SilverStone TS231U-C Dual-Bay USB-C RAID Enclosure Review



/ 3 weeks ago

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Introduction


SilverStone TS231U-C Photo view front right

Today we’re taking a look at a DAS in one of its simplest forms: The SilverStone TS231U-C 2-bay RAID enclosure with 10Gbps USB-C connection. While it might be a simple DAS, it comes with the latest connection technologies.

Design

SilverStone’s TS231U-C might be a simple DAS (Direct Attached Storage), but it still packs the features you want and a little bit more. But let us talk a bit about the general design first. The unit is quite compact and you’ll easily find a place to put it. That is good and not only because the included cable isn’t very long. The device itself is made from an SECC body with an aluminium finish. The aluminium doesn’t just look good, it also helps the unit with the cooling. But that isn’t enough to deliver a secure operation and that’s why it also has a 70mm low noise fan.

The installation is plug-and-play all the way through. The drive bays are built for tool-less and tray-less installation. While that is cool, it does bring along the limitation of only supporting one size of drives.

SilverStone TS231U-C Photo view front left

Connectivity

With the latest generation USB and the newest connector type, the TS231U-C is well equipped. The USB 3.1 Gen.2 standard allows for 10Gbps throughput while the reversible Type-C connector offers convenience. SilverStone added a Type-C to Type-A cable with this DAS which allows for maximum compatibility with previous USB standards.

UASP is supported too, that is if your operating system supports it. Windows 8 and newer versions do, and that should cover the majority of users. With UASP (USB Serial Attached Protocol), the system is able to talk more efficiently with the connected drives thanks to more command queues.

SilverStone TS231U-C Photo view rear

Drive Modes and Supported Drives

We’re past the time where drive capacity could be an issue. The TS231U-C supports all types of 3.5-inch hard disk drives, no matter their capacity. The unit also supports plug-and-play usage and hot-swapping of the drives.

With two drive bays available, we get RAID 0 and RAID 1 modes along with a JBOD span and a single drive mode. It is a little bit of a shame that the DAS doesn’t support 2.5-inch drives as it would be a perfect unit for an SSD RAID setup. With the 10Gbps performance of the USB 3.1 Gen.2 bus, there’s enough bandwidth available.

While it isn’t officially supported, I’ll naturally try to install SSDs in it anyway with the help of some adapters. Whether I’ll be successful or not is something you’ll see on the following pages.

SEE ALSO:  Drobo Launches Drobo 5D3 Thunderbolt 3 DAS

SilverStone TS231U-C Photo view open

The Power Supply

SilverStone opted for an internal power supply in the TS231U-C and I love that. It makes the setup easier as well as cleaner. You don’t have an extra power brick or AC/DC adapter laying around or taking up huge spaces at your outlet.

The power supply delivers 12V and 4A which equals 48W. Plenty for two HDDs and the built-in system for the hardware RAID.

SilverStone TS231U-C Photo view rear right

Controllers doing the work

There are two main controllers inside the SilverStone TS231U-C that do most of the work. There is the ASM1352R which is ASMedia’s single chip solution to bridge USB 3.1 to a dual SATA interface. It also integrates ASMedia’s proprietary HydraTeK technology. With it, it supports RAID0 (Strip), RAID1 (Mirror), JBOD and Span (BIG) with low power consumption. And all while it keeps the resource usage free from the main CPU. The second controller is the ASM1542 which is a passive 10Gbps signal switch.

SilverStone TS231U-C Photo view rear left

Feature Highlights

  • USB 3.1 Type-C connector with Gen2 up to 10Gb/s super speed transfer rate
  • Configurable RAID function (RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, Non-RAID)
  • Compact and screw-less design for easy HDD installation
  • Supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) function for even faster performance
  • Aluminium body with Tool-free design
  • Supports all 3.5-inch SATA drives up to any capacity
  • Plug & play with support for hot-swapping

Specifications

  • Model No.: SST-TS231U-C
  • Colour: Black
  • Material: Aluminium and SECC body
  • Cooling system: 70mm x 15mm low noise fan x 1
  • Operating system support:
    Microsoft Windows 7 (32bit/64bit), 8/8.1/10 (32bit/64bit) or future release version
    Mac OS 10.5 or above
  • Power Supply:
    Internal universal power supply design
    Input: AC 100-240V, 50Hz / 60Hz
    Output: DC +12V / 4A
  • Drive support: 3.5″
  • Enclosure Interface: USB 3.1 Gen2 up to 10Gbps (Compatible with USB 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1)
  • LED indicator:
    Solid Blue: Power on
    Blinking Blue: Read / Write
    Solid Red: Rebuilding
    Blinking Red: Drive not recognised
  • Chipset: ASM1352R A1, ASM1542
  • Drive interface support: SATA I / II / III
  • RAID mode support: RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, Non-RAID
  • Enclosure connector: USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Environment:
    Operating Temperature: 5°C ~ 35°C
    Operating Humidity: 20%RH ~ 80%RH
    Storage Temperature: -20°C ~ 50°C
    Storage Humidity: 20%RH ~ 80%RH
  • Net Weight: 1983±20g
  • Dimension: 130mm (W) x 115mm (H) x 221.35mm (D) (without feet)

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