Welcome to Volume 1 of CA Bits & Bytes. Frequently I have information I'd like to pass along to readers but it's not enough info to fill a complete in-depth article. CA Bits & Bytes will comprise exactly what its name implies. Small pieces of info or building blocks that create something larger. In Volume 1 I'll discuss a couple hard drives that serve vastly different purposes although both may be perfect for one's needs. Also, the C.A.P.S. v2.0 server is now available online and fully assembled.
Oyen Digital Portable USB 3 SSD Hard Drives
A few weeks ago Oyen Digital sent me a prerelease version of its new USB 3.0 / FireWire 800 SSD portable drive. The drive can be powered via the USB bus (USB 3.0 y-cable with 2nd connector for additional power, if needed, included) or an external power supply. I've been using the drive at home and while traveling (to RMAF 2011). The current model has 120GB of SSD space. This isn't enough space for most music collections but Oyen will soon (10/28/2011) offer capacities up to 480GB. Reasons why I really like this drive include its silence and low power draw that doesn't tear too much into laptop battery life on an airplane, SSD data access speeds, and the speed at which I can load music on to the drive. I have a USB 3 PCIe card installed on my Windows desktop computer that enables the drive to hit speeds much faster than USB 2.0 drives.
More times than I care to remember I procrastinated loading music on to a portable drive. This procrastination usually leads me to attempt massive data copies literally minutes before leaving for the airport. Anyone who has moved tens or hundreds of GB knows that it can take from minutes to hours. The speed combo of SSD and USB 3.0 is wonderful in this situation as it can reduce the time needed to move files around by 50% according to my limited testing.
So far so good with the Oyen USB 3.0 SSD. I have a few seminars scheduled before the end of the year at various dealers around the country. I'll bring this drive with me and report back if my opinion changes.
5.02GB 101 Files 14 Folders
Local SATA II HDD to Oyen SSD via USB 3.0 = 2:07.1
Oyen SSD to Local SATA II HDD via USB 3.0 = 1:18.3
Local SATA II HDD to Oyen SSD via USB 2.0 = 4:31.0
Oyen SSD to Local SATA II HDD via USB 2.0 = 2:38.1
Local SATA II HDD to Oyen SSD via FireWire 800 = 3:36.2
Oyen SSD to Local SATA II HDD via FireWire 800 = 2:06.3
Oyen Digital USB 3.0 SSD Product Page
Prices: $179.95 (60GB), $259.95 (120GB), $409.95 (240GB), $819.95 (480GB)
Seagate FreeAgent® GoFlex™ Desk 4TB External Drive
As soon as I saw the Seagate 4 Terabyte external drive I got excited. Four terabytes is a very sizable chunk of disk and can hold a FLAC version of my entire music collection. I couldn't wait for a demo unit from Seagate as I was a bit antsy so I picked up the drive for $199 from Micro Center. The drive enclosure is very cool in that it can be changed from USB 3.0 to a FireWire 800 / USB 2.0 interface using the $50 Firewire adapter that replaces the USB 3.0 port on the enclosure. The 4Tb drive works with both my Windows 7 64-bit MacPro, both C.A.P.S. v1.0 (32-bit) and v2.0 (64-bit), and all my Macs. I believe Windows XP machines will have trouble supporting a 4TB partition and will require two 2TB partitions max.
I am very happy with the performance of the drive thus far. Based on my limited testing it's a smidgen faster than the SSD Oyen drive at both reads and writes. The drive is noisier that I'd like and wouldn't put it in a listening room without some type of sound deadening enclosure. I don't have the guts to open the enclosure and remove the drive in an attempt to use my own external housing. Maybe in a few weeks :~)
5.02GB 101 Files 14 Folders
Local SATA II HDD to Seagate via USB 3.0 = 2:06.0
Seagate to Local SATA II HDD via USB 3.0 = 1:15.1
Note: Google Chrome browser may have issues viewing the above video.
Micro Center ($199) | Seagate
C.A.P.S. v2.0 Server Now Available Online & Assembled
Shortly after publishing the C.A.P.S. v2.0 article Andrew from VortexBox and Small Green Computer contacted me about selling completely assembled and tested C.A.P.S. servers. I've been familiar with Andrew's VortexBox work for awhile and met him at RMAF 2010. Thus, I was happy to endorse him and Small Green Computer as the exclusive C.A.P.S. v2.0 online retailer. The servers are built 100% to the specifications put forth in the C.A.P.S. v2.0 article.
Everyone interested in a C.A.P.S. v2.0 who'd rather not build and test it themselves is encouraged to consider purchasing the unit from Andrew at Small Green Computer. Also, look for the RMAF 2011 presentation on the C.A.P.S. v2.0 server as soon as the videos from this year's event are available at the RMAF Site.
Please note neither myself nor Computer Audiophile earn a single penny from C.A.P.S. sales.
Small Green Computer Price: $1,439