Raidon GR5630-WSB3 4-Bay Desktop Storage System ReviewNemo - November 3, 2011
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Adding storage can be accomplished in many different ways. Here at OverclockersClub, we have examined most of them: solid state drives, new internal hard drives, external hard drive enclosures, network attached storage servers, and even USB flash drives. Each of these solutions has its own benefits as well as drawbacks. One other option is to use direct-attached storage (DAS), which connects directly to the host computer. While external hard drives are technically DAS, there are more sophisticated units that more closely resemble NAS units in size and features and include high-speed connections such as eSATA.
Direct-attached storage offers the ability to add additional high-speed storage without the complexities of a NAS unit, but also lacks many of the features we've seen in the NAS units we've reviewed. One of the main reasons cited for using NAS in addition to the easier setup, is the units generally offer higher speed connections than those that connect over the network. This is a useful characteristic for tasks involving the movement of large files, such as those found in video rendering and CAD operations.
Today we will be examining a four-bay DAS unit from Raidon Technology, Inc. — the GR5630-WSB3 — that offers RAID 5 redundancy along with three different high-speed interfaces for connecting to the host. Raidon has been around since 2000 and specializes in offering different small-scale RAID solutions for small and medium sized businesses, as well as home users under the Raidon and Stardom brand names.
The GR5630-WSB3 arrived in a sturdy cardboard shipping box to protect it in transit. The actual product carton contains images of the different models in the 5630 series of storage units with the GR5630-WSB3 pictured on the right. The first side of the carton shows the rear of the units with a designator denoting which particular model is in the box. Looking at the rear, we see a list of specifications in eight different languages along with additional product shots. The other side depicts the theoretical transfer speeds of the different interfaces and touts the benefits of the RAID 5 functionality.
Inside the carton, the GR5630-WSB3 is surrounded by a pair of foam inserts that isolate the unit from shocks and damage. A plastic bag further protects the surface from scratches and blemishes. There's also a box of accessories containing eSata, FireWire and USB cables along with a quick installation guide, installation CD, hard drive mounting screws, and a power cord.
With the unit out of the box, you get another look at the protective plastic wrapping. With all the packaging and wrapping removed, we get our first good look at the GR5630-WSB3. The unit is more slender than a head-on shot would suggest, with the four hot-swap drive trays located on the upper part above the LCM display. Above the LCM display and off to the right are the alarm and power LEDs. Directly below the LEDs, we find power control buttons for the fan, mute, and two select functions. Looking at the side view, you can see the matte-black finish on the side of the aluminum body of the enclosure. Moving around to the rear panel, the first thing you notice is the 80mm cooling fan located behind the drive trays. To the right of the fan are the three different types of interface connectors with the USB 3.0 connection at the top, followed by the eSATA and FireWire connectors. On the bottom, you have the power switch on the left, the cooling fan for the internal 200W power supply, and the connector for the power cord. There is also a Kensington lock port for securing the unit on the right. When we flip the GR5630-WSB3 over to examine the bottom of the case, we get a good look at the four rubber non-skid feet, as well as additional ventilation holes.
With the unit now out of the box, it's time to set it up and get it ready to go.