Product Review (June 2012)
Newer Technology - Guardian MAXimus
RAID-1 (Mirror) Performance Storage Solution

By Kevin Nakano


Newer Technology  - Guardian MAXimusLosing valuable data is one of the most frustrating and distressing situations one can encounter, especially when one-of-a-kind data is lost. Even with daily scheduled backups, you can't protect information from your last back up should a drive fail. The Newer Technology Guardian MAXimus (sold by Other World Computing) addresses this issue with a RAID Level-1 (Mirrored) storage system that provides a fully redundant data image of your important content by writing all data simultaneously to two hard drives. The unit can be pre-configured with a pair of lightning fast SATA (Type I/II) drives with up to 4.0TB each of storage capacity. Enclosure only kits are also available, so users can add their own drives based on their personal preferences. The unit we received (NWTGM3Q7H20T128) is listed at $ 389.99 and holds two identical 2TB, 3.5-inch, 7200 RPM Seagate Barracuda SATA drives. The Guardian MAXimus comes pre-formatted using the MAC OS HFS+ file system on a GUID drive partition. If you plan to use this on a WIndows-based machine then the Guardian MAXimus needs to be re-partitioned and formatted using the Window's Disc Management tools.

The Guardian MAXimus measures 8.75" x 4.5" x 1.5" (LxWxH) and weighs just under 5 pounds. The package includes a universal power adapter (100-240V) and USB 3.0, eSATA, 1394A (FireWire 400), and 1394B (FireWire 800) cables. A User's Guide and Owner's Manual are also provided along with a software CD bundle.

Front
The front of the Guardian MAXimus has a large perforated metal cover with four indicators on the front panel. The Power LED illuminates when the unit is on. The HDD1 and HDD2 lights are normally off when idle and illuminate green when the corresponding drive is being written to. Should a drive fail, the corresponding drive light will illuminate red while the Guardian MAXimus automatically and seamlessly continues data read/write functions with the remaining drive. In the event of a drive failure, the good drive must be installed as HDD1 (the drive that attaches to the bridge card) and the new replacement drive needs to be installed as HDD2 (the drive that attaches to the SATA cable). The data can then be mirrored to the new drive.


Newer Technology  - Guardian MAXimusRear Panel
The Guardian MAXimus is built around a Custom Oxford 946DSE/3100 Integrated Chipset that provides several high speed interfaces for maximum drive performance. Two FireWire800 ports and one FireWire400 port are available. A high speed USB 3.0 port and eSATA interface are also provided to give users the ultimate selection in high speed connectivity with rates as high as 500MB per second. The universal AC power adapter (100-240VAC, 50/60 Hz) provides 12V at 2 amps and plugs into the unit through the input power jack. The main power switch is located right next to the power jack. There is also a built-in fan that pulls cool air in from the front and pushes it out the back to keep the internal drives and electronics cool. This is especially important as the internal hard drives can generate considerable heat and having two heat generating drives right next to each other makes the issue even more important. Fortunately, the unit operated at reasonable temperatures, never giving us any concern about over-heating. For security, there is a Kensington security slot to attach a security cable to help prevent theft.

 


Advantages of RAID Level-1
The Guardian MAXimus design uses two matched drives of equal size, with data being written redundantly to both drives simultaneously. Should one drive fail softly, the data structures can be rebuilt from the other drive. On a hard failure (or crash), the bad drive can be physically replaced, then rebuilt from the good data on the other drive. This ensures a high level of data redundancy.


Performance
The Guardian MAXimus performance was tested on a Vista-based HP d5000t desktop with a Core 2 Quad Q9300 processor and 3GB of RAM. We recently installed a USB 3.0 PCI-Express card with an NEC chipset for testing some of the newer products featuring this capability. Using large files to transfer data to the drive, we measured performance using both USB 2.0 (built-in) and USB 3.0 interface. Even though USB 3.0 is capable of transferring data 10 times faster than USB 2.0, other factors play into the overall performance and the difference in average speed is typically less.

Conclusion
The Newer Technology Guardian MAXimus RAID-1 storage system provided the insurance of a fully redundant hard drive system with a myriad of high speed interfaces for today's power user. The flexibility of this storage unit makes it ideal for simple and high performance applications and the build quality is impressive at keeping the hard drives cool and reliable. USB 3.0 capability gives this unit a high speed advantage while staying compatible with legacy high speed interfaces.

- Kevin Nakano




OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player



Review at a Glance


Newer Technology - Guardian MAXimus RAID-1 (Mirror)


Features:

  • Up to 4.0TB + 4.0TB of (Mirrored) storage capacity*
  • Up to 128MB of drive cache (64MB per drive)*
  • Custom Oxford 946 eSATA, FW400(1394A), FW800(1394B), and Ox3100 USB 3.0 Integrated Chipset
  • Dual FireWire 800 9 pin ports
  • FireWire 400 6 pin port
  • USB 3.0/2.0 "B" port
    • backwards compatible with USB 2.0/1.1.
  • eSATA port
  • Front panel drive status LEDs
  • Whisper quiet operation
  • Shock resistant design
  • US/International 100~240V 5.0Amp - UL listed Power Adapter
  • Size: 8.97in (L) x 2.88in (W) x 5.25in (H)
  • Enclosure Weight: (empty case) 2.335lb (1.059kg)

Transfer Rates:

  • FireWire 800 ports, up to 100MB/s
  • FireWire 400 port, up to up to 50MB/s
  • USB 3.0 port, up to 500MB/s
  • eSATA port, up to 300MB/s

Bonus Utility Software Included:

  • Prosoft Engineering® Data Backup for Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later
  • NovaStor NovaBACKUP® for Windows 2000 or later
  • Intech® SpeedTools Utilities™ OEM (For Mac OS 8.6 - X only)
  • Carbon Copy Cloner© for Mac® OS X 10.4 or later

Compatibility:

  • Macintosh® Requirements:
    • OS 8.6 and later with an available and supported FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 3.0/2.0, or eSATA port. Support for drives over 3.0TB requires Mac OS X 10.2 and later.

  • Windows® Requirements:
    • Windows 98SE and later with an available and supported FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 3.0/2.0, or eSATA port. Support for drives over 3.0TB requires Windows XP 64-bit and later. Windows XP 32-bit cannot support a 3.0TB drive.

Warranty:

  • 3 year solution
  • 1 year for 0GB "Add Your Own Drive Kit"

Note: Do not disassemble or otherwise open your NewerTech storage solution prior to the conclusion of the NewerTech warranty period. Doing so will void the remainder of the NewerTech warranty.


Company Information

Other World Computing
2650 Bridge Lane
Woodstock, IL 60098

Phone: 800.275.4576
International: 815.338.8685

Customer Service - Sales (CT)
Hours: Mon-Fri 8AM-10PM | Sat 9AM-4PM
Live Chat: 24x7

Technical Support (CT)
Hours: Mon-Fri 8AM-8PM | Sat 9AM-4PM
Live Chat: Mon-Fri 8AM-8PM | Sat 9AM-4PM

Product: NWTGM3QKIT0GB (0GB option): $124.99
Product: NWTGM3Q7H20T128 (2TB + 2TB option): $389.99
Source: Manufacture supplied

URL: otherworldcomputing.com


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