Icy Box 3.5" HD Enclosure

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Attractive, good performance, SATA or IDE – a nice package for add-on storage – Joe

SUMMARY: Attractive, good performance, SATA or IDE – a nice package for add-on storage.

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The good guys at Tagan were nice enough to send a sample of their 3.5″ HD external storage unit Icy Box Model IB-360AStUS-BL. The drive is protected by an attractive aluminum case.

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Key Features:

  • HD Capable for 3.5″ SATA¹ or IDE
  • Transfer rate up to 1.5Gb/s
  • Aluminum body
  • LEDs for Drive Activity (blue) and On light (switchable)
  • Size 11″ x 6.8″ x 4.3″, weight 1.45 lbs
  • Includes external power supply 100-240v – 2 Amps Output, SATA internal/external cables, SATA PC bracket, USB cable, Manual and Driver Disk if needed

You open the drive by pushing from the front – you MUST re-assemble it by inserting the front into the back of the case – there are detents which prevent the reverse; also note that the carrier bolts onto the sleeve with four screws inserted from the bottom.

Inside the case are the screws to mount the HD and secure the case to the frame and a SATA cable:

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This is the first HD enclosure I have seen that enables the user to mount either an IDE or SATA drive. To make the switch, note the power cable for the IDE drive (circled in red):

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Remove the IDE cable and power cable, then plug in the SATA connector and power cable and now it’s SATA capable:

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There are two SATA plugs – I used the one labelled “J2” and it works fine. I should mention that none of this is explained in the manual. Here’s the SATA drive all set:

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And now screwed onto the case – insert it back into the sleeve and it’s ready to use. Installing the HD should not take more than 5 minutes – all you need is a phillips screwdriver.

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The back shows the On/Off switch, external power port, USB plug, SATA plug and LED light switch – there is a blue LED on the bottom of the case which, when switched on, stays on – nice to have an On/Off switch for it.

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Performance

I tested the Icy Box with an 80 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm 3.5″ SATA HD on my ASUS Z71A with the following results:

HD Test

Performance will vary by HD and system, but I don’t think it will be too different from what you see here. For this test I used a SATA drive and USB cable – better performance is possible using a SATA to SATA configuration – a comparison among the various formats is shown below:

Rates

CONCLUSIONS

Attractive, good performance, either SATA or IDE capable and a sturdy enclosure – a nice package for external HD storage.

Thanks again to Tagan for sending this our way.

¹Note: This is not an e-SATA port.

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