Now here is what I love about StarTech. They give you everything… I mean EVERYTHING. They supply you with a driver disk, power cables for the US and elsewhere, a screw driver, 1 USB cable, 1 6-pin FireWire and 1 9-pin FireWire cable, and an eSATA cable. I am so tired of companies stiffing me for cables and what used to be a requirement is now a bonus.
While researching what others had to say online, the only complaints I could find were:
- The door design (it’s removable)
- RAID 1+0 being confused for RAID 10
- Complaints that their system would only recognize 2TB but didn’t realize that a Windows limitation exists for some flavors of the OS that don’t support anything larger than 2TB partitions. (even stated on StarTech’s page for the product)
StarTech has a winning offering here and there are only a few things that keep it from being a stellar offering. I would have loved to have the error LED’s inside documented, that would have saved me a bunch of time, move the DIN power connector and the 9-pin FireWire Ports to the back… I hate when things stick out of the side, and figure out a way to make the cage easier to remove and reinstall… My fingers hurt now. Outside of that, the unit is smart and sturdy offering various RAID modes to fit your appetite and all the connections to accommodate your current system. Given that many resellers sell the S354UFER for under $250.00 what seems like a steep price really isn’t when you consider that EVERYTHING is included, even a built-in RAID controller. The S354UFER is now the primary external solution that piggybacks my WHS and it is going to take some serious competition to dethrone it. Bottom line, is it worth dropping 250 on? You really can’t argue with the size (its SMALL!), cost,($250.00 USD), and convenience of an external enclosure like this. So… Yes.
P.S. I didn’t include Benchmarks as you are limited to the speed of your connections. Various RAID configurations perform differently and running 4 drives over one eSATA connection is a bottleneck in itself. Given that this is an EXTERNAL unit meant for storage or backup it performs just fine.