Scythe Silent Box SBX-1000 HDD Enclosure

Storage
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May 16, 2005 by Devon Cooke with Mike Chin

Product
Silent Box SBX-1000 HDD Enclosure
Manufacturer
Scythe Co., Ltd.
Market Price
US$40

One sign that the computer industry is beginning to pay attention to noise is the arrival of products targeted specifically at the silencing market. Fanless power supplies, for example, simply didn't exist in the consumer market until silence became something the manufacturers could sell. Hard drive enclosures are another example; although some enclosures have been sold as cooling devices, their most important function is usually to reduce noise.

Scythe's Silent Box is just such a silencer-targeted product. Unlike some of Scythe's other products, the Silent Box is unassuming, both in name and appearance. But, as they say, looks aren't everything, and if this strange black box is able to take a bite out of the noise from a whiny or resonant hard drive we're more than willing to take a look.

SPCR has reviewed a hard drive enclosure before: We examined the Smart Drive almost three years ago. We've also looked at a number of do-it-yourself solutions to hard drive noise, including some homemade enclosures. While these enclosures tend to be effective at blocking direct noise, they are often less useful for getting rid of vibration noise that can cause even the quietest drive in free air to resonate when mounted inside a case. They also tend to act as insulation; like so many other low-noise techniques, the price of reduced noise is an increase in heat.

The challenge for the Silent Box will be to reduce vibration as well as blocking noise, without risking data corruption or drive failure from overheating. To achieve this, the Silent Box is manufactured from two different kinds of soft rubber. Its aluminum frame is designed to dissipate heat via a Heatlane. The Heatlane is a highly efficient version of heatpipe technology, and has been patented by TS Heatronics. We've seen the Heatlane before in other Scythe products, notably their Zen series of fanless CPU heatsinks


For once, the product name, not the company logo is the biggest thing on the box.


Some assembly required ... (Just kidding, we took it apart for the photo).

Feature Highlights of the Scythe Silent Box (from Scythe's web site)

FEATURE & BRIEF COMMENT

Dual Structured Rubber Case
Using NBR (Nitrile Butadiene Rubber) for outer layer and SBR (Styrene Butadiene Rubber) for inner layer, Silent Box can effectively spread the vibration mode to minimize the vibration. Combination of sealed structure to shut down the noise from Hard Disk, Silent Box can also prevent the case noise caused from the transfer of vibration.

An effort is made to deal with both sources of hard drive noise: Airborne acoustics and vibration.

Powered by Heatlane Technology
Using the famous heat transfer technology from TS Heatronics, the Silent Box can effectively transfer the heat generated from HDD to outside of the box.

Transferring the heat only works if there's somewhere for the heat to go. Hopefully, the exterior surface of the Silent Box is up to the task...

Compatible up to 10,000 rpm
With the Heatlane technology, the Silent Box can support the HDD up to the speed of 10,000 rpm!

Scythe obviously has confidence in Heatlane technology.

Great Price
Affordable price for such a high quality product!

They wouldn't say it if it wasn't true ... right?

Scythe has put some thought into a product that addresses the various aspects of drive noise. The most obvious effect of enclosing a hard drive is to reduce the direct airborne noise — typically seek and motor noise — but a major source of hard drive noise is vibration, which is noticeable only when the drive is installed in a case. The interior of the Silent Box is lined with a soft rubber that is intended to damp these vibrations. The high mass of the box also has an effect on the vibration that is transferred to the case.

Scythe has also attempted to deal with the heat buildup that occurs when a drive is enclosed. The box is supposed to be able to handle 10,000 RPM drives, so Scythe seems to have confidence in the design. Keep in mind, however, that only IDE HDDs are specified. The only 10K RPM IDE drive we know of is the Western Digital Raptor, which is a single platter drive that runs much cooler than multi-platter large capacity SCSI 10K RPM drives.

SCYTHE SILENT BOX SPECIFICATIONS
Model Number
SBX-1000
Manufacturer
Scythe Co., Ltd.
Compatibility
3.5" IDE HDD up to 10,000 RPM
Dimensions
144 x 211 x 41 mm
Connectors
Ready for Serial & Parallel ATA
Cooling
Heatlane Plate
Material
NB & BR Rubber Case & Aluminum Cover
Weight
840 g



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