Mediasonic ProBox 4-Bay 3.5" Hard Drive Enclosure

Storage
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Performance

To gauge the overall performance of the ProBox we used a synthetic benchmark, CrystalDiskMark, which tests both sequential and random performance with two different block sizes. We also performed some timed file copy tests (the same used in our hard drive test methodology), a small file test consisting of a variety of small HTML, JPEG, MP3, ZIP, and EXE files, and a large file test consisting of four AVI files, 2 x 700MB and 2 x 1400MB in size.

The copy tests were conducted between two of our Seagate NAS HDD 4TB's placed in three different configurations:

  • both as internal drives, connected to our test PC using a SATA 6 Gbps interface
  • one internal and one external in the ProBox connected to the PC using USB 3.0
  • both external in the ProBox

CrystalDiskMark paints a flattering picture, indicating the ProBox USB 3.0 and internal SATA 6 Gbps interface to be very close in performance. For large block sequential transfers, the same drive actually benchmarked better inside the ProBox.

Our file copy tests tell a different story. With our reference point being the completely internal PC to PC result via SATA 6 Gbps, it's clear that parity is only attained when the ProBox is reading. It was slower when being written to, particularly with small sets of data. The small file copy test result took 35% longer writing compared to reading. Transferring data between two drives within the ProBox itself was slower still, this time with a dramatic reduction in large file transfer performance.

When used as a repository for large files, it seems that a mechanical hard drive mounted in ProBox offers virtually the same level of performance as it would deliver connected internally. Small files take longer to copy over but once it's on there, retrieval isn't affected by any deficiencies with the USB 3.0 interface.

AUDIO RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 5~10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.



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