Vantec NexStar MX

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Flexible dual SATA Hard Drive Enclosure featuring JBOD, Individual, Raid 0 and Raid 1 configurations with easy to use backup software – Joe

SUMMARY: Flexible dual SATA Hard Drive Enclosure featuring JBOD, Individual, Raid 0 and Raid 1 configurations with easy to use backup software.

 

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The good guys at Vantec were nice enough to send a sample of their Vantec NexStar MX to try out. This external enclosure ships with data backup software.

 

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Key Features

  • Supports four different configurations: JBOD, Individual, Raid 0 and Raid 1
  • Dual SATA I/II Hard Drives up to 2.0 TB
  • Front vents and rear cooling fan (quiet)
  • Aluminum case
  • Arcsoft Totalmedia Backup software
  • Size: 197 x 123 x 72mm
  • Ships with external power supply, USB and eSATA cables, PCI slot eSATA adapter, manual, backup software CD

The back shows the power, USB eSATA ports, On/Off rocker switch and the 40mm cooling fan:

 

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The front shows the LEDs for power and activity lights for each hard drive:

 

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Removing four screws from the back releases the hard drive sleeve:

 

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The drives mount to the PCB – the activity LEDs are visible on the front bar:

 

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Selecting among the various options requires the user to set these DIP switches and reset button as “partly explained” in the manual:

 

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In order to reset the dip switch, you have to hold the reset button, turn the unit on and then release the reset after a few seconds.

ArcSoft TotalMedia Backup

Included with the NexStar MX is ArcSoft’s TotalMedia Backup. This program enables users to:

  • Back up files including photos, videos and email
  • Schedule automatic full or incremental backups
  • Easily restore files with a step-by-step restore function

The opening screen gives a number of backup options:

 

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I found the program to be easy to use and configure – you can easily select which files to backup:

 

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Once you select files to backup, the program goes through the selected drive and collects files to backup:

 

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You can even drill down further and select individual files to backup:

 

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Overall Arcsoft’s TotalMedia Backup is easy to use and quite flexible to configure – a nice add-on.

Performance

I tried Vantec’s NexStar MX using a Seagate Barracuda 250 GB, 7200 rpm hard drive with the following results:

Typical USB 2.0 performance.

 

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Clearly eSATA is the winner here:

 

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CONCLUSIONS

Overall I found Vantec’s NexStar MX to be a very nice package with flexible storage options; the included back-up software is easy to use and very flexible to configure. Active cooling is a big plus with dual high rpm drives. Street price about $120 – IMHO not excessive considering its capabilities.

Thanks again to Vantec for sending this our way to try out.

Email Joe

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