Recently I had a great discussion with the Twitter community about picking up a new raid for myself as my older ones were now aging, and I was running out of space.  Many people suggested a Thunderbolt drive. However Macbook Pro is only a year old and does not support Thunderbolt, and Apple has yet to release a new MacPro Tower. Thus I really did not see the need for a Thunderbolt drive yet.  Enter The CalDigit VR.

 

 

 

The Caldigit VR looks fantastic as it resembles a little mini MacPro Tower sitting on my desk with a backlit LCD displaying menus and current status. The Caldigit VR supports hot swappable drives, with the capabilities to support RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD for separate disks without the need of a RAID.  The CalDigit VR can reach speeds over 250 MB/s in RAID 0, and over 160 MB/s with RAID 1 protection. IT also supports various ports from E-Sata, FW800, FW400, and USB 2.0.

Features

 

Host Interface:

  • eSATA x 1
  • FireWire 800 x 2
  • FireWire 400 x 1
  • USB 2.0 x 1

Interface Transfer Rate:

  • eSATA: up to 3Gbits/s
  • FireWire 800: up to 800Mbits/s
  • FireWire 400: up to 400Mbits/s
  • USB 2.0: up to 480Mbits/s

RAID Function:

  • Supports RAID 0, 1, Spanning, JBOD
  • Automatically online fast disk rebuilding
  • Automatic disk failure detection
  • Hot swappable disks
  • SATA interface only supports RAID 0, 1 and Spanning

LCD Module:

  • Displays RAID information
  • Displays system temperature

Another fantastic feature is the ability to security lock, and locking the drive modules. To prevent potential thieves from simply swapping the drive out and walking away with all your footage. A very nice feature.

With a 6TB drive I really expected it to get hot easily and be very loud. But I was pleasantly surprised at how efficient the Caldigit VR was at keeping cool.  The aluminum enclosure stayed relatively cool with the help of the ambient temperature-controlled smart fan that only  runs when the CalDigit VR needs it most.

The Caldigit VR comes pack with an excellent piece of software known as the Caldigit Raid Tool.  Now you can configure the VR using the onboard menu buttons and LCD, but installing the software provides you with so much more. The software will display a wide variety of information that includes, system temperature,  raid type, current Status , Capacity, and Bus.

The software can configure your raid to either 0, 1, S, and J. The software can also be configured to encrypt and password protect your data. A handy feature for keeping people from accidentally deleting footage.

The Caldigit Raid Tool can also be set up for email notification. It can email you updates regarding your raid, in case you wonder off during a render.  A very nice feature to have. It also allows you update the firmware and make sure all is running well.

I have had several Raids over the years, and I have to admit after using the Caldigit VR for the past few weeks I am pleasantly surprised at how great this raid is. It has performed fast, efficient, and quite.  I would not hesitate in picking up another one of these drives as they are simply outstanding,  plus it also looks fantastic in my edit suite.

 

 

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