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Sans Digital 8-Bay SAS/SATA JBOD Compact Tower Enclosure w/ Mini-SAS (SFF-8088) x 2 TR8X+B (Black)
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I'd like to retract my previous review of the Rosewill RSV-S8. I own two of them and an RSV-S5, all purchased from Newegg, and always gave them a nod of approval not knowing any better. The Sans Digital version beats them all hands-down. The TR8X enclosure is nearly identical to Rosewill's except for slightly different backplane boards and black instead of chrome covers on the drive trays. The big difference is the controller. Both include a rather cheap-looking eSATA port multiplier software RAID 0/1/5/10/JBOD controller, but there is no comparison. The HighPoint RocketRAID-622SD included with the Sans Digital annihilates the Sil-3132-R5 that comes with the Rosewill. First of all, write performance in RAID-5 alone is at least 3-4 times that of the Sil controller, and that alone seals the deal for me. Secondly, while the Sil controller likes to spend days building arrays and checking for redundancy on almost every reboot, the HighPoint will build a 21TiB R5 in about 4 seconds. It takes longer for Windows to do a quick format on the volume than it takes the controller to create it. Third, the controller allows one array to span all 8 drives, whereas the Sil requires one array for each backplane/eSATA connection, or one for every 4 drives (or 5 in the case of the RSV-S5). Last, the Java-based management software that Sil provides is a far cry from the web-based management console of the RocketRAID. It provides email alerts, maintenance tasks, firmware upgrades, and a lot more, and lets you do so from any browser. The controller even has an audible buzzer that's not on the Sil board. If you want the best direct-attached RAID solution for this price range, look no further.

Cons: As with all eSATA devices, the connectors fall out easily, but one can hardly blame Sans Digital for that.

Other Thoughts: I purchased one of these used for $125 and it's the best money I've ever spent on a storage appliance. I plan to buy several more of the included HighPoint controllers to replace the Sil-3132's on my Rosewill enclosures. These are confirmed to work, and I've also tested the controller with the Mediasonic ProBox. Any eSATA port multiplier device should work.

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WD Elements 3TB Desktop External Hard Drive
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs WD Caviar Green drive for less 04/15/2013

This review is from: WD Elements 3TB Desktop External Hard Drive

Pros: As others have said, this is simply an OEM 3TB Green internal drive stuffed inside a cheap USB 2.0 enclosure. SATA 6Gbps, 64MB cache, the works. It seems silly to waste another $10-30 for the same drive without an enclosure. I imagine the drive is only covered under warranty while inside the enclosure, but it's easy enough to open with a putty knife without breaking any "void if removed" seals (there aren't any), and it's a snap to put back together. Inside you'll find the drive nested in rubber grommets and attached to a small PCB that provides power and USB connectivity. I've tested it both with and without the enclosure and it performs as expected.

Cons: I would have given it 5 eggs if the enclosure was usable but the quality is just too poor. No ventilation, held together by plastic clips, only USB 2.0 with a mini-USB connector at that. It's easy enough to get into for a case that wasn't designed to be opened, but there's no quick and convenient way of swapping drives even if you wanted to.

Other Thoughts: Despite the rather sad enclosure, it's still a terrific deal, especially at $109.99 with a promo code.

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Rosewill RSV-S5 5-Bay 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Price to storage density ratio is excellent, speeds in RAID-0/1/10/JBOD are as expected for the interface and drives, around 80-110MBytes/sec sustained. Recovers gracefully from drive failures when configured for redundancy and hotswaps seamlessly without complaining. Seems faster than the RSV-S8, albeit with slightly newer drives.

Cons: The old Java management software is very poor, as are the drivers. The management system service has to regularly be restarted for the management software to detect any controllers. Half of one RSV-S8 randomly drops out and has to be either unplugged or the system restarted for it to be recognized by Windows again. In its defense, this is in a system with three PCIe cards, two RSV-S8's, and one RSV-S5, all full of drives in RAID-5. I'll point the finger at Silicon Image for these issues anyway, not Rosewill As with the RSV-S8 and other products using port multipliers, initial RAID-5 array builds are very slow to write parity data, as are rebuilds when a drive is lost or errors are detected. Redundancy restore operations also seem to begin without obvious cause and at random, slowing down performance for sometimes days at a time. Write operations to RAID-5 volumes are also predictably slow, with speeds peaking at 20-25MBytes/sec when the array is otherwise idle. This is to be expected, though, with what is essentially software RAID through a tiny port multiplier card. RAID-5 read operations are tolerable. Besides software and performance, the only thing that doesn't make this a 4-5 egg product for me is the lack of 6.0Gbps SATA support.

Other Thoughts: All around it's a pretty solid product that could probably stand some polishing, but well worth the money for anyone looking for lots of cheap local storage.

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James W.'s Profile

Display Name: James W.

Date Joined: 11/25/05

  • Reviews: 7
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 12/30/06
  • Last Review: 05/01/13
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