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Test Setup And Test Drives

Desktop Backplane? Three 2.5" HDD Solutions Reviewed
By
System Hardware
Processor(s)
2x Intel Xeon Processor (Nocona core)
3.6 GHz, FSB800, 1 MB L2 Cache
Platform
Asus NCL-DS (Socket 604)
Intel E7520 Chipset, BIOS 1005
RAM
Corsair CM72DD512AR-400 (DDR2-400 ECC, reg.)
2x 512 MB, CL3-3-3-10 Timings
System Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar WD1200JB
120 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, UltraATA/100
Test Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3500641
500 GB, 7,200 RPM, 16 MB Cache, SATA/300
Mass Storage Controller(s)
Intel 82801EB UltraATA/100 Controller (ICH5)
Silicon Image SATALink SiL3512
Driver 1.2.0.57
Promise FastTrak TX4310
Driver 2.06.1.310
Promise SATA 300TX4
Driver 1.0.0.33
Networking
Broadcom BCM5721 On-Board Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Graphics Card
On-Board Graphics
ATI RageXL, 8 MB
System Hardware
Performance and Measurements
c't h2benchw 3.6
PCMark05 V1.01
I/O Performance
IOMeter 2003.05.10
Fileserver-Benchmark
Webserver-Benchmark
Database-Benchmark
Workstation-Benchmark
System Software and Drivers
OS
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition,
Service Pack 1
Platform Driver
Intel Chipset Installation Utility 7.0.0.1025
Graphics Driver
Default Windows Graphics Driver


Test Drives: Samsung 64 GB SLC Solid State Drives and Seagate Savvio 10K.2

Samsung’s SLC-based flash SSD is still one of the fastest solutions, combining high throughput with excellent I/O performance.

We also used Seagate’s Savvio 10K.2 for the four-bay backplanes.

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  • 0 Hide
    gpsxsirus , April 9, 2009 8:45 AM
    I'd like to see a review of some backkplanes that support a couple more drives that's still mountable in an ATX case. I'm looking to run RAID 5 or 6, ideally with a hot spare.
  • 1 Hide
    BKD , April 9, 2009 12:12 PM
    How about 2x5.25" bays hosting vertical 3.5" disks, maybe five or six? I prefer this setup to the standard desktop internal cages which are a pain.

    gp-Just use more then one of the above-the raid is controller dependent.
  • 1 Hide
    WyomingKnott , April 9, 2009 1:49 PM
    BKDHow about 2x5.25" bays hosting vertical 3.5" disks, maybe five or six? I prefer this setup to the standard desktop internal cages which are a pain.

    And here it is: http://www.addonics.com/products/raid_system/ae4rcs35nsa.asp
  • 1 Hide
    joex444 , April 9, 2009 3:49 PM
    Almost, its a 3x5.25" but you need that with 3.5" drives. 2x5.25" can only get you 3 horizontal 3.5" drives.
  • -4 Hide
    yourhighness , April 9, 2009 5:02 PM
    I saw this article and I though, Awesome this is going to be a great article that will apply to me (and enthusiast and a Small Business).

    But then I noticed it's all about 2.5" hard drives instead of 3.5"...

    FAIL
  • -1 Hide
    yourhighness , April 9, 2009 7:25 PM
    yourhighnessI saw this article and I though, Awesome this is going to be a great article that will apply to me (and enthusiast and a Small Business).But then I noticed it's all about 2.5" hard drives instead of 3.5"...FAIL

    Sorry to be debbie downer, I just feel that the vast majority of people looking to add storage space would prefer the larger, cheaper, faster 3.5" form factor of the 2.5" drives.

    I understand that SSD is changing things, but it still costs 10-100X more than 3.5"HDD, and 2.5"HDD still costs 2-5x as much as 3.5"...

    I guess it would be more productive to ask for 3.5" backplanes than just being a dick.

