Enermax EMK3203 RAID Rack Review
Bohs Hansen / 4 years ago
Taking a RAID setup on the road can be a tricky thing and one that is destined to fail most of the time, unless you have a dedicated enclosure. When it has to be portable, it also has to be small, light, and universally usable and Enermax has created such a solution with the 3.5-inch to dual 2.5-inch SATA HDD converter with built-in hardware RAID.
The mobile rack has a default 3.5-inch HDD format with default connector placement and that makes it universally usable. You can just plug it directly into any SATA bay and your RAID setup is seen as a single virtual drive. It further has a hardware switch on the back to select either of the drive modes depending on what you need.
The rack has a solid build all the way around. The aluminium plate on the top helps the drives to dissipate heat faster while the bottom plate has ventilation cutouts to let the drives breath. Whether you use SATA or SAS drives, the EMK3203 supports it all.
Gold plated SATA connectors ensure a perfect connection and prevent corrosion. The EMK3203 utilizes the patented non-scratch SATA connectors that ensure 50.000 drive inserts and ejects for even the most demanding drive swappers.
Just plug your drives right into the enclosure and close the door, chose your mode and your set to go. That is really all there is to this great piece of engineering. The Enermax EMK3203 supports RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD and Nor (No-Raid) modes.
Enermax has included everything you need in the box, which isn’t much. You get screws to mount it in non-swap positions as well as a SATA cable to connect it. Thanks to the hot-swap system you don’t anything else.
The EMK3203 is using a JMicron JMS562 Super Speed & eSATA GEN III to Dual SATA Gen III Ports bridge chip in the heart of the enclosure. It combines four independent SATA channels and a microprocessor into a tiny chip. The chip can be configured as 1 to 2- ports Serial ATA III Port Multiplier or hardware striping & mirror, where the last one is the one used in this mobile rack.
The chip also supports USB 3.0 and it looks like Enermax also thought about including this. It is mentioned on the label, but the port isn’t there. This could either just be to keep the costs low, the enclosure stable, or simply because there wasn’t room to cram more hardware into the enclosure. My guess is the last one, as it is pretty tight in there with the two PCB boards