updated 04:00 am EDT, Thu August 11, 2011
Features eSATA or USB 3.0 external connectors
A new card for Mac and Windows computers with PCI slots from Addonics called the HPM-XU can connect up to five SATA hard drives to either eSATA or USB 3.0 ports on any system via single cable. The hardware port multiplier (HPM) comes with a built-in RAID accellerator and supports transfers in excess of 240MB per second (with five drives in a RAID 5 configuration). The card supports all versions of Windows (2000 and higher), Mac OS X (10.4 or later) and Linux (kernel 2.6 and higher).
The HPM opens up multiple possibilities, such as connecting five SATA optical drives to do simultaneous disk-image copying, or adding hard drives to desktops and server as either individual drives or in various RAID configurations with and without redundancy. RAID options can be set via on-board dip switches or via included Windows software.
Drives and HPM status can be monitored by attaching LEDs to the on-board LED signal pin headers, or via included Windows software. Drive or RAID failures can also be detected via sound alerts from the on-board buzzer, or an automatic e-mail.
The HPM-XU card, which is also designed to work with Addonics' own line of RAID towers, retails for $99 and is available either directly from the company or through various computer-parts resellers as well as online merchants. SATA 1, 2, and 3 hard drives are supported, as is JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 3, RAID 5 and other options. The USB 3.0 port is USB 2 backwards compatible.