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This review is from: VANTEC MRK-M2504T Aluminum Mobile Rack 4 bays
Pros: -4 drives in 5.25" bay. Exactly what I was looking for.
-Easy setup and install. Took less than 2 minutes to attach all the drives to trays and put them in the base.
-Single power connector. I have power to spare but less cables to route is always nice inside the case.
-Locking trays. Keep the drives you want, where you want. Enough said.
-Actually trays. Each drive has it's own tray caddy. Small joy, but awesome to have.
-Alignment slides for each tray. Excellent feature to have,
-All needed hardware to connect drives and to connect to motherboard. Bag of screws, including extras, 4 SATA cables and an install manual you should never need.
-Fans are quiet. Hopefully they stay that way.
-Tray locks work well. You might be able to pull them out if you push it hard enough but you'd break the tray before it pulls out most likely.
Cons: -Was very finicky with one drive and if it was recognized by the motherboard. I don't blame the case, but I also don't blame the drive manufacturer. These things happen. Had to try swapping the drive tray of the offending drive until I found a port it worked in. Very minor issue but could pose a problem if you had 2 or more drives that do this.
-Power connector is vertically mount on the far side. In a tight case this could be an issue as you might not have the clearance near the motherboard if the layout is incorrect.
-Drive trays are a little rough sliding in and out and don't always align perfectly but all the alignment slides are cast aluminum so some roughness is expected.
-Drive trays do have some issues lining up easily on the alignment tabs if you're not paying attention.
-Bay construction itself was a very tight fit in my case and took some good force to install. Your mileage will vary.
-Minor con is the individual SATA/SAS connections per drive. Would be nice if this functioned as a port expander instead but for this price range, not a huge deal. Keep in mind if you want the 12 drive version you're going to need 12 internal SATA/SAS ports.
Other Thoughts: I've used lots of Vantec items over the years so I felt more comfortable buying this over others.
For the price, this was the most feature rich one I found, with the best construction I saw. It felt substantial and light pulling it from the box.
It's not the most dense. You can get 6 or 8 drive in one 5.25 inch bay if you have slim enough drives but cooling may be an issue.
It has some minor issues but none of them are game changers for me. Mainly preference but they would be corrected with higher cost and manufacturing processes.
For the price, I'd definitely buy another (or their larger 8 or 12 bay versions) and most likely will in the future when upgrading my home storage server.
This review is from: HighPoint RocketRAID 644L PCI-Express 2.0 x4 SATA III (6.0Gb/s) RAID Controller Card
Pros: Easy setup. Easy install
Cons: Software RAID, but knew that buying it.
Other Thoughts: I'm running this card with a Rosewill RSV-S8, two WD Red 2TB drives on each eSATA channel. Setup of the RAID was a breeze, initialization time was long, but that's expected. So far, I've hit the max speed of anything pushing data to this. I believe I can probably hit 225-300MB/s but the drives I was copying from could only hit 150MB/s max.
Expect longer boot times from a cold boot. The control checks and initializes the array. This is normal, and intended.
Pros: I love the modular setup. Also, this is the first power supply I've had that was so close to nominal values. The +5volt on the motherboard, came in at 5.00 and the +12 at 12.00 according to my bios. Never seen that even on the best PC P&C supplies. The 3.3 volt rail was at 3.297. Those voltages are well within any standard to keep your system stable.
Cons: Link software works with windows 8 but I'm still tracking down drivers for the dongle.
Other Thoughts: Never, ever skimp on a power supply. Ever. Price is not a con if the supply is well built and reliable. A bad power supply can ruin every component in your computer. It should be heavy (this one is), quiet (means fans don't need to work overtime or hard to cool), and stable (the DSPs they use seem to be working great according to my motherboard BIOS).
Never skimp on a power supply.
Sorry for the car analogy. No one would buy a Porsche and put Walmart grade oil in it. That would just be asking for trouble.