Date Joined: 05/14/01
Pros: Very easy to setup. Additional ports reduce need to add switches. Much better throughput than the older Powerline devices. Will not be the bottleneck for most Internet connections.
Cons: I'm using 3 WD Livewire boxes and am experiencing a throughput reduction over time to 5-7 Mbps sustained which can be reset by un-powering and re-powering the Livewire box at the pc experiencing the throughput reduction. This immediately resets the throughput back up to to >20 Mbps sustained. The Livewire utility during this time does not report any noticeable reduction in rate (usually >100 Mbps and never lower then 70 Mbps).
Overall Review: I suspect the throughput reduction is occurring when there's simultaneous traffic between all 3 Livewire boxes and it's not resetting itself upwards when the traffic reduces. I'll need to do some more testing to confirm. If it's the case it shouldn't impact anyone using just a pair.
Pros: No more opening the pc case to swap hard drives. Grooves on side of enclosure allow it to fit perfectly into an Antec 1200 case. Ability to individually power on/off drives from front of enclosure.
Cons: Minor cons: fan noise is a little high; may try swapping fan. hard drive power buttons are sandwiched between a reset button and fan warning light so are not aligned directly to the right of the drives they control.
Overall Review: Had considered the 5-in-3 module but it does not appear to have grooves on the sides which would mean requiring modding the pc case to make it fit. Also was concerned about heat using 5-in-3.
Pros: Bought 2 about 7 months ago and 3 about a month ago. On Intel ICH RAID controller, they work ok in RAID 0 or non-RAID.
Cons: On Intel ICD Raid controller, drives will randomly drop out in RAID 5 forcing rebuild. One of the drives after one month shows SMART reallocated sector counts in the red. Seagate's own SeaTools does not seem to be able to read drive information on any of these drives, tried AHCI & IDE modes on Intel and Gigabyte SATA controllers.
Overall Review: I won't say the whole series is bad but there are enough consistent complaints even on the Seagate forums to warrant considering another brand. I also have 8 Samsung 1.5TB drives and another 11 Hitachi 1TB for for over a year without problems.
Pros: Solid case, hot swappable bays, two speed selectable fan. Good value.
You can use other RAID cards that are compatible with SATA port multipliers (I'm using a RocketRAID 2314).
Cons: Very sensitive to drive used in first bay; use the wrong drive and the all the drives may not be recognized or be unstable.
If you've got a silent system, fan may sound loud on high setting.
Not really a con but I believe higher end RAID cards that use the Intel OP processor do not recognize SATA port multipliers so don't expect to be able to use the enclosure with those cards.
Overall Review: Note that there is firmware on the case (Sil4726) and firmware on the included card (Sil3232). Get the latest from Silicon Image website along with drivers. Use JBOD on the card if using internal RAID on the case and vice versa. Flashing card with SATARAID5 firmware will give you option for RAID5 which if you use will then need to set JBOD on the case.
Concerning the first HD bay, the case appears to use the drive in bay 0 as some sort of reference/controller for the drives in the remaining bays and using the wrong one will prevent drives in other bays from being recognized during boot or make the drives unstable. I was not able to use the following in bay 0 reliably: Samsung 750GB (HD754LJ) & 1GB (HD103UJ), Hitachi 1GB (7K1000) but they all work in other bays. What works in bay 0; Seagate 750GB (ST3750330AS) & 1GB (ST31000340AS), Hitachi 1GB (7K1000.B).
Max read (RAID0 two Hitachi 1GB 7K1000.B) appears to be around 160MB/s. The case appears to bottleneck at around that spe
Pros: Running 4 500GB Samsung Spinpoints in two 1TB raid 0 groups. With optional free drivers from AMS or Silicon Image, will do raid 5. Extra eSATA port on included card allows connecting another eSATA drive.
Cons: Enclosure works with included Silicon Image eSATA card and a few others but might not work with all eSATA chipsets. Check documentation if you do not plan on using included eSATA card to see if your eSATA chipset is compatible.
Overall Review: Without hacking up the enclosure, it looks like it would be possible to selectively block off air flow in some areas to force the fan pulled air over the drives. Have not had a problem with cooling but may play around with it.