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Fundamental design defect4/10/2011 11:09:58 PM

Pros: 1. 93.6/83.5 MB/s burst/average transfer rates over 2 TB drive range, 3% CPU 2. Nice 'Flash BIOS' tab in Properties window for device in Device Manager

Cons: 1. SMART data misreported when two HDDs attached -- last drive's data reported for both drives 2. Passes SMART ID and Data, fails to report error/self-test logs

Overall Review: Silicon Image Sil 3114 SATARaid Controller BIOS 5.0.73 PCI\VEN_1095&DEV_3114&SUBSYS_61141095&REV_02\4&23C0B1C&0&08F0 Like others with similar Sil chipsets, this implementation is clearly defective. SMART data reporting error when two HDDs attached; Query of drive 1 gets data from drive 2; drive 2 is reported correctly as drive 2. Appears to be associated with Silicon Image SATARaid Controller implementations (Sil 3114 here). SMART data pass-through only partially implemented -- ID and Data available, but not error/self-test logs (subject to design error of misreporting drives entirely). Did not test RAID. -- Roy Zider

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Fundamental design defect4/10/2011 10:39:40 PM

Pros: 1. 94.6/87.2 burst/average Mb/s transfer rates over 2 TB drive range, 3% CPU

Cons: 1. SMART data misreported when two HDDs attached -- one drive's data reported for both drives 2. Passes SMART ID and Data, fails to report error/self-test logs

Overall Review: PCI\VEN_1095&DEV_3512&SUBSYS_35121095&REV_01\4&23C0B1C&0&08F0 This implementation is clearly defective. SMART data reporting error when two HDDs attached; Query of drive 1 gets data from drive 2; drive 2 is reported correctly as drive 2. Appears to be associated with Silicon Image Sil 3512 SATARaid Controller implementations (BIOS 4.5.02 here). SMART data pass-through only partially implemented -- ID and Data available, but not error/self-test logs (subject to design error of misreporting drives entirely). -- Roy Zider

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Fundamental design defect4/10/2011 10:15:46 PM

Pros: 1. 94.6/87.6 burst/average Mb/s transfer rates over 2 TB drive range, 4% CPU

Cons: 1. SMART data misreported when two HDDs attached -- one drive's data reported for both drives 2. Passes SMART ID and Data, fails to report error/self-test logs

Overall Review: PCI\VEN_1095&DEV_3512&SUBSYS_65121095&REV_01\4&23C0B1C&0&08F0 This implementation is clearly defective. SMART data reporting error when two HDDs attached; Query of drive 1 gets data from drive 2; drive 2 is reported correctly as drive 2. Appears to be asscociated with Silicon Image Sil 3512 SATARaid Controller implementations. SMART data passthrough only partially implemented -- ID and Data available, but not error/self-test logs (subject to design error of misreporting drives entirely). -- Roy Zider

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No SMART data pass-through4/10/2011 9:04:18 PM

Pros: 1. 107.0/92.1 MB/s burst/average transfer over 2 TB range, 4% CPU 2. Runs in 66MHz as well as 33MHz slot 3. HDD drive activity LED headers, plus disk fail LED headers, beeper audio alert 4. 64-bit LBA for 2 TB single partitions

Cons: 1. No SMART data pass-through available for smartmontools, HD Tune 2. Device managment console reports only SMART index values, not raw data, no data range monitoring 3. Transfer rates capped by PCI, not 3 Gbps 4. Can't copy data from managment console panes to clipboard for documentation purposes -- screenshots only

Overall Review: Inexcusably, this device passes no SMART data to Windows that can be used by SMART monitoring software like smartmontools or HD Tune. Does not even pass model and serial number, so useless as just a PCI host bus adapter onto which you can attach SATA drives to an older motherboard. Flexibility but complexity of a web-style managent console interface. Did not test RAID. -- Roy Zider

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Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
SMART data blocked4/10/2011 5:31:40 PM

