The SilverSATA II SR is a very slick-looking RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) with a digital status window. It has a hardware RAID chip inside its enclosure; however, it’s only capable of RAID 0 (striping) and RAID 1 (mirroring) formatting.
The SilverSATA II SR sports two connections on the back, one eSATA port and one USB 2.0. The USB port is a welcome addition as it ensures that you can mount the SilverSATA II SR on computers lacking SATA connectors.
While the SilverSATA II SR wasn’t the fastest RAID we’ve recently tested, in our QuickBench tests it did perform very well in a 1GB file-copy and -duplication test. It also performed well in our Photoshop test.
The SilverSATA II SR incorporates the power supply in the enclosure. External power bricks are bulky, so that’s a plus.
When set to RAID 1 mode, the SilverSATA II SR can quickly copy hard drives. This is useful if you’re an IT manager and want to clone a boot drive, for example. If you install a drive alone in the enclosure and turn the unit on, it will consider that drive the master copy drive. If you then add a second drive, the SilverSATA II SR will automatically copy the data from the master to the new drive.
The SilverSATA II SR is not compatible with host adapters that use the Intel 31244 PCI-X-to-SATA controller chip. We had no issues using a Sonnet Tempo 4+4 card, apart from not being able to boot from the drive.
While WiebeTech doesn’t bundle a host card with the SilverSATA II SR, it does sell a PCI-X-compatible card, the TCS1-1, for only $60. That brings the total cost for the SilverSATA II 1TB SR and the host card to just under $1,102.
|Price per gigabyte ||$1.05 |
|Connectors ||eSata “I” and USB 2.0 |
|Rotational Speed ||7,200 RPM |
|Other capacities ||500GB ($646), 1.5 TB ($1,710) |
|Average Read Speed ||101 MBps |
|Average Write Speed ||104 MBps |
|Copy 1GB to Drive ||0:30 |
|Duplicate 1GB on Drive ||0:37 |
|Low Memory Photoshop CS Suite ||1:02 |
How We Tested—All scores are in minutes:seconds, except for the average read and write score, which is in MBps (megabytes per second). All tests used the drive’s eSATA port, connected via PCI-X cards installed in a dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5 with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and 512MB of RAM. We copied a folder containing 1GB of data from our Mac’s hard drive to the external hard drive to test the drive’s write speed. We then duplicated that file on the external drive to test both read and write speeds. We also used the drive as a scratch disk when running our low-memory Adobe Photoshop CS Suite test. This test is a set of four tasks performed on a 150MB file, with Photoshop’s memory set to 50 percent. For the average read and write scores, we used a 50MB custom test based on QuickBench (disk drive performance evaluation software) and ZoneBench (a benchmarking application designed to measure the read and write speeds over an entire local storage device) tests.—Macworld lab testing by James Galbraith, Jerry Jung, and Anton Linecker.
Macworld’s buying advice
WiebeTech’s SilverSATA II SR offers consistent performance and a stylistic edge. Its handy display screen shows the drive status and other useful information. The only knocks against the drive are the fan noise—which is noticeably louder than that of the competition—and price. If you’re looking for a quiet RAID, you should look elsewhere.
[ Anton Linecker is a writer and video technical advisor living in Los Angeles. ]
SilverSATA II SR 1TB