3.5" HD UASP enclosures: currently available, hassle-free chipsets?

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    • 3.5" HD UASP enclosures: currently available, hassle-free chipsets?

      After lurking on both this forum, and Armbian forum, I'm buying parts to make my first OpenMediaVault NAS, using an ARM SBC (I've settled on the NanoPi Neo 2, with NAS kit, and aluminum case).

      I'm trying to shop for a couple of SATA 3.5" HD enclosures, which are UASP-compatible (NanoPi Neo 2 has USB 2.0 support, with UASP). As I try to find which chipsets in the enclosures are best supported, it's easy to find Jmicron JMS578. But I feel leery about flashing the firmware myself. I would prefer to not have to flash any firmware. (Note: I couldn't find the instructions to do so when I searched the Armbian forum).

      I've heard some mention of Jmicron JMS567 and Jmicron JMS580. It seems the Jmicron JMS567 can only support up to 4TB, and I want to use a 6TB SATA drive. :(

      OK, how about the Jmicron JMS580 then? That sounds the most promising to me at present. Does anyone know of an enclosure for sale anywhere which includes it? Hook a brother up! :D
    • Just a few thoughts:
      • With HDD whether an external USB enclosure is capable of UASP or not doesn't make that much of a difference (see some performance numbers here). With SSDs I would always prefer UAS
      • To me SAT capability is even more important to query the disk without problems via SMART (see also link above)
      • Personally I only dealt with JMS567, JMS578 and ASM1051 and ASM1153 (the ASM1051 not being UASP capable)
      • If an USB-to-SATA bridge is reported to exceed 2 TB then it can access disks of any size (since there only exists a 2TB limitation but nothing above -- well, the LBA48 will limit to some petabytes)
      • For JMS578 firmware flashing check Hardkernel's wiki and be also aware that there are 'power cut' issues that can be fixed as well: forum.odroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=97&t=29069
      • Me personally hiding all electronics devices finds such adapters like this (with USB-A instead of USB-C in your case) to be combined with an usual 12V PSU for 3.5" disks often a good alternative (FriendlyELEC's NAS enclosure IIRC wants to be powered with 12V too so you might end up with a single 12V/4A PSU for everything)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by tkaiser ().

    • Thanks so much for that. There is one enclosure with an ASM1153 that I can probably get. I'll probably take that route, even though the enclosure costs a bit more than the others. To not have to mess with the firmware update, plus the 'power cut' issues (of the JMicro JMS578) is a potential hassle worth some money for me to avoid.

      I'm not using RAID in this NAS, so perhaps SAT isn't a feature I really need? After skimming your first link above, I'm guessing SAT is something important for RAID. I guess I'm unclear just what SAT is good for.
    • esbeeb wrote:

      To not have to mess with the firmware update, plus the 'power cut' issues (of the JMicro JMS578) is a potential hassle worth some money for me to avoid

      Why shouldn't this be an issue with an ASM1153 too? I've one single ASM1153 enclosure and this works well here but there's no guarantee since enclosure manufacturers might use a different firmware (usually these ICs have a firmware built-in, when the PCB designer spent an additional few cents and added a cheap SPI NOR flash next to the chip the firmware can reside there -- and then often be upgraded as well).

      In the meantime having a firmware flash utility for JMicron's JMS578 looks even like an advantage to me (since for ASMedia I only have a utility to flash the firmware of their PCIe SATA controllers).

      SAT is irrelevant for RAID but you need it to control spindown behavior (if the firmware of the USB-toi-SATA bridge doesn't interfere!) and to query your disk via SMART and start SMART selftests. It's all about drive health and for me most basic requirement to use any disk. A drive that is not accessible this way won't be used.
    • tkaiser wrote:

      (usually these ICs have a firmware built-in, when the PCB designer spent an additional few cents and added a cheap SPI NOR flash next to the chip the firmware can reside there -- and then often be upgraded as well).

      In the meantime having a firmware flash utility for JMicron's JMS578 looks even like an advantage to me
      Man, is this wickedly complicated.

