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David C.

David C.

Joined on 04/03/05

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product reviews
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Most Favorable Review

Great price for a solid server. Just needed a little tweaking..

Lenovo System x3100 M5 5457ECU 4U Intel Xeon E3-1220 v3 3.10 GHz 8GB RAM 1TB HDD Mini-tower Server
Lenovo System x3100 M5 5457ECU 4U Intel Xeon E3-1220 v3 3.10 GHz 8GB RAM 1TB HDD Mini-tower Server

Pros: For a Server 2012 R2 Essentials build. Only needed to add a few extra parts to get it up to par (see other). ).

Cons: If you do not know what your doing, I would stay away from this device, there is no support for this item from Lenovo/IBM unless you have a contract with them. I had a hard time just trying to get part numbers but luckily I finally googled the correct term. I had to play around on their website to get the correct drivers. I had a lot of trial and error. Once I get the right drivers, I documented it for future use.

Overall Review: It is a shame it doesn't come with caddy's for all of the bays. I would rather see a system without hard drive but with Caddy's vs offering a single hard drive solution. Regardless, here are some part numbers that might help you out... RAM - 8gb is good however I really want to play it safe or if you plan on running a hypervisor, you will need a bit more. So I purchased another 8gb stick googling IBM part number 00D5015 or 00D5016. Expect to pay around $55 per stick. [So far the system boots just fine] Caddy - Google search Lenovo 69Y5342. This will lead you down a rabbit hole of solutions. I ended up paying $17/caddy Raid Upgrade - the Built in raid controller only supports Raid 1 and Raid 0. To get Raid 5 you need to google search Lenovo 81Y4406. Please note that this "part" is only a license key. Your not changing out any physical hardware Then you need to google Lenovo FoD. You should find a PDF regarding Features on Demand. From there you can install the new key. All said and done, minus the cost of the physical hard drives i needed to purchase (2 x 2.5" SSD & 4 x 3.5" HDD), I spent around $600 to get the system a Bare Quad Core 16gb Ram server with Raid 5 support.

Most Critical Review

Box lies and no one cares.....

Rosewill RC-219 - eSATA x 2 PCI Express NCQ Non-RAID Controller Card - Silicon Image, SATA II
Rosewill RC-219 - eSATA x 2 PCI Express NCQ Non-RAID Controller Card - Silicon Image, SATA II

Pros: spec wise this looks to be a very sound product, however...

Cons: i could not get this to work as a dual hot swapable setup. Only 1 of my drives would detect (and that only would happen if I didn't turn the 2nd ext drive on) that is was removable from the system in a live state. I tried to see what would happen if I just turned off the power to the ext drive and the system would hang each time. I tried doing all sorts of driver + firmware combos. I used ones from Rosewill's site and from Silicon's website... NOTHING worked. The biggest bummer, I tried working on this during the 30 days and I let my mind slip, on the 31st day I gave up and realized that it was too late to return to newegg. SO now i am stuck with the card....

Overall Review: I used this to upgrade my system from using bypass onboard sata -> esata connections to my dual ext hdd dock. The entire time i had my system, everything ran great but I wanted to install more internal hdds and felt it was best to have all the internal drives on 1 sata controller (onboard). So dont tell me that there is something wrong when the only thing I did was change where everything plugs into. Dock, cables & hdd stayed the same.. I even tried to go as far as installing 4 different operating systems to see if that was an issue (WHS 1, WHS v2, Win XP & Windows 7 x64) I tried it ALL, I even plugged this into a desktop at my work running XP and it would not detect ext drives as hot swap. I have seen others complain and it raises a question... what are we doing wrong or is this a bogus device?? If anyone has any suggestions, gmail my nickname please.

becoming unreliable

VANTEC NexStar HX4R NST-640S3R-BK Aluminum / Plastic 3.5" Black SATA I/II/III USB 3.0 & eSATA Quad Bay RAID HDD Enclosure
VANTEC NexStar HX4R NST-640S3R-BK Aluminum / Plastic 3.5" Black SATA I/II/III USB 3.0 & eSATA Quad Bay RAID HDD Enclosure

Pros: When working, its a very simple to use external hard drive bay that can combine drives into a single drive or you can cut up the drives inside to be anything you want (1x1tb and 3x750gb is an example). The fan helps keep the hard drives cooler & the lights can be informative if your not logged into the computer on the daily. Usb 3.0 & esata to help ensure maximum connectivity solutions for people.

Cons: I've had it for 14 months now (just about) and the unit has become a hassle to deal with. Of course I originally thought that it was due to the fact the drives were old (i used this to JBOD raid some old 2 & 3tb drives into a single backup drive for my main server) however it wasn't until after swapping out drives that I knew were working and see similar failure results (the raid controller just goes offline) was when I realized that the enclosure itself was acting up. I swapped out usb connections (as my mobo uses two different chipsets to run various usb 3.0 hosts) & I even put in a USB 3.0 card to see if that would work. Nope.

Overall Review: When working its a nifty piece of equipment. As i mentioned in the first paragraph, i use this to JBOD various older drives as a 2nd backup to my main server. This enclosure is always connect to a pc that I use an unlimited online cloud backup service so it gives me 3 copies of my data (2 local and 1 in the cloud). Looks like I have to find a new enclosure, possibly one with a longer warranty.

