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September 26, 2006 by Devon
|Icy Dock MB559US-1S
eSATA / USB2.0 External Drive Enclosure
It's been well over a year since the standard for External SATA eSATA
was announced, but devices that use the standard have only recently begun
to find their way onto retail shelves. The main use for eSATA is external storage,
as eSATA offers the same 3.0 Gbps interface speed as SATA effectively
eliminating the performance gap between internal and external drives. It has
other advantages as well. Unlike USB or Firewire devices, eSATA drives are recognized
as regular drives in the BIOS, which means they can be used to boot Windows.
Why would you want to boot Windows from an external drive? External drives can
be located away from the main system, cooled independently, and buried in a
pile of cushions if necessary.
Enter Icy Dock, a company that specializes specifically in drive enclosures.
With such a specialized lineup, it's in their interest to keep up with the latest
technology, so it's no surprise that they are one of the first companies to
offer an external enclosure with an eSATA interface. And, if your system isn't
new enough to support eSATA, they also throw in an adapter that converts an
internal SATA header into an eSATA header mounted in a PCI slot. A USB 2.0 connection
is also included, just in case the drive needs to be plugged into a system that
does not support eSATA.
The enclosure accepts standard SATA desktop drives, so all of the latest drives
are supported. Drives are loaded in removable trays that are compatible with
several other Icy Dock models, making it possible to hot swap multiple drives
or to use the same drive with several different enclosures.
Note that the review sample is one of two similar models. There's also the MB559 which offers Firewire 400 and USB 2.0 interfaces.
A plethora of cables: 1m long eSATA, eSATA-to-SATA adapter, USB, and a fanless
FYI: eSATA on left is much more secure than SATA on right.
||eSATA + USB2.0 combo
||1 x 3.5 SATA I / II
||Standalone with horizontal or vertical
||3 Gb/sec. via eSATA
480 Mb/sec. via USB2.0
|Insert & Extract
||15 pin direct hard drive connection
||Aluminum body w/ partial plastic
||Aluminum heat dispersion w/ top ventilation
||Device Power & Drive Activity
Mac OS 9.0 or higher
|Dimension (L x W x H)
|194 x 142.6 x 42.6 mm
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