Date: July 17th, 2007
Article by: Karl Van der Walt (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: A.C.Ryan
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PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Now for the juicy bit, how it works. The test system is as follows:
CPU – Intel Pentium D 805 @ 3.4ghz
Motherboard – ASUS P5N-E SLI
RAM - 1gb PQI PC4300
GFX - 256mb ASUS EN8600GT
HDD1 - 200gb SATA Seagate Barracuda
HDD2 (AluBox) _ 40gb IDE Seagate Barracuda
Optical - Aopen +/- DVD/RW
On to the installation. For this review I have been sent the IDE compatible version of the AluBox. The nice thing about this is that there are a lot of people out there that have old IDE drives laying around after having upgraded to the faster SATA drives. In most cases people wanting external storage are not really after something fast enough to play games off, most people just want portable storage or a backup drive and an IDE drive should be perfectly sufficient for these tasks. So I will be testing the AluBox with an IDE drive and the USB2 connection (eSATA is not useable on an IDE drive).
The enclosure opens up after removing just 2 screws at the back of the casing. This is a nice simple design that won't give your average PC user any problems. If you are using an IDE drive in the AluBox or plan on using a SATA drive with the USB connection now would be a good time to set the switch to USB.
Once the screws are removed it's a simple case of sliding the tray out of the casing. Now we get our first glimpse of the guts of the enclosure. As you can see, the circuitry is very compact and simple, largely thanks to the external power unit saving on the need for power circuitry inside the enclosure. The circled connector should be disconnected for ease of installation. You can install with it connected but you run the risk of damaging the cable.
Now we install the drive. This is a very simple process and the connections can only connect the right way, unless you really force them but I'm sure you are all smart enough not to do that. You can also see the swappable power connection here. If you plan to use the enclosure with an SATA drive you will need to remove this cable and replace it with the SATA power cable shown in the product walkthrough.
Then it's a simple matter of lining up the holes and securing the drive in place with the provided screws.
Getting the tray to slide back in place was not so easy, if you look closely at the circled area you will notice the tray is pressed firmly up against the top of the mounting rail. Still, a little patience and fiddling and it all comes together.
Now we can reconnect the connector we detached earlier. This is the activity LED connector.