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Date: October 21st, 2010
Article by: Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zalman
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PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING



No drivers are required to use the dock. Simply insert your drive(s) into the dock, plug in the USB cable and power cable, and turn the unit on. Keep in mind the unit must be plugged in to a USB 3.0 port if you want to experience the fastest possible speeds.


The manual states that pressing the reset button will correct any issues with the OS detecting a RAID array, and I can confirm that to be true. When I first booted up the unit in RAID 1 mode nothing happened, but after pressing the reset button everything was fine.



For testing, I first transferred a 4.35GB DVD .iso file between two SATA II drives in my test PC running Windows 7 Home Premium (all updates applied). The file transfer took 1 minute, 29 seconds. With that in mind, let's see how long it takes to transfer the same file to and from a RAID 1 array docked inside the Zalman ZM-MH200 U3:


The first test will be a file transfer using USB 2.0. Here are the results:


4.35GB File Transfer (USB 2.0, RAID 1)

 

Time (minutes:seconds)

Write to external drive

2:04

Read from external drive

2:10


And here are the results using USB 3.0:


4.35GB File Transfer (USB 3.0, RAID 1)

 

Time (minutes:seconds)

Write to external drive

1:21

Read from external drive

1:19


These results show pretty clearly how much faster USB 3.0 is than its predecessor. Theoretically it's up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0, although real world speeds will be more in line with the test results shown here. Regardless, it's still a huge improvement in speed and is about equal to speeds demonstrated by the SATA II interface. Impressive!


While using this dock, I found RAID 1 to be particularly useful in that I could make a clone of a drive without opening a PC case or installing the drive inside an enclosure. Needless to say, having that ability is a huge time saver and gives some peace of mind if important files are being backed up. Out of all the choices, RAID 0 will give the best performance but you'll also be sacrificing any data redundancy.

 

 


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