CGMagazine
Published in

CGMagazine

TerraMaster D5-300 Review

The TerraMaster D5–300 external storage solution surprised me, making it an easy product to recommend. I have long been an advocate of external storage and NAS set-ups to keep your documents safe. While drives have gotten much better over the years, the truth is that even the best hardware fails, and if you are someone that works on a lot of valuable documents or creative projects, you can’t afford to have everything lost. The TerraMaster D5–300 is a no-frills USB based enclosure that gives a lot of flexibility at a very fair price.

I have talked about TerraMaster in the past when I looked at their NAS enclosures. They are a brand that keeps releasing clean, modern offerings that are much cheaper than many of the competing products. While not a NAS enclosure this time around, the TerraMaster D5–300C is a solid offering that makes backing up easy and finally, affordable.

TerraMaster D5-300 Review 3

The TerraMaster D5–300 is an external hard drive enclosure for your desk to sit near your computer that can provide a bevy of storage in a pinch. While it does not come packed with drives, it allows up to five 16 terabyte drives, with a maximum capacity of 80 terabytes to be added, giving you more storage than you could know what to do with. With the included USB cable, you can connect your Mac or your PC and reap the rewards of consistent backups and copies of your most valuable work.

Like many TerraMaster products, the D5–300 is a clean, modern looking enclosure that will feel very at home next to your new MacBook Pro or a Mac Mini with its clean silver look. The relatively big box has an easy-to-find power button on the front, right below the HDD indicator lights, and the power on light. Around the back you will find a single USB Type-C connection that is meant to be used with its USB 3.1 Type-A cable and a power connection, along with the low-noise fans behind two grills.

Around the front you will find the five 3.5-inch drive days with easy-to-access pull-out sleds that will keep your drives safe unless you need to access them for any reason. All in all, despite the 8.9 X 8.8 inch footprint, the TerraMaster D5–300 is a relatively simple device once it is all setup, able to just sit on your desk and be there when you need it. There is little to fiddle with or struggle against once you have all your drives installed and ready to accept data.

TerraMaster D5-300 Review 2

The TerraMaster D5–300 can work with either 3.5″ or 2.5″ traditional or SSD drives, with the ability to install up to five total. As with any external enclosure, if you are planning on using it in a RAID configuration, I would suggest identical drives to allow for redundancy.

As with past TerraMaster enclosures, the drive bays on the D5–300 are incredibly easy to use, allowing them to be easily unclipped and pulled out to connect your HDD or SSDs of choice. The box comes with the screwdriver and all the screws you should need to install either 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives, and once you have it all secured and slid back in, the enclosure is ready to go, no extra wires needed.

Once you have everything installed in your new D5–300, you will simply need to download and run TerraMaster’s RAID manager software where you configure your RAID type and how you want your drives’ setup. The application is very simple to use, giving easy prompts to help get things up and running the way you need. The D5–300 supports setting up your system in a range of RAID Array configurations. It supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10, along with allowing you to run the enclosure with one drive or duel drives for a single clone drive if you are so inclined.

TerraMaster D5-300 Review 4

Once everything was done, I was able to jump over to my OS of choice — in my case Windows 11 — and initialize and format the drive to get it ready to be used. The full process should take no longer than 15–20 minutes depending on the drive size and how long it takes to format, and the tool made the process as painless as possible.

I have to give it to TerraMaster, they have managed to deliver an enclosure that feels incredibly premium and robust, while still making the entire process as painless as possible. Setting up these systems can be a bit daunting, especially if you don’t know what you are doing, but the TerraMaster D5–300 was relatively painless.

On the performance side of things, you have the option of installing either traditional HDD drives, or SSD drives, and the speeds you achieve will very on the drives you pick. TerraMaster claims it can read at speeds of up to 410 MB/s and Writing speed of up to 400 MB/s, using two SSDs in RAID 0, and in our testing, we have seen speeds comparable to that.

TerraMaster D5-300 Review 1

For video editors and content creators out there, these speeds should be more than acceptable for photo backup or for video playback or editing, and should give a way to keep all your valuable footage safe while giving your laptop or desktop SSD a break as you compile your new great work. It is by no means as fast as a modern NVMe drive, but should be a good tradeoff for video you want to keep safe but don’t need to boot up instantly.

While I still advocate for NAS enclosures over USB-based options, TerraMaster has made a solid case for the D5–300. It is simple to use, gives solid performance, and their software guides users through all the steps ensuring nothing is accidentally whipped without being notified first. It is also great to see how easy the drive functions as a standard external drive, giving users that need a safe backup solution something that is only ever a plug away.

There are plenty of options when it comes to external drive enclosures, and TerraMaster has found a good middle ground with the TerraMaster D5–300 between features and price. It is a solid offering that should serve creators or professionals well, giving the potential for ample storage and a price that won’t break the bank.

This content was originally published here.

--

--

CGM explores the culture of comics and gaming with features, interviews, articles and reviews.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Brendan Frye

EIC at CGMagazine (@CGMagonline), Veteran of the field with more then 10 years experience. Also Publisher at Nuada Press.