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Ray V.

Ray V.

Joined on 10/19/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 31
Most Favorable Review

Nice Rack!!!

Athena Power MR-135B Black Aluminum SATA Mobile Hard Drive Rack
Athena Power MR-135B Black Aluminum SATA Mobile Hard Drive Rack

Pros: Sturdy aluminum construction. Compact length (compared to other brands).

Cons: Uses drive's own connector each time the tray is docked into the rack, so do it gently. Must use key each time to insert/remove & power-up/power-down (unless you jury-rig the lock system).

Overall Review: Contrary to other reviews, additional trays are available at reduced cost (newegg item# N82E16817995002

12/10/2007
Most Critical Review

Bought Farm at 14 months

Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold - 800W Power Supply with 80 PLUS Gold Certification and Semi-Modular Cables
Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold - 800W Power Supply with 80 PLUS Gold Certification and Semi-Modular Cables

Pros: Quiet and good function while on around-the-clock for 14 months. It has the modular style I like; hardwired motherboard, ATX & primary video cables, but modular drive cables and modular secondary video cables

Cons: My unit has some Taiwanese capacitors. 6 to be exact. 4 Taicon 2200uf/16v and 2 Taicon 1000uf/16v. It was the 2200uf ones that failed. The specs for this unit are vague about the number of Japanese capacitors, or whether or not they are all Japanese. Cooler Master previously offered mostly a 5 year warranty on their high-end supplies, now it seems they mostly offer a 2 year warranty.

Overall Review: So, the marketing claim for this power supply is "Japanese-made capacitors". Since that is plural phraseology, I guess that means at least two Japanese capacitors. When I read a review of this power supply, the photos of the innards showed all Japanese electrolytic capacitors. No Taicons were in that review sample. To be fair, Taicon is a joint venture with Nichicon Japan, but they are sill made in Taiwan. Just know that your unit may have some non-Japanese electrolytic capacitors.

Find all the answers here

SYBA SY-PEX40045 SATA II (3.0Gb/s) 1:2 (2x1) Internal Port Multiplier
SYBA SY-PEX40045 SATA II (3.0Gb/s) 1:2 (2x1) Internal Port Multiplier

Pros: Cheap 3.0Gb/s Hardware RAID Can really do two port multiplier single drives if setup accordingly.

Cons: Documentation sorely lacking Dated Lowly JMB390 Chipset So, about those promised answers. If you've read some of the other reviews here, you'll see some complaints about troubles getting non-raid port multiplier mode to work as two single drives. Most people had no trouble with RAID0, RAID1, or JBOD (which is a single large drive). Continued...

Overall Review: In order to do PM with two single drives, set the jumpers to "No Ch" or "No Action" (all switches OFF). The JMB390 chipset will detect either a PM (port multiplier) aware or non-PM aware host controller. It turns out that even for non-RAID PM, you must use the appropriate RAID drivers for your SATA host controller. The way I found this out is that I had my motherboard SATA controller set to AHCI (in BIOS) and PM wasn't working with this Syba card on Windows 7. But it was working with XP. Why? The difference is that XP does ACHI with RAID style drivers, but I was just using ACHI drivers for Windows 7. I forced RAID drivers for my motherboard's SATA controller on Windows 7, and then PM works with this card. I didn't have to change the BIOS from ACHI. It turns out that PM is technically sort of a RAID spec function. So, even if you don't want any RAID anywhere on your system, RAID style drivers will get PM to work with this card - even with BIOS set to AHCI (rather than RAID). Assuming of course that you can install RAID drivers while in ACHI mode on your motherboard, and that your motherboard SATA controller supports PM mode otherwise. Another sort of neat way to use this Syba card without any RAID drivers is as sort of a poor man's SATA switch. With two drives connected in "No Ch" mode, if you cut power to one of the drives, then the other one will work. For example, you could connect a DVD driver to port 2, and a hard drive to port 1. With both powered up, only the port 1 drive will work (if you are using only AHCI drivers and not RAID drivers for PM as described above). But if you cut power to the drive on port 1, then the port 2 drive will work. I have a HDD rack in one of my bays with a power switch, and I can use it that way and switch off that drive if I want to use the DVD drive (I usually reboot before doing this). Anyway, that is my story, thanks for reading.

Card may need firmware update if problems present.

Biostar SATA III 6G b/s 2 port PCI Express Internal Controller Card Model DCS3A
Biostar SATA III 6G b/s 2 port PCI Express Internal Controller Card Model DCS3A

Pros: ASMedia ASM1061 chipset, AHCI, Port Multiplier.

Cons: v0.89 of the firmware could cause trouble on some systems with native booting or having the drives connected while booting. v0.90 or v0.93 will often fix this, not currently available from Biostar, have to search for it. Firmware update must be done in native DOS OS.

Overall Review: Biostar, thanks for having the firmware available on your website, but it needs to be updated from v0.89 to the newest version.

Mostly quite nice!

VANTEC NST-330SU3-BK Aluminum / Plastic 3.5" Black SATA I/II USB 3.0 & eSATA External Enclosure
VANTEC NST-330SU3-BK Aluminum / Plastic 3.5" Black SATA I/II USB 3.0 & eSATA External Enclosure

Pros: Excellent aesthetics, low-noise fan w/switch, USB-3.0 & eSata, easy assembly (just two screws).

Cons: Some sloppy hand soldering around the filter capacitors near the sata connector, with quite a bit of flux residue. This was present on more than one sample. The three filter capacitors are electrolytic CapXon/Stone brand, 220uF/16v. The remainder of the board's flow soldering is fine.

Overall Review: The fan is 80x80x10mm 12volts and runs at low RPM, it draws air in and pushes it out through some vents at the top of the case. USB 3.0 chipset is ASMedia ASM1051, eSATA chipset is ASMedia ASM1453. The included cables are fairly short, the eSATA cable is not the heavily shielded type that I usually prefer for external eSATA, but rather more similar is structure to an internal SATA cable. Care should be taken when sliding drive onto the enclosure's sata connector, as drive position can shift as drive is being slid onto the connector.

Update to prior review from Dec '07

Athena Power MR-135B Black Aluminum SATA Mobile Hard Drive Rack
Athena Power MR-135B Black Aluminum SATA Mobile Hard Drive Rack

Pros: Sturdy aluminum construction. Compact length (compared to other brands).

Cons: Uses drive's own connector each time the tray is docked into the rack, so do it gently. Must use key each time to insert/remove & power-up/power-down (unless you jury-rig the lock system). Rate of fan failure is high after 6 months and almost universal after 1 year. Sometimes, factory new and sealed units are missing the very specialized screws needed to attach the drive from the bottom of the tray.

Overall Review: We use over 60 of these systems at my company. I'm updating my prior review from December 2007 to address the issues of fan failure and the availability of additional trays. The fans in these units rarely last more than 6-12 months before they start making significant noise. It is a 40x10 mm fan, and it is replaceable. However, getting the wire length right and an appropriate connector fastened does require quite a bit of finesse. I've replaced more than 50 fans on these now. As pointed out in a recent review, additional Athena Power branded trays are no longer available under newegg item #N82E16817995002. However, a compatible tray (pretty much the same exact OEM tray with different branding) is available under newegg item #N82E16817994078 (as of this date, at least). Overall, I still like these rack systems, although this is partly a comparative evaluation, since so many other systems are of such poor quality.

12/22/2010