Pros: 1. 110.5/96.9 MB/s burst/average, 3% CPU tested 2. 4x data cables, 2x Y-power cables in package 3. Runs in 66 HHz PCI slot (not confirmed) 4. HDD drive activity LED headers

Cons: 1. Passes no SMART data whatsoever to smartmontools, HD Tune 2. Blocks use of attached HDDs if not configured as either RAID or JBOD 3. Not 3.0 Gbps -- Average transfer rate capped at 110 MB/s through 1.2 TB of 2 TB drive (HD Tach)

Overall Review: Inexplicably, this devices passes no SMART data to other applications like smartmontools or HD Tune, not even the model or serial number, so can't monitor the drive independently of its management console. It can't be operated as a simple pass-through SATA PCI device either, as it presents no drive at all to Windows if the attached HDDs are not configured as RAID or JBOD. There is RAID management software and a console (WebPAM, which requires password access and client/server setup), but is another whole level of complexity for anybody anticipating using this as just a host bus adapter for SATA drives for their older motherboard. Did not test RAID functions. -- Roy Zider

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SMART support is defective4/9/2011 9:20:35 AM

Pros: 1. 1x IDE channel in addition to 2x SATA150 ports 2. Includes low-profile bracket 3. Achieved HD Tach about 90 MB/s burst, 85 average, 4% CPU on attached 2 TB SATA 3.0 Gbps HDDs

Cons: 1. Fails to pass good SMART data to smartmontools/smartctl or HD Tune, misreports drive capacity, no logs. 2. no SATA cables 3. BIOS error message on boot (exact): "Hardware Initiate failed, Please Check Device!!! The Bios does not be installed. Press <g> to continue!" 4. drivers for 'RC-215' device folder not on drivers CD (used RC-212)

Overall Review: 1. Uses VIA VT6421 chipset, which has same problem not passing SMART data in another tested PCI controller. VIA RAID Controller - 3249 PCI\VEN_1106&DEV_3249&SUBSYS_32491106&REV_50\4&23C0B1C&0&03F0 2. Some indication the SMART problem is due to drivers, where older drivers worked with SMART. 3. Notes on test platform Intel D915GAV motherboard Windows XP SP3 VIA Raid Controller - 3249 (VIA drivers 5.1.7600.593 pd0 IDE (PM) ST160 160 GB PATA HDD pd1 SATA channel ST2000-2 Seagate 2 TB SATA HDD pd2 SATA channel HT2000-1 Hitachi 2 TB SATA HDD -- Roy Zider

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Marketing and accounting trump engineering4/9/2011 6:00:51 AM

Pros: 1. Passes all SMART data to smartmontools: ID, Data and error/self-test logs 2. Reaches UDMA 5, 80.5 MB/s sustained transfer (capped) on Intel D915GAV (HD Tach) 3. Keyed blue plastic shroud surrounding IDE header pins 4. Mixed 2 HDDs on same IDE channel cable works.

Cons: 1. Drops to UDMA 2, 31.8 MB/s sustaines on Tyan MPX S2466N-4M server motherboard 2. IDE keyed header pins/shroud is wrong orientation 180 degrees 3. No cables supplied, big shelf package instead.

Overall Review: As with others in this category of CCBAs -- passes SMART data to smartmontools, transfer rate deops from UDMA 5 (100 MB/s) to UDMA 2 (33 MB/s) with conservative server host. Demerit for wrong orientation of IDE header pins. Mystery chipset (SIIG did not reply to inquiry). Overpackaged. Overpriced at $22 for average functionality. Overall judgment: marketing and accounting trump engineering. -- Roy Zider

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
The best bidirectional device4/4/2011 5:46:36 AM

