|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Patriot Convoy 425 XL SATA Internal Enclosure|
|Posted by Will Smith|
|Sunday, 17 October 2010 22:03|
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Hard drive caddies aren't exactly the most exciting of products to review, but there have been a steady increase in these type of products as hard drives becomes cheaper and cheaper. This is especially true with large capacity 3.5" SATA hard drives. Today, many users are now using external hard drives with capacities of 500Gb or larger. Some buy these external hard drives ready-built, while others want to save costs and "do it themselves" ... by buying the hard drive and caddy separately. But the true use of a caddy, is for existing users who may have important data on their hard drives, and want to access the data while keeping it safe.
Hard drive caddies come in all shapes and sizes. Some of these caddies are external casing with a standard USB interface, while others actually fits in 5.25" inch drive bay. Most of the ones we've looked at in the past, are cheap n' nasty with really poor build quality. So it comes as no surprise, that many good quality caddies are ignored by reviewers, without a second look. Luckily, this is all about to change as we see an important shift in hard drive sizes, from the standard 3.5" inch form factor to the more compact 2.5" inch. And there is a reason why. Almost all SSDs (solid state drive) come in the 2.5" inch form factor, coupled with recent surge in notebook/netbook sales ... 2.5" hard drives are now becoming more and more popular. In fact, we've just learned that Hitachi have just announced a 2.5" hard drive which spins at 10,000rpm with a data transfer rate of 6Gbps! What's more, Hitachi also make 1Tb, 1.5Tb and 2Tb hard drives ... all in the 2.5" inch form factor.
No doubt, we'll be seeing a lot of accessories and caddies for these 2.5" hard drives. I know for certain, when I upgrade my notebook's hard drive to a faster SSD ... I will definitely be housing my spare 250Gb hard drive in a caddy, be it an external USB casing or unit that fits in a drive bay of a chassis.
We've reviewed many products from Patriot in the past, and my experience with Patriot have been a good one so far. Patriot are direct competitors to OCZ Technology, Super Talent, Kingston, Crucial ... basically any manufacturer that produces memory products. For those who are not familiar with Patriot or their products, here's a little blurb taken from their website ...
In this review, we'll be taking a look at the Patriot Convoy 425 XL SATA Internal Enclosure. It's not really a storage device as such, but rather it's a 5.25" inch caddy or an internal enclosure, that can hold upto 4 x 2.5" SSD/SAS or standard hard drives which uses the SATA interface. It features a JMicron controller, which supports several RAID modes including 0, 1, 1+0, 3, 5, 10 and JBOD. It's also hot swappable and comes with EZ RAID settings (via dip-switches) and two cooling fans, which located at the back of the unit.
This little unit can fit into any 5.25" inch drive bay and could be ideal for servers or high-end users who require RAID support for data protection and backup when running mission-critical applications. There's really not much more to say about the Patriot Convoy 425 XL, expect that it's just a caddy/internal enclosure that features RAID support.
There is one problem which I think a lot of high-end enthusiasts may know already ... and that is the onboard JMicron RAID controller. Many of these users have been critising the performance of JMicron controllers, and this might be its downfall. Let's see if this, really is the case ... We'll be testing the Patriot Convoy 425 XL with 2 x OCZ Vertex 2 60Gb SSDs configured in RAID 0 (stripping), which gives us a single 120Gb drive (or 111Gb - formatted)
Our test rig consists of an Intel Core i5 - 650 @ 3.2Ghz cooled by a Noctua NH-C12P SE14 CPU cooler, a Gigabyte P55 USB3 motherboard, a Geforce GTX 460 OC, 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer and a Silverpower 650w power supply. It's the same system we've used in our other SSD tests.
OK, let's not waste any more time and check out the specifications in our next page ...