screenshot20130319at163.png



My impressions? The drive looks awesome and is priced very reasonably considering single-platter HDD inside. Add top notch performance USB3.0 controller and you have a winner! A nice short USB3.0 cable is included.

If you have any questions, you're very welcome!

megustablacktextss.png
 

nylon

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2004
1,270
820
Is it easy to open up the lacie enclosure to replace the drive?
 
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maratus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 12, 2009
634
149
Canada
Is it easy to open up the lacie enclosure to replace the drive?

Not at all. All you need is to open two small plastic latches with thin soft plastic prying tools or even a pair of toothpicks.

P.S. The controller is ASMedia ASM1053

photo21hd.jpg


photo2kiy.jpg


photo22y.jpg
 
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fskywalker

macrumors 65816
Nov 6, 2009
1,223
3
How much you paid for just the P9223 slim enclosure?
 
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maratus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 12, 2009
634
149
Canada
I've had some HDD failures as well, the latest RMA for instance was a G-Drive Mini 750GB. What were your failures related to? HDD? Controller? PCB problems?

P9223 uses a well known ASMedia controller, and unless the board is poorly designed (power supply issues etc.) I wouldn't suspect a chance of failure any higher or lower than other enclosures.

I wouldn't go back to a mobile hard drive though as it was a nightmare in terms of reliability.

----------

This is possibly marginally faster (and you can RAID two enclosure together!!!)

http://www.barefeats.com/hard161.html

But, doesn't seem available yet. My experience with LaCie is also really poor, we have lots of dead LaCies lying around...

I've actually got 437 MB/s for reads with the same settings, so it seems to be on par. Writes in my case are capped by SSD itself (TLC memory, it's not a 840 Pro)
 
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nontroppo

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2009
430
22
Our LaCie problems have usually been connector / PCB (they do seem well built, but don't seem to take much hard use...), and general HD failure that may be a mix of poor controllers and particular HD manufacturers. If you know the controller is good, and the USB connector /PCB looks well made, and you control the disk used, then all sounds good!!! :cool:
 
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maratus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 12, 2009
634
149
Canada
Our LaCie problems have usually been connector / PCB (they do seem well built, but don't seem to take much hard use...), and general HD failure that may be a mix of poor controllers and particular HD manufacturers. If you know the controller is good, and the USB connector /PCB looks well made, and you control the disk used, then all sounds good!!! :cool:

I think PCB is good (and very small as well). I'm using the drive as a system SSD at the moment and it will host VMs in near future as well.

Report: Even though the replacement drive (SM840 500GB) is supposed to peak at 5W or more during intensive writing, no issues with power draw from any of USB3.0 ports were observed. I know some users are skeptical about high-capacity bus powered SSDs, but it seems like a safe bet (at least with rMBP ports) as of now. Keep in mind, that according to this REVIEW, my SSD consumes slightly more than average modern MLC drive.
 
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