An Exciting Look at the CalDigit S2VR Duo

CalDigit S2VR Duo – Geek Factor 5
Geeky Factor 5
The CalDigit S2VR Duo system is a stunningly sleek and powerful RAID, perfect for the demanding Final Cut Pro editor. This little box packs a big punch, and with a quick and easy installation process, no edit suite should be without one (or two). It literally takes more time to unpack the box than it does to setup your first RAID. The design fits right in with the current Apple hardware, so everything in your suite can stay consistent. And the small but bright function lights, let you keep an informative eye on what your S2VR Duo is doing.

S2VR DUO 250

Since this was my first experience with a CalDigit product, I was not sure what to expect. I had been curious about the brand, since I saw their ads on the Creative Cow. But the S2VR Duo is really a cool and useful RAID system. The cost of eSATA RAID solutions has become dirt cheap these days, and there are many options out there. But the S2VR Duo is competitively priced, and packed with many extra features. I think this is what makes CalDigit stand out from the rest.

Unlike a lot of other options the S2VR Duo is a hardware RAID, which adds reliability and speed. A lot of other systems offer a drive housing, but rely on software to create the RAID. This also means more cables between the drives and your computer. But the S2VR Duo has just one eSATA cable and, to be honest, just having the one is a perk. But one of the coolest things is that CalDigit includes software to access your RAID. Here you are able to set up and configure your RAID. The S2VR Duo supports RAID 0, 1, JBOD, which can be set using this software. You can also create a password, and turn on email notifications should there ever be a problem. These are some really nice and well though out features.

The S2VR Duo ships without the hard drive bays installed in the enclosure. But CalDigit has conveniently marked which drive goes in which slot. And installing the drives is cake. They have a really cool screw and lever mechanism which locks the drives into place. The fact that the drives load form the rear of the enclosure is a really nice feature, it keeps the front of the unit clear and very sleek looking.

One thing that I don’t like, and it’s eSATA not the S2VR Duo, is the stiff and flat cable. Once setup and positioned it’s not much of a hassle, but those darn cables are hard to manipulate. CalDigit provides a sleek looking orange cable, that is one of the better eSATA cables I have seen. It would be nice to see some more flexible cables come out in the future. Something more like a firewire or USB cable. I don’t know if that is even possible though.

The speed of S2VR Duo is rather impressive. Instead running a traditional read write test, I decided to jump right into the real world testing. I started with a 10 bit uncompressed video clip, and played back in Final Cut Pro. It played nicely, as to be expected. Then I added another track and it held up nicely without a dropped frame. I quickly found the Final Cut’s RT Extreme was my limiting factor.

I assume that the S2VR Duo, will be use more often for DV video, due to its smaller form factor and capacity. This RAID absolutely kicks butt with DV footage. Obviously if you are gong to be working with HD footage, you might want to inverst in one of CalDigit’s larger drives. However, the S2VR Duo should hold its own with HDV and DVCPRO HD.

About CalDigit
CalDigit, named for it’s Northern Orange County location, produces cutting edge RAID systems which are scalable all the way from SD to demanding HD video applications. CalDigit uses high quality parts for it’s products, which ensures a better experience for the customer. CalDigit understands that the last thing an editor wants, is for a drive to fail. They take the steps necessary to ensure that their products will stand the test of time.

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1 Response to “An Exciting Look at the CalDigit S2VR Duo”

  1. 1 An Exciting Look at the CalDigit S2VR Duo « The Picune Blog Pingback on Nov 28th, 2006 at 4:26 pm
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