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Inateck continues to roll out a steady stream of new and innovative products to meet the demands of their customers. Case in point is their newly released FD1006C USB 3.0 docking station, which they sent along for us to check out. This Inateck docking station is a “Lay-Flat” design that supports the UASP protocol and accepts large capacity 2.5″ or 3.5″ HDDs. So, let’s get started and see what Inateck has come up with this time around.
Specifications and Features
The specifications and features below were pieced together with information found on the retail box and from Intaeck’s product page. The big ticket item here is that the FD1006C supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol), which can bring speeds substantially higher than normal USB 3.0 operation. All modern Windows and MAC operating systems are supported in both 32 and 64-bit versions. You’ll also note that the docking station requires the use of an auxiliary power supply that’s included in the package, but only for 3.5″ platter type HDDs. The FD1006C supports HDDs up to 4TB in size and uses an ASMedia USB to SATA bridge chip to handle internal transfers between the two connection types.
|Inateck FD1006C Specifications
|2.5″, 3.5″ SATA HDD/SSD Up to 4TB
|Input:100-240V, 50/60Hz, 0.8A
|XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 (32/64-bit)
|179x116x35 mm/7.05×4.57×1.38 in
|Inateck FD1006C Features
Inateck claims 70% faster speeds than traditional USB 3.0 by way of the UASP transfer protocol. In order to take advantage of the UASP feature, you need to install a SSD in the docking station and have a system that supports the UASP protocol. Below is a picture of the speeds Inateck achieved during their in-house testing with a Samsung 840 Pro SSD installed in the docking station. They compared their results to products that do not offer UASP to illustrate the improvements.
Most docking stations as we know them are “open air” so to speak, but the FD1006C comes with a cover that is removable for quick access to the drive. The cover also adds a layer of protection for your HDD and keeps it dust free as well.
The retail packaging does a good job of explaining the product within and keeps it well-protected during transportation. As you tour the box, you’ll find most of the features and specifications printed in various locations. The back of the box has the most detailed information and a picture of the FD1006C.
With the box opened, we see the docking station laying in a plastic bed with the accessories sitting below. The accessories include the power adapter, USB 3.0 cable, and an anit-vibration foam pad. If you use the docking station with a SSD, you won’t need to use the power adapter as the USB connection provides enough power. However, using a 3.5″ platter HDD will require using the power adapter.
The docking station has a removable dust cover that simply slides rearward and off. It’s a tool-less design that works very well and makes for quick and hassle-free access to the drive mounting area.
With the dust cover removed, you can see installing a drive is just a matter of setting it in place and sliding it forward to engage the SATA power and data connections. There is no provision for securing the drive in place once installed, so you’ll want to remove the drive if you plan on traveling with it. As you can see in the first picture below, there are ventilation slots in the bottom of the tray to help keep the HDD cool.
At the front of the docking station, we find the USB type B port, power adapter connection, and the on/off switch. The Inateck logo on the top of the docking station is flanked by a couple of LED lights. The blue light indicates power is on, and the green one is the activity light letting you know when data is being accessed.
Removing the bottom plate exposes the printed circuit board, which is highlighted by the ASMedia ASM1153E SATA to USB 3.0 bridge chip.
We’ll be using our daily driver system for testing the Inateck FD1006C docking station. Mostly because Windows 8.1 is loaded on it, which has native support for the UASP protocol. Here are the components that make the system up.
|Test System Components
|ASUS Maximus VI Impact
|G.Skill TridentX 2X4Gb DDR3-2666 MHz
|Samsung 840 EVO 500GB
|EVGA GTX 750 Ti
|EVGA Hadron Hydro – 500W PSU
|Windows 8.1 x64
We took the recently reviewed Patriot Ignite 480 GB SSD and installed it into the docking station. The SSD is rated for 560 MB/s read and 545 MB/s write, which is plenty to saturate the USB 3.0 interface. You should know that those rated speeds were obtained during our review of the Patriot Ignite while it was connected to a SATA 6 GB/s port. Keeping that in mind, you can judge the benchmarks below on how close it came to those speeds while using the docking station connected to a native Intel USB 3.0 port.
The first thing we needed to check was if the FD1006C was recognized as UASP ready. To check that, we opened up the ASUS USB 3.0 Boost utility and indeed found it to be UASP ready.
It’s said with the right hardware, you can get up to 450 MB/s read/write performance through a UASP capable system. Those claims are usually based off the ATTO benchmark because of the compressible data it tests, so that’s where we’ll start. As you can see, our run of ATTO resulted in a max read of 463 MB/s and a max write speed of 459 MB/s. No complaints here.
The remaining benchmarks below will typically show slower read/write performance due to the incompressible data tests they use. Even so, the read/write results were still well over 400 MB/s in most cases. Pretty impressive results that clearly show the speed advantage a UASP capable device can deliver.
Inateck has a habit of providing great performing peripherals at even better prices. Speaking of price, the FD1006C is available at Amazon for a mere $26.99 with free shipping. Given how well it performs, that’s a nice price in our opinion.
The Inateck FD1006C works its best with a SSD because of UASP support, but it’s an attractive option for use with a standard platter drive as well. The ease of which drives can be installed and removed is something that keeps the unit in the docking station class, but with the protection and dust free environment more akin to a HDD enclosure. Either way, the Inateck FD1006C is a great choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to add external storage to your system.
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