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Review: SOHOUSB Magic Bridge SATA/eSATA IDE/USB bridge

by Steve Kerrison on 15 November 2006, 10:34

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Specifications: Voodoo?

Is there any voodoo at work in the Magic Bridge? Let's take a look at the key specs to see if the dark arts are listed:

Magic Bridge
Host interfaceUSB 2.0eSATA
Device interfaceATA/ATAPI/IDESATA
Bridge ChipsetMyson CS8818Pass through
Power supply2A DC adapter or 5A DC adapter
4-pin Molex-to-IDE drive
SATA power to SATA drive
Size110 x 67.6 x 24.5 mm
Bundle1m eSATA cable
1m USB-A-to-mini-USB cable
10cm 4-pin Molex
40-pin IDE-to-44-pin laptop drive converter
2A DC adapter
Win 98 Driver/manual CD

No magic here, just a CS8818 USB 2.0-to-IDE bridge and a power supply. The SATA-to-eSATA interface doesn't require any bridging, although it does need power for the drive. This makes the SATA-to-eSATA side of the Magic Bridge little more than a compliance point.

The above specification suggests that USB/IDE and eSATA interfaces are separate. This is indeed so. This introduces both positives and negatives. For example, a SATA drive will not connect over USB. However, both IDE and SATA components of the Magic Bridge can be used simultaneously, power supply permitting. Making an 'all-in-one' version of the Magic Bridge would increase design and manufacture complexity and while we're sure it's possible, it would no doubt increase costs.