Patriot Convoy XL (a.k.a. PCXL25SR) is an aluminum-made 3.5” HDD enclosure that holds up to two 2.5” HDDs or SSDs (solid state drives), with a built-in RAID controller. It can be installed on a floppy disk drive or hard disk drive bay from your case and connected to the motherboard using a standard SATA connection or can be used as an external device, being connected to the PC using an eSATA or a USB 2.0 port. Let’s take a look at this product.
First let’s take a look at the product box (Figure 1) and the items that come inside the box (Figure 2). On the box there is this big sentence “* Works only as an external drive on NVIDIA platforms,” which gives the wrong idea that this box can only work as an external device on NVIDIA-based motherboards, which is not the case. According to Patriot they will fix this on the next production batch. We will talk more about this ahead on the section “Compatibility.”
Convoy XL supports the following RAID modes:
- Single: Called “JBOD (single)” on the product manual, under this mode the drives are accessed as individual units. This is the default operating mode of Convoy XL.
- JBOD: Called “BIG (span)” on the product manual, the drives are combined into a single logic unit. The drives can have different capacities. For example, if you install a 64 GB and a 32 GB SSD, they would be seen as a single 96 GB unit under this mode.
- RAID0: Called “FAST (strip)” on the product manual, the drives are accessed in parallel for increased performance (double performance, in theory). The drives must be identical and the total capacity available is added, so if you have two 64 GB SSDs they will be seen as a single 128 GB unit.
- RAID1: Called “SAFE (mirror)” on the product manual, the second drive will hold a real-time copy of the contents from the first drive. If the first drive fails, all your data will be preserved on the second drive. The drives must be identical and the total capacity is the capacity of only one of the drives, so if you have two 64 GB SSDs they will be seen as a single 64 GB unit.
- 33% Mirroring: This is a combination of RAID 1 with JBOD. Here 33% of the drive capacity will be built as RAID1 and the remaining 66% will be joined on a JBOD configuration.
- 50% Mirroring: This is a combination of RAID 1 with JBOD. Here half of the drive capacity will be built as RAID1 and the other half will be joined on a JBOD configuration.
RAID modes can be configured through a DIP-switch available on the product.