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George M.

George M.

Joined on 08/30/13

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 7
Most Favorable Review

Great card for what its worth ...

SYBA SY-PCX40009 PCI-X SATA II (3.0Gb/s) RAID Controller Card
SYBA SY-PCX40009 PCI-X SATA II (3.0Gb/s) RAID Controller Card

Pros: This card "just worked" on a system running Mageia 3 (3.8 Kernel) Linux system. I plugged in the card and turned on the power and booted the system and presto, there were all four of the drives I had attached ready for service. I am using BtrFS check summing filesystem and so far no errors at all. I am satisfied with ease of setup, performance and overall design of the card. This card runs a full 64 bits and 133Mhz which gives it pretty good overall bandwidth. How long it holds up, of course, remains to be seen, but at this point I am very happy with my purchase. I find it well worth the money at this point.

Cons: No cons whatsoever for me. But some will buy this expecting a hardware RAID card. This is NOT a hardware RAID card. This is a BIOS'd SATAII controller card. The BIOS allows this card to be bootable and makes it capable of doing some RAID housekeeping. But actual online RAID functions are ALL done by your motherboard CPU otherwise known as HOST RAID. If you want REAL HARDWARE RAID you need to be looking at Areca, LSI, 3ware, Adaptec or Promise. You won't get one from Syba. Con number two (also not a problem for me) is that this is a PCI-X card. PCI-X is NOT PCI Express! PCI-X is simply an extension of the old PCI bus. On many if not most motherboards ALL PCI-X cards on the system must be compatible - they all must run at the same frequency. Initially I installed this card alongside an old 3ware RAID card. The 3ware RAID card was running 64bits at 66Mhz. This card was attempting 64bits at 133Mhz and would not switch down to 66Mhz even though it is capable of that speed. It didn't work. The card appeared for all the world DOA. But then knowing the issue, I removed the 3ware card, rebooted, and everything "just worked". So beware of this issue before you buy this card. If you already have a PCI-X card in another slot that you plan to keep, make sure it is running 64bits at 133Mhz. Nothing else will do! Con number 3 for some people will be documentation. Syba's documentation is abysmal and IOCREST, the original manufacturer does not provide any downloadable documentation. If you need access to the BIOS on this card you may need to remove the motherboard SPLASH screen via motherboard options as it may conceal this board's setup screen. It certainly seems to on my system. If you are running Linux and you want software RAID, do it on the system side, not by trying to run a software RAID driver associated with this card. That way you will save yourself a lot of headaches and end up with a much more robust RAID system. But to make the card bootable you will need access to its BIOS. Also, if you are using this card with Linux, you will probably need to flash the BIOS with IT firmware in order to get fine control of the boot features. Syba seems to be ready and willing to walk you through this process if necessary. I have no need of it in my case.

Overall Review: With its Silicon Image 3124 chipset supported by sata_sil24 kernel module, this card is a no brainer for Linux users. You will get four additional SATA II ports with plenty of throughput. SATA III is really not necessary for conventional hard drives anyway. If you have an SSD or hybrid drive then you will need SATA III functionality for full performance. But at this point, unfortunately, I know of no chip options for SATA III for Linux users. SI is not yet in the SATA III market. The open driver for Marvell chipsets is buggy. The closed driver is high maintenance. The other option is Asmedia and I would be very careful about using that on Linux. I have an Asmedia SATA III card that I have never used and am going to be getting rid of. I got nothing but errors out of it. So for SATA support on Linux look for SI3124. Its the bomb!

Most Critical Review

Had trouble with this card on Linux ...

SYBA SY-PEX40039 2 Port SATA III PCI-e 2.0 x1 Card
SYBA SY-PEX40039 2 Port SATA III PCI-e 2.0 x1 Card

Pros: I'm giving this card 3 eggs because I'm assuming that the problems I have had with it are due to Linux driver issues. Apparently it is working well for some, even some using Linux. It has been two years now since reading these reviews and much has changed.

Cons: In my case the card simply did not work under Mageia 2 Linux with a 3.4 Kernel. I would get the following output from the system: ata7: softreset failed (1st FIS failed) ata7: SATA link up 6.0 Gbps (SStatus 133 SControl 300) ata7.00: failed to read native max address (err_mask=0x100) ata7.00: HPA support seems broken, skipping HPA handling ata7: SATA link up 6.0 Gbps (SStatus 133 SControl 300) ata7.00: failed to IDENTIFY (I/O error, err_mask=0x100) ata7: limiting SATA link speed to 3.0 Gbps ata7: SATA link up 3.0 Gbps (SStatus 123 SControl 320) ata7.00: ATA-8: ST9500620NS, SN01, max UDMA/133 ata7.00: 976773168 sectors, multi 0: LBA48 NCQ (depth 31/32) ata7.00: configured for UDMA/133 This scenario occured with every attempt to use this controller on a known good drive that is currently working flawlessly on a new SY-PCX40009 SATA II controller.

Overall Review: I am encouraged by 1) the recent feedback on this card, and 2) by the willingness of Syba representatives to respond to users having problems with their products. I was at the point of being ready to simply pull this card and give up on it. But I am now running Mageia 3 on a 3.8 Kernel. Hopefully some driver issues, if any, have been fixed since the previous attempts to make this card work, and I just may now give this card another shot. I may yet regret the badmouthing I've given Syba and Asmedia over this experience. Seemingly it works under the ACPI driver itself, since I can find no driver out there specific to Asmedia chipsets.

This is a superb case.

