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Thomas W.

Thomas W.

Joined on 09/21/01

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 5
Most Favorable Review

Works

StarTech.com DP2DVID2 DisplayPort to DVI Dual Link Active Adapter Converter - DP to Dual Link DVI-D Active Adapter - 2560x1600
StarTech.com DP2DVID2 DisplayPort to DVI Dual Link Active Adapter Converter - DP to Dual Link DVI-D Active Adapter - 2560x1600

Pros: Allows me to run 2560x1440 monitor from my T520 Displayport.

Cons: Remember this is an active converter. You need a USB port to power it.

Overall Review: I have the Quadro card option. Not sure integrated video can drive 2560x1440. Monitor is Korean QNIX QX2700 matte, $350. Plain but works with excellent picture.

Most Critical Review

He's right, no power

SYBA SY-EXP20057 USB ExpressCard 1 x USB 3.0
SYBA SY-EXP20057 USB ExpressCard 1 x USB 3.0

Pros: Completely fits in laptop. Works after driver install (XP). You can just leave it in the slot.

Cons: Cannot power an external 2.5 inch hard drive. Isn't that the main reason you would add USB 3 to a laptop? The great thing about USB is that it is self-powered, except when it isn't! Specifications were vague on this point, I should have listened to the first commenter. Insufficient power means you have to use two cables. Instead buy the flush esata card. You have to use two cables but hard disk speed is highest possible. Or buy a USB 3 card or powered esata card. Not flush mount but only one cable.

Overall Review: Expresscard slots can power 2.5 inch hard drives. Some of the larger ones do. Maybe the needed dc dc converter is too large? Maybe Syba cheaped out?

640GB vs 750GB

Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD6400BEVT 640GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive Bare Drive
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD6400BEVT 640GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: 9.5mm thick

Cons: Not that much bigger than 500GB

Overall Review: The 750GB is 3 platter and 12.5mm thick and won't fit in most laptops. The 640GB is 2 platter and 9.5mm thich and fits in virtually any laptop. The only manufacturer that has made a 9.5mm 3 platter drive is Samsung. Will they make a 9.5mm 1TB?

RAID1 Better than Dell Server RAID, works as backup device

SANS DIGITAL MobileSTOR MS2UTN+B Big (Spanning), Safe (RAID1), Fast (RAID 0), JBOD, SAFE33, & SAFE50, GUI mode allow customized RAID volume setting. 2 x Hot-Swappable 3.5" Drive Bays USB 2.0 (480Mbps) & eSATA (3.0 Gbps) 2 Bay SATA to eSATA/
SANS DIGITAL MobileSTOR MS2UTN+B Big (Spanning), Safe (RAID1), Fast (RAID 0), JBOD, SAFE33, & SAFE50, GUI mode allow customized RAID volume setting. 2 x Hot-Swappable 3.5" Drive Bays USB 2.0 (480Mbps) & eSATA (3.0 Gbps) 2 Bay SATA to eSATA/

Pros: 1. RAID1 disks can be read like separately like a conventional disk (not true with our $$$Dell RAID controller). 2. RAID1 rebuilds are as simple as removing the bottom drive and sliding in a new one. Since the disk is conventionally formatted this is a super-easy way to get a backup. 3. Works without software. If server fails move to another computer and read your data! 4. Audible alarm if drive fails (amazingly, $$$ Dell Perc 6 controller lacks this) 5. Software can monitor the drive even though setup is software-free. 6. In Raid 1 you can use one drive at first (top bay). When you add the lower drive it will mirror it automatically. You can take a drive that already has data, get it recognized in the top bay, then add a lower drive. RAID 1 done! 7. eSATA is fast, USB is convenient, both work fine. 8. Metal work and tray quality is high.

Cons: 1. Poor documentation. Documentation from Silicon Image site is better than Sans documentation. Sans documentation wrongly describes the LED indications. Always push reset when you change anything. 2. One unit froze during a firmware update (don't bother with the update, the delivered firmware is fine. A second unit had a flaky alarm on/off button. Sans Digital people were available on the phone, & RMA's went without incident. 3. If you have several units on one machine the Silicon Image software only sees one unit. I think this may be because Sans Digital does not load the enclosure firmware with a unique serial number. All the units we have bought have the same serial in the box serial in the software. The other units still work, they just cannot be monitored in software.

Overall Review: Backups!!!! After fighting flaky and expensive Backup software for ages, it is easier to just swap the bottom drive and let the unit make a mirror. Since the drives are conventionally formatted the mirrors/backups are easy to read on any Windows machine. With 1TB drives the mirror takes five hours followed by a five hour verify. That is over 50MB/s, and the array is available during the rebuild. Swap drives at the end of the day and you have no-hassle takeaway backups. The RAID1 box looks to the computer like any other SATA drive it so 'should' be simple to use these to put the OS in RAID 1 with no fussing in bios, etc. We will try this when we re-do our server. These are so transparent and hardware independent (if the box or computer fails just plug one of the RAID1 drives into anything and off you go!) that we no longer use the fancy Perc 6 RAID controller in our brand new Dell Poweredge 2900 III. Don't bother with complicated RAID 5. Drives are cheap. IT labor is expensive!

Good Implementation of Silicon Image 5744

SANS DIGITAL MobileSTOR MS2UTN+ Big (Spanning), Safe (RAID1), Fast (RAID 0), JBOD, SAFE33, & SAFE50, GUI mode allow customized RAID volume setting. 2 x Hot-Swappable 3.5" Drive Bays USB 2.0 (480Mbps) & eSATA (3.0 Gbps) 2 Bay SATA to eSATA/U
SANS DIGITAL MobileSTOR MS2UTN+ Big (Spanning), Safe (RAID1), Fast (RAID 0), JBOD, SAFE33, & SAFE50, GUI mode allow customized RAID volume setting. 2 x Hot-Swappable 3.5" Drive Bays USB 2.0 (480Mbps) & eSATA (3.0 Gbps) 2 Bay SATA to eSATA/U

Pros: At $89.99 you ge a well-made aluminum case with two bays and an internal power supply (no wall wart). Whether you like the product depends on whether you like the Silicon Image 5744 chipset it is based on. The 5744 gives RAID 0 or 1 in hardware, and that is not an understatement. If you want you can set the switch, load the drives, and the box appears to the OS just like any other drive. It will build or repair the array even if not connected to a computer. Not well advertised the drive has four especially nice features: 1) There is an audible alarm that can be disabled, so if you choose a drive failure is pretty obvious. 2) Besides software-free & GUI mode there is a third mode where the drive mode is set by the switch but the software can be used to monitor the unit. 3) In Raid 1 you can use one drive at first. When you add the 2nd it will mirror it. 4) A Raid 1 drive can be directly connected to a computer and read in case the RAID hardware fails.

Cons: The provided documentation is OK, but it doesn't really cover all of the capabilities of the 5744 chipset, and it doesn't tell you you can go to Silicon Image for more. You can, and the Silicon Image utilities work quite well. They even include email alerts if a RAID drive fails (although I haven't tried this yet). If you want simple RAID you can't do much better. If you want fancy RAID look elsewhere. If you want simple RAID you can't do much better. If you want fancy RAID look elsewhere.

Overall Review: In some ways I like it better than the $$$ Perc 6 setup in our Dell Poweredge server. Very transparent.