Date Joined: 10/30/06
Pros: Previously reputable brand
Cons: Very high power consumption, which they do not advertise. 3 times the consumption of my 7200RPM Fujitsu (now Toshiba) self-encrypting 320G drive.
Does not have any of the advanced features advertised boldly on the Newegg page:
NO encryption as you were led to think it had,
NO free-fall protection as you were led to think it had.
Overall Review: Misleading advertising by the brand, deliberately vague so you can't know without difficult research that you're about to buy something that's not what you're led to think it is.
The same thing is on the Seagate website, look up the model and they imply that it has encryption etc., but slightly vaguely, and it's hard to find out that it doesn't.
Pros: Small and light. Twice as fast as USB interface to same drives.
Cons: Card slips out of the slot very easily. Can ruin your day by falling out in the middle of a massive backup operation.
Not a full SATA controller. Appears in "SCSI and RAID controllers", so you can't use ATA features. You can't set your drive's spindown and power saving mode, can't set or enter its password, can't command security erase, can't read drives' temperature, SMART (pre-fail warnings, load/unload count), or set acoustic management mode.
This means you can't stop the drive from unloading its heads frequently or spinning down whenever it's been idle a short time and wearing itself out, unless you plug the drive into another (full SATA) controller and change the drive's settings there.
WORST OF ALL, you cannot cleanly unmount the drives. Selecting "Safely Remove Hardware" unmounts and spins down the drives, then immediately spins them back up and re-mounts them. You can hot-unplug the drives, but this leaves the filesystems unclean, so they may have to be repaired.
Overall Review: Make sure you choose "Optimize for quick removal". This normally sacrifices a lot of performance, but otherwise you'll lose data or corrupt the drive because of a corrupted journal.
NTFS seems to have less of a risk of this, but if you're using Linux with ext3 or ext4, you'll really need to set write barriers on if you use write caching, to avoid severe filesystem corruption from a corrupted journal. Unfortunately, enabling write barriers take performance down quite a bit.
Thanks to Newegg, this is being returned, and I'm currently evaluating other controllers.
Why go SATA unless you can use its features? But controllers that present themselves as SCSI controllers dumb the drives down to just the basic functionality. Fast, but all the advanced features cannot be used.
Not suitable for self-encrypting drives -- you cannot set or enter the password, cannot retask the drive, etc. If you've spend big $$$ on a good drive, get a real SATA controller.