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Date: March 4th, 2009
Article by: Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Icy Dock
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH



There are a couple benefits to having a removable fan. The first one is for easier cleaning, and also introduces the option to have a passively cooled enclosure. If you only have one or two drives installed this might be feasible, but personally I'd err on the side of caution and use the fan.

 

PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING



My first impression of the trays was that they looked to be a bit flimsy, but closer inspection showed the aluminum sides to be strong and tough to bend. They get the job done just fine and provide adequate protection against vibration and noise.



Once the drive is secured to the tray with screws, it is inserted into the bay and the unit can then be turned on. It's a very simple process that takes just a couple of minutes from start to finish.



With the prominence of blue, orange, and green indicator LEDs, it was refreshing to see that Icy Dock went with white LEDs on this enclosure. They are bright enough to see clearly from a distance but at the same time aren't so bright that they blind you when you look at them.


For testing performance, a 4.35GB file was transferred from my Windows XP machine to the enclosure and back again using both eSATA and USB 2.0 interfaces. An eSATA connection will provide a faster transfer rate (up to 3.0 Gbps) than a USB 2.0 connection (up to 480 Mbps). Real world speeds are usually nowhere near their theoretical transfer rate, although eSATA is still much faster than USB.


The drives were set up as a JBOD array inside the enclosure prior to testing.


I first transferred a 4.35GB file between two internal SATA hard drives in my Windows XP PC. It took 2 minutes, 16 seconds. The time was documented in order to compare it to the time it takes to transfer the same file to and from the enclosure.


The same 4.35GB file transferred to and from the enclosure using eSATA gave the following results:

 

4.35GB File Transfer (eSATA)

 

Time (minutes:seconds)

Write to enclosure

1:24

Read from enclosure

1:19


The same file transferred to the enclosure and back again using USB gave the following results:


4.35GB File Transfer (USB 2.0)

 

Time (minutes:seconds)

Write to enclosure

2:42

Read from enclosure

2:13


Transfer times are right in line with other comparable enclosures I've used. This also shows just how much faster eSATA is compared to USB. When it comes to large file transfers, it is definitely the interface to use if you can. USB works just fine though and is found on just about every PC out there right now, making it a very convenient option.

 

 


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