SilverStone MS08 Mobile Rack 3.5-inch RAID Enclosure Review

Introduction


Today I am taking a look at something a little different from my usual drive and NAS reviews, today I’m taking a closer look at the SilverStone MS08 mobile rack that converts a single 3.5-inch drive bay into a two-bay 2.5-inch RAID unit with hot-swap abilities.

The SilverStone MS08 mobile rack can be a very useful tool to have at your disposal in several different scenarios. First of all, it allows you to connect two drives as a single one to your motherboard or host controller. You have three modes that you can connect the drives as, whether you want performance, redundancy, or capacity. All the basics are covered RAID 0, 1, and JBOD at your disposal.

The RAID feature is set by the hardware itself. You got two small switches on the rear of the unit that lets you select the mode and a little button that needs to be pressed in order to change the configuration. SilverStone included an SATA cable and a power adapter from MOLEX to SATA, allowing you to connect it to your setup without the need for anything that isn’t in the box. Even the four screws to mount it into the chassis are included.

The SilverStone MS08 connects to a single SATA connector and it supports up to SATA3 6Gbps. Mechanical hard drives, and especially 2.5-inch, aren’t fast enough to saturate such a connection, but with an enclosure like the MS08, you can get very close. The added bonus of being able to hot-swap the drives by simply ejecting them to the front make the enclosure even more useful.

Even people who want to take their drives on the go can benefit from the SilverStone MS08. Thanks to the standard 3.5-inch form factor, the MS08 fits into any docking station and enclosure that is built for 3.5-inch drives. Where you’d normally take a single 3.5-inch drive with your data, you can now take a RAID setup of 2.5-inch drives instead and you don’t need to worry about the order of them. You also don’t need to worry about drivers or complicated setups when you’re on the go, the unit is fully plug-and-play the same way a normal drive is.

The tool-less tray design is a great feature and it allows for true hot-swapping of drives. The enclosure itself is both durable and beautiful thanks to being constructed from premium aluminum that also aids in cooling the drives as well as their protection. There are a few plastic parts, but the majority of the enclosure is made of aluminum. You can load the MS08 with 2.5-inch drives that have a height of up to 9.5mm, making it compatible with most 2-5inch hard drives and solid state drives.

The front of the MS08 enclosure has two blue LEDs, one for each drive, allowing you to keep an eye on what drive is active and not. The drive tray isn’t lockable, but the ledge is secure and there is little risk that you could end up opening it by accident. Even if you should end up opening it when you didn’t want to, you don’t need to worry. The door has to be opened fully and then pressed in to eject the drives. Both drives will be ejected at the same time.

Pulling the rear of the enclosure off and having a look inside, we see that SilverStone added the SATA connectors on an independent PCB. It doesn’t feature much besides the two SATA connectors and a little power stabilization.

The main PCBB has the external connections and buttons. To the right we see the two LEDs mounted that then are passed on to the front of the enclosure. We can also see the connector for the sub PCB here.

Turning the main PCB over and we find the brain in this enclosure, a JMicron JMS562 bridge chip. The JMicron JMS562 is a Super Speed & eSATA GEN III to Dual SATA Gen III Ports bridge chip with four independent SATA channels and a microprocessor integrated.

Features

  • Premium aluminum construction for durability and protection
  • Supports for two 9.5mm 2.5” drives
  • Supports RAID 0, 1, and JBOD
  • Offer great performance of up to SATA 6Gb/s
  • Tool-less tray design for quick hot-swaps
  • Fits into any 3.5” drive bay

Packaging and Accessories

SilverStone wrapped the MS08 Mobile Rack in a colorful orange themed box that makes it stand out. The front of the box shows the enclosure itself as well as its features. There’s also a handy QR-Code to scan in order to check the official product page online.

The rear and the sides once again feature the features of the MS08 enclosures and you’ll find it in multiple languages on the rear of it.

Inside the box is everything that you need to connect the MS08 and get started. You get an SATA data cable, an MOLEX to SATA power adapter, four screws to mount the enclosure, and a manual that explains how to install and use it.

GALAX Enters the SSD Market with New Gamer Series SSD

GALAX is a company mostly know for the graphics cards, but now they’re venturing into the storage market with their new Gamer series solid state drives. The new drives are powered by the JMicron Heracles SATA III controller and boosted by an SLC Cache Auto-Release which streamlines the data pipeline and prevents cache bottlenecks.

The new SSDs are created with both high-end desktop PCs and notebooks in mind and excel at both random read/write operations for multitasking and sequential operation for fast loading times; two things a gamer wants. Other features include a high physical durability and 2 million hours MTBF, built-in wear leveling and Error Correct Code (ECC) to ensure that the data remains secure and transfers reliable even after years of heavy use.

The performance of the Gamer SSD is pretty good with sequential read and write speed of 540 and 480 MB/s respectively. Random 4K read and write performance is rated to 74,000 and 76,000 IOPS.

The GALAX Gamer SSD follows the form factor of most solid state drives with a 7mm height and comes is 2.5-inch big. “Demonstrations have shown the GALAX Gamer Series to have among the lowest power consumption of any drive in their class during even the most intense activity, with power usage practically nil during idle.” That sounds pretty good and the Gamer series SSD could be amazing for improving both performance and battery life of your notebook simultaneously.

The new GALAX Gamer SSD are available now as a 120GB model for $59.99 and 240GB model for $104.99 directly at GALAX. I couldn’t find it available in Europe at the time of writing.

Thanks to GALAX for providing us with this information

Green House Debuts a New Line of CF 2.0 Memory Cards

Japanese company Green House Inc. has announced its latest, industrial-grade storage offering, the GH-CFS-NMB series CF 2.0 memory cards. Ranging from 4 GB to 64 GB, these cards feature MLC NAND Flash chips, a JMicron controller, ECC, bad block management, and are able to operate at 0 to 70 degrees Celsius.

The 4 GB model is the slowest, offering read/write speeds of 107/11 MB/s, while the 8 GB tops 132/21 MB/s, the 16 GB 256/39 MB/s, the 32 GB 312/85 MB/s and the 64 GB 312/153 MB/s. All five cards are backed by a three-year warranty.

While Green House might not be a name many are familiar with, the company has been around for a long time, since 1991 to be exact. As the name of the company suggest, they try to create as green a product as possible, both when it comes to the actual product and the entire manufacturing process.

The name of GREEN HOUSE CO.,LTD.., “GREEN HOUSE” , implies a greenhouse. A greenhouse that protects plants from cold air and keeps the environment stable to promote growth of plants. To realize this thought of care for the environment that is implied in our company name ,GREEN HOUSE tries to be environmentally friendly in all aspects and contribute to the environmental development of the market through efforts such as actively providing environmentally -friendly products now and in future years and reducing environmental loads of packaging.

As one of these efforts and in the global trend of vigorous movement for control of hazardous materials, GREEN HOUSE is trying to replace our major products, and memory module products , with “lead-free” and “halogen-free” products that contain less lead and halogen (chlorine and bromine) by 2005.
We continue to promote replacing other electronic devices with “lead-free” and “halogen-free” products.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.