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CalDigit T3 Drive Modules

Last updated 2014-02-09 - Send Feedback
Related: storage, Thunderbolt

Check for stock availability at OWC.

CalDigit T3 volume icon

Extra drive modules consisting of a drive installed in its tray are available from CalDigit, so it is possible to have one T3 unit and many drive modules for swapping in/out (e.g. for backup purposes).

For example, one might utilize two bays for a RAID-1 mirror or RAID-0 stripe, and utilize the 3rd bay for a backup clone. Or a set of three drives in either, or RAID-5.

Drive modules must be purchased as a tray + drive + case from CalDigit; there is no DIY option. CalDigit states:

In order to ensure the quality and reliability of our storage devices, CalDigit does not sell unpopulated enclosures.

Our products are designed to be used in conjunction with components that have been carefully selected, tested, and approved. Having complete control over the components used enables us to offer the legendary support that CalDigit is known for.

MPG accepts this statement as a reasonable position, and indeed the quality is exceptional, but MPG also feels very strongly that CalDigit should call out the following explicitly and up front in the product description:

  1. It is not just about “unpopulated enclosures” at purchase, but also that empty drive trays cannot be purchased (users cannot install their own drives).
  2. Should (when) a drive fail, even if a spare bare drive is on hand that matches a failed drive exactly, it is not easily possible to swap out the failed drive because an oddball screw type is used that few users will have, or even be able to identify or purchase (indeed, the chrome plating makes it difficult even to discern what type of tool is needed). One of the screws is covered by a “warranty void if removed” sticker to drive the point home.
  3. Users utilizing RAID would be foolish not to have a cold spare on hand because if (when) a drive fails, a replacement can come only from CalDigit.

Point #2 might be acceptable if CalDigit offered a 24 hour replacement guarantee program, but here at MPG Friday nights and weekends are work days too. Point #2 could mean downtime of three days or even longer (holidays, out of stock, etc). This is absolutely unacceptable in the MPG production environment, so point #3 must be taken to heart.

Update: the required tool is a Torx 9 security or tamper proof wrench (either name might be used). This tool is like a regular Torx except that it has a hole drilled into the center so that it can fit over the pin in the screw-head. Often a bit can be bought and inserted into an existing general purpose handle.

A one year warranty is at odds with the “quality and reliability” statement above. CalDigit sells an extended warranty taking the 1-year warranty to 3 years. But a 1-year warranty on a solution where one is locked into the drives offered by CalDigit does not seem befitting to the build quality of this product, or the quality claim.

CalDigit T3 Thunderbolt enclosure for three hard drives or three SSDs
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