A Closer Look
Like a large number is Silverstone designs, the TS231U is very simple and to the point. Built out of aluminium and SECC the unit measures ~21cm deep by 13cm wide and 11.5cm high – as compact as it can be to pack in two 3.5″ drives and a PSU underneath.
The front door, made out of aluminium is held shut by a small magnet seen on the outer edge of the door. Behind the door are the two drive bays along with the power button and RAID selection switch.
TS231-U with its two drives supports RAID 0, 1 JBOD and ‘normal’ operation to make the two disks appear separate within Windows. After selection of the RAID mode, pressing the mode button saves the change – note this removes any partitions that are present before hand.
Looking inside the unit we can first of all see the exposed PSU at the bottom and to the right is the PCB. At the back of the unit is a sprint which the drives push onto these push the drives back out when released.
With a drive installed, we can see how the lever to the right holds the drive firmly in place. When pulled to the right, the drive is pushed out just enough to get hold of it for removal. the TS231-U has support for drives up to 4TB in capacity, giving a total supported capacity of 8TB.
On the top above the drive bays is a small LED display to indicate power and drive status. The two offset LEDs to the right indicate which bay is which, in this case the top bay housing drive 1 and the lower drive 2. They light up blue for connectivity and purple for activity.
Spinning the enclosure around to have a look at the back, a 70mm fan keeps the drives cool when in operation as well as the PSU that lies underneath. At the bottom there is a auto switching 110-240V power plug, USB3.0 and eSATA. There is an important note to me made about the eSATA port – on order to use this interface, your board MUST have an eSATA port with a port multiplier in order for the unit to be recognised. Most motherboards don’t support this function however a number of add-in eSATA cards do.