Unit was originally announced in spring 2013, delayed due to upgrades
Sonnet has finally started shipping the Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock, which if first announced more than two years ago. In part, the delay was due to the announcement of Thunderbolt 2 shortly after Sonnet began accepting pre-orders, pushing the breakout box into 2014. From there, production issues have keep the unit off shelves until now, and the now-shipping dock offers four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, a FireWire 800 port, two 6Gb/s eSATA ports, and more.
Drives use compact flash or CFast to emulate SSD RAIDs
Addonics Technologies has released two storage solutions using Compact Flash (CF) cards in five slot drive configurations with the Sapphire five-slot CFast and Sapphire five-slot CF drives. The drives use CFast and Compact Flash cards, respectively, to create RAID arrays for SSD storage solutions, aimed at systems using USB 2.0/3.0 or eSATA interfaces.
On board RAID controller supports up to 16TB of storage
Peripheral and upgrade manufacturer Sonnet Technologies today announced the Fusion R400S RAID, a 1U rackmount, four-drive hardware RAID 5 storage system with an eSATA interface. The Fusion R400S RAID includes a high-performance RAID controller, and its eSATA interface provides single-cable-to-host connectivity. Low-noise fans make this product suitable for use in noise-sensitive environments.
New FirmTek card supports up to 20 external drives
Serial ATA storage solutions developer FirmTek has revealed that its SeriTek/Q6G 4-Port eSATA host adapter is now available. The high performance SeriTek/Q6G is Mac OS X bootable, whether installed inside the Apple Mac Pro or a Thunderbolt PCIe expansion chassis, with and without SATA port-multiplication.
Five new cards available in revision to product lineup
HighPoint Technologies has announced the availability of their second-generation SATA 4x PCIe six gigabit-per-second storage controllers -- the Rocket and RocketRAID 640L series. Both the RocketRaid and Rocket 600 series have four SATA or eSATA ports in internal, external and hybrid port-configurations, and are capable of supporting point-to-point and port-multiplier based storage devices. All five cards in the 640-series are Windows, Macintosh, and Linux compatible.
LaCie eSATA Hub lands, offers daisy chaining
The LaCie eSATA Hub Thunderbolt series external drive has hit the market. First seen at CES 2012, the new drives give users the added flexibility of using its eSATA port to connect existing eSATA drives over Thunderbolt. LaCie say that the eSATA Hub will boost transfer speeds and will allow users to daisy chain the drive with other Thunderbolt peripherals.
2Big drive, eSATA hub coming late winter
Drive maker LaCie has announced an expansion of its line of Thunderbolt-supporting peripherals on the eve of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. In addition to its existing Little Big Disk Thunderbolt drive, the company will be adding a 2Big dual-disk model as well as an eSATA hub that lets users connect two eSATA external hard drives, and offers the possibility of daisy-chaining more at full eSATA 3Gb per second speeds.
USB 3 external drive case
The simply-designed and easy-to-use Akitio SK-3501 drive case is a stackable, USB 3-supporting option for getting the best performance out of SATA hard drives (it also handles eSATA and Firewire 800). It uses its aluminum chassis to dissipate heat, meaning no noisy fan is required. Is it the best external case on the market? Can the average user get discs in and out of it easily? And can a simple drive case really boost transfer speeds (even ignoring the USB 3 connection)? We test and find the answers in our exclusive review.
Bypasses SATA 2.0's 3Gb per second limit
Computers with older SATA 2.0 (three gigabits per second) speeds and a PCIe 2.0 expansion slot can now overcome the built-in limitations of their drives and achieve over 4GB per second possible throughput using one of the two new MaxPower RAID mini-SAS card models in RAID 0 mode. The mini-SAS setup allows four separate channels of data, making it possible to configure up to eight eSATA or mini-SAS external enclosures. Both cards feature two mini-SAS ports.
Offers room for two 2.5-inch drives; RAID-0 or 1
Other World Computing has expanded its Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini bus-powered RAID options with two new HD-based and three new SSD-based pre-configured choices for up to two terabytes (2TB) of capacity using either Firewire 800, Firewire 400, USB2 or eSATA connections to achieve transfer speeds up to 300MB per second. The RAID unit is remarkably compatible all the way back to Apple OS 8.6 (using Firewire 400), and all the way up to Mac OS X Lion, as well as Windows 98SE and higher.
New chipset delivers 300MB per second throughput
Other World Computing (OWC) has added the newest Oxford chipset to its Mercury Elite Pro Mini Quad Interface models. The new Oxford 944SE chipset offers faster data throughput, up to 300MB per second, with reduced power consumption and cooler operation. The aluminum enclosure cases offer a choice of FireWire 800 and 400, USB 2.0 and eSATA. The FireWire ports support daisy-chaining multiple drives, and provide bus-powered operation. The eSATA port can be used with FireWire bus-power as an option. The case is also offered in an add-your-own configuration.
PX-LB950UE Blu-ray writer, 12x speed
Plextor has introduced its PX-LB950UE Blu-ray disc burner. The drive is one of the first external Blu-ray burners to feature superspeed USB3.0 and eSATA connections to maximize data transfer rates for fast reading and writing performance. It is capable of writing to double-layer discs with a maximum capacity of 50GB, which is the equivalent of 10 DVDs, 72 CDs or 9 hours of HD video.
Towers use 3.5-inch; 2.5-inch disks, 2.5-inch SSDs
Sans Digital has released two new five-bay RAID towers in its TowerSTOR series. The 2.5-inch drive oriented TS25CT and its 3.5-inch counterpart the TS35CT have built in hardware RAID processors, supporting RAID 0, 1, 10, 3, 5 and JBOD (just a bunch of disks) or CLONE options. Status information is provided on the tower via LEDs, and software is included for monitoring real-time information from a given volume.
Backward compatible with legacy SATA devices
CalDigit, a firm who make storage solutions for the video and content-creation industries, have announced an upgrade to the Fasta-2e eSATA card that supports the latest SATA 6G technology, raising speeds up to six gigabits per second (6Gbps), a doubling of its previous speed limit. The upgraded card works with both G5 Power Macs (from late 2005 onwards) and Intel Mac Pros.
Adapter reads 170MB/s, writes 120MB/s, bootable
OWC has launched a new eSATA ExpressCard adapter for MacBooks. The card, which is rated for 3GB/s, is hot swappable and fits flush inside the MacBook frame, making for easy transport within the MacBook. The new card is ACHI compliant, requiring no drivers for any Mac notebook running Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.
Software, hardware reviews mostly positive
MacNN has reviewed four new products: CoverScout and SongGenie software from equinux, along with OWC's Elite-AL Pro mini and eSATA card. The Elite-AL Pro mini is a 2.5-inch disk drive running at 7200rpm with available capacities up to 1TB. The drive has ports for eSATA, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connections, with eSATA tests revealing real-world speeds of 63MB/sec using the APIOTEK EXTREME Dual eSATA SATA I/II ExpressCard/34 adapter in a MacBook Pro circa 2006. The component adds two physical eSATA ports via the ExpressCard/34 port.
Card delivers 600MB/sec on each channel
High Point has released its RocketRAID Quad eSATA 6Gbs host adapter. The new card is claimed to be the industry’s first PCI-Express 2.0 host adapter with four independent 6Gb/s eSATA connectors for the Mac. It supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD configurations for performance or data protection.
Drive offers eSATA, USB 2.0, FireWire 800/400
OWC has launched its OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini 1TB portable drive, which it claims is the first ever 2.5-inch 1TB drive shipped with a quad interface. The bus-powered drive has eSATA, USB 2.0, and FireWire 800/400 connectivity in a brushed aluminum, fanless enclosure. In addition to the new 1TB capcity, the drives are also available with 7200RPM 500GB drives and solid-state drives up to 200GB.
Deck styled for used with iMacs, Cinema Displays
Stardom has launched its latest storage device, theDeckRAID DR4. The new desktop system runs RAID 5 for a balance between speed and redundancy, while a quad-interface provides connections for eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. The eSATA port also supports port multiplication. The unit is hot-pluggable and recognized by both Mac and Windows without installing software. The deck can also be used as a boot drive via FireWire and USB 2.0 connections.
Drive burns Blu-ray discs at up to 12X speeds
Other World Computing on Tuesday announced that it is now offering a Mercury Pro external Blu-ray drive with a quad interface. Users can choose between USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, or eSATA connection methods. The company claims the Pioneer BDR-205 can reach burn speeds of up to 12X on Blu-ray discs, 16X with DVDs, 4X on DVD-DL media, and 40X for CDs.
Qio media reader/writer for on-location apps
Sonnet Technologies has announced its Qio professional universal media reader/writer for in-studio or on-location apps. The system features dual P2, SxS and CompactFlash slots, and has the ability to transfer information between two different cards simultaneously. It provides an integrated SATA controller which is based on the companies Tempo SATA E4P SATA card, and enables the four eSATA ports to connect with either Fusion F2 portable 2-drive RAID SATA storage systems or four-drive enclosures with port multipliers.
Radion intros new RAID 5 6TB storage systems
Radion has introduced several GearRAID quad-bay data storage subsystems with enhanced data protection when the drives are configured as a RAID 5 array. The storage devices integrate an Oxford936QSE chipset, enabling four 2TB drives to be configured as a RAID 5 array with a maximum of 6TB of overall storage space. The drives are capable of automatically backing-up data, while one hard drive can fail without any loss of data. Each storage system also supports eSATA, 1394b and USB 2.0 host interfaces.
Sans Digital has unveiled its latest RAID storage device, the 4-bay MR4UT enclosure. A RAID controller and 400MB per second I/O processor are integrated into the housing, eliminating the need for separate hardware or drivers. Users can configure the drives as RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 3, 5 or JBOD arrays, with the option to keep one drive as a hot spare to be used if an active drive fails. The HDD trays support 3.5-inch hot-swappable SATA I and SATA II drives, with write speeds claimed to reach 210MB per second and write speeds of 170MB per second via eSATA connections, with lower speeds when using the USB 2.0 interface.
Storage options announced
Vantec has introduced two FireWire 800 devices, the NexStar 3 Quad Interface hard drive enclosure and the
FireWire 800/400 Host Card PCI FireWire adapter. The NexStar 3 enclosure is a 3.5" enclosure and features a SATA hard drive interface with eSata, FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 ports. It also has a power/hard drive access light and is constructed of aluminum for heat dissipation. The case supports up to 1TB hard drives.
HighPoint eSATA RAID
HighPoint Technologies on Wednesday unveiled the RocketRAID 3122 PCI-Express controller card, offering users a low-cost, performance solution for connecting eSATA hard drives to a Mac Pro. The RocketRAID 3122 requires a 1x PCI-express slot, and can use up to 10 daisy-chained drives on two external 3Gb/s eSATA ports. Users can choose between RAID levels 0 and 1. HighPoint is selling the RocketRAID 3122 for $170, available from the company or its various certified resellers.
New PCI RAID cards
Sans Digital has announced three PCI RAID cards that feature a new set of Silicon-Image-based host bus adapters with selectable RAID and BASE BIOS jumpers. The new series includes three different models. A 2-port eSATA PCIe 1x card, a 4-port eSATA PCI-X card and single-port Infiniband SFF-8470 PCI-X card. They are available now via the Sans Digital website, with the 4-port eSATA card retailing for $110 and the Infiniband card retailing at $120 (the 2-port eSATA card's price was unavailable at press time). The cards work with machines running Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
New SATA cable for Mac Pro
Newer Technology has announced its first eSATA Extender Cable, which is compatible with all Mac Pro models. The cable connects to the two unused internal Mac Pro SATA ports and replicates them in a PCI slot, allowing users to use two external eSATA connections. The cable is engineered as a "Perfect Fit Solution" enabling six total SATA drives to access the motherboard. NewerTech's eSATA Extender Cable costs $25 and is available now.
Sonnet eSATA for Mac Pro
Sonnet Technologies on Tuesday unveiled the eSATA Extender Cable for Mac Pro computers, a product designed to connect up to two external SATA drives to unused SATA ports on the machine. Sonnet claims that the cable connects to two hidden SATA connectors that sit underneath a fan module, and extends them to the rear of the unit, securely held in place by a PCI slot cover. The eSATA Extender cable will ship soon for $30, and will be available from Sonnet's website.
OWC drops Mercury pricing
Other World Computing today announced lower pricing for its Mercury Elite-AL Pro quad interface drive line, offering sizes up to 1TB, which the company claims are among the best values on the market. The drives feature Firewire 400 and 800, as well as USB 2.0 and eSATA, allowing the drives to be connected to almost any computer system. Pricing for the drive line starts at $160, and offers up to 150MB per second over eSATA.
FirmTek on Monday announced the SeriTek/SpyderHUB, which provides USB and FireWire host connection options plus hardware RAID, eSATA Mac OS boot capability and FireWire daisy chaining capability in an ultra-small external design. The ultra small, four-ounce device offers the ability to connect to external hard drives using any eSATA enclosure such as the SeriTek/2EN2, allowing users to attach and boot from up to two eSATA hard drives at a remote location. Supporting both desktop and notebook computers, it allows professionals to utilize eSATA enclosures from computers that do not support a Serial ATA host adapter.
G-Tech revs storage at NAB
G-Technology on Monday added a new G-RAID Pro drive to its product line, increased the performance and quiet operation of its G-RAID drive, and added RAID 1 protection and eSATA connectivity to its G-RAID mini portable drive. The company's triple interface G-RAID Pro solution features FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connectivity and storage capacities up to 4TB to handle both the bandwidth and storage-intensive requirements of compressed HD formats. The on-board hardware RAID controller supports both RAID 0 and fail-safe RAID 5 operation with auto-rebuild functionality, and utilizes four hot-swappable 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s disk drive modules.
MobileSTOR Plus storage
Sans Digital has introduced its newly designed MobileSTOR Plus direct-attached compact hard drive storage series, which includes the MS2U+ and MS2T+ two-bay subsystems. Designed for home and small office environments, the MobileSTOR Series MS2U+ / MS2T+ is an economical yet feature-rich two-bay external JBOD solution that provides the access to two hard drives instantly via USB 2.0 (MS2U+) or eSATA (MS2T+) interfaces; it is also equipped with two swappable 3.5-inch lockable hard drive trays that are also compatible with other Mobile series products.
Sans Digital MobileSTOR
Sans Digital today unveiled a new line of MobileSTOR Plus storage systems, including the MS2UT+ and MS2UTN+, offering users two 3.5-inch hard drive bays, connectable over USB 2.0 and eSATA. The line supports several different RAID levels, including JBOD, Spanning, 0, and 1, and makes use of the Silicon Image 5744 chipset, which supports both SAFE33 and SAFE55 transfer methods. Pricing for the two models was not readily available.
eSATA, USB RAID storage
Fantom Drives today unveiled its new G-Force MegaDisk eSATA+USB external storage system with multiple RAID options. Fantom's external storage system includes NTI Shadow Backup for real-time continuous backup, and supports 300MB/sec transfers via eSATA or 60MB/sec via USB 2.0. user configurable RAID modes include RAID 0 (disk striping) for maximum speed, RAID 1 (disk mirroring) for maximum fault tolerance, JBOD (just a bunch of disks -- direct mapping) for maximum flexibility, or Spanning for simple large volume support at bus speeds as high as 300MB/sec. Boasting dual interface connectivity, the new system is avaiable in 1TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB capacities for $320, $460, and $650 respectively.
GFQ external drives debut
Fantom Drives today debuted G-Force GFQ Quad Interface, a new series of photo-ready external hard drives that support USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, and eSATA connectivity. Boasting a maximum throughput of 300MB/sec, the enclosure features a compact fan-free heat-dissipating aluminum design for portability and near silent operation, according to the company. The G-Force GF1000Q (1TB capacity) is priced at $400, while the GF750Q (750GB) and GF500Q are available for $280 and $190, respectively.
FirmTek eSATA enclosure
FirmTek has unveiled the SeriTek/5PM SATA enclosure with Port Multiplier technology. The storage device houses up to five hot-swappable drives, each with transfer rates as high as 3Gbps for total aggregate performance beyond 220MB/sec with one cable. When configured with three additional SeriTek/5PM enclosures -- for a total of 20 drives -- RAID 0 performance can exceed 700MB/sec. FirmTek's new SeriTek/5PM SATA enclosure is already shipping for $550, with optional host adapter bundles available from $610-$700.
RadTech restoration clini
RadTech on Monday announced its annual notebook restoration clinic alongside a fully stocked company store with special show pricing at this week's Macworld Expo. Once again, RadTech will host daily notebook restoration clinics, offering attendees the opportunity to bring their display and chassis damaged notebooks to RadTech's booth for demos of its preventive maintenance and restoration products and solutions (for a display or chassis). Conference attendees can also evaluate and test RadTech's full line of over 600 products, including seven new ones for iPhone and iPod, four new luggage and case offerings for notebooks, eight digital audio and high-definition video connectivity solutions and a new high-speed eSATA interface for the latest Apple's notebook computers.
New LaCie drives, display
LaCie today announced five new devices at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company's latest offerings include the newly redesigned d2 Quadra, Little Big Disk Quadra, LaCinema Premier, and the Big Disk Extreme+ eSATA/USB. LaCie also unveiled a new 24-inch monitor designed for creative professionals, which is scheduled to ship later this month starting at $1,050.
Micronet Leopard updates
Micronet recently announced full Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility for several of its hard drive and RAID products. The Fantom family of drives – the Titanium II, G-Force Megadisk triple interface, G-Force SCSI and FCAL RAID, Titanium Mini – have all been made compatible, as well as the Micronet SR4, and PlatinumRAID. In addition to Leopard support, the Fantom drives and Micronet USB, Firewire, and eSATA drives can be used in conjuction with Time Machine, Apple's included backup utility for Leopard.
SATA, eSATA upgrades
IOGEAR on Monday introduced new Serial ATA (SATA) and External SATA (eSATA) products, including PCI and PCI-Express card adapters, enclosures, and cables. The new storage upgrades and accessories offer a faster, cost-effective option for increasing their disk drive speeds, the company said. The new product line facilitates data transfers at speeds up to 3Gbps -- six times quicker than USB 2.0, while the SATA PCI and PCI-Express solutions also add RAID (redundant array of independent disks) capabilities to existing laptops and desktops. IOGEAR's new enclosure converts internal SATA hard disk drives into durable external USB 2.0 or eSATA drives that can take full advantage of the robust SATA feature set.