External Enclosure recommendations in the US

Heya fellas,

I’ve read a few threads on external enclosures, but no one usually mentions where they obtained their units.
I see that a unit based on an Oxford chipset is preferable.
I need an enclosure that supports Firewire (and preferably, also USB2.0).

Those of you that purchased an enclosure already, where did you purchase it?
Anyone know of any deals/sales currently running on these?


take a look at these BYTEC ecnlosures from newegg:

the ME-320U2F & ME-320U2FB (black) will fit 5.25" devices.

these are the only ones I have found that state they use the oxford911 chip.
The black is the only one in stock. I do not have any personal experience with them though.

Good Luck!

$42.99 … ouch
Anyone have a more cost effective suggestion?

The same cases are $90 in stores. You get what you pay for Wes. :stuck_out_tongue:

Does brand of the chip matter at all?
Any good article regarding performace and compatibility?
Besides that it’s mostly look and finish you pay for. :slight_smile:

is $ 32.99

Sorry Lester,
The enclosure in your link is USB 2.0 only.
I need firewire :bigsmile:

I have great external USB/1394 case but I’m not sure what chipset it uses.

Wes, quit complainin! Over here, cheapest I can get an oxford case for is £40 (give or take £2)! I tried the £25 one and I can’t do more than 4x. Consider that I only paid £45 plus shipping for my nec and u’ll see how ridiculous it is.

That’s probably because it takes more to ship the external cases than the bulk drives. I mean, literally the bulk size and weight for 5.25-inch form factor cases cost more than 5.25-inch form factor drives. It also costs more for manufacturers and retailers to keep the inventory. Usually the drives are made in China and so are the cases but the they produce the drives by the millions, as least for LG and NEC, but the case manufacturers are not that lucky. Since the demand is so little for the USB/1394 external cases, they produce much less. It works a little better for the drive manufacturers like HP, Sony, IO DATA, Bufallo, Plextor because they can order at least by the thousands from the case makers. That way, they can sell the cases for US$10 per unit, OEM, of course.

Once USB 2.0 PCI cards were also very expensive. The same was also true of IEEE 1394 cards. Only mass production and competition from chipset makers like Intel brought the prices down to US$10 and further to US$5 and even lower. Nowadays, USB 2.0 is virtually free on most motherboards, that frequently provide up to eight USB 2.0 ports on common products available for under US$100 which includes all kinds of chipsets and slots for AGP, PCI, DRAM, CPU, PATA, SATA, USB, LAN, etc. Once SCSI cases for external use were popular among hardware enthusiasts. I also used such cases for my SCSI drives like Plextor 40TSi and Teac 56S. They were relatively cheap then, much cheaper than current generations of USB/1394 cases for HDDs and ODDs. Thus I think the unrealistic price of external enclosures for optical drives reflect the changed reality that external use of standard half-height 5.25-inch drives is not encouraged because of its inefficiency at least from the viewpoint of most manufacturers of drives and chipsets. I asked one small venture-capital vendor in Seoul about their 8-unit 1394 case. They wanted me to pay at least US$700 and that was a greatly discounted price from usual quotes. The case does not offer much performance but still costs US$700. The only thing it does really is to let users hold up to either HH optical drives in one case. Absurd.

Alright fellas, thanks for the info and external case pricing…
I didn’t think they would cost so much before I started pricing them out. :stuck_out_tongue:

Update: I finally picked up an external enclosure from Frys’ Electronics.

OXFORD chipset!
39.99 after rebate. :smiley: not too bad I suppose…

A friend that has this enclosure claims that USB 2.0 does not have a good enough “burst rate” to sustain 8X writing. Good thing that it supports both USB 2.0 AND firewire. :slight_smile:

Any other thoughts/comments/experience with this enclosure?

I can assure you that USB2 is good enough for at least 12x burning. The problem with USB2 is that most of the system controllers are crap and throughput is low.

Right now, I’ve got four DVD drives connected to this PC via USB 2.0. The rest are connnected using 845 ICH4, PCI PATA card, and PCI IEEE 1394a card. I’d like to use only USB and 1394 for DVD drives.

ADS is a good brand i have one.

Thread closed in an attempt to consolidate and organize all the external enclosure threads. Please make any new posts in [thread=119149]this new thread[/thread], where you can also read more about this consolidation. Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions or concerns about this closure/consolidation. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.