Desktop Backplane? Three 2.5" HDD Solutions Reviewed

Sunnytek 5.25” SAS/SATA Backplane For 2.5” Drives (SAS1842C)

This product is very similar to Chieftec’s SNT-1042-SS. In fact, it is almost identical, except for one detail: this product was intended to be operated with 2.5” SAS hard drives that utilize twin data connections (see the yellow and black ports on the photo). The SAS protocol supports dual-ported connections for doubling bandwidth, or to create redundant data connections. Both may not seem necessary for entry-level RAID solutions based on 2.5” hard drives, but we’re confident that flash SSDs will exceed the current effective bandwidth maximum of roughly 265 MB/s for SATA/300 or SAS at 300 MB/s. In this case, twin ports will widen the bottleneck until SAS/600 reaches the enterprise mainstream.

The unit is well-finished, just like the Chieftec product we talked about on the previous page, and it even comes with the same set of cables. In fact, it also has the same issues: the fan is noisy, the fan speed setting via jumpers can only be done with appropriate tools, and it cannot provide drive status information except power and activity. Make sure drives and ports are labeled properly, so you will know which one to replace in case of a defective disk drive.