CineRAID has provided us with what some consider a necessity. A fast, versatile, portable, low power, affordable and attractive redundant storage/backup platform. Devices of this type are generally not something that is thought of when building/purchasing an ultra portable system,laptop or HTPC.
Packaging is sufficient to protect the enclosure and the color combination is not out of place for a device that is more about function than flare and brag factor. The screwdriver is a nice little addition to the package saving the consumer the trouble of going out to the shop and digging around trying to find one.
- USB 3.0 (Backwards Compatible to USB 2.0)
- 2.5″ SAS/SATA/SSD
- 6Gb/s (Backwards Compatible to 3Gb/s)
Capacity: Up to 2 TB
- Height: 1 1/8 inches
- Width: 3 3/8 inches
- Length: 6 inches
- Enclosure Only: 8 Ounces (excluding hard drives)
- Full Package (with Cable): 1lb
- Supports RAID 0, 1, JBOD and Normal
- Automatic disk failure detection
- Hot swappable disks
The H212 is OS independent and will work with any OS that supports USB host devices.
Power Supply Specifications:
- Bus Powered via USB
- 1X H212 Enclosure
- 1X USB 3.0 Cable
- 1X USB Power cable
- 1X User manual
- 8x HDD Screws
- 1 Year Warranty
With some of the weak manuals we have seen recently we were not expecting this. CeinRAID has done and outstanding job of putting together everything you need to know about the unit and the raid levels. The one negative here is the lack of warning about securing the unit (holding the length of the unit parallel to the ground) when removing the locking cover.
Assembly is simple:
Start by unlocking and removing the end cover (make sure you are holding the unit horizontal as the assembly will drop out when the cover is removed) Next set the Mode (Normal [1 0n 2 0n], RAID 0 [1 off 2 on], RAID 1 [1 off 2 off] or JBOD [1 on 2 off) After this replace the cover and snap the end black in place and lock.
Performance was pretty much on par in single drive testing when compared to internal drives running on the Intel Z77 Chipset, showing minor deficits (~7 MBps or ~8.5%) in ATTO and HD tune testing.Here we tested the drives (CineRAID top Intel Bottom) one at a time and concurrently. The two tests in the upper left show some bandwidth issues but it should be noted that, though the USB 3.0 spec port is rated handle much more data than this, multiple data streams on one port can cause slowdowns.
When the drives are put in RAID 0 mode the Intel controller begins to sweat: Here we see the CineRAID do more than just keep up keep up with the Z77 controlled internal RAID – we see it move slightly ahead in some aspects (CineRAID top Intel bottom).
The JBOD testing went well but when compared to a single drive it just was not up to task where read speeds were concerned. The write speeds were great with small transfer sizes and par with larger transfers when compared to a single internal drive
We know it is capable of JBOD and normal usage but these functions do not fit our profile for this device. Why? Cost and cost alone. A single external USB powered drive in the 2.5″ category costs less than the CR-H212 alone and performance with 2 drives in JBOD mode is from par to inferior with a higher risk of data loss. Using it as an expandable unit in single drive mode is definitely an option but at the cost of 3 external USB powered drive (two drives plus the enclosure) one may wish to consider lower cost alternatives.
Where the CR-H212 shines is RAID. Having a redundant, external, portable drive that performs on par with internal raid drives is a big plus for the person on the go that has to live out of a bag six months out of the year and for the mobile gamer that uses steam this device is great in RAID 0 mode. Data security or faster map load times. Either way this is a Win!!!
The performance was gold, the assembly gets a gold, the price performance gets a gold but the lack of a clear warning about the unit sliding out of the enclosure gets a fail. To reconcile this it was decided to go with a silver and give the Silicon crusher award for the other attributes that are so deserving of a gold.
The CineRAID CR-H212 can be found at Newegg for $69.99 US