SATA For Servers: Testing Backplanes

Promise SuperSwap 4100

The Promise backplane gives a less high-quality impression, but this is due to the lack of additional features and expensive materials. With the SuperSwap 4100, the manufacturer concentrated on the bare necessities and passed on experimentation.

Two 40 mm fans on the rear take the place of a larger fan. In spite of this, the noise level is hardly affected.

The hard-drive slots have a rather simple design and do not give the impression of solidity that the Adaptec backplane does. For example, you shouldn't play around with the locking levers out of sheer curiosity - in the test, the connector of the hard drive behind it came loose with little effort. This issue could be alleviated with a more solid lock for the slots.

Two small fans instead of one big one - there is no significant difference in the acoustics, but the movable air mass could be lower.

The slots are simply designed but function flawlessly. Be careful when using it - even a slight opening of the unlocking lever can disconnect the hard drive from the controller.