Pros: 1. Bidirectional -- SATA HDD to PATA/PATA HDD to SATA 2. Passes SMART data to smartmontools: ID, Data, error/self-test logs 3. Reaches UDMA 5/6 90.6/82.7 MB/s burst/average speed SATA HDD to PATA socket 4. Reaches UDMA 5/6 91.8/64.1 MB/s burst/average speed PATA HDD to SATA header 5. Best device package engineering of eleven tested CCBA devices 6. Complete cabling: power M/F pass-thru Molex Y-cable, one SATA data cable 7. Price at $13 is the bonus 8. Manufacturer contact is easy two-clicks to email inquiry from your system, reply is prompt. 9. No jumpers

Cons: 1. SATA HDD to PATA is single-drive only 2. Transfer speed drops from UDMA5 to UDMA2 (33 MB/s) in Tyan MPX S2466N-4M server motherboard

Overall Review: This is the best bidirectional device tested. From the point of view of product management, this is the best product of 11 CCBAs tested (connectors, converters, bridges and adapters, as opposed to HBAs - Host Bus Adapters). Superior device packaging -- fully enclosed PCB, clearly marked connections, no jumpers -- as user-proof as a device like this can get. Contacting customer service is no-hassle simple email -- no filling out fields, logging into Syba website, nothing. Reply was prompt. Price is perfect. Main drawback is that because it plugs into the motherboard IDE socket and has only a single SATA connection, can't attach two SATA HDDs to device, sacrifice one HDD capacity on IDE channel. In addition, like all the CCBAs tested, the interface does not pass muster with Tyan MPX S2466N-4M server motherboard, as transfer mode drops from UDMA 5 (100 MB/s) to UDMA 2 (33 MB/s). So is compliant/compatible but not identical to PATA HDD interface. -- Roy Zider

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Thiis one works4/4/2011 3:08:48 AM

Pros: 1. Passes all SMART data to smartmontools: ID, Data and error/self-test logs 2. Works with mixed two HDDs attached to same IDE channel ribbon cable, UDMA 5 92.1/81.8 burst/average 3. Reaches UDMA 5 92.7/84.7 burst/average transfer rate on Intel D915GAV IDE channel (single drive) 4. Molex power is pass-thru (M/F) plus LP4 floppy connector

Cons: 1. Drops to UDMA 2, 32.6/30.4 MB/s burst/average transfer rates on Tyan MPX S2466N-4M server motherboard 2. Bare IDE header pins, no keyed shroud

Overall Review: Passes critical tests -- passes SMART data to smartmontools; works with mixed drives on single IDE ribbon cable; UDMA5 transfer speeds; supplied cables are M/F passthrough. Like all other CCBAs in this category, device characteristics cause Tyan MPX S2466N-4M server motherboard to only recognize it as UDMA 2 (33 MB/s), so fails strict PATA HDD compatibility test. Bare IDE header pins need a keyed shroud. -- Roy Zider

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WARNING - DANGEROUS4/3/2011 9:18:46 PM

Pros: 1. Passes all SMART data to smartmontools: ID, Data and error/self-test logs 2. 92.3 MB/s (ATA100/133 speed) max burst rate HD Tach 3. Pass-through Molex (M/F) 4. Red power LED

Cons: 1. UDMA CRC errors, UDMA Mode 5 collapsed to PIO transfer mode, errors on drive 2. exposed IDE header pins, no keyed shroud 3. IDE header pin has one knockout pin, only works if cable has pin plug (which many don't) 4. Jumper pins clearly if unusually marked (MA/SL/CS), but subject to error anyway 5. Sensitive to jumper settings -- SL was UDMA 2, had to set to MA to get UDMA 5

Overall Review: Can confirm errors reported by others. This device ran the error count up to 139 on my Hitachi 2 TB drive before I called it quits (Hitachi HDS5C3020ALA632). Don't know if it will work with another drive on the same IDE channel -- too dangerous to retest, re-qualify. Worst errors of any CCBA device tested. Mystery chipset. -- Roy Zider

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Works, but design is compromised4/3/2011 8:48:54 AM

