Antec MX-1 3.5inch Hard Drive Enclosure Review

Storage/Other by jmke @ 2007-05-17

This external hard drive enclosure from Antec promises a good balance between cooling and noise, with vibration damping installed inside; the hard drive can be accessed over USB 2.0 or eSATA and the MX-1 comes with the needed gear to get everything set up.

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Introduction & Specs


External hard drive enclosures are flooding the market in large numbers, almost every company has one of their own, and to set yourself apart from the masses you need to do something special to stand out. I saw Antec’s first HDD enclosure at Cebit, and today I present you with a more in-depth view at their portable HDD solution.

Madshrimps (c)

The MX-1 is a large device, while made for 3.5” HDD drives, it sized more like a 5.25” optical drive. The reason for this design choice is related to hard drive temperature and operation noise.

The MX-1 is equipped with an eSATA port and USB 2.0 connector; you can choose one, but not use them both at the same time.

Inside the package you’ll find a power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, eSATA cable and PCI bracket for easy pass-through connection from internal to external SATA. The included manual explains with few simple steps how to get your 3.5” hard drive installed.

Madshrimps (c)

Additionally you get this plastic holder which gives you the option to easily position the MX-1 vertically. The inside has soft rubber to reduce vibration being transferred from the enclosure to the holder.

Madshrimps (c)

Madshrimps (c)

As mentioned, the MX-1 is big, but beautiful, a brushed aluminum top and bottom plate give it a distinguished look, but I’m less fond of the gray plastic strip.

Madshrimps (c)

Features & Specifications:

• Dual output interface – USB2.0 and eSATA (external Serial ATA) allows you to transfer data up to 480Mbps or 3Gbps respectively
• Supports up to 750G SATA hard disk drive
• Unique HDD cooler brings fresh air in and around the HDD for maximum cooling to protect your valuable data
• Two layer (plastic with aluminum) upper and lower panels to absorb HDD and fan noise
• Carbon-glass filled frame to reinforce the strength of the whole enclosure
• Built-in silicone pad to absorb HDD noise
• Included USB cable, eSATA cable, and eSATA bracket to convert your PC’s internal SATA to eSATA
• Stand included
• Very quiet fan operation – under 22 dBA
• Supports Windows 2000 / XP / ME / VISTA™

Cool and Quiet Computing™ features:
• Blower fan keeps your hard drive cool and improves performance
• Silicone grommets to isolate drive vibrations
• Dual layer top and bottom panels absorb vibration and deaden fan noise
• Keeps hard drives up to 15ºC cooler, improving the dard drive’s stability and lifespan
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Comment from Rutar @ 2007/05/17
I think the Icy Box beats it because it looks better with a full alu case and if vibration was an issue, I'd sure notice that with a Samsung inside.

Any test for a large backup operation? 45MB sustained copy speed are to beat =P
Comment from jmke @ 2007/05/17
55mb/s with eSATA
Comment from Rutar @ 2007/05/18
that is average read, I mean actually taking a big folder and time the copy to the external HD with a stopwatch
Comment from Kougar @ 2007/05/18
Interesting! Definitely the Bad Axe 2 or possibly software at fault on the eSATA tests.

Gigabyte 965P-DS3 Rev 1 & (same?) Seagate 320gb 16mb cache drive:
MX1: 136.1MB/s Burst | Avg Read 63.8 MB/s
Inside Case: 136.3 MB/s Burst | Avg Read 66.5 MB/s

Using ICH8 SATA controller, I disabled the Jmicron controller/ports.
Comment from jmke @ 2007/05/18
I tested on 4 different machines, all similar results, bios issue other similar, but burst speed is not that vital imho for an external hard drive, primary function is sustained reading/writing, right?
Comment from Kougar @ 2007/05/18