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Kingwin Dock Master 3.0 Hard Drive Dock

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Introduction to the Kingwin DockMaster

Speed is one of the main concerns when building a PC these days. Now with the introduction of Intel Nehalem and the AMD Phenom II, we are seeing everything increase in performance, Even memory is entering atmospheric levels. With all the internal technology breaking performance numbers, why can't the external devices play along. Well, now they can. USB 3.0 or SuperSpeed is upon us. Backing up your data has never been faster. We saw this in the Vantec NexStar 3 enclosure we reviewed last week.

Today, we get to take a look at a new USB 3.0 peripheral from another great company, the Kingwin DM-2535U3 hard drive dock or the Dock Master. I personally am a big fan of the dock over the enclosure as they are easier to manage. There is no assemblage. Simply insert drive and format. Now I get to do this with a faster dock than my present Thermaltake BlacX Duet.

Specifications

H.D.D. Support 2.5” / 3.5” SATA Hard Disc
Dimension: 146 (W) x 115 (L) x 71 (H) mm
Support OS: Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7
Mac OS 10x & Above
Interface: USB 3.0

Features

  • Model: DM-2535U3
  • 2.5” / 3.5” SATA Hard Drive Docking Station
  • Up to 5.0 Gbps Data Transfer Rate In USB 3.0
  • Increase Storage Capacity to Any System
  • Plug and Play
  • Rohs Compliant
  • LED for H.D.D. Access & Power

Closer look

The Kingwin Dock Master is a fresh version of a device that I use on a daily basis. To me hard drive docks are one of the most useful desktop devices. The ability to retrieve data with just a drop in of a drive is much appreciated around here. The Dock Master gives you that same availaible but at a faster pace. This new dock is equipped with SuperSpeed technology better known as USB 3.0.

To be blunt, all docks share the same simple physique: one or more inserts to accomdate 2.5/3.5" hard drives. The Dock Master is no different. Black in color, the front of the dock displays the model and brand name logos. The rear of the device has a power button, AC/DC plug and the USB 3.0 connection.

The top of the dock has the typical 3/4 door cover that can accept a typical 2.5" HDD or SSD without having to press in the door. To make larger drives feel at home, align the drive over the door and insert. Let the PC do everything else. The one thing the Dock Master does lack is an eject button. So in this case you will have to pull upward on the drive when you need to switch.

Testing

We finally get a chance to use of the features on a motherboard we are currently testing. The Gigabyte GA-EP55A-UD6 is one of the first motherboards with USB 3.0 as well as SATA 600.

Testing Hardware:
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP55A-UD6
Processor: Intel Core i7 860 @ 3.8GHz at 1.38 volts
Ram: G-Skill ECO PC12800 4GB Dual Channel
Video Card: XFX HD 4770
HDD: Seagate 7200.11
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 850 (Sponsored by Thermaltake)
Case: NA
Cooling: Dynatron Genius
OS: Windows XP SP3
Thermal compound: Arctic Silver 5

Testing Software:
HD Tune Pro 3.50

HD Tune is a Hard Disk utility which has the following functions:

  • Benchmark: measures the performance
  • Info: shows detailed information
  • Health: checks the health status by using SMART
  • Error Scan: scans the surface for errors
  • Temperature display

Results

The Dock Master has allowed us to prove that USB 3.0 is the way of the future. The transfer rates are twice the speed of USB 2.0. With read and write of atleast 63MB/s copyinh over data will happen twice as fast as before.

Conclusion

The Kingwin lives up to the reasons it was manufactured. To make life easier when the need to access data off a drive quick faster and in a hurry. More suitted for a temporary means to retrieve data you no longer have to go through the process of having to disassembly an enclosure to get data off a drive you only need to do once.

But what makes the Kingwin offering more desireable is the fact that it operates at USB 3.0 speeds. We can never have enough speed when attempting to move large files from one location to another. The Dock Master does this and does it well.

The only drawback and this is not the fault of Kingwin or the Dock Master but you have to either upgrade your motherboard or go out and purchase a controller card if you want to benefit from the new speed. Or settle for USB 2.0 transfer rates until the time comes to upgrade our gear.