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             External SATA The HighPoint Way

Product :

Rocket 1511, B11 and RocketMate 1000

Manufacturer :


Reviewed by :

Wayne Brooker

Price :

£59 + VAT (RocketMate 1000)

Date :

June 16th, 2003.


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We seemed to be talking about it for an eternity but at last we're seeing mass adoption of Serial-ATA (SATA from here on in) from motherboard and chipset manufacturers and there are even a fair few SATA hard drives trickling onto the market too. But no sooner have we all learned the latest must-know acronym than Highpoint come along and supply a variation on it........e.SATA!

So what's e.SATA when it's at home? Fortunately it's all very simple and straight forward, the rougue "e" prefix simply means "external" and is the name HighPoint have given to their method for taking the SATA standard and making it available on a bracket to external devices.

So why bother? Well, take a look at how SATA's data transfer rates compare to the already established USB and FireWire standards.

USB 1.1
12 Mbps
1.5 MB/Sec
FireWire (IEEE 1394)
400 Mbps
50 MB/Sec
USB 2.0
480 Mbps
60 MB/Sec
1.5 Gbps
187.5 MB/Sec

Clearly the overwhelming thing is SATA's favour is its impressive data transfer rate. At over 185 MB/sec this is over three times the performance of USB 2.0 which should make it ideally suited to cope with the theoretical burst data speeds of current generation hard drives, far more so than either USB or Firewire neither of which on paper can handle an ATA66 hard drive at theoretical peak burst let alone ATA100 or ATA133.

There are three products I want to look at today though you'll only need to ever buy two of them to be up and running. Which two depends on your motherboard. Let's take a roll call:

B11 Bracket Kit

B11 Kit Contents:

  • 1 External SATA Bracket
  • 1 External SATA cable
  • User's Manual

    B11 Features:
  • Large LBA support (drives larger than 137GB)
  • Supports SATA transfer rates up to 150MB/s
  • Bootable disk support (when used with Rocket series SATA controllers)
  • Compatible with Windows and Linux OS: Win98, ME, Win2k, NT, XP, Caldera, Red Hat, Turbo, SuSE, FreeBSD



Rocket 1511

Kit Contents:

  • 1 Rocket 1511 card
  • Driver software
  • User's Manual

Host side interface

32bit 33/66 MHz PCI

Number of IDE channels

1 Channel

Supported Hard drives

SATA hard disk drives, IDE hard disk drives (ATA133/100)

Supported OSs

Windows 98/ME, Windows NT4.0, Win2000, Windows XP, Linux (Turbo, Caldera, RedHat, SuSE), Free BSD

Maximum Data Throughput


BIOS Function

Drive Configuration and Managemen

Plug and Play


Misc. Functions

Bootable disk support
Large LBA support capacity exceeding 137GB



RocketMate 1000


Kit Contents:

  • 1 RocketMate 1000 disk enclosure
  • 1 External SATA cable
  • Power Adapter
  • User's Manual

Outer Case size

176mm x 127mm x 40mm

Inner Case size

Fits 3.5" factory hard disk drives

Power Supply

AC input: 100-240V
AV, 50-60Hz
DC output: 12V @ 1.7A



e.SATA™ (external Serial ATA) to IDE  

Supported hard drives

Parallel IDE ATA hard disk drives


About HighPoint Technologies, Inc.

I can't imagine there are many of you who haven't heard of HighPoint Technologies, the name behind the RAID chips found on some of the world's best loved motherboards. Located in California's Silicon Valley their primary busines is manufacturing Ultra DMA/ATA and RAID controllers.

Okay, enough small-talk already, let's get a closer look.



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