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Portwell EZDRV-300NCF Review

Portwell EZDRV-300NCF Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Portwell EZDRV-300 fits into a 5.25" drive bay, and what makes it really unique is that is contains a CD-ROM, floppy drive and hard drive in just one bay!
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Peripherals Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Portwell Apr 24 2001   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Peripherals > Portwell EZDRV-300NCF

Closer look, benchmarks and conclusions

The CDROM is a 24X Matshita CR-175 with a primarily plastic tray construction. It opens in the standard way most notebook drives do, a small button on the front of the drives causes an actuator to unlock and the spring-loaded tray pops out. The CD can then be popped into place on the spindle, and the tray closed. We tested out the drive on Sandra 2000, and got the following results:

CDROM Test Rating
Track Speed: 5897 RPM
Buffered Read: 80 MB/s
Sequential Read: 1.7 MB/s
Random Read: 0.4 MB/s
Avg Access Time: 87ms

Fairly standard values for a drive of this type. Obviously, this is not the fastest CD-ROM technology on the planet, but for your average software installs, music CD's or video games it should be sufficient, and it's not really intended to compete with high-performance CDROM's of 40X, 50X, or 72X. The A drive is of the standard notebook size and has an integrated drive activity LED.

The hard drive Portwell have shipped with this particular model (it's an optional add-on) is a 3.5" 6GB Hitachi. We tested it out in Sandra 2000 to get the following results:

Hard Drive Test Rating
Buffered Read: 86 MB/s
Sequential Read: 7 MB/s
Random Read: 3.2 MB/s
Buffered Write: 7 MB/s
Sequential Write: 5 MB/s
Random Write: 3.8 MB/s
Avg Access Time: 11ms
Min disk cache: 2 MB

The entire unit is constructed out of a heavy gauge steel. The front bezel is black plastic. A small fuse is built into the back PCB which holds the IDE and FDD cable headers along with the Molex power connector. The drives come pre-wired to the back PCB, so all connections are made from one central point, rather than to each of the devices individually.

As an added point, those of you who might need to occasionally backup, or install software on a notebook computer have an interface directly into a standard PC. The unit optionally comes with the notebook hard drive, so it could be used in the event of a damaged notebook to recover data from any 3.5" hard drive.

Conclusions:

The three-in-one convenience of the EZDRV-300NCF is a blessing to those who are quickly running out of free drive bays. While the CD-ROM is not the fastest on the market for this notebook type, it is more than adequate for the installing programs on servers, or even towers. The unit itself was originally designed for the server market but because of its size would equally benefit from being coupled with an SBC. A Single Board Computer with this three-in-one drive bracket would have an incredibly small foot print without lacking any of the features of a full-sized computer.

Apart from the lack of a metal support frame on the CD-Rom tray, we have been quite impressed with the quality of this unit. The metal frame is a heavy gauge steel and nickel plated by the looks of it - or possibly stainless steel. The front black bezel will stick out on just about every tower, but will blend in nicely with most servers, which seem to be black by default.

The 6Gig hard drive may be considered too small by many of you for the main system drive, but would make an excellent back-up drive for storing important information, or in the case of a IT person reinstalling multiple computers, for storing a complete inventory of software, drivers, and diagnostic tools. The uses of the EZDRV-300NCF are very varied, but its many uses cannot be doubted.

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Peripherals News»

 

Contents of Article: Portwell EZDRV-300NCF
 Pg 1.  Portwell EZDRV-300NCF Review
 Pg 2.  — Closer look, benchmarks and conclusions

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