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Item#: N82E16816111011

SANS DIGITAL MR5CT1 0, 1, 0+1, 3, 5, 6, JBOD 5 3.5" Drive Bays USB 2.0 , Firewire 800 and eSATA 5 Bay SATA to USB2.0 / 1394b / eSATA RAID 6 Enclosure

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  • SATA 1.5 & 3Gb/s
  • 5 3.5" Drive Bays
  • 0, 1, 0+1, 3, 5, 6, JBOD

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  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Learn more about the SANS DIGITAL MR5CT1




SATA 1.5 & 3Gb/s
External I/O
USB 2.0 , Firewire 800 and eSATA
RAID Levels
0, 1, 0+1, 3, 5, 6, JBOD
RAID 3, 5, 6


3.5" Drive Bays

System Management

Management Interfaces
LCD Panel, RS232

Mechanical Spec

Power Supply


Form Factor : Cube
Auto Rebuilding: Yes
Cooling Fan: 60mm Ball Bearing
Status Indicators: 5 Drive LEDs & 3 Environment LEDs
Safety Regulations: CE, FCC, UL
Support SMART, NCQ, and OOB staggered spin-up capable drives
Compact, stylish aluminum design

Dimensions & Weight

10.5" x 6.9" x 7.3"
13.2 lbs.

Package Contents

Package Contents
Quick Installation
USB Cable
1394b Cable
RS232 Cable
eSATA Cable
Power Cord
Software Disk
Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information

Customer Reviews of the SANS DIGITAL MR5CT1

Do you own this product? Write a Review

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  • Greg G.
  • 11/11/2009 3:27:58 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggssloww responding service

Pros: When this works it is great. I think Sans Digital is constantly updating the unit which is good and bad

Cons: I have owned one of these before and this purchase was a repeat. In the past, the Sans Digital service support was very responsive, now I can not get any replies. They have no phone number so you must either email or post to their forum. I have emailed several times and posted to the blog with no reply. This unit is not that critical as far as getting my work done but the buffer I built into my schedule to move data over to this new RAID is fast disappearing. I want to get my technical issues resolved earlier than later.

I am happy to update my post if the Sans Digital service department responds and my questions get answered - in other words, if I can get this working with the help of tech support. If I can fix it by trial and error that is another story.

Other Thoughts: NewEgg should require their manufacturers to offer - and man - phone support.

It is interesting that I can buy this unit and 5 2TB drives from NewEgg for almost $1000 less than going to buy the same from Sans Digital directly. The difference is Sans Digital will configure it. Now with my technical troubles I am starting to wonder if I made the wrong choice. Given I can not get this running when I configure it myself I see why Sans Digital charges $1000 more to configure it.

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • JAMES V.
  • 4/21/2009 6:23:44 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsWarning - new version

Pros: Old version worked great with esata for months.

Cons: 3 units of new version received 4/20/2009, esata not seen by Windows, Mac OSX or unix, Siil or intel host controller.

Other Thoughts: Old version was loud but did the job very well. Recommended once Sans Digital fixes the new version.

Manufacturer Response:

Thank you for purchasing our products.

MR5CT1, both new and old version, will work with eSATA. It requires to change to Channel 1 under Volume Management in order to use eSATA for connection.

Silicon Image controller will work well with MR5CT1's eSATA port. Please see the link for the selections.

Feel free to contact us at for more information.

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  • James W.
  • 7/21/2008 6:58:28 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsRobust but loud

Pros: We own a number of these loud little buggers. I love 'em. Will boot up a Macintosh. Handles RAID5 and RAID6. After biting my nails from having a fifth critical RAID5 rebuild I became a true believer in RAID6.

With RAID5 when a drive goes down your RAID is critical -- one more drive goes offline and you lose everything so it really is quit the stressful time while you rebuild the array with a new drive. Think about it, you typically have identical drives in a RAID, typically from the same manufacturing batch. When one fails, there's an implied increase likelihood that the other drives have in similar stress states.

Enter RAID6 where instead of having a hot-swap drive, you have second redundant drive. One drive dies and you still can have another drive die on you while the raid is rebuilding and not lose any data.

Cons: Loud, Loud, Loud. If sound is important to you, heed this. That said you can get a little quieter option with the plastic case version of this, the MR5CT2 which I also own. It's a fair bit quieter, with one big outside fan (plus a side slot fan) rather than three fans. Front panel interface is not the same as built-in web-server interface. Another con is that under Firewire or USB you are limited to volumes 2 TB or smaller. If you use firewire, what this means if you have more than 2 TB, e.g.: 5 one-TB drives in a RAID6 which makes for 3 TB total storage, is you have to make two "volumes", one of 2 TB and one of 1 TB both spanning the RAID. It is not clear anywhere why this is so I confirmed it via their tech support This is a chipset limitation. They are looking at getting a chipset update so sometime in the future there presumable will be a new model without this limitation.

