PDA

View Full Version : SATA HD Enclosure


Pages : [1] 2

seeker
07-27-08, 09:09 AM
I need a couple enclosures that would support a couple of 500GB HDs, which will be connected through a SIIG Sil 3132 SoftRaid 5 Controller. I've been told that some of the cheaper enclosures use a transition board which "dramatically reduces performance" on raid arrays, but the same person was unable to give any specifics on what would be a good enclosure without this problem. Primarily because he spends a fortune for any computer component...I cannot.

I would consider a raid enclosure, but the only one I've found connects via a single cable, which would not work with my controller. I have no set a specific amount to spend, but I'm certain that it will be under $100, and preferably much less. Can anyone recommend an enclosure that they have experience with?

seeker
07-28-08, 11:36 AM
It's hard to believe that no one knows anything about enclosures. Instead of a general question, perhaps someone can tell me something about this one:

http://www.thenerds.net/STARTECHCOM.Startech_Dual_35_Drive_eSATA_to_SATA_H D_Enclosure.ESATCASE2.html

nekrosoft13
07-28-08, 11:56 AM
i would personally recomend this one
http://thermaltake.com/product/Storage/35_Solutions/n0012us/n0012us.asp

I own two of those it maxes out my WD 1tb greenpower HDD

also keeps the HDD cool and stays silent.

http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/9290/capture54ar3.jpg

seeker
07-28-08, 12:20 PM
From just a quick glance, there are a couple of things that tend to be negative. First, it is for a single drive, rather than two, which would be more clutter on the desktop. Second, the price for two is somewhat more than for the one dual enclosure that I linked, that is offset by the fact that the Thermaltake enclosure includes eSATA cables. The bottomline though is performance, and since I'm unfamiliar with your drives, I can't be sure, but the performance looks pretty good, but it drops off considerably toward the end. I hadn't noticed that much of a gradient on my Seagates, when my MB was working properly.

Is your recommendation based strictly on your knowledge of the Thermaltake, or do you know something negative about the Startech case?

nekrosoft13
07-28-08, 12:41 PM
The bottomline though is performance, and since I'm unfamiliar with your drives, I can't be sure, but the performance looks pretty good, but it drops off considerably toward the end.


every single HDD on the planet drops performance at the "end".

only way to get around that is to buy SSD (solid state drive) aka flash

seeker
07-28-08, 12:59 PM
every single HDD on the planet drops performance at the "end".

only way to get around that is to buy SSD (solid state drive) aka flash
I do not question that, only the degree of drop. I wish that I still had some screen prints that I took on my system, but they were apparently lost when I did a system repair. If I took another test now, it would be of no use, because of some VIA problems that have caused my transfer rates to plummet. Yet, even though very low, they are nearly a straight horizonal line.

I did notice a couple of other pluses about your enclosures, they have a 3 year warranty vs only 1 for the Startech. Also your enclosure can use either eSATA or USB, where the Startech only uses eSATA. I'm not sure how much of a factor that is for me, because I need eSATA to connect to my raid controller, but eSATA only provides ~375MB/s vs 480 for USB. If USB would actually be faster, I would like to have that flexibility.

EDIT: I think that the biggest reason that I'm not jumping on the Thermaltake too quickly, is because of it's fan position, which almost requires the use of the stand. I would like to have something that would stack horizontally to save desk space.

nekrosoft13
07-28-08, 01:33 PM
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=113488&page=3&highlight=nekro+hdd
read up a bit, those results are absolutly fine, and for eSATA enclosure they are better then most.


if you get "nearly" a straight line there is something wrong with your set-up, or you might run raid.

in either case, your max sustained speed is limited.

nekrosoft13
07-28-08, 01:40 PM
I'm not sure how much of a factor that is for me, because I need eSATA to connect to my raid controller, but eSATA only provides ~375MB/s vs 480 for USB. If USB would actually be faster, I would like to have that flexibility.


wow,

SATAII is 3 Gbit/s (around 300mb/s)
USB 2.0 is 480 Mbit/s (around 60mb/s max)

a single HDD can't max out current SATAII connection, fastest disk (Samsung 1tb F1, WD 640gb, WD velociraptor) are about 120MB/s sustained speed)

with USB 2.0, even with theoretical max speed of 60MB/s you will be lucky if you hit 30MB/s transfer.

seeker
07-28-08, 03:09 PM
I just realized that I was wrong, USB is 480Mbps not 480MB/s. That's only 60MB/s, which would make USB irrelavent. You are right, I still have some research to do.

