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Pros: This is more of a public service announcement.
There is a new firmware VR07 for this drive that replaces VR02 and has a lot of bug fixes. It's not listed anywhere on WD's website, and they insisted that it did not exist over multiple phone calls.
Cons: WD support is not well. They should really list firmware updates on their website or have some record of them. This update has existed since before June 1, 2013, and still... no mention of it anywhere.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - Holds a lot of drives
- quiet relative to machine room storage, maybe quiet enough for a non-bedroom closet
- using a 3ware 9690SA I was able to benchmark about 300MB/sec sequential using 11 Samsung identical enterprise grade drives with CrystalDisk x64
Cons: - too loud for a living or home entertainment environment
no drive failure lights, no SGPIO, no raid native enclosure support
- SAS expander scheme is all wrong. of the 4 SATA 3.0Gb channels going into the device, 2 get wasted on one drive per channel. Then the remaining 2 SATA channels get divided between the remaining 10 drive bays. Do a little math and you get theoretical max 600Mbit/s per drive of those ten. Divide by 8bits per byte, and you're at about 75MB/sec max speed per drive on those 10 expanded drives. modern SATA2 and SATA3 drives can run at 110-150MB/sec, so you're just throwing bandwidth in the garbage.
Other Thoughts: I can totally imagine that this device has a purpose. I'm just not sure what that purpose would be. 12 drives is getting high for "guess which serial number to pull" failures. It really needs enclosure support to identify failed drives.
Home Media enthusiasts beware this is not for you. Get a synology diskstation or something that actually has a brain and can deal with consumer grade drives. This devices should be used with a real raid card and therefore enterprise grade drives.
If I had to guess who would be able to find a use for this, maybe security camera recording on the cheap? cheap HBA+linux might = stable soft raid with consumer drives?
HBA+freeNas might = win
It really is the bizarre case of a product without a purpose.
my raid dropped a lot of drives but I can't tell if it was the Raid card or the enclosure
Pros: - really fast card, even when your array is full
- SATA 6.0Gb on every port. Not that fake half speed Marvel Yukon Sata6Gb either.
- works with some enthusiast boards, like my Asus P6X58 Premium... if you're really careful. read below.
- bootable with multiple arrays
- great knowledgeable phone support. (never tried online support)
Cons: - tricky to configure without QVL server motherboard
- even trickier to boot off without QVL server board. see other thoughts.
- HOT! why is there no fan? what is wrong with you guys? Had to buy PCI card slot fan to use in normal, home, non-server room environment.
- no way to do background spinup of drives on boot, makes computer boot take a lot longer because it waits to spin up all the drives and checks all arrays before starting to load windows.
- don't try to sneak a bunch of junk non-enterprise drives past this card. It's not a drobo, it needs the predictable smart reporting status and firmware of good solid enterprise drives. This won't just save you from pulling a "failed" Caviar Green once every 2 weeks, but will force you to purchase for maximum performance.
Other Thoughts: The problem I see people struggling with in the reviews for this card is option rom. Gamer motherboards don't have as much option rom as server motherboards. This card must require a lot of it. So you have to be very patient during config.
In order to boot off the card, you need to access the bios level config screen for the card. Not having enough option rom causes the motherboard to ignore this request.
I had to remove ALL onboard SATA devices and turn off extraneous devices in the BIOS (extra LAN, terrible Marvel controller, stuff like that), including SATA DVD drive. that got me to the Bios level config, was able to stripe a Kingston HyperX 240Gb SSD, and set it as bootable, next to my 6x 2TB WD RE4 raid6 array.
Once you're done in the BIOS, you can hook up your other devices and manage all other features from LSI Megaraid Windows software.
Turn off S1 & S3 sleep. If you let your mobo sleep with this card, it will appear stone cold until you pull CMOS battery