Other Thoughts: As for speed, in firewire or USB mode you are constrained by the connection speed more than the data. Under OSX under firewire 400 you hit the transfer speed interface 30 MB/sec. Under Firewire 800 I found 60 MB/sec. read/write for both. As a practical matter, I've always found firewire transfers much faster than USB 2.0. I don't have good data for eSATA connection.

I agree with others that Sans Digital's tech support is responsive.

I've used without issue the following drives: Maxtor 500GB drives, WD "Green" 1 TB, Seagate 1 TB drive. On the same chipset, but an internal RAID card I've used those super cheap Maxtor 300 GB drives, but that was a nightmare of dropped drives. SD recommends the Seagate's. The WD don't report drive temperatures but otherwise seem stable. FYI, the WD "green" drives do run cooler.

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Josh K.
  • 11/19/2007 2:20:16 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsVery Fast and Reliable

Pros: This unit is used in a AutoCad environment with 15 draftsman accessing drawing on the network share from their Dell server, running a 64 bit PCI-X controller card. The performance is better than the SCSI 320 raid 5 in the server. I have had the array for a year and have had no problems with it.

Cons: Configuration of the PCI-X controller on the server required a call to customer support.

Other Thoughts: Deffinately a good choice for high speed, high volume server storage, at a very low price.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Kurt K.
  • 10/1/2007 1:40:57 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsSolid Performer

Pros: Solid construction and no reliability issues so far. Great options for creating RAID and hot-sparing. Good performance with USB and Firewire (need to test eSATA). Quick answers from tech support. Much improved manual from a year ago. Got a BIOS update from SD in less than an hour after requesting it.

Cons: It is heavy, but that is because it is all metal and contains a power supply capable of running 5 HDs and controller. It isn't silent but I've owned a lot of computer cases that were louder.

Other Thoughts: Tech support told me it has been successfully tested with Hitachi 1TB HDs. Newer BIOS now supports RAID6. Can successfully swap out groups of HDs without losing RAID data (put them back in the right order!)

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Robert C.
  • 9/20/2007 7:47:36 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsSeems good to me

Pros: Good construction, feature set robust and covers multiple raid types, newer models have web configuration

Cons: None yet

Other Thoughts: Curiously, this is also sold under Raidon/Stardom brand, but for several hundred more. Identical.

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  • Hakan E.
  • 4/17/2007 10:37:02 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsAverage at Best

Pros: I'll be brief. Cute, Mac-alike aluminum finish. Easy-to-use web and terminal-based configuration. All imaginable RAID options for a five-drive setup. Supports 750GB drives. Sports Firewire 800, eSata, and USB 2 interfaces. The board comes with a mystery jumper which I have yet to figure out the use of.

Cons: My initial gripe was the noise: Don't be deceived by its looks, which, to me at least, hinted that this was meant for desktop use. Following a brief stint by my PowerMac, I had to exile the beast to our server area. Second: You are at the mercy of Sans Digital if you happen to forget the system password. There's no way to reset the system to its default settings, thanks to Areca, the manufacturer of the board, and to add insult to injury, Sans Digital will ask you to pay fifty bucks to issue you an RMA. It seems forgetting one's password is considered a breach of warranty in their quarters. (Yes, this did happen to me, but fortunately I remembered my combination before sending the box in. Third: The documentation is sparse. For instance, there's no mention of this whole password quandary. Last: the guy that answers the phone sounds quite confused about their products and life in general.

Other Thoughts: I'd have rated average at best were it not for the distateful interaction I had with the folks at Sans Digital Sense. I'm not litigation-friendly, but this whole password comedy calls for a class action of sorts.

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 10/19/2006 8:32:54 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsIt's pretty neat

Pros: Easy to install drives, ability to have hot spare drives for critical applications. Very fast of eSATA and almost completely offloads the processing off the main CPU. Setup was a breeze with the built-in control panel.

Cons: Expensive, but if you consider the cost of a good RAID controller and an enclosure, it's not so bad. The documentation is very limited, and how to configure the eSATA port is not clear.

Other Thoughts: Tech support quickly returned my e-mail when I could not figure out how to configure the eSATA port, been working flawlessly ever since.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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