Legit Mods and Ends Reviews
Sunnytek Mobile Mini Backplane Review
|Date:||Fri, Oct 17, 2008 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Matt DiCecca -|
When I was approached to review this SunnyTek product I will admit I was a bit skeptical, and even remarked that it would be just a glorified large capacity, bulky thumb drive, but I must admit I was wrong. With the addition of a SiliconImage Raid Controller, the benchmarks show that the Mobile Mini Backplane can achieve consistently speeds of no less than 19MB/s on both read and writes giving it an edge over the traditional USB Flash Thumb Drives. With the addition of the ability to use 2.5" Hard Drives and an eSata connection, the user of this product would only be limited by their wallet and the speed of the hard drives. I would love to see the benchmarks generated by two raided Solid State Disks and an eSATA connection, and I would hazard to guess that the speed there would be more than adequate to run an OS without stalling.
That being said, there are still some downsides to this device. Aesthetically it is not that pleasing to look at, and definitely won't be winning any design contests, but it does have a sort of bare bones, minimalist quality to it that makes it attractive to those of us who just want something that works. The unit itself has a fan that is rather loud, so loud in fact, that it is louder than most Laptop CPU cooling fans on high. I wonder if a fan that strong is necessary, and if in future revision it could be replaced with a quieter fan. In order to change raid modes, you need to flip the dip switches on the back of the unit, and it is rather cumbersome to do so. In the end, I had to use a pen to get them to flip. I would have rather seem some sort of software interface that could have done this for the user instead. The Software for this device is not as mature as I have come to expect from any manufacturer, and was definitely a letdown. When checking the Raid Configuration with SteelVine (the included Raid Monitoring Software), the device locked up and BSOD'd my computer as seen below. This is not Sunnytek's fault though, as the software comes from SiliconImage.
Overall, SunnyTek has the starts of a really capable Mobile Storage device, and with a little effort on their part they could have a great seller if these couple of sticking points are fixed. I would love to see the device down they road after they have gone through a couple of revisions.
Legit Bottom Line: If you are looking for a device with consistent read and write speeds, that is simple to setup, and you need a lot of storage (with the ability to expand in the future), this device is for you.
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Page 1 - SunnyTek Mobile Mini Backplane
Page 2 - Inside the SunnyTek Mobile Mini Backplane Box
Page 3 - Benching the Mobile Mini Backplane
Page 4 - Conclusion