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Icy Dock MB662US-2STwo-bay External HDD Enclosure review Print E-mail
Written by Stuyo   
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
 

Page 3 - Installation, tests




Installation


Installation is actually rather easy – open the door, slide in hard drive, close the door, set the DIP switch RAID for preferred configuration and connect cables. Then you only need to build the raid cluster, should you wish to use one. If not - simply set JBOD and use the enclosure with two separate physical hard drives:


You can enjoy the purple light of the indicator LED on the pictures above.

Important reminder: in order to use the enclosure as JBOD you need to have a motherboard supporting Port Multiplying of the eSATA/SATA controller. We encounter some problems with it during our tests – controller was supporting it but the BIOS didn't handle it all that well. That turned out to be an issue with all Silicon Image 5744 chipset based products. Eventually it was determined that if the enclosure is to be used with a single hard drive, it must be located in slot 1 (in slot 0 it is not correctly recognized by BIOS). But if you are connecting to the enclosure via USB – this problem is not present. We did not test with two hard drives, but keep this issue in mind - should you want to use in that way, the motherboard will most probably be OK with it, but still make sure you have the latest BIOS. In RAID of course such problem cannot exist – there SATA Port Multiplying is not needed.


Tests


Test system

  • Processor: Intel C2D Е4500 @ 3.3 GHz
  • Memory: Apacer 2x2GB DDR2 800 MHz
  • Motherboard: ASUS P5K-E WiFi
  • Video card: ATI Radeon HD 4770
  • Hard drive: Maxtor 250GB; Seagate 640GB
  • PSU: Fortron 350W

For the tests we used two software products for measuring transfer speed – the free version of HD Tach and another similar tool named Disk Throughput Tester. We also measured temperature reported from the hard drive sensor after 10 minutes of intense load (uninterrupted file transfer).

Results


We used these products for comparison:


USB performance

  • Icy Dock MB662US-2S + Maxtor 6V250F0, 7200 rpm, SATA 2;;
  • In Win Ammo + Fujitsu 100GB
  • Vizo Shuttle ST + Fujitsu 100GB;
  • Icy Box 2,5” External HDD Enclosure + Fujitsu 100GB;
  • Samsung S1 Mini;
  • WD My Passport Essential Portable;
  • Revoltec Alu Book II + Western Digital Raptor 360ADFD, 10k rpm, SATA 1 ;
  • Revoltec Alu Book II + Maxtor 6V250F0, 7200 rpm, SATA 2;
  • Cyber Snipa Dog Tag flash drive, 4GB;
  • PQI Intelligent Stick, 1GB;
  • Patriot Xporter GT;
  • CBM Flash Disk, 2GB.

eSATA performance

  • Icy Dock MB662US-2S + Maxtor 6V250F0, 7200 rpm, SATA 2;;
  • Revoltec Alu Book II + Maxtor 6V250F0, 7200 rpm, SATA 2;

eSATA performance in reading


you need to upgrade your flash player

Icy Dock MB662US-2S trails a liitle behind Revoltec Alubook II as far as Burst speed is concerned, still the overall performance is at the same level. Just what we would expect from eSATA enclosure.


USB 2.0 performance in reading


you need to upgrade your flash player

Here things are different, performance is clearly worse than USB performance of all other enclosures we've tested, while still being adequate. After all this is not the main product focus.


Performance in writing


you need to upgrade your flash player

Just as in reading - good via eSATA, not so via USB. No surprises.


Cooling


Tests were concluded in two modes – IDLE, were the disk was not used and LOAD, where it was under intense load for 20 minutes. Values for Icy Dock are two because we tested with its cooling fan at maximum and minimum power settings.

Results you see are degrees centigrade ABOVE ROOM TEMPERATURE, this way the eliminating the influence of ambient conditions and get better results. This way assuming the room temperature to be 20 degrees and the table shows value of 15 degrees, that means the actual temperature was 35 degrees.

you need to upgrade your flash player

Naturally the usefulness of such solid aluminum body and cooling fan is clearly evident. The fan at minimum is very quiet, at maximum alas it is as expected - annoying, still judging by the results its rather unlikely that you'll use it at maximum.


Power consumption


We tested power consumption of both products. Values are four: powered off (i.e. the adapter is still plugged in the wall socket), in IDLE mode, normal and under load in peak mode (maximum load that occurs rarely and only by accessing random data, with maximal plate spin speed):

you need to upgrade your flash player

The dual slot enclosure definitely has bigger power consumption, but that is mostly attributed to bigger losses in the power adapter. It sucks, but in if you want to lower your carbon footprint you'll have to unplug the enclosure even from the wall socket unlike with Alubook II.



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