    Please can I see some 3.5" storage solutions? I'd especially like to see some of the drive bays supporting more than 4 drives.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 9, 2009 8:57 PM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=backplane&x=0&y=0

    for a list of backplanes out there
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 9, 2009 10:00 PM
    Having 40mm fans very close to rotating media is a very bad idea. Hard drives do not like the intense vibration from high speed fans.
    Performance and reliability suffer badly. I would like to see the issue
    addressed in a serious way, not just the obvious user oriented features.


  • 0 Hide
    michaelahess , April 10, 2009 4:10 AM
    Tom StephensonHaving 40mm fans very close to rotating media is a very bad idea. Hard drives do not like the intense vibration from high speed fans.Performance and reliability suffer badly. I would like to see the issue addressed in a serious way, not just the obvious user oriented features.


    Except when using, oh I don't know, laptop drives that are already built to withstand this kind of abuse, kind of a non-issue.

    Also considering how hot many laptop drives get when on your lap, I don't think heat will be as big of an issue as you'd think if your case is cooled properly. My Stacker 830 would be a perfect fit if I threw one of these in my top bay, just fashon a air guide for the top fan to pull air from the first bay, turn the 40mm fans off and be happy!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 10, 2009 3:21 PM
    Bought This - Returned it the next week: No stress relief on the connections and several came disconnected due to the fact that the SAS/SATA connections were only held on to the circuit board via the soldier holding the pins in place - Hey! I paid $40 for this backplane that was little more than 4 places to mount hard drives, what do you expect?
  • 1 Hide
    kenyee , April 13, 2009 2:03 PM
    I'd like to see a similar roundup but with 3.5" HDD backplanes. There are quite a few that fit into three 5-1/4" slots and is a better compromise if you run a mid-tower...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2009 10:17 PM
    Excellent review, however it seems like the backplanes that you choose to review all are approximately the same unit with a different brand pasted on... would like to see some more diversity in the choices.
  • 0 Hide
    ShadowFlash , April 13, 2009 11:21 PM
    Any word yet on the patriot, OCZ, or A-DATA versions of the mobile backplane ? I think any of those would work alot nicer in the desktop enviornment, as they fit neatly into a single 3.5" bay. There are also a number of chinese 2-bay RAID enclosures out there, but who knows the quality? I would really like to see a true round-up on those.

    For those who don't see the point in 2.5" vs. 3.5", consider a ultra-fast OS/Program array, and a nice fast RAID 10 array for storage, and pretty soon you're running out of physical space in the average desktop case, not to mention competing for power with your high-end video card. While 2.5" drives are still a bit pricey for storage drives, a pair of 73GB 15K SAS and a dual RAID 0 enclosure for about $300 is certainly worth it ( or even 4x 36GB 15K for the same price ), as space requirements are simply not needed for an OS/program drive.
  • 0 Hide
    mikolay , April 15, 2009 3:08 PM
    SuperMicro Backplane CSE-M28E2B for 8x 2.5"HD, 2x 5.25"Bay; Redundant 2x4xSAS port :) 

    http://www.span.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=15973&language=en
  • 0 Hide
    mileage , April 16, 2009 5:05 AM
    is there any internal enclosure fit two of 2.5" hdd into one of 3.5" bay?
  • 0 Hide
    ShadowFlash , April 16, 2009 5:00 PM
    mileageis there any internal enclosure fit two of 2.5" hdd into one of 3.5" bay?



    Here's the RAID version from A-DATA....they also have non-raid versions I believe.

    http://oc.adata.com.tw/1_product_detail.asp?pid=ASX1SUMAL-2

    I have not found any reliable review on these type of things yet. There are a number of chinese versions off of E-bay which look to be identical and both Patriot and OCZ are promising their vervisions as well. I doubt these would get rid of the stuttering problems of low-end SSD's, but it would make for some nasty RAID-on-RAID action, spawning all sorts of bizarre set-ups.
  • 0 Hide
    mileage , April 16, 2009 8:20 PM
    Thanks for the info.
    I found one for internal for two of 2.5inch to one bay of 3.5 inch.

    http://www.acmemicro.com/estore/merchant.ihtml?pid=6982&lastcatid=390&step=4

    I'll test this later today for our product test.