Installation is done through the back of the device, pushing a button allows you remove the cover. Overall installation is very easy, just connect the hard drive’s power and IDE cable, and then insert the disk into the X Craft.
Before you close to cover, don’t forget to remove the plastic protection film from the thermal pad on the inside of the X Craft panel, this pad increases heat transfer and helps to keep the HDD cool.Performance Testing
I used HDTach and Sisoft Sandra to stress the hard drive inside the X Craft, the average access time was higher compared to directly hooking it up to the motherboard and average transfer speed were lower too, but that’s to be expected from an USB 2.0 device; It’s still fast enough to use as a larger storage device and backup medium and USB 2.0 is fast enough to make this work effectively.
A few performance numbers: HDTach random access time: 18.4ms / CPU Utilisation: 20% / Average Read Speed: 25.6Mb/s
Sisoft Sandra HD bench access times: 16ms / Read Performance: 29Mb/s.
During the stress tests the hard drive never passed critical temperatures, staying below the 50°C mark in a ~20°C room.
Coolermaster had their crew work on a design for an external hard drive enclosure and the X Craft is the result, it’s a functional unit with cool and clean looks; It does its job adequately and keeps your HDD running cool and easy to carry around.
For the performance users the eSATA version will be of special interest as there will be practically no performance degradation between internal/external usage.
Pricing starts at $25 for the USB 2.0 version and goes up to $40 for the eSATA one. The premium you pay for an all-in-one external hard disk is in the same $30-40 region, but the X-Craft has the advantage of upgrade- and service-ability.
If you’re in the market for an external HDD enclosure, the X Craft is definitely a worthy consideration.
Thank you for reading and keep you eyes peeled for our X Craft 250 coverage.