Review: TerraMaster D5-300C RAID Enclosure is an inexpensive way to get bulk, local data storage

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The TerraMaster D5-300C is exterior storage that may provide comparatively speedy conenction to as much as 80 terabytes throughout 5 drives, all linked to your Mac through USB Sort-C.

The elevated want for storage, particularly in fields like video modifying, can pressure some customers to hunt out exterior choices to complement their Mac mini or MacBook Professional’s extra restricted inside capability. The necessity for backups also can immediate a seek for storage, and generally a single-disk exterior drive enclosure simply will not minimize it.

The TerraMaster D5-300C is an enclosure on your desk that provides appreciable quantities of capability to your computing setup. Sat not distant out of your Mac, the enclosure can maintain as much as 5 16-gigabyte drives, with a most storage capability doable of 80 terabytes.

The TerraMaster D5-300C can easily fit on a shelf or a desk with its small size.

The TerraMaster D5-300C can simply match on a shelf or a desk with its small dimension.

Key specs

  • 5 drive slots
  • Accepts 3.5-inch, 2.5-inch exhausting drives and SSDs
  • FAT 32, FAT 16, NTFS, and EXT4
  • 80TB most capability
  • Singe-disk, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1 assist
  • USB Sort-C 3.1 Gen 1 connectivity
  • 410MB/s learn, 400MB/s write velocity
  • 8.9 inches by 8.8 inches by 5.4 inches in dimension
  • Weighs 2.1Kg (4.6lb) unladen

Exterior Appearances

Created from aluminum, the enclosure supplies construction and warmth dissipation, assisted by low-noise followers. The dimensions of the enclosure itself is not that a lot greater than the 5 3.5-inch disks you may fill it with, measuring 5.4 inches excessive and with a footprint of 8.9 inches by 8.8.

Across the again are the fan grills, in addition to the USB Sort-C port, energy connection, and a selector to maneuver between totally different RAID configurations. The entrance has indicators for every drive, energy, and an influence button.

The indicators and power button for the TerraMaster D5-300C

The indications and energy button for the TerraMaster D5-300C

Regardless of its small dimension, it might slot in as much as 5 normal 3.5-inch exhausting disks, although it might additionally use smaller 2.5-inch variations and SSDs. The entrance sections elevate as much as present the drive sled, which might be pushed in and the quilt clicked into place to securely set up the drive.

Contained in the field, you get the machine itself, an influence twine, a USB Cable A to Sort-C, an influence adapter, and a veritable pile of screws for attaching drives to the drive bay sleds.

About these sleds — whereas the enclosure itself is aluminum, the sleds are decidedly not. The sleds are flimsy plastic, not at the same time as sturdy as a skinny Lego plate. Whereas they get the job performed, a greater high quality plastic or a steel tray would not have been out of line right here.

Opening up one of the five drive bays.

Opening up one of many 5 drive bays.

Drives are secured to the plastic sleds from the underside of the sled. The drive sleds slide into place alongside guides, and a front-mounted lever in-built to the sled makes positive that the SATA connection is correctly made.

Codecs and RAID

The drives might be configured for use in a couple of methods, together with RAID 0, Raid 1, JBOD, and Single Disk. That is all performed underneath a 2+3 RAID configuration, the place the left two drives might be configured into RAID 0, RAID 1, or Single Disk, whereas the remaining drives work as separate unbiased drives with none RAID-related advantages.

This implies customers can benefit from the striping and mirroring advantages of RAID 0 and 1 for the primary two drives.

Some of the TerraMaster D5-300C RAID instructions.

A few of the TerraMaster D5-300C RAID directions.

The RAID configurations are chosen with a {hardware} toggle on the again of the enclosure. This is not as helpful as utilizing a software program instrument that might present a finer interface and extra customization choices — however extra on that in a bit.

The enclosure additionally contains assist for HDD Sleep and drive hot-swapping, with the latter permitting for drives to be pulled and changed without having to show the storage machine off beforehand.

As soon as arrange, it may be used as a storage location for Apple’s Time Machine backup function in macOS. Whereas TerraMaster says you may hot-swap drives into and out of the unit, a drive reinserted into the unmounted drive bay would not reliably mount on any Mac we examined from macOS Sierra to macOS Catalina, so do not depend on this function.

