Performance Benchmarks:

In order to evaluate the performance of the enclosure, we used SSDs under the impression that they would deliver better performance compared to HDDs. We mentioned initially that the Probox doesn't support 2.5" drives. However, with careful manual handling, 2.5" SSDs could be connected to the internal ports with the unit laid sideways (to avoid the SSDs hanging off the internal SATA connectors).

The following IOMeter benchmarks were run in both eSATA and USB3 mode for configurations involving disks in 1, 2, 4 and 8 bays.:

  • 128K Sequential Accesses with a queue depth of 1
  • 4K Random Accesses with a queue depth of 3
  • 4K Random Writes with a queue depth of 32

Despite my intent to benchmark all possible configurations for both eSATA and USB3, I found that the P8H77-M Pro's eSATA port would BSOD frequently whenever we had more than 2 drives being accessed using its port multiplier feature. Any missing bars in the above graph indicate that the test couldn't complete because of this issue. In fact, Mediasonic strongly recommends PCI-E add-on cards with Silicon Image 3132 / 3124 chipsets which have support for FIS based switching with port multiplier.

In addition to the above benchmarks, we also ran the DiskBench tests that we use in the NAS reviews. The graphs below present the results obtained in the four tests.

One of the main issues I found with SSDs was the increase in I/O response time when multiple disks were being simultaneously accessed through IOMeter. I found this mainly during access through USB 3.0. The issue may be present even in the eSATA configuration, but I am unable to confirm it due to the port multiplier issue.

In the configurations under which eSATA worked, it seems to have a steady increase in performance as more disks are accessed. Through USB 3.0, however, the performance seemed to plateau very soon. Was this something specific to SSDs or would it manifest itself even with HDDs? The next section tries to analyze this further.

Build Quality and Internals Power Consumption and Miscellaneous Factors
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  • cdbob - Monday, August 06, 2012 - link

    I built an NAS using the G530 and it works great. The best value for money you could get. Reply
  • Deptacon - Tuesday, August 07, 2012 - link

    I have 16TB's of data spread across 8 drives..... this is plug and play from one machine, and frees up room in my machine....thats what these are for. Reply
  • PommieB - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    Bit disappointed in this review, especially the lack of knowledge about eSata and Port Multiplication, I've run eSata and multiple enclosures for at least 5 or so years, I've had little or no problems using them, I'm running this particular enclosure connected to a Asus M70 laptop with no problems at all, it runs via a PM aware Addonics eSata expresscard without problems, the expresscard has a SIL3132 chip, something I checked prior to buying this particular enclosure, never had blue screens with esata, but then I do the research beforehand, something the reviewer should have done in the first place, I don't have USB3.0, so far I haven't needed it.

    All I can say, for the price these enclosures work well and so does the eSata, that's if you understand PM and know what your doing, same goes for eSata.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    The introduction section mentioned that a PM link needs to be used. However, not many users realize that their board's eSATA port most probably doesn't support port multipliers.

    One of the aims of this review was to educate the readers about this issue. Just trying to make sure that readers have a proper PM supporting eSATA port before expecting eSATA to work in this unit.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, August 05, 2012 - link

    Well then. Educate the readers who need it. But not at the expense of a product you are reviewing.

    I completely agree with the OP here on this thread. Which is why you saw my post on the first page.
    Reply
  • overanalysis - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    PommieB,

    are you saying the expresscard using the sil3132 will add the multiport function to your labtop even if the chip set on mobo doesn't have it. I have xps 1640 w/ ICH9 chipset that doesn't support port mulitiplier. I have a 4 bay probox that does not have PM controller in it. I was going to going to use a usb 3 espresscard but would prefer to use the esata if I could.
    Reply
  • PureHazard - Saturday, August 11, 2012 - link

    Yes, he's saying exactly that. The Sil3132 will have a port multiplier enabling you to see up to 8 hard drives via eSATA. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Sunday, August 05, 2012 - link

    I'd be curious how a linux distro (fedora, say) handles this setup. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, August 05, 2012 - link

    Heh, I'm thinking you'd have better luck asking for openSolaris advice on this site . ..

    but freenode.irc -> ##fedora perhaps ?
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Sunday, August 05, 2012 - link

    I suppose you are referring to their zfs coverage?
    Fedora, or something like RHEL storage, should be able to handle this easily using lvm2 + whatever fs you like.
    Mainly, though, I'm curious about the usb3 performance comparison. Linux has had usb 3 support for ages, and driver quality for windows can be quite variable for usb3.
    Reply

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