I recently did a massive redundant backup to a bunch of old bare drives. I have a cheapo hot-swap bay I found at Microcenter, but it is a pain in the ass. The plastic back plane and the handle broke on day-2 so I have to open the case and plug it in by hand and pull the drives out with pliers. It's not really a hot-swap anymore, just an external drive bay.
I also have a drive dock that supports eSATA in addition to USB. I assumed it was USB 2, but I used a USB 3 port anyway. Yesterday I found my old eSATA slot cover+cable and installed it but it was acting strange. One of the drives worked fine with USB but failed to work with eSATA. So I tested and the results surprised me. For backup purposes Sequential Q32T1 Write speed is my main focus, but it doesn't really matter.
I used Crystal Disk Mark 5.1.2 x64 and all results are in MB/s.
USB 2 - I realize I'm waaay below threshold but, How is USB2 better than 3?
26 Read / 47 Write
USB 3 - Reads are a little better than USB 2.
33 Read / 36 Write
eSATA - Totally not worth it.
24 Read / 49 Write
Hot swap - I'm going to replace this with a "Real" one ASAP.
71 Read / 66 Write
eSATA is not working. I thought it was essentially a SATA extension cord so I wouldn't have to reach inside my case to hook up the hot-swap. I thought I would get similar results as the hot-swap. Why does that one drive (500GB Seagate Barracuda) not like eSATA? The drive shows up, but it acts like it is indexing forever (even though I have that off) and sort of locks up my PC. Some diagnostic programs would not launch and Photoshop reported not enough memory (I have 16GB).
I have a 3TB WD red inside my PC for scheduled backups. I am going to get another one to use in a new hot-swap bay for "off-site" backup, in addition to my pile of old drives. I can't really afford enterprise gear...or can I? I just remembered a computer recycling place (Community Computer Alliance) I volunteered at, that might have one. Is this Istarusa hot-swap bay any good? It appears to be made from aluminum.