SilverStone TS431U 4-Bay External Enclosure

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The SilverStone TS431U exterior is composed of a brush aluminum door and a steel chassis. It weighs approximately 3.3 kg or 7.3 lb and measures 13.0 x 18.7 x 26.6 cm or 5.1 x 7.4 x 10.5 in (H x W x D). Its footprint is quite large for a device of this type as the power supply resides inside the enclosure.

Instead of an external power brick, the power supply sits inside the case, making it unusually deep compared to some multi-bay enclosures. The power LEDs are located on the top of the front bezel with the drive LEDs staggered for easier identification. The corresponding LED glows blue for power and red for activity.

The rear is home to a pair of 60 mm fans, a rectangular exhaust vent, and an on/off switch for the power supply. Both USB 3.0 (type B) and eSATA ports reside near the bottom. The chassis is covered with a U-shaped panel secured with screws at the back and underneath.

The only airflow getting into the TS431U is from the gaps at the sides of the door and a series of slits underneath the bezel. The enclosure sits on four, thick square pads that help curtail vibration. According to the label, the power supply has a combined total output of 162W.

Behind the door is a single power button at the bottom and solidly constructed, snug fitting bays for 3.5-inch hard drives.

The back of the SATA backplane is outfitted with strong metal springs that easily eject drives when the release mechanism at the front is disengaged.

The size of the circuit board and power supply substantially restricts airflow. The fans' primary purpose seems to be cooling the internal power supply rather than the hard drives themselves.

Several screws at the back and bottom (including some underneath the feet) must be removed to pull the fan assembly out. The 60 mm fans are secured with a pair of bolts each so physically swapping them out is not a problem. However, the fans use 2-pin connectors for power, so some work has to be done to adapt more common 3-pin fans.

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