      If I choose an enclosure with a JMicron JMS578, don't I also take a risk that there will be no SPI NOR flash, allowing the firmware to be upgradeable?

      The enclosure I'm considering which would have the ASM1153. The ad says ASM1153E. I wonder if that "E" on the end means it's a totally different chip that might not be supported well in the Linux kernel... Also note: only a plastic case (not as good for heat dissipation).

      Another enclosure I'm considering which would allegedly have the JMicron JMS578. Note the ad says "NOT for Linux". But I'm disinclined to believe that. Has a metal case.

      Edit: Here's a third enclosure at Lazada, allegedly has a JMicron JSM578 (and this time it *doesn't* say "Not for Linux"). It has a metal case. The ad also mentions a model name containing "7618", and there is one user on this forum who loved his/her Orico which had a model name pretty similar to that one. So I'm kind of leaning towards this third choice now.

      I'm in Malaysia, so that Lazada site is the easiest one online to order these kinds of products from. Any advice would be appreciated. Note the first enclosure is almost double the price of the second.

      The post was edited 10 times, last by esbeeb ().

    • esbeeb wrote:

      If I choose an enclosure with a JMicron JMS578, don't I also take a risk that there will be no SPI NOR flash, allowing the firmware to be upgradeable?
      Sure :)

      But honestly the necessity to upgrade JMS578 firmwares until now was only on SBC products (from Hardkernel and Xunlong). I guess disk enclosure makers ship with better firmwares (I dealt with JMicron folks directly back then when we discovered the JMS578 issues and they told me the meaning of their firmware version scheme so it seems their regular customers building storage products are much more familiar with such stuff compared to board makers that deal the first time with these bridge chips)

      As already said: since UASP doesn't make that much of a difference with HDDs why not simply buying an external Seagate USB3 disk? Since you want to use OMV on an ARM device you're fine since in Armbian we automagically UAS blacklist every Seagate device out there (connect the disk, boot, reboot, done -- on x86 you have to walk the extra mile). Most probably they're less expensive than a 'good' enclosure plus separate 3.5" disk.

      BTW: 8 1/2 years ago I bought in Kuala Lumpur an external disk for a friend of mine I visited there. I bought the wrong one and they refunded it the next day without any questions asked. My impression of Malaysia just by this: great customer service!
    • tkaiser wrote:

      UASP doesn't make that much of a difference with HDDs why not simply buying an external Seagate USB3 disk? Since you want to use OMV on an ARM device you're fine since in Armbian we automagically UAS blacklist every Seagate device out there
      I've crunched the numbers you gave me, and the price difference also (considering a Seagate 4TB external USB drive instead), then thought long and hard about the specific use case I'm using this for.

      Your advice, as always, is excellent, however in this case I think I'll proceed as planned above, as I think my use case will justify going the slightly more expensive route. Having said that, you've swayed me to the JMicron JSM578-based enclosures. Edit: I'm trusting that I'll neither have to flash the firmware of the JSM578, nor will I have to do the fix for 'power cut' issues.

      BTW: I really dislike Seagate. That's the last brand I'd like to buy. I was bitten by a few of their drives in the past, and I swore never to buy another. Once I set this NAS up, I might not be the one maintaining it longer term, so I wanted to pick a hard drive brand I trusted first and foremost. I picked Hitachis, as I trust that hard drive brand the most. Yes, it'll cost a bit more, the way I've done it, but if these drives end up lasting longer than a less reputable brand (without the need for administrative intervention to rebuild a new disk), then that's worth something to me, worth paying a little extra for. My experience is that the Japanese tend to make higher quality things. (BTW: You wouldn't believe all the Honda motorcycles and Toyotas all over the place here in Malaysia.)

      I guess I also have a mild distrust (perhaps unfounded) of external USB hard drives (not in an enclosure), because sometimes they do stupid things like emulate a CD drive (in addition to the hard drive), with their proprietary Windows-only software on the virtual CD, then you can't erase it, because the virtual CD is read-only. An external WD USB drive did that to me once, and I thought the world must be going to hell or something. I guess my intuition tells me not to use such an external drive in a NAS.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by esbeeb ().