Promise SmartStor DS4600 direct-attached storage device
Promise's direct-attached storage device has plenty of connections, but it isn't particularly fast
- eSATA and FireWire 800 connections, hot-swappable drive bays, one-touch configuration, Mac support
- Flimsy drive rails, can only have one volume, media centre and photo album functions are useless
Promise's SmartStor DS4600 direct-attached storage device provides up to 8TB of storage in a hot-swappable enclosure that has an impressive amount of connectivity. We would have liked better volume management, however.
Price$ 550.00 (AUD)
Promise's SmartStor DS4600 is a direct-attached storage (DAS) enclosure that can house up to four hard drives and provide up to 8TB of storage. It's suitable for a direct connection to servers or workstations, it supports RAID arrays, and its design allows you to hot-swap the hard drives. Its management interface and build quality leave something to be desired, however.
The Promise SmartStor DS4600 DAS device can be connected to a PC or server through the single eSATA, USB 2.0 or FireWire 400 ports or one of the two FireWire 800 ports. It has the same physical design as the Promise SmartStor NS4600 NAS device. Four drive bays sit behind a lockable front panel. Instead of caddies, the SmartStor DS4600 uses plastic rails which surround the drive in order to prevent vibration during operation. We didn't notice any vibrations, but the rails' lack of rigidity makes it installing drives painful.
Promise includes its SmartNAVI software to manage the SmartStor DS4600 DAS device, and it's available in Mac and PC versions. Using SmartNAVI, you can configure RAID volumes, monitor hard drive health and upgrade firmware. Media Centre and Photo Album functions are also available, but these are of questionable usefulness without the ability to serve media over a network.
SmartNAVI provides backup and restore features for any of the drives on the connected computer. Backup is as simple as dragging and dropping the desired folder onto SmartNAVI.
The four hard drives can be configured in a RAID array; there is support for RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 10. However, even if all four drives are inserted, the SmartStor DS4600 external hard drive only allows you to treat them as one volume. This means you can't configure the four drives in two or more separate volumes or in multiple RAID arrays.
Holding down device's one-touch backup button will automatically configure a RAID array when new hard drives are installed. If there are two drives, it will configure a RAID 1 array; for three or four drives it will use a RAID 5 configuration. It formats the array using the NTFS file system; Mac users will have to format the volume to HFS+ after the process is completed.
The SmartStor DS4600 will automatically detect when it has been disconnected from a computer and stop the hard drives from spinning.
We tested the SmartStor DS4600 with two 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives installed in a RAID 0 configuration. Our tests involved transferring files between it and a PC equipped with a [[Artnid:257954|300GB Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drive|Western Digital Velociraptor (WD3000GLFS) internal hard drive. Over USB 2.0, it performed slowly. In our large file test — transferring 20GB of 3 to 4GB files — the SmartStor DS4600 had a write speed of 26.4 megabytes per second, a read speed of 27.9MBps and a read/write speed of 11.7MBps. When transferring 3GB of 1MB files, it had read and write speeds of 25MBps, and performed a simultaneous read/write operation at a rate of 10.2MBps.
Connected over eSATA, the SmartStor DS4600 improved significantly. In the large file test, it had identical read and write speeds of 78.2MBps, as well as a simultaneous read/write speed of 35.1MBps. Small file operations were somewhat slower; the external hard drive wrote 3GB of 1MB files at a rate of 50.8MBps, read the same data at 68.2MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write operation at a rate of 34.5MBps.
Overall, the SmartStor DS4600 is slightly faster than LaCie's 4Big Quadra but fails to match the My Book Studio Edition II from Western Digital. For data storage, the SmartStor DS4600 suffice, but high-performance data processing tasks would benefit from a faster hard drive.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the newsletter!
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Apple iPhone X
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Toys for Boys
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Xbox One X
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- ASUS Announces Two New Entries into the VivoBook Range with the VivoBook 14 and VivoBook 15
- US says laptop ban may expand to more airports
- Epson launches new high-speed Enterprise inkjet printer
- HP's Spectre x360 puts Kaby Lake and Thunderbolt into a thinner, faster package
- HP upgrades the Envy 13 laptop with Kaby Lake, debuts the 4K Envy 27 display
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop review
- Hands On: Our first impressions of Sony's a7R III
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTDigital Content Manager | AEM , HTML and CSSOther
- CCBusiness Analyst - Technical backgroundVIC
- FTSocial Media SpecialistOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior NodeJS DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Java DeveloperOther
- FTAnalysis, Design & Configuration ManagerOther
- FTSenior Strategy Consultant - Blue Chip ClientOther
- CCRelease ManagerACT
- FTHead of Quality AssuranceNSW
- FTManager, Platform Wealth OperationsOther
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- FTProject ManagerOther
- TPPHP DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior Siebel DeveloperACT
- CCIseries Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- FTDigital Marketing Executive - PersonalisationOther
- FTTechnical Test AnalystQLD
- CCLinux System AdministrationVIC
- CCPHP DeveloperWA
- TPProject Manager - IT SecurityQLD
- FTSenior Strategy Specialist - Direct / ConsumerOther
- CCIT Specialist - System ServicesNSW
- FTCloud ArchitectNSW
- FTServiceNow Solution SpecialistOther