EDIT: I didn't see your post before posting, so I'm behind the eight ball. Your figures are correct, but according to a bandwidth calculator that I used, the eSATA speed of 3Gbps converts to 375MBs as I said. Regardless of the fact that the figures are theoretical, eSATA still sounds far better.

nekrosoft13
07-28-08, 03:16 PM
think about it this way,

if you take a good fast hdd and stick it on slow interface like USB, it will make a straight line at about 30mb/s

now take the same hdd, un good healthy sataII interface, it will max out max HDD speed, and slowly drop in speed. That is simply how hdd are designed.

you can get straight line for two main reasons:
1) limited by the interface, and never reaching max speed of HDD
2) some RAID configs will limit the max speed

seeker
07-28-08, 03:31 PM
When the system was working properly, I got between 70-80MB/s (depending on the benchmark used). As things are now, I'm only getting about 30MB/s, which is unfortunately close to the performance that you cited for USB. That is why I'm wanting an enclosure, so that I can move the raid drives off of the onboard VIA chip. I'm not certain that this will help as much as I hope, because I already have a small raid array on an internal controller board, but it uses a VIA chip also, and the VIA driver is operating it as well, so the performance is just as bad. I'm having a really bad time trying to get the driver to install and function properly. If I try to uninstall it using the the VIA driver functions, it uninstalls even the F6 driver so that Windows can no longer find the HDs even in Safe Mode. I haven't found any means to reinstall the F6 driver without doing a repair install of the OS and that entails problems of it's own. I'm planning on replacing this MB, but I need the enclosure as a stopgap, until I can afford the replacement.

EDIT: Reflecting on what you said, that may be the reason that mine was straighter, because I use raid 1.

Bman212121
07-28-08, 04:11 PM
I'm really confused at what you are trying to do. You want to use a RAID card to get better performance, but you want to put the drives externally to the pc. I'm not following why because unless you're using the same cards in all of your pcs then you won't be able to move the array anyway.
I'm guessing your current case isn't big enough to hold all of the drives?

seeker
07-28-08, 05:44 PM
I'm really confused at what you are trying to do. You want to use a RAID card to get better performance, but you want to put the drives externally to the pc. I'm not following why because unless you're using the same cards in all of your pcs then you won't be able to move the array anyway.
I'm guessing your current case isn't big enough to hold all of the drives?

I'm as confused about your question, as you were about my statements. Firstly, there is only one PC, no network. My case is large enough for my drives, that is where they are now. I'm hoping that by using my external raid card it will divorce the array from the VIA chip and avoid the problems that I'm having with it. That may not work, but I won't know until I try.

nekrosoft13
07-28-08, 05:57 PM
before you move that RAID, backup the data, RAID doesn't like to be moved from one controller to next. you will have ot re-make the raid on the new card.

seeker
07-28-08, 06:10 PM
before you move that RAID, backup the data, RAID doesn't like to be moved from one controller to next. you will have ot re-make the raid on the new card.
I'm not quite certain what you mean by "re-make", but I knew that I would need to creat a new array on the external controller, because it has never had one, and it is a SIIG Sil 3132 SoftRaid 5, so it has no relationship to the VIA controllers. If I totally remove a single HD from a raid 1 array, would it not still function as a single drive, as it would if a drive had failed? I was thinking that the raid functions were external to the drive itself, except that I would need to remove the VIA drivers. Not having used this controller before, I'm not even certain if it requires drivers installed. All that I can remember when I installed the controller was a software utility. But then, I have not gone deep enough into it.

EDIT: Thinking further, is it possible to operate an OS from an external array? I would hope so, because I can't see much use for an array that could only be used for storage.

EDIT: Then again, I might have to leave the VIA drivers so that it could see the drives remaining on the VIA controllers...I don't know.

