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Pros Decent USB 2.0 performance and fan cooling, inexpensive
Cons Some ergonomic and design flaws, crappy door that easily pops open and falls off
Summary With only a few millimeters between each drive bay, "drive handles" (made to mimic hot-swappable RAID drive bay trays) mount to each drive via the two frontmost side-screws so you can remove the drive easily. The drive bays are snug but not enough to slide the drives dead-on into the SATA connector board (no cables here). After some jiggling to seat the drives, the screwless plate that holds the drives in place could be jammed in. A simple thumbnail screw plate would be more secure. The removeable door pops open and falls off when anything bumps into it. It bothered me so much that I duct-taped the door onto the unit. Now my ProBox doesn't look "Pro" at all with duct tape stretched horizontally over the front of it.
Mediasonic's website (http://www.mediasonic.ca) mentions that you need an eSATA port multiplier (not included) to access more than one drive on this product. This is crypticly noted in the instructions but doesn't say anything about needing an eSATA port multiplier. So such issue occurs with the USB connection with every system from Mac to Windows to Linux. Out-of-the-box, the maximum speed is 480Mbps USB 2.0 and 3.0Gbps is simply not possible unless you use one drive (which defeats the purpose of buying this enclosure).
The power connector sticks out the right side, so you cannot put this side-by-side your tower or even another SU2S2 unit without leaving about an inch in between. Why the power cord does not plug in the back like the eSATA and USB, I don't know. You can stack these units but they are not designed for it. The fan can get loud at maximum speed and AUTO speed is probably inadequate so I use the middle setting.
I did not buy it for a RAID setup so don't expect hardware RAID or JBOD drive spanning here. I applaud NCIX for bringing a wide range of products including this low-end SU2S2 enclosure, which is a great for collecting together all your old drives of various sizes. If you need RAID and speed now, I'd suggest a Network Storage NAS instead.
Summary I bought one of these in 2009, and kept it in operation for three years straight, mostly running nightly scheduled backups.
It stopped working eventually (would power up, but the disks wouldn't mount for some reason), so I replaced it with a NexStar HX4. However, the HX4 was bigger, looked strange (like a coffee machine?), had louder fans, and to top it all off, kept disconnecting and unmounting its drives (I may have gotten a defective unit?).
So I returned the NexStar and bought another Mediasonic HF2 instead -- hopefully this one lasts longer than three years, but even if it doesn't, it's a better buy than the NexStar, in my opinion.
Pros Compact size. Nice styling. looks good lit up.
Cons led doesn't change color. no color choices. not great air flow control or dust inhibiting. does not connect directly to your network.
Summary I have external drives and Dlink-323 drive bays. The external drives can be found cheap. The Dlink act as FTP iTunes servers and networked storage or print server for 2 drives for about $99-$130. I got this at $99 on sale. This option does not connect to your network. It only has E-Sata or USB connections. For the $143 it holds 4 drives and is still a reasonable value. Very simple interface. The advantage to this device over just putting the drives in your tower is they stay cooler and are not constantly accessed and sorted like you Op SYS drive is. Thus they last a lot longer. I've had the same drives in the Dlink-323's since 2004 with no errors. So even though it does not have the network option it is still worth getting. Though I think that it's over priced at $143. Given how simplistic the interface and case is, I would wait for it to be on sale.
Pros -Easy to set up -Quiet operation -Great unit for the price
Cons -none so far
Summary Wasn't sure whether or not this unit was good when I bought it. However the price was right for what I needed it for, and that was just to store my hard drives I had lying around and put them them to use without buying multiple enclosures. Installing the drives were easy. The challenge came when I connected the eSata to my computer. It only found one drive at first even though my mobo was suppose to support it. I then remembered I did not set it RAID in the BIOS. Luckily I had a eSATA PCI-E card installed that was RAIDed. Plugged it into the card and rebooted the system and all the drives came up. Again, great unit for the price.
Pros - Solid - Pretty silent at slow speed - Keep 8TB cool even on load - Fast on eSata 80-110mb/s with 2tb green WD
Cons The power plug is a bit weird but its no big deal...
Summary I bought this case at 99$ for my 4 drives 2tb WD green and it's perfect for my own usage. Pretty silent at low speed and with my 4 drives, it always stay at slow speed. My temp are 28C idle to 38C on extreme load.
Summary Great enclosure, works perfect from the very first day. Easy to install, very easy to put drives in and take out. Has 3 settings for fan speed as well as auto setting. The lowest speed is very quiet yet provides enough air to keep drives cool.
Pros Easy installation, quiet, reliable, good value for the money
Summary I am now on my second enclsure,I have one running on my server (Windows Mass Storage Server 2008)in the crawlspace which I adminster remotely (WOL) and the second one is now on my main computer (Windows 7). Both boxes work right from the get go with no hassles what so ever. The server required a new esata card that supported port multiplication, but that was to be expected since I refuse to use the USB 2.0 connection due to it limitations (can't wait to get the USB 3.0 version of this thing). My main computer is a Gigabyte ga-x58a-ud5 and the esata ports support port multiplication nativly so it was a matter of just plugging it in and it worked. Unlike others, I have no problemw with heat in either box and transfer speeds are exactly what you would expect. Since some complained of it needing all four drives to function properly I installed my drives one at a time (Hot swap in AHCI mode of course) and each drive showed up immediately upon insertion, so that rules out that problem. I whole heartedly recommend this enclosure to anyone looking to add multiple hard drives to their system.
Pros small, light weight, inexpensive, worked right away with my Silicon Image 3132 based port multiplier esata card.
Cons runs hot, drive guides are poor, lights are too bright, poor manual
Summary I do not recommend this box. Next to physical shock, heat is the #1 enemy of hard drives. Given that most drives don't get banged around much, heat becomes the #1 killer of disks.
This box could have been much better if they had only put vent holes in the PCB that holds the SATA connectors for the drives. Since the air coming out the back is cool, but the drives are very warm, I can only conclude that the air is going around the drives instead of over them.
The method to insert the drives is not very good - there are no real guides as such. You push the drives in and kinda 'fiddle' them into place. Having said that, the retainer clip for the drives does hold them solidly in place.
The front door really helps dampen the noise but it also causes the temperature to go up. With the door closed, my 4 WD1002fbys drives run about 45C, which is too hot in my book. With the front door off, the temps drop to around 40C, still too hot, but a lot better. All of these temps are with the fan set manually to high. I may look at modding the case to see if I can get the temps down around 30C.
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