2 years later.. i've rethunk it

X-Rite ColorMunki Smile
X-Rite ColorMunki Smile

Pros: does an ok job if you dont know what your doing but in several trials of various screens and video cards, on avg the results were undesired and I had to revert to defaults.

Cons: everything. For the Price of this unit, your shy of buying a more adv device like Spyder4Pro which will offer much better results. I ended up going with the Xrite i1Display Pro because the new Dell monitors I got require Xrite's calibators to access the Monitor's LUT.

Overall Review: I gave this a better rating two years ago when I knew NOTHING really of calibrations. I thought it was just how the monitor was suppose to look like and I figured "well i guess that is why I needed to buy this..." Since then I've had friends who are in the business stop over to see my setup and both of them felt that my screen was off in color. (they preferred my manual attempt at using the Windows 8 Color Mgmt vs this one. ) The Smile should be sub $50 to make it "somewhat" worth it but in my experience, your better off just saving up for a better tool or using the manual stuff built into Windows (there are various web articles showing how people self calibrate their monitors utilizing this). As always you can gmail me at evilhomerclone with questions or comments.

11/10/2014

not bad i guess (3tb version)

Seagate NAS HDD ST3000VN000 3TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive
Seagate NAS HDD ST3000VN000 3TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive

Pros: out of the "NAS" type hard drives, these seem to just barely edge out the others in performance. It almost looks like seagate did just enough to make sure this drive does better. (but it comes at a cost, see others) you get an extra year coverage over the desktop drives & technically these drives are designed to work in RAID arrays. Keep an eye on the price, these are always going on some sort of sale.

Cons: 1. not taking an egg away but, one of the drives i got were bad out of the box. I tried 2 different arrays in a single PC then i tried just using it as a direct drive on a built in port but the pc could not initialize the drive. Newegg RMA'd it and i got a new one within a week. 2. ONLY a 3 year warranty. Your paying MORE for the same size drive, yet getting slower results. Your trade off is to be able to use these drives in a NAS device. Why can't my extra money get me a little more coverage. ? ? 3. Speed isn't something too spectacular. According to specs, the Maximum sustained transfer rate for the 3/4TB models is 180MB/s, however in some testing, i was only able to get about 130MB/s per a single disk. Once i RAIDed all 4 into a Raid 0, i got about 533MB/s. Dont get me wrong for a file server, that isn't bad at all, but i would have expected a little better. Something around the 620MB/s (based off the tech listed specs)

Overall Review: YES, i'm running 4 in a Raid 0. This is not the only copy of the data, its 1 of 3. So i can enjoy the luxury of having a fast data store for pc access. Yes i know that in my nextwork, having bonded nics between my desktop and NAS will yield me a max rate of 256MB/s, so i'm not too upset that the disk are only getting around 533MB/s. Oh, one of the CON's of having the fastest NAS type hard drive is that it uses more power (wattage) to run, because the drive runs at 5900RPM vs the tradition 5400RPM. Since my server runs 24/7 i wanted to make it very energy efficient. My old standard Business Class drives would idle at 9watts, these drives idle at 4.3watts. At full load, they go up to about 7.8watts (vs the older 14watts). Would i recommend these.., unless the RED's are on a massive sale OR you need something to be SUPER SUPER low power (Reds idle at like 3.4 watts), yeah i would get these. as always you can gmail me at evil homer clone. good luck

better options are out there.

VANTEC NST-266S3-BK 2.5-Inch SATA 6Gb/s to USB 3.0 HDD/SSD Aluminum Enclosure, Black
VANTEC NST-266S3-BK 2.5-Inch SATA 6Gb/s to USB 3.0 HDD/SSD Aluminum Enclosure, Black

Pros: supports UASP, so if enabled in your system you can squeak out a bit more performance on USB 3.0. Very small design (unsure how happy i am about that though)

Cons: This is me being picky, and let me start by saying the device works fine! These issues do not directly involved the performance of enclosure.. 1. I HATE it when you get an enclosure that requires you angling the hard drive in, specially in cases like this were there is very little play room. I guess if you were looking to create a more stable solution (not swapping out hard drives on the norm) this won't be that big of an issue. They can make it were you can slide the hdd FLAT into the sata connector 2. Locking screws are very small and a pain to get it. I dropped them like 4 times. I'm not referring to the screws that secure the hard drive to the board, i'm talking about the screws required to keep the 2 pieces of the enclosure together. IF you lose a screw your "screw'd" because the enclosure won't lock . I have a Startech enclosure that has a snap on lid, totally toolless. You can see the screw holes i'm talking about in one of the pictures. 3. As with ANY company that does this, i hate the branding on the case. Takes away from the appeal to me. 4. ALSO with most of these companies now, the USB 3.0 cable is WAY too stiff. very difficult to use, specially like this one were the cable is only 1ft

Overall Review: One other thing you should note, having an aluminum casing isn't always the best thing. It would cause serious damage to my very nice computer desk if it were to slide on it (my normal StarTech enclosure is plastic. Its also a bit bigger than the Vantec, but thats because there are bumpers around the hard drive to help it from impacts). I'm using this enclosure on a 2012 r2 server that is stored in my laundry room as a backup drive & i got it for a very cheap price (sub $18.00). If i had to pay the retail price for this, i would recommend the Startech one... N82E16817707313. As always (for almost 10 years now) feel free to gmail me at evil homer clone with questions or comments! good luck