Connectivity and efficiency

This isn’t a community hooked up storage machine. Connectivity is offered to a single host machine by a USB Sort-C Gen 1 connector with as much as 5Gb/s to play with for transfers.

Exterior exhausting drive enclosures both have a {hardware} RAID controller that spans all of the drives, or is only a bunch of disks, with no inherent RAID. The TerraMaster D5-300C is an oddity, because it provides RAID protection for 2 of the 5 drive bays. This opens up an attention-grabbing use case of two SATA SSDs for max velocity, and the three different drives for no matter you see match. Alternatively, these three drives might be configured as a RAID 5 array with a instrument just like the newly Apple Silicon M1-compatible SoftRAID, because the TerraMaster RAID software program would not work on the Mac.

By way of what it truly pushes throughout to customers, TerraMaster claims it’s able to a studying velocity of 410MB/s and a writing velocity of 400MB/s, utilizing two SSHDs in RAID 0, particularly striped drives.

AppleInsider’s testing underneath Blackmagicdesign’s Disk Velocity Check with 5 7200 RPM exhausting drives with 16GB of cache, configured with Apple’s Disk Utility as a striped RAID, demonstrated a write velocity of 412.9MB/s, successfully the identical because the claimed writing velocity, and a studying velocity of 369.1MB/s.

The Disk Speed Test for the TerraMaster D5-300C

The Disk Velocity Check for the TerraMaster D5-300C

To video professionals who could need to reap the benefits of the mass storage capabilities, the instrument suggests it could be capable of carry out writing and playback of 4K60 footage in ProRes 422HQ, although it dips all the way down to 4K30 for Cinema DNG RAW writes and reads, and 2K DCI 25 for 10-bit YUV 4:2:2.

Whereas this is not even near as quick as an NVMe drive straight linked to a Mac, for instance, the switch speeds are nonetheless adequate for most conventional information warehousing makes use of.

The enclosure is not whisper-quiet however nonetheless noticeable. In a room with a 42 dBA background, the case crammed with exhausting drives underneath no load is at about 45 dBA, Below heavy enter and output with exhausting drives, it climbed to 51 dBA with drive chatter being extra apparent than the fan. Below the identical load with SSDs, it remained at 45 dBA.

A pair of fans help cool the TerraMaster D5-300C down.

A pair of followers assist cool the TerraMaster D5-300C down.

The 90W energy provide is definitely in a position to deal with 5 mechanical drives, with the corporate claiming an influence consumption of 45.6W underneath load. We noticed a bit much less at 41.0W underneath load, however we do count on this to range per consumer a bit, primarily based on which drives are within the enclosure.

Ok, for what you pay for it

We have used lots of exhausting drive enclosures in our day. We have been impressed with some cheap ones, solely to be let down by a failure throughout check, or too quickly throughout non-public use. This appears to use equally to low-cost enclosures, and the most effective of them.

The TerraMaster D5-300C is not the worst enclosure we have seen, and it is not the most effective — however it does have an excellent worth. And, we have been utilizing it for nearly a yr, all day, day-after-day, and it is nonetheless going robust.

The sheer amount of storage capability it might provide when totally filled with drives might be a sexy for energy customers who might want the advantages of a NAS, however with higher entry speeds — or on a finances. As a reasonably good worth enclosure, that is an affordable method for customers to get this additional native storage with out an excessive amount of outlay on the enclosure itself.

You possibly can doubtlessly get each house for 5 drives, and higher velocity from the Thunderbolt-based model as an alternative of this one which makes use of USB 3.1 Sort-C Gen 1. You simply will not get it for the $199 that the TerraMaster D5-300C retails for.

  • 5-bay capability
  • Partial RAID choices
  • Compact dimension
  • Low price
  • Restricted RAID possibility
  • Lack of fine-grain configuration
  • 5Gbit USB-C is not sufficient for even one SSD within the enclosure

The place to purchase

The TerraMaster D5-300C is accessible on Amazon for $199.99. Drives are offered individually.


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