Mediasonic 3.5-Inch USB 2.0 and eSATA Pro Box 4-Bay Enclosure HF2-SU2S2 (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
- Supports all brand of 3.5" SATA I / II hard disk drive up to 2000GB per drive. Transfer rate up to 480Mbps via USB 2.0. Transfer rate up to 3.0Gbps via eSATA.Power Sync: Power off in synchronization with PC.
- Forced Convection Process. Smart Fan function. Thermal-Sensor built-in. Auto & Manual mode, 3 level of speed. One button interface selection: Switch USB 2.0 or eSATA interface by pressing one button
- Important Note: When connecting via eSATA interface, customer's computer hardware needs to have Port Multiplier w/ FIS-based switching in order to access multiple HDDs simultaneously.
- Bridge Chipset: JMicron JMB321 Interface USB 2.0 eSATA Supporting OS: Windows 2000 & up. Mac OS 10.3 or later
- Power Adapter: 100V to 240V Dimension: 215(D) x 126(w) x 166(H) mm Weight: 1.8KG (excluding hard drive) Safety Specification: CE / FCC / Rohs Product Origin: Taiwan
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Mediasonic HF2-SU2S2 Pro Box is a 4 Bay Enclosure for 3.5" SATA I / II hard disk drive. It supports 4 hdd of different brand and capacity up to 2000GB per drive. Note: Motherboard's SATA port MUST support Port Multiplier in order for your computer to recognize multiple hard drive if the unit is connectd via eSATA.
Top Customer Reviews
The construction of the Mediasonic product is surprisingly nice considering the low cost. The case is very sturdy and mostly made out of metal - it feels like it could withstand some abuse without being damaged, not that I'm in to smashing hard drives around or anything. The hard drives install with just a small plastic "handle" bolted to the end of them so it's relatively simple. I did have a little trouble getting the bottom drive lined up just right with the SATA connector inside though - you do need to fiddle a bit installing the drives until you feel the connector seat itself. I wouldn't recommend this box for someone who plans on pulling the drives out and swapping them around a lot, but most folks will probably load it once and leave it sit forever so it isn't really a problem.
While I only intend to ever use this box on eSATA, I did try it out with a USB connection to my laptop as well. Performance on USB wasn't great but I didn't really have high expectations. I would say it was about typical for a USB connected disk, I don't have any hard numbers but suffice to say simple tasks like formatting took much longer than I would normally expect connected via eSATA.
Once connected with eSATA this box is screaming fast. I am using a Sans Digital eSATA card in my computer to connect the Mediasonic box - note most on-board eSATA ports don't work with port multipliers so generally you need an add-on card which is not included with the Mediasonic Pro Box. There are several available that are quite inexpensive.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
* Although there is a sync mode that will turn the unit off or put it to sleep it only works when the device is connected to also goes to sleep or gets turned off. That's fine if you're using it with a PC but with a NAS it means that it stays on all of the time with the disks spinning. That's a waste of disk and energy if it's being used once in a while.
* There's a *really* bright blue activity light that will easily light up a room at night and is even visible from the street!
* The power connector is on the side. Makes for messy wiring and is kinda annoying.
You should also know that your host sata interface needs to support multiplexing or you'll be able to access the first drive via sata (not a problem with USB). That's just a limitation of this product and it's clear from the documentation. Just an FYI.
Construction: Solid construction. The drives never jostle (and I port this thing around multiple times per week). The power input, as mentioned by others, is shaped at a right angle and I frequently see the cable bend to undue stress because of it. The lifespan of the power supply will surely be less than the device because of this and the way I use it. The only other complaint I have is the fan. On the lowest speed, mine makes an unsteady, rather loud hum. On high, it's steady and loud as expected.
Performance: Copying data from a 5400rpm 2.5" drive on my computer to 5400rpm 3.5" drive in the enclosure, I see speeds around 60-100 MB/s on eSATA and around 25-30MB/s on USB, depending on file size and whatnot. From drive to drive within the enclosure it's usually 90+ MB/s. Please note that these speeds are highly dependent upon my drives, my SATA controller, and various other external factors.
I'm glad I bought it.
Accessing all the 4 drive bays using USB 2.0 interface is no big issues, Most of the operating systems will directly support this without any need for additional drivers. However, if you plan on using the ESATA interface you will need to plan and attach this to an ESATA port that supports Port Multiplier w/ FIS-based switching in order to access 4 HDDs simultaneously.
Some newer motherboards easily does this, Please do some research with your motherboard documentation and or update the drivers for your onboard SATA/ESATA interfaces to support this feature.
If you motherboard does not support Port Multiplier w/ FIS-based switching in order to access multiple HDDs simultaneously, You can buy a PCIe or PCIMCIA based add-on controller card that must explicitly say that it can support Port Multiplier w/ FIS-based switching in order to access the 4 HDDs simultaneously.
Amazon sells a lot of these cards for various applications (Desktop PC or Laptops)
Desktop solution : one of them is Syba SD-SA2PEX-2E PCIe 2x e-SATA Ports with SIL3132 Chipset, if you want just RAID 0 or 1 or if you want more features you need to shell out little bit more and buy other such add-on cards.
Laptop Solution: one of them is Syba SD-PCBX-ESA2 ExpressCard SIL3132 Chipset 2x e-SATA II (SATA2) Ports, 54mm, Up to 3.0Gb/s
There are many more add-on cards offered elsewhere, but do your research and make sure that ESATA interface must support Port Multiplier w/ FIS-based switching in order to access 4 HDDs simultaneously.
[+] Very Small foot print
[+] Very reasonably priced
[+] Excellent Quality and build of materials
[+] Keeps all the drives well cooled for prolonged operation
[+] Very good transfer rates even with USB 2.0 (Averaging 25 to about max 37.5 MBytes/s)
[-] Very Bright Blue LED's that flash like crazy! (Nothing a black electrical tape cannot hide)
[-] Can be very loud if the FAN is operating at high speed
[-] Power connector port is on the side which makes it impossible to keep multiple units side by side
Despite the few cons, the Pro Box 4-Bay Enclosure HF2-SU2S2 is a very good purchase!
Highly recommended! GO buy one!