Pros: 1. Bi-directional SATA HDD to PATA IDE, PATA HDD to SATA IDE 2. Clear connection diagram on device itself 3. Passes SMART data to smartmontools: ID, Data and eror/self-test logs 4. UDMA5/ATA100 transfer rate SATA HDD to PATA IDE channel

Cons: 1. single-device only (lose second PATA device on PATA IDE channel) 2. Poor UDMA2/ATA33 capped tranfer rate on PATA HDD to SATA header 3. Molex connector is male only, 2-wire 5v, can't use inline, cheap, wire is easily pushed out

Overall Review: Tried attaching two SATA HDDs to the two SATA header connectors, but then neither SATA HDD was recognized, regrettably. So only one SATA HDD can be attached to PATA IDE channel, sacrificing the second drive capability on the normal PATA IDE channel (master and slave) -- Roy Zider

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Defective design4/3/2011 7:49:27 AM

Pros: 1. Clean, tight mechanical design, blue plastic keyed shroud around PATA header pins. 2. Passes all SMART data to smartmontools: ID, Data and error/self-test logs 3. Red and green LEDs

Cons: 1. Won't work with another HDD on same PATA channel -- interference, recognition problems. 2. Burst/transfer rates capped at ATA/66, won't reach ATA100/133. Only adapter I've seen do this. Burst and transfer rates on Tyan MPX about 15% below already conservative 33 MB/s UDMA2 recognition rate.

Overall Review: Possible file system corruption associated with testing this device, "no operating sytsem found" errors, Chkdsk automatically run on reboot. Does not work with another HDD on the same IDE channel. Evidently a design defect not picked up in testing. Did not test PATA HDD to SATA motherboard. Myster chipset. -- Roy Zider

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Defective design4/3/2011 6:36:07 AM

Pros: 1. Passes all SMART data to smartmontools: ID, Data and error/self-test logs 2. UDMA133 burst speeds possible (but see below)

Cons: 1. Defective design -- will not cooperate with another HDD on the same channel -- locks up the system. Forced to allocate the two PATA channel HDD slots to a single SATA drive. 2. Interface incompatibily capped burst transfer to UDMA 2 (33 MB/s) on Tyan MPX S2466M-4M server motherboard

Overall Review: Tested on three different systems, hangs system when another HDD is on the same IDE channel cable. Tyan server design caps transfers at UDMA2 from posible UDMA100. -- Roy Zider

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WARNING very fragile4/3/2011 6:16:31 AM

Pros: 1. BI-Directional works: SATA HDD to PATA IDE, PATA HDD to SATA 2. UDMA5 both directions 3. Passes SMART to smarmontools: ID, Data and error/self-test logs

Cons: very poor mechanical design of SATA header -- shield broke off, connection unusuable

Overall Review: The SATA header shield broke off shortly after I tested it. This is a very fragile device. To the extent I was able to test it, it worked as expected, UDMA5. But this must have been a manufacturing defect, as nobody would intentionally make the connector that flimsy. Like virtually all these pass-through connectors, the full SMART readings can be accessed by smartmontools: ID, Data and error/self-test logs. -- Roy Zider

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Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
WARNING Not for 3.5in drive4/3/2011 5:56:14 AM

Pros: not tried -- no opinion

Cons: can't attach to 3.5in SATA HDD

Overall Review: "SLIM" in this case means that the SATA connector does not fit onto the back of a 3.5in SATA drive. It must be for some other, smaller drive -- perhaps a laptop. -- Roy Zider

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Warning: 2x HDDs only4/3/2011 2:58:25 AM

Pros: supports 2x SATA HDDs from single PATA IDE channel so don't lose drive capacity

Cons: Only works reliably when 2x SATA HDDs are attached (UDMA5). Burst mode cap at around 90 MB/s (HD Tach) Single-drive setup hangs WinXP boot (safe mode and GUI), or when boots works as UDMA2 (burst 33 MB/s)

