Thecus' N2050 is one of the first external twin-drive RAID boxes that uses eSATA. As expected, its performance was far better than what USB 2.0 offers. The end result is impressive.
The date transfer rate of 30 MB/s that USB 2.0 offers does indeed pale in comparison to 100 MB/s for eSATA, while the WD1500 drives are capable of delivering even better performance in RAID 0. It is also good to see that Thecus did not throw the USB 2.0 interface away, because it is a nice backup interface whenyou want to use the device with other computers via USB 2.0.
However, its setup hinders the N2050's performance. The RAID controller seems to prevent even faster data-transfer rates, which we proved was possible by running a RAID 0 setup with exactly the same drives, but on a controller from Promise. With our reference test system, we achieved up to 170 MB/s transfer rates. But this shortcoming in potential is only important in high-performance scenarios such as video editing.
We also hope Thecus will offer JBOD support (not everybody really needs RAID) as well as a way of securing the RAID mode selector switch so that an accidental reset will not cause you to lose your data.