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This review is from: Mediasonic HFR2-SU3S2FW Raid 0 (Spanning) JBOD Raid 0 (Stripping) Raid 1 (Mirroring) Raid 3 (Stripped set with dedicated parity) Raid 5 (Striped set with distributed parity) Raid 10 (Mirroring + Striping) 4 3.5" Drive Bays USB 3.0
Pros: 1. Hardware RAID built-in
2. Multiple RAID modes, including 5 & 10
3. Support of 6Gbps SATA
4. Excellent price compared to "Enclosure + HW RAID" solutions.
5. Simple controls for setup and operation
6. Wide number of connectivity options
Cons: 1. Power connector on the side, not back
2. Simple controls = Less functionality for some
3. Excellent price = Extensive use of plastic
4. During heavy file copy operations, I have noted some high pitched beeps from time to time.
5. Included paper manual and PDF manual from website offer limit useful, let alone relavent, information (use the CD instead).
Other Thoughts: First, let me say that I had many doubts about this unit and whether it would match the requirements for a home media/file server that I was building. Without a doubt, the unit has met all of my expectations and even exceeded them a bit (let's just say that the manuals in the box and website isn't nearly as good as the one on the included CD).
Second, anyone using a MAC needs to download the MAC-specific firmware upgrade to resolve the issues noted previously.
Third, the unit wasn't ready to use from the get-go when connected to a server as the only storage option. I had to connect it to an existing workstation to initialize the drives and build the RAID5 array before it was usable with my server.
Fourth, despite the claims of some reviewers about no JBOD and a default to RAID0 (and the manual states RAID5 default), all of my drives appeared as JBOD when first attached, so YMMV.
Finally, know the tool you intend to use for a job. This unit has limitations, so it's not a one-size-fits-all RAID enclosure. However, it's an excellent and inexpensive replacement for pseudo-RAID solutions on motherboards and an good-enough alternative to much more expensive RAID cards (I replaced a much more expensive 3ware 9650SE-4LPML). Unless you need RAID 6/50/60, etc, this unit is a very, very good value.
Pros: 1. Single, 6-pin 12V power connection (like all HD6850s)!
2. Sips power in idle!
4. Fantastic performance at 1600x1200, 8xAA, 16AF for under $200.
Cons: The build quality isn't Gigabyte, but in general it's fine. I'm slightly concerned about the quality of the heatsink, but this isn't a HD5970, so it should be good enough.
Other Thoughts: I bought two of these for a brand new CrossfireX rig:
Phenom II X6 1090T
ASRock 890FX Deluxe3
HIS Radeon HD6850 x 2
OCZ Agility 2 120G
Rosewill Destroyer case
Only question remaining is "But will it run Crysis?" Hells yeah!
This review is from: ASRock 890FX DELUXE3 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: 1. Supported PhenomII X6 out of the box.
2. Has a Port80 LED onboard for troubleshooting (Dr. Debug).
3. Has two PCI_Ex 1x slots, in addition to the three 16x/4x slots.
4. Has fan headers beyond CPU and power (WOOT!).
Cons: 1. Like most AMD motherboards, uses a Realtek NIC onboard. Ugh.
2. The heatpipe for the northbridge restricts use of many PCI_Ex 1x cards (like Intel Gigabit CT adapter) in first slot.
Other Thoughts: I had a bit of trepidation to use an ASRock enthusiast board over ASUS or Gigabyte, but the layout of the board, the Port80 LED, and the discount available (purchased for $149). To say that I've been pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The board was a joy to setup and it have the same sort of enthusiast feel of using ASUS or Gigabyte. I was very glad to see the plethora of fan headers on the board, which seems be to be a problem with many motherboards anymore.
Note to manufacturers: STOP USING REALTEK ETHERNET NICs. They are the absolute worst PHY/MAC on the planet. Not that I assume Intel NICs will find there way onto an AMD design, but at least provide a Marvell or Broadcom option at a minimum.
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