Close up of the Patriot Javelin S4 Media Server
The unit itself is 6″W (15.24cm) x 7″H (17.78cm) x 9″D (22.86cm) and made of shiny white ABS with rubberized feet. There are 5 tri-color status LEDs and 5 activity LEDs on the right side of the unit. One pair for each of the four bays and the last pair for the overall system. The status LED let you see at a glance the health of the unit either by the blinking activity of the drives and the network or by the color coding. A Red drive status LED means the drive has failed where a red system status means more serious fan, system, or power supply has failed. Amber disk status LED means the system is rebuilding that drive so performance might be degraded while amber system LED means there is a problem with the system, fan, or power supply. Finally, the blue LED status means everything is working fine for either the drives or the system.
The front has a nice press to open front door with tiny perforations to allow air flow through to the back across the hot drives. This door can lock with the included metal key but a small screwdriver can turn the lock so it is more to prevent accidental access than real security.
The back of the unit has the 80cm smartpower fan (automatically changes speed base on thermal load), a port to plug in the power cord (hooray for integrated PSU so no power brick!), the power button, two USB 2.0 ports, eSATA port, Gigabit Ethernet port, and a recessed reset button.
Behind the door you can see the four guides for the included HDD carriers and the combo SATA power and data connectors in the very back. These carriers make installing and removing drives a snap by easily gliding in and out of the enclosure.
Just be aware that the Patriot Javelin S4 only supports SATA II (3Gbit/s) so spending the extra cash on SATA III (6 Gbit/s) drives will not provide you with any performance benefit. This really is not an issue because currently there is no spindle based mechanical HDD’s that can saturate a SATA II connection. Even the mighty VelociRaptor 600
tops out at 334 MB/s or 2.6 Gbp/s and those are not ideal drives for a NAS system due to low capacity and high heat.
In case you are wondering how Patriot came up with such a robust unit so quickly, well my eyes tell me it appears that the Javelin is actually the Promise Technologies Inc. SmartStor NS4600 in white with Patriot branding and a slightly lower price point. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing as Promise Technologies has been in the RAID business for years and the NS4600 is a fantastic unit. It is actually one I was considering on my short list so reviewing the Javelin is a bit ironic.