Kingwin Big Drive - Dual SATA RAID Enclosure

Add Your Comments

Kingwin’s Dual SATA Enclosure holds 2 SATA drives in various RAID configurations.

The good guys at Kingwin were nice enough to send a sample of their Dual SATA RAID Enclosure to try out.

 

Key Features:

  • Supports JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, Safe 33 and Safe 50 RAID functions
  • USB 2.0 and eSATA ports
  • No software installation required
  • Temperature-controlled fa, LED activity/status lights
  • Size: 223 x 110 x 85 mm – 8.78 x 4.33 x 3.35 inches
  • Supports up to 2 TB total (Seagate up to 1.5 TB total)
  • Includes external aluminum case, USB/eSATA cables, manual and external power supply

 

What’s Inside

Removing four screws on the back opens the case:

 

 

One HD slot is on the PCB, the other rides inside the case with SATA power and data cables:

 

 

You can even use notebook size drives, although you’ll have to figure out how to secure them – nominally it’s for 3.5″ drives:

 

 

The various functions are set by jumpers located at the rear of the unit:

 

 

There is a small Setup button that must be pushed to recognize the drives when installed – if you don’t push it, the LEDs will blink RED and the drives will not be seen by the OS:

 

 

The rear shows the ON/OFF, power port, USB, eSATA and cooling fan:

 

 

Kingwin’s Big Drive ships with a Manual (Don’t lose this!), external power source and plugs, USB and eSATA cables, screws and jumpers:

 

 

 

Functionality

The manual is clear enough in what’s involved in setting up the enclosure for its various RAID functions. I developed a table to show what can be achieved with each setting – the “Virtual Drive” is what you’ll see in your OS; note the I used two different size drives to show what would happen in each case:

Setup

Drive 1 Size

Drive 2 Size

Virtual Drive Size

Comment

Big Span
120 240 360 Virtual HD sum of two HDs
Normal
120 240 NA Each HD is seen by itself
RAID 0
120 240 360 Virtual HD sum of two HDs – fastest access
RAID 1 – Safest
120 240 120 Virtual HD smallest of two HDs, all data written equally to each HD
Safe 33
120 240 One 40 Safe HD, One 280 Big HD Each HD has 40 Safe, 280 across 2 HDs
Safe 50
120 240 One 60 Safe HD, One 240 Big HD Each HD has 60 Safe, 240 across 2 HDs

The most interesting settings are Safe 33 and Safe 50 – in these cases, each drive has a redundant sector in each drive with the remaining data over the two drives. This allows the user to allocate a portion in each drive as a secure backup, with the secure area equal to 1/3 or 1/2 of the smallest drive.Note that there is no software installation required – functions are set by jumpers on the PCB which is then recognized by the OS.

 

Conclusion

Kingwin’s Big Drive can give users some very interesting options for low cost hardware. I have a Dell Vostro 200 which is pretty much a basic box. Using Kingwin’s Big Drive, I can set up the Vostro 200 as a RAID 1 box for complete redundancy using an eSATA adapter to connect up to a SATA port. With a very nice array of functions to choose among, Kingwin’s Big Drive gives users lots of flexibility and a decent price.

Street price about $70.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *