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Patriot Convoy 425XL SAS/SATA RAID Enclosure E-mail
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Written by Bruce Normann   
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Patriot Convoy 425XL SAS/SATA RAID Enclosure
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Patriot Convoy 425XL
Patriot Convoy 425XL Detailed Features
JMicron JMB393
Testing and Results
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Benchmark
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
Final Thoughts
Patriot Convoy 425XL Conclusion

Patriot Convoy 425XL RAID Enclosure Review

Most PC cases sold today don't have any provision for directly mounting a 3.5" device in the front panel. Floppy drives are a thing of the distant past, and most accessory units designed for mounting in this location have adopted the 5.25" format. The Patriot Convoy 425XL takes advantage of this larger environment to provide space for four 2.5" format drives. Commonly called "laptop" drives, the smaller format is also the most common platform for SSDs. There are a few 1.8" drives around and even fewer 3.5" SSDs available, but there has been an explosion in the last two years of 2.5" SSSDs on the market. Silent and fast, with low power requirements, they would seem to be an ideal companion for this new class of drive enclosure. Let's take a look at the ins and outs of the Convoy 425XL and then put it through its paces with a full suite of benchmarking tests.

Patriot_Convoy_425XL_Fr_Drawers_in_01.jpg

The Convoy 425XL supports RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 10, Clone, Large, and JBOD modes with its built-in controller, and features a single connection each for both power and SATA II signal cables. The front loading hot- swappable drive trays support SATA I or SATA II drives up to 12.5mm in height, and are individually lockable and removable. The Convoy 425XL is ideally suited for an application where a RAID solution is needed in a small space, particularly the higher RAID levels that require 3-4 drives for a combination of speed and redundancy.

Manufacturer: Patriot Memory (PDP Systems, Inc.)
Product Name: Patriot Convoy 425XL 4-Bay 2.5" SATA RAID Storage Enclosure
Model Number: PCC425XL
Price As Tested: $118.59 at Amazon

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Patriot Memory.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Patriot Convoy 425XL SAS/SATA RAID EnclosureStupido 2010-11-26 02:23
I'm not very familiar with RAID stuff, but is this device usable with mechanical HDDs? I mean can one get better performance (& reliability) with such a device populated with mechanical 2.5 HDDs?
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# yupyXLfun 2011-04-10 20:06
yes, it's usable with mechanical HDDs.

since 4 months, I'm using it with tree WD5000BEKT in raid5.
one HDD alone on intel chipset: random write is 70Mo/s with avgseek 6.7ms
tree in raid5 on intel chipset: random write is 85Mo/s with avgseek 9.0ms
four in raid5 is slower than with tree HDDs
and raid10 (four HDD) is similar in speed thant raid5 w/3HDD

there is too many numbers in this review. In daily usage 85% of the time windows is doing random access.
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# YesBruceBruce 2010-11-26 12:00
Yes, it is. It is actually a better choice to use HDDs, since you WILL get speed increases when comparing multiple mechanical drives in the Patriot Convoy 425XL to the same drive used on its own. If you want better performance AND reliability at the same time, you need to set it up with RAID 5, and use at least three HDDs (all the same model, preferably).
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# 4 SATA ports are far superiorPaul A. Mitchell 2010-11-26 19:44
Imho, this Icy Dock unit is a better solution,
chiefly because it has 4 x independent SATA ports:

##newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817994095&Tpk=N82E16817994095


This X14 unit from Enhance Technology is even better,
because each drive tray can be locked:

##enhance-tech.com/press/press-082509-quadrapack-x14.html


There are inferior units like the Icy Dock e.g. Athena,
but the SATA ports were known to "rip out" completely
when the SATA cable was removed: this happened to me,
so I speak from direct experience:

##newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816119025&Tpk=N82E16816119025


MRFS
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# For Speed, I agree...BruceBruce 2010-11-26 20:18
In a SFF or HTPC chassis, there may not be enough SATA ports on the mobo to handle the four drives in that unit, a boot drive and an optical drive. That's six, and a typical mini-ITX won't support that.

Also, if you're running the drives in CLONE mode, then one SAT connection will handle the whole bandwidth.

Like I said in the review, this unit fills one or two niches that no other unit can. FYI also, Patriot does offer the Convoy 425S, which has the four separate SATA connections on th back of the units; simple pass-throughs to the drives inside.
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# RE: For Speed, I agree...Stupido 2010-11-29 03:42
Bruce,

Thanks for the reply!
Indeed I was interested because I'm interested in build based on mini-ITX factor.
Also interesting point is to check what is more beneficial price-wise (performance/capacity for certain price range): 1 SSD or this box populated with 2.5 HHDs...
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# Why 1GB/s speeds aren't possibleNick 2010-11-29 12:53
There is a reason why you can't get 1GB/s with this unit, it's because of the single sata port which can only do 3Gb/s which is only around 280MB/s with no over head, so really you probably hit a bottle next on the SATA2 spec, if it supported SATA3 it may have done better, not saying it would have but it may have done better in the RAID0 tests.
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# Quite True....BruceBruce 2010-11-29 15:35
I admitted exactly that in the Final Thoughts and Conclusion. "I must have been dreaming up a storm to think that all this functionality and performance could be jammed into the rear 20% of a 5.25" drive housing, pass everything through a single SATA 3Gb/s connection, and cost less than $100."
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# Untapped PotentialBruceBruce 2010-11-29 15:42
Imagine this item with a beefier controller chip and SATA 3. Now, it can compete with the base model Revo from OCZ.....
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# RE: Patriot Convoy 425XL SAS/SATA RAID EnclosureDoug 2010-12-01 23:10
It looks like we're finally getting to a place where we should have been 20 years ago--mainstream drive installation from the front of the case. I know it's more than a front load drive bay, but I'm glad we're finally seeing this stuff become more mainstream. A couple of years ago I replaced my internal drive bays with front load hot swap bays and it's just the way to go.
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# good anyway,....RealNeil 2010-12-02 07:16
So this didn't perform as expected, but I still like the idea of keeping four little drives put away like it does. I think that they'll figure out the bandwidth situation too, in time. Technology is like Army Ants,.... nothing stops it for long and it's always moving along. It's all good.
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# What about fan noise?DionV 2010-12-05 08:51
What was the fan noise like?

If, as you suggested, one uses this in a SFF case for desktop or media centre purposes, the fan noise would be critical.

Thanks for the review. This is the first one I've read on this site, and I'm impressed with the level of detail.
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# FAN Noise OK, but not silent...BruceBruce 2010-12-05 14:58
In my normal PC, I ca,'t hear it over the noise of the case fans and the CPU Cooler fan and the GPU Cooler Fan.... you get the picture. But I understand your concern for the HTPC situation. I plugged it in, out in the open air and what I hear is a low frequency type of noise, which surprises me. I guess since the fan has so few blades, the frequency is lower.

Anyways, the noise is lower than a typical 1500-2000 RPM 120mm case fan, and it is MUCH lower than a typical 120mm CPU cooler fan. They are designed to produce higher pressures, and "bite" the air a little harder. I know there is a range of noise performance among brands and models....

I'm listening it to it now, 2 meters away in the open, and it is noticeable. Once it is inside a proper case, I suspect it will be down 10-15dB and hardly worth worrying about.
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# Thanks!DionV 2010-12-06 02:40
Bruce, thanks for the swift reply!
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# Any chance of HDD test?Brandy 2011-03-25 15:11
Nice test and interesting writeup. It was interesting to see what the max thru put is.

But I never dreamed of putting SSD into this carrier as it seemed a waste. What I am really interested in is a more real world test. For example there are number of 12.5mm 2.5" 1TB disk drives available. The Samsung Spinpoint 5400rpm 1TB seems to have good write ups.

So what would be the performance of 4 1TB drives in JBOD, raid 5 and raid 10, I would expect those to be the most used modes. I personally have a well stuffed desktop with an unused CDROM slot and the sata port that goes with it. Mobo sata is 3Gbs sata II, cpu is i7-X980, 18gbytes mem, 160GB SSD OS disk, 4TB data storage and a DVD/BD writer. BUT I am having a problem finding compact nearline protected storage.

To me this system with 4-1TB drives in raid 10 with my DVD/BD writer might actually work.

I would love to see a representative test run on a configuration I would actually use.

Thank you.
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