In the packageEurobizz.de
sent us Global Win’s
solution for converting any old PATA hard drive into an external storage device. The Travel Box has sleek looks and provides USB 2.0 and Firewire connections at the back of the unit. There is also a pass-through port so you can daisy chain other USB devices to this unit.
The Travel Box comes with all the necessary cables and material to install your HD and hook the unit up to your PC. USB 2.0 cable
Windows 9x driver CD
After opening the box you simply place in your hard drive and screw it tight with 4 screws from the bottom up; the power connector can be moved left<>right in order to make sure you can fit different HD models in this box.
When the unit is powered on you will see a small light at the front, the led is placed in a plastic holder and can come loose quite easily, nothing a little bit of glue won’t solve
Maxtor 200GB HDD
My setup consisted of an Asus P4C800 + P4 2.4@3Ghz, I used a VIA VT6306 PCI Firewire card and the onboard USB 2.0 controller for performance testing
The performance difference between USB2.0/Firewire and the onboard PATA controller is quite noticeable, but between the 2 external solutions it is harder to spot, both have their ups and downs in the different benchmarks. Looking at the CPU usage throughout testing with the USB2.0 it was at 10-15% while Firewire was cruising along at 0-1% CPU usage!
I taped a small temperature probe from a Cooler Master Aerogate II at the side of the hard disk and let the Sisoft Sandra HD bench run in loops for ~30 minutes. The results were quite disturbing; with a room temp of 25°C the probe registered temperatures between 55-60°C. Looking through the product pages of Maxtor’s DiamondMax 9 series it seems their maximum operating temperature is set at 55°C.
When running the disk outside the case (using a long IDE cable and connected to the motherboard) the same probe never passed the 45°C mark. Basically confirming the hot little oven this Travel Box can be.
The Travel Box does exactly as advertised, providing you with an easy solution for turning your IDE HD into an external drive. The price of the Box + HD is still less than a “prefab” external storage drive. The drawback of this device is obviously the absence of any form of active cooling. Luckily their next revision, called the “Travel Box Dorri” has a fan built-in and added security, definitively worth a look. As far as this “vanilla” product goes I find it hard to recommend, unless you add some active cooling to the unit yourself (holes in the side, 80x80x10mm fan at top/bottom).
I would like to thank Amal from Eurobizz.de for providing us with the review sample.
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