TerraMaster D2-310 review | PCMag

The TerraMaster D2-310 is an enclosure that houses two SATA hard drives or SSDs and supports a basic RAID array, as well as a few non-RAID modes. The D2-310 connects directly to a computer via USB, rather than a network as you’ll find in network-attached storage (NAS). Setup is simple for the D2-310 and the process of switching between modes, if needed, is straightforward. If you’re fine with sticking with RAID 0 or RAID 1 and don’t need network attached storage, the D2-310 is a good choice for a simple DIY array that sits on your desk. Keep in mind, however, that the price, while low, is just for the chassis; you must supply the discs.

One enclosure for a single RAID array

As an enclosure, the D2-310 does not include any disks. With bays for a pair of disks, the D2-310 supports RAID 0 and RAID 1. For more exotic RAID flavors such as RAID 5, 6 or 10, in which you would assemble additional disks, you would need an enclosure with more drive bays.

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RAID, an acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, is a way to network multiple disks together to work together. While RAID 1 provides redundancy through mirroring, copying the same data to each of the disks, RAID 0 uses “striping” to distribute data across disks, increasing capacity and performance, but at the expense of fault tolerance: a disk in a RAID 0 fails, you lose all the data in the array.

When shipped, the D2-310 measures 5.3 x 4.7 x 9 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.9 pounds; whatever discs you add, of course, will increase the weight. The silver-colored case is made of aluminum and looks very sturdy.

TerraMaster D2-310

(Photo: Molly Flores)

On the front are the vertically oriented bays for the two drive trays. To its left is the power button, above which are three small status lights, one for power and the other two for the status of each drive. To remove a tray, you pull on its latch while pressing down on part of the tray at the bottom. One tray proved easy to open this way, while the other required some muscle. Once open, however, you can slide the tray out without any resistance.

TerraMaster D2-310

(Photo: Molly Flores)

From here you can place a 3.5 inch hard drive or a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive or SSD into the tray. TerraMaster includes screws for both drive sizes. Supported capacity reaches 36TB, if you were to install two 3.5-inch 18GB platter drives.

While a 3.5-inch drive fits snugly in the tray, the outline of a 2.5-inch drive is shown on the tray for easier placement. When you slide the tray with a drive into the bay, its connector should fit into the aligned SATA data and power ports on the case.

TerraMaster D2-310

On the rear of the case, along with a socket for the 40 watt power supply, an 80 mm cooling fan and a USB Type-C port, is a rotary switch that allows you to switch between modes: RAID 0, RAID 1, Single, and JBOD. To avoid accidentally switching between modes and risking losing all your data in the process, the switch has no button; you use a small flathead screwdriver (one is included) to turn it. As added reassurance, you must push the included reset tool, thumbtack, or the end of a paper clip into the adjacent reset hole for the new setting to take effect.

TerraMaster D2-310

(Photo: Molly Flores)

The process of switching and adjusting modes isn’t intuitive, but after doing it once or twice, you won’t look back. (Most likely, of course, you’ll only do this once, during installation!) One thing to note is that when you change the RAID mode, you’ll need to go (in Windows) to disk management, reset and configure the matrix. . The user guide does a good job of detailing the steps and also provides instructions for Mac users.

TerraMaster D2-310

(Photo: Molly Flores)

TerraMaster D2-310 Review: All Systems Rated

The test results here, of course, will depend to some extent on the specific drives we install. Since this is a large desktop case, 3.5-inch hard drives make the most sense. When testing the D2-310, I used an HP Pavilion Aero 13 laptop running Windows 11 and a pair of Toshiba N300 8TB 7200 RPM 3.5-inch SATA hard drives, with read speed maximum of 240MB/s working alone. I tested in Single (the default mode in which only one disk is used), RAID 0 and RAID 1.

When testing sequential read and write speeds in Crystal DiskMark 6, in Single and RAID 1 modes, the array essentially performed at its rated speed, as in the RAID 1 results shown here.

TerraMaster D2-310 Crystal DiskMark RAID 1 Results

When I upgraded to RAID 0 (striping), not only was there the expected doubling of storage capacity, but the speed was increased (see below), a bit below the maximum rated throughput of the TerraMaster enclosure of 410 MB/s read and 400 MB/s write. With RAID 0, however, if one of the two drives fails, all your data is lost.

TerraMaster D2-310 RAID 0 Crystal DiskMark

The TerraMaster D2-310 is a good choice for individuals or home businesses looking to go beyond single unattached drives. While RAID 0 offers better performance and allows you to use almost the full capacity of both drives, RAID 1 gives you the security that comes with data redundancy. Or, in JBOD mode, you can merge your two disks into a single logical volume. JBOD, which stands for “just a bunch of disks”, allows you to combine the contents of two disks into a single volume.

TerraMaster D2-310 drive bays

Keep in mind, however, that the D2-310 is just a case; you will need to provide your own discs. You can also buy a pre-populated RAID array, like the LaCie 2big RAID, with drives already in place.

Also be aware that as a direct attached storage (DAS) device, the D2-310 only supports direct USB connectivity. This is the nature of DAS. For basic, low-cost network-attached storage (NAS), check out the Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T Editors’ Choice. But if you’re fine with a USB-connected two-bay setup and have (or can source) suitable drives, the D2-310 is an easy-to-use, cost-effective solution for many platters powered by multiple drives. . capacity on your desktop.

The essential

The TerraMaster D2-310 Direct Attached Storage (DAS) device will give you the performance and/or redundancy of a basic RAID array at a low starting price. (You provide the discs.)

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