Thermaltake Core X2 Black Micro ATX Stackable Tt LCS Certified Cube Chassis CA-1D7-00C1WN-00
Thermaltake Core X2 Black Micro ATX Stackable Tt LCS Certified Cube Chassis CA-1D7-00C1WN-00

Pros: Room, room and more room. This case is expansive which make it easy to work on. Because all panels come off easily you can get access from different directions to service, add or remove components. Initial install of motherboard was a piece of cake. The backplate is removable. Lots of room for multiple hard drives as well. Interior design is HIGHLY customizable like Lego blocks. Excellent cooling options. Easy to use quick change bays for optical drives and other such components. Allows for large slow turning fans which provide excellent cooling with hardly any noise ... whisper quiet. Good filtration with only a few leaks, most of which can be closed off with duct tape to keep dust out. Most panels are replaceable.

Cons: The one big negative, the only real negative I encountered with this board, is the front panel. While the rest of the case is metal and built like a tank, the front panel is a plastic structure that is NOT replaceable and due to its design vulnerable to damage. It does not take much of an impact to the front of the box to smash in the front panel. I made sure to drill the front panel on both sides just below the lower bay and attach an aluminum reinforcing bar across the front panel which greatly strengthened it and made it much more dimensionally stable. Also this case is huge and requires significant space, So if you are cramped for space this is probably not the case for you. It pretty much needs to sit on the floor under the desk because if it sits on top you won't have much of any desk space left. But that is certainly not any problem for me. I will trade space for convenience and functionality any time and this case offers a whole lot of both.

Overall Review: Overall I am extremely satisfied with this case and would not hesitate to buy another one.

Very satisfied so far ...

Ubiquiti AIRROUTER-US N150 Wireless Router Powered by Ubiquiti's airOS Technology
Ubiquiti AIRROUTER-US N150 Wireless Router Powered by Ubiquiti's airOS Technology

Pros: Reasonable price. Straight forward layout for layout for a techie type. Very configurable. Choice of bridge, router or SOHO mode. Just worked when I plugged it in. Nagged me right away to change the password, I like that. Nagged me right away to update the firmware, I like that. Company provides email notification of new firmware. Company provides user forums. Router hangs on wall saving space. Firmware update was uneventful, I really like that. Lots of very nifty management tools are included, focusing on wireless and allowing you to actually look at the wireless spectrum dynamically.

Cons: Port forwarding is not so straightforward, but finally got it figured out. It has boxes for both source and originating IP mask. Both of these need to be left blank, I don't know why they include them in the configuration utility. Everything else about port forwarding is obvious and as of firmware version v5.5.8, port forwarding works as expected providing it is correctly configured.

Overall Review: This is a real techie router. It includes configurable SSH and Telnet access in addition to the traditional web GUI. The guts of this device are vanilla Linux so custom configuration is possible via command line interface for the one who knows there way around that. Additionally, the documentation provided is extensive and quite good.

Very happy so far ...

Seagate Desktop HDD ST4000DM000 4TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Seagate Desktop HDD ST4000DM000 4TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: 1) 3.7TB 2) 64MB cache 3) AFS 4) Effortless install on Mageia 3 Linux with 3.8 kernel on Syba SY-PCX40009 controller with Silicon Image SiL3124 chipset. 5) Runs cool with no additional cooling add ons. 6) Included in Linux SMART database allowing continual SMART monitoring. 7) Green but still seems to perform quite well.

Cons: None that I have run into so far. The hang up for some people would likely be AFS. This is a REAL AFS drive with no kuges to accomodate non-AFS aware filesystems. So if your file system is not AFS aware, this might be an issue and it might result in poor performance if not carefully resolved.

Overall Review: I skipped partitioning this drive and formated it raw with BtrFS which has native support for 4096 byte sectors. I then divided it into subvolumes and will continue to add new subvolumes as needed. Thus I avoid using any space for partitioning and an added bonus is that the OS does not need to spend time configuring the partitions on boot which results in faster startup. I am using this drive as a backup drive. It replaces a way too small 500GB drive that was on the verge of failure losing sectors left and right. I am really happy with this drive at this point. I am hoping that it holds up as well as my four ST9500620NS's that I purchased nearly two years ago from New Egg which have yet to lose a sector or show any other signs of serious deterioration.

These drives certainly seem durable ...

Seagate Constellation.2 ST9500620NS 500GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" Enterprise-class Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Seagate Constellation.2 ST9500620NS 500GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" Enterprise-class Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: I just can't say enough good about these drives. I really, really like them. The four I purchased back in 2011 are still going strong. I thought I was having problems with one of them and purchased another to replace it, but it turned out the problem was on the controller side and so all five drives are in great shape. I tested the drive in question extensively and could not break it. They run cool, perform fast and are very dependable. I am extremely happy with them after almost two years of heavy workstation usage.

Cons: Certainly none in my case. Cons for some users might be that they don't fit in a notebook or other mobile type device that use notebook drives. Additionally, they cost more than the usual notebook or desktop drives. But they deliver.

Overall Review: Until just a few weeks ago I was using these drives with old 3ware 8006-2LP RAID controllers. SATA I, no NCQ, etc. But these drives performed remarkably well in that setting. I have no regrets whatsoever about the drives. Over the last few weeks I have removed the 3ware cards and replaced them with a new IOCREST SY-PCX40009 controller, sold under the Syba brand, with a Silicon Image chipset. Now these drives are unrestrained with SATA II and NCQ support which will give them just about as much bandwidth as a conventional disk drive could ever require. On top of this I am running BtrFS filesystem RAID1 on a Mageia 3 (3.8 Kernel) Linux setup with a Supermicro C2SBX+ motherboard. Other than one minor bug with booting on BtrFS RAID, everything works perfectly. All my filesystems, including /boot and / are BtrFS RAID at this point. I have done repeated filesystem scrubs looking for write errors or data corruption and gotten "0 errors found" on every scrub. So the all hardware appears to be working perfectly. I am VERY satisfied with these drives!