document updated 13 years ago, on Dec 5, 2008DVDs are approximately 33% of the cost of hard drives per GB. However, DVD read speeds are significantly slower, and write speeds are obviously WAY slower. And they're much less convenient since you need to manually swap a ton if you want to use a lot of space.
Ergo, hard drive enclosures are great. You can boot from them, you can move data between computers quickly.
- SATA docks — fuckin' amazing. Not available for IDE drives because the power connector spacing isn't standardized. This makes so much sense for 3.5" drives, since it removes the need for a fan to disipate all the heat. Granted, it's less portable, but 3.5" enclosures are much less portable to begin with.
- on the other hand, screwless/tools-free 3.5" enclosures   — especially ones that can hot-swap — are practically the same, but with much more portable protection (though most can only do one size, most can't do both 3.5" + 2.5")
- interface boxes — these take it to a whole other level. They plug into virtually ANYTHING. AND because there's no tight dock to fit into, you can wrap drives up to make them portable. (though the silicone does limit cooling a bit)
2.5" USB interface boxes
Since the power pins are in a standard location, these are almost like the SATA docks (i.e. just plug one thing in and go)
- IDE only
- $16 (requires an external PSU for 2.5" though??)
- IDE + SATA