Bman212121
07-29-08, 11:03 AM
I'm as confused about your question, as you were about my statements. Firstly, there is only one PC, no network. My case is large enough for my drives, that is where they are now. I'm hoping that by using my external raid card it will divorce the array from the VIA chip and avoid the problems that I'm having with it. That may not work, but I won't know until I try.

So you don't have any internal ports then for the drives... That would make more sense. What I'm not understanding is why you wouldn't just mount the drives inside of the case.

nekrosoft13
07-29-08, 11:07 AM
yes, you can have OS on external drive

seeker
07-29-08, 11:19 AM
So you don't have any internal ports then for the drives... That would make more sense. What I'm not understanding is why you wouldn't just mount the drives inside of the case.

This is why I find your question confusing, because I thought that was clearly explained in the posts above. Yes, I have internal ports, but they all go through the onboard VIA chip or the internal controller card, which is also VIA operated, and none of the VIA ports are functioning properly, because of either a driver installation problem which I have not been able to correct, or because of a faulty VIA chipset. I have not been able to determine which, because none of my internal drives are performing as they should, regardless of whether they are connected to the onboard chipset, or the controller card. If that doesn't clarify what I'm talking about, then I don't know how to explain more clearly.

nekrosoft13
07-29-08, 11:25 AM
then why not just leave the HDD inside the case, and use internal SATA card.

seeker
07-29-08, 11:46 AM
then why not just leave the HDD inside the case, and use internal SATA card.

1. The internal card that I have is being adversely effected just like the onboard controllers.

2. I already have an external controller card.

3. If I can ever straighten out the mess with the internal controller, then I want a couple of more HDs connected to the onboard controller, so that I can have raid 1 + 0, instead of just raid 1. This would mean needing the enclosure anyway, to provide more than the 6 drive bays available inside the case.

4. If I resolve the issues mentioned, I shall use my smaller maxtor SATA drives within the enclosure to install Linux distros.

5. Since I shall not use a OSS, I can only install one OS per drive. With 8 drives, that gives me the possibility to install 8 OSs.

6. I haven't thought of it yet.

nekrosoft13
07-29-08, 11:50 AM
1. The internal card that I have is being adversely effected just like the onboard controllers.

2. I already have an external controller card.
.

you really need to explain that.

internal sata card
http://www.satacard.com/SATA-RAID-CARD-SIL3114-CHIP-4-Port-Internal-SATA-PCI-Card.jpg

external sata card
http://ezq.com/images/4portesata.jpg

did you notice something? both connect to the motherboard

seeker
07-29-08, 12:00 PM
I really didn't need you to "draw" me a picture(s). I have already stated that I did not know if routing things through the external card would solve anything, but that I am going to give it a try. My only other alternative is to replace the MB with a PCIe 939, which would also require me to replace my AGP video card. The combined cost is more than I want to spend at the moment. There is also one more alternative, and that is to install my old Asus A8V, but if I do that, it lacks two of the SATA slots that my A8V-X has, and it is only SATA 1, so I would still need an enclosure for connecting my HDs. I do not pretend to have all of this figured out, that is the reason that I'm asking questions.

nekrosoft13
07-29-08, 12:05 PM
internal and external cards are the same, just the ports are facing different direction.

you said the internal doesn't work, unless the card is defective there is no reason to try the external. it will also not work.

seeker
07-29-08, 12:17 PM
You don't think that the fact that my external card is not VIA, and has it's own raid controller will not have any effect? I believe what got me started thinking in this direction, is that I have an optical drive within an external enclosure connecting via USB, which performs as well as if it were internal. Of course, as you have said, USB is already at a lower performance level, so that may not indicate anything.

nekrosoft13
07-29-08, 12:23 PM
You don't think that the fact that my external card is not VIA, and has it's own raid controller will not have any effect? I believe what got me started thinking in this direction, is that I have an optical drive within an external enclosure connecting via USB, which performs as well as if it were internal. Of course, as you have said, USB is already at a lower performance level, so that may not indicate anything.

again you bring up this point, then why not buy a internal card that also is not VIA based and keep the HDD inside.