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Acasis Dual Bay 2.5” SSD HDD RAID Enclosure Review

While browsing around the Lazada online shopping app, I came across this Acasis Dual Bay 2.5” SSD HDD RAID Enclosure. I thought this would be useful since I got a bunch of spare hard disks lying around salvaged from various old laptops. After studying the product information and reading through some buyer’s comments, I’ve decided to give this hard disk case a go!

Acasis Dual Bay 2.5 inch HDD RAID enclosure

Previously I had bought a simple Acasis hard disk enclosure and it proved to be disappointing. So I had some doubts when I purchased this dual bay RAID enclosure. Since it was on promotion on the official Acasis Lazada sales platform, I managed to get quite a fair bit of discount which tipped me over to give this casing a go.

The delivery took about a week, which was typical of such delivery from China. Considered very quick. The package felt rather heavy, which was expected since the casing was made of aluminum!

First look, the build for this Acasis enclosure was superb! The external case has a very good aluminum finish. It felt really strong and solid. But that did make it heavy too. The aluminum casing would give the hard drive quite a good protection while dissipating the heat from the hard drives easily.

Inserting and assembling the enclosure was really easy. And it has some screws at the side to secure the case. The screws are necessary because once you set the RAID settings, you don’t want to mess with it and risk losing all your data if you accidentally change the settings!

The enclosure requires an additional external power source as it needs to power up two hard drives. Thus a second power only USB-Type C cable was provided. You could plug it to your PC for power or use any spare phone charger to provide power. Although the manual showed the cable supports 5V/4A power, 1A to 2A power should still be sufficient as a power supply. After all, a PC USB port can’t provide more than 2A power anyway!

Initially I tried with some SSD, but felt it would be more useful if I were to use it with the normal magnetic hard disk drive.

The Acasis Dual Bay RAID enclosure has four settings:

  • RAID-0 (disk striping)
  • RAID-1 (mirror mode)
  • Span mode
  • JBOD (Normal mode)

Setting any mode would destroy any data in the hard drive. As I wasn’t aware about it, all my data was wiped out! Fortunately it wasn’t anything important as they were just duplicate data from my various experiments and testing. So one must be careful about the RAID settings and decide on an option before going for it. If just for testing and don’t care about the data, you could try out all the four modes before falling onto one that you liked.

For myself, I have decided I would go for the RAID-0 mode, where the data would stripe down from the two hard disks. This would make the storage bigger by combining two hard disks into one large virtual hard disk, and theoretically speed up disk read-write access.

Seagate 2.5 inch HDD

For this project, I used a 500MB 7200RPM (2011) Seagate HDD salvaged from my dead Dell PC, and another 500MB 5400RPM (2010) Seagate HDD taken from an old Seagate external portable storage. Although the speed access was different, I figure it wouldn’t be too much of an issue. I won’t be able to get the faster speed advantage from the asynchronous speed. These hard disks were already more than 10 years old!

By combining these two hard drives, I get to bump up to 1TB of storage using RAID-0. RAID-0 is best used with two same size hard disks. Because RAID-0 will stripe down using the smallest size drive. Thus if I were to use 320MB+500MB it will stripe following the 320MB size resulting in 320MB+320MB losing out on the 180MB because it could not be used for striping.

Despite the old age of the hard drive (from year 2010 & 2011), using the Acasis dual bay RAID enclosure, I got quite a good speed on its read-write access. Not too bad for a more than 10 year old hard disk! And those were salvaged too! I proceeded to dump lots of data and so far it could function well. It’s good to use it as a secondary backup!

As far as keeping data, it is always good to keep more than one copy, especially sentimental photos and historical documentation such as taxation, important certificates and documents.

Document files usually don’t take up too much space, just that the number of files may end up to quite a large number. And you could just store duplicates online for an additional safety.

However photos, and especially videos, are huge storage space gobblers!

If backing up is important, then you should consider the RAID-1 option. Where the two hard drive data content would be mirrored. So should one hard drive fail, your data is still protected from the other hard drive. You won’t get the speed advantage of RAID-0, but you would get the added backup benefit.

Again, point to note, for RAID-1, the two hard drives should be of similar capacity. The RAID-1 function will follow the smallest size hard disk for its storage capacity. Any extra space in the larger size disk would be inaccessible and thus wasted.

Overall, this Acasis Dual Bay 2.5 inch Hard Disk enclosure is a good alternate storage backup solution. It is also the only RAID ready enclosure that has a lower budget price point in the market that I have seen so far.

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