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Sans Digital 5-Bay USB 3.0 / eSATA Hardware RAID5 Tower Storage Enclosure w/ 6G PCIe 2.0 HBA Card TR5UT+B (Black)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: This cabinet allows attachment of 5 drives to any computer via either USB 2.0/3.0 or eSATA without requiring software or drivers on the attached machine. I loaded mine with 5 x Samsung Spinpoint F4EG 2 TB SATA2 5400rpm 32 MB Hard Drive HD204UI/Z4 to create a 10 TB tower I can use to image my existing 10 TB RAID tower constructed using enterprise-class (high reliability) drives. When configured as RAID 0 with the Samsung drives, I see over 200 MBPS throughput on both the eSATA and USB 3.0 interfaces. I find the unit attractive, and it's build quality is pretty high in my opinion.

Cons: I had some difficulty getting the tower set-up properly. I assumed I only needed to set the switches on the back then power up while pressing the reset button to configure the unit. No matter what position I put those switches in, however, the tower reported as 5 independent drives to Windows 7 Pro. I finally figured out that I had to run the "Raid Monitoring Utility" on the install disk to format and configure the tower. Once configured, the tower reports as expected on all machines without having to load any software or drivers.

I am an engineer by profession, and I have built a lot of custom computer rigs over the years. Perhaps I was too smart for my own britches, and should have just blindly walked through the install. I find it odd that I had to run the "monitor utility" to do the initial configuration, and I remain baffled regarding the purpose of the switches given the need to configure in software !

Other Thoughts: I love the capability this tower provides. It's like having a 200 MBPS "thumb drive" that can be connected via USB 2.0/3.0 or eSATA to any machine. I decided to ignore my set-up problems when assigning a 5 star rating because I see few others seem to be complaining; I must have just been stupid !

Note the drive does not report on my SB700 south bridge unless the AMD RAID drivers are installed. For whatever reason, the support for port multipliers was put into the AMD RAID drivers rather than the core driver. I already knew this from experience with my other RAID towers, but thought I'd pass it along in case others want to direct-connect to an SB700.

Note the SATA connection works flawlessly on my Core i7 laptop that uses an Intel HM55 chipset. The drive immediate installs and starts working without having to install any drivers as I did with my AMD SB700 southbridge system.

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SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 ST2000DL004 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I am using 5 of these drives in a SansDigita TR5UT RAID tower purely to backup 10 x 1 TB enterprise-class drives (high reliability) in two existing RAID towers (5 drives each). These new 2 TB drives are for periodic backup only, and thus do not need to be as fast or reliable as the main set. I installed all 5 into the new RAID tower and, after working through the poor documentation that came with the tower, have a 10 TB "drive" that connects right up to any computer via USB 2.0/3.0 or eSATA with no drivers or software required.

The drives are very quiet, and I'm seeing ~ 200 MBPS transfer speeds using either eSATA or USB 3.0

Cons: I needed 5 drives to populate the RAID tower I bought here, but NewEgg limits orders to 3, so I had to buy my 5 drives elsewhere. It seems to me that NewEgg could raise the quantity limit when the drive order accompanies a RAID tower.

Other Thoughts: My 5 star rating relates only to my experience with the drive thus far. I did not take a star away for the 3 per order limit because many folks only need 3 or less. Note my rating does not encompass reliability as too little time has passed. I'll update the rating if I suffer failures.

As noted, I had many problems getting the new SansDigital RAID tower working due to poor documentation. See my review for the SansDigital TR5UT for details.

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OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Have a pair of these in RAID 0 on a J&W Minix 890GX-USB mini-ITX mobo with Phenom II 910e under W7 Pro x64. Booting up in under 30 seconds from cold start (including normal and RAID BIOS), and zero discernible delay in loading applications... even PhotoShop.

Cons: Took forever to get them... pre-ordered on March 17 and waited 3 weeks!

Other Thoughts: For the benchmark junkies...

700+ MBPS read *and* write in HD Tune Pro
800+ MBPS read *and* write in ATTO
620 MBPS read/839 MBPS write via "winsat disk" command

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Roderick N.'s Profile

Display Name: Roderick N.

Date Joined: 05/29/05

  • Reviews: 6
  • Helpfulness: 5
  • First Review: 01/08/09
  • Last Review: 01/23/12
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