Last month, January 2011, marked the one year anniversary of USB 3.0 availability on mass-market consumer products. Adoption of the USB 3.0 standard started a little slow, but as of late 2010 began really ramping up. Although USB 3.0 availability on motherboards is still hit-or-miss, the external storage industry has begun widely adopting this standard. From an external storage standpoint, the ability to go from USB 2.0 which had a bandwidth of 480Mbit/s to USB 3.0 which has a bandwidth of 5.0Gbit/s is an unprecedented speed boost when it comes to moving your data around with portal storage devices.
One of my most commonly used external PC peripherals is probably my 2.5" USB 2.0 hard drive. Although USB thumb-drives are convenient for smaller files, they aren't practical when moving large files or large backups between different locations. That's where my handy 2.5" enclosure comes in - but not without some drawbacks. USB 2.0 is a great interface because virtually every computer or media related device is compatible with it, but it's also really slow when transferring a lot of files compared to an internal drive or eSATA interface. My drive enclosure does have an eSATA connector, but so few of the computers I connect it with support eSATA that it makes that option only good for around the home. Today, what seems like a viable upgrade to my trusty drive enclosure has arrived. The Silverstone TS04 is Silverstone's first USB 3.0 2.5" SATA HDD/SSD compatible drive enclosure. I'm anxious to put it to the test, in what will be one of my first formal USB 3.0 tests as well.