|19th April 2007, 18:07
new Samsung HD and the Icy Boy enclosure, small review
I just got those items and finished backing up my data and now I am ready to write a small review.
The HD comes only with the screws while the Icy Box comes with an USB 2.0 cable, a 1m SATA cable, a SATA bracket and the power adapter (needed because of the 7200RPM drive). It has a power switch and USB 2.0 and E-SATA connections. You get everything you need to set up your PC for using the SATA connection externally.
The Quality and looks of the Icy Box:
The amount of plastic has been kept to a minimum, the sides are solid metal plates and metal meshes for ventilation have a decent strenght as well. The Thumpscrews are solid chrome and look good together with the flat black. Internally there are very few cables and the wiring job is perfect.
The flat paint doesn't attract fingerprints unless you got fatty fingers, where a microfibre cloth is needed to properly clean the device. The HD an Power lights would look nice in blue but they are red and green, so that's an area where it could improve as well as the Icy Box writing ontop of it isn't really needed either. Overall the device can be left ontop of a Lian-Li and still look good.
Installation and usage:
It is very nice not having to handle any cables and just sliding the HD in, fix it with 4 screws and then put the top on it and fix it with the thumbscrews (tough those thumbscrews could be a nothc bigger). It really becomes a unit and the metal sides are touching the HD on one side improving cooling.
Cable connections and the on/off switch have a solid feel but the rubber feet on one side need some improvements (bigger, more grip). I do not see anyone vertically, because the supplied foot is crap and it is very unstable.
It is really plug and play and the safely remove hardware icon finally has a purpose in Windows to remove the harddrive safely.
Noise of the hardrive and enclosure, this one is usually the hardest test:
The hardisk seems to make less noise than the previous Samsung HDs which already were quiet, infact I had a hard time finding out which one made the noise during my big file copies. BUT there is one thing that needs to be taken care of: Vibration. It can be really felt when touching the box but the rubber feet prevent reduce the transmitted vibration well. If you intend to use this harddrive internally, you MUST get something to kill the vibration.
I do not have a fancy Raptor RAID setup to do some scientific testing so I will report the results I got from my backup using the SATA connection:
Internal HD: 8MB 250GB Samsung P120
External HD: new 16MB 320GB Samsung
Both drives were using the last partition, both formatted in NTFS.
The speeds I achieved for copying a 68 GB and a 23 GB folder are: 41 MB/s and 45 MB/s, timed with a stopwatch. I have no idea how good/bad that is.
The Samsung is clearly one of the cheaper 16 MB drives and it doesn't skimp on the noise side. If you are interested in the comparative performance, there are more reviews on the net for that.
The Icy Box vs other hardrive enclosures: I read several reviews and this specific model isn't the cheapest, but the package and quality make it worth the money.
The Icy Box vs prebuilt extenral harddrives: If you want the same functionality and size of the drive as well as the cache you pay about the same if you buy an external drive (it is not more expensive if you include everything). The big difference when you build it yourself is that you are totally in control when choosing the components and the harddrive can be replaced easily if it fails (considering you can still buy IDE drives, the lifespan of the SATA interface should be much longer than the lifespan of a typical HD).