Overall Review: Tested this on three different motherboards, all had major problems or failed with single-HDD setup. Single-drive setup appears to work OK when plugged into Promise Ultra100/133 PCI controller, but not tested as thoroughly. Like all of these CCBAs (connectors, converters, bridges and adapters) it passes all the SMART data using smartmontools: ID, Data and error/self-test logs. The HBAs (Host Bus Adapters) do not pass the error/self-test logs. -- Roy Zider

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Verified Owner
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Fails smartctl SMART logs reporting3/16/2011 4:03:58 AM

Pros: Pros .. Nice Device Info panels in driver driver showing device information, transfer modes, link speeds and Flash BIOS data.

Cons: .. smartctl; misreports data on channel, even though Windows and JavaRAID report the two attached drives correctly. .. smartctl: unable to access SMART error/self test logs .. JavaRAID utility reports out no useful configuration data and no copy/paste .. no SATA cable, no low-profile bracket in package

Overall Review: As with the SD-SATA150R, this Syba board had some anomalous behavior, either due to defective Windows drivers or non-standard SATA channel signaling. Most crippling was its inability to report out on more than one attached HDD. When two HDDs were attached, it reported the same drive data for both HDDS (in this case, the HDD on Channel 2 when Channel 1 was being queried). even though it has four ports, it appears that it can only report out correct SMART data for one of them using smartmontools smartctl. My standard for Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) that connect SATA drives to IDE/PATA motherboards is that they conform to ATA/SATA SMART signaling. Motherbards with SATA ports work with smartmontools to report out all the drive's SMART data, including its error and self-test logs. With smartmontools continuously monitoring the HDDs, reporting abnormal conditions, incipient drive failures can be identified before perhaps critical data has been lost. With terabyte drives now costing le

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Fails smartctl SMART reporting3/16/2011 2:54:00 AM

Pros: .. HDD drive activity LED header pins

Cons: .. smartctl; misreports all of Channel 0 as Channel 1 drive, even though Windows and JavaRAID report the two attached drives correctly. .. smartctl: unable to access SMART error/self test logs .. JavaRAID utility reports SMART data as raw hex values, no interpretation .. JavaRAID configuration data dump fails to report HDD model string .. JavaRAID configuration data dump misreports time stamp (behind an hour) .. drivers on Utility and Driver CD are much newer than drivers available from Syba download site (2007 vs. 2003, bzw.)

Overall Review: This Syba board had some anomalous behavior, either due to defective Windows drivers or non-standard SATA channel signalling. Most crippling was its inability to report out on more than one attached HDD. When two HDDs were attached, it reported the same drive data for both HDDS (in this case, the HDD on Channel 1 when Channel 0 was being queried). Another Syba board, the SATA2=4IR has the same problem: even though it has four ports, it can only report out correct SMART data for one of them. In addition, there were several 'fit and finish' issues with the JavaRAID utility, and with the lack of current drivers on the Syba web site, that appear to indicate that this is an (unannounced) end-of-life product. My standard for Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) that connect SATA drives to IDE/PATA motherboards is that they conform to ATA/SATA SMART signaling. Motherbards with SATA ports work with smartmontools to report out all the drive's SMART data, including its error and self-test log

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No SMART log support3/15/2011 5:44:52 PM

Pros: 1. both PCI-X and PCI slots OK, 32 bit and 64-bit 2. Adaptec pre-sales support prompt and complete reply to the inquiry (unusual in my experience)

Cons: No support for access to SMART error or self-test logs. No support for smartmontools

Overall Review: 1. PCI-X/PCI confirmed with Adaptec pre-sales support, to clarify the situation with the larger PCI-style fingers on the board 2. some SMART error flags will get passed, but evidently no detail. No support for access to error or self-test logs confirmed with Adaptec pre-sales support. "Smartmontools is not working with our HostRAID controllers. We have tested this Smartmontools successfully only under Linux with our Series 5 SAS controllers."

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