Silicon Power Armor A66 USB 3.2 Gen1 2 TB Portable Hard Drive Review


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Silicon Power Armor A66 2 TB
Silicon Power Armor A66 2 TB

Today we have an opportunity to share some information about an external hard drive. From cold storage and backups to a traveling drive, some users need the portability of such devices. And if you’re anything like me, these drives can take some abuse during their travels which may require more protection than a simple plastic case. Silicon Power mitigates this risk in the Armor A66 by placing a HDD inside a military drop-test standard (MIL-STD-810G) and IPX4 water-resistant chassis. We have a 2 TB black and yellow version, but there are different colors to choose from and capacities reach up to 5 TB. We’ll take a look at the heavy-duty construction of the A66, highlight the durable features, and help you determine if it will suit your demanding needs.

Silicon Power Armor A66 2TB
Silicon Power Armor A66 2TB

Specifications and Features

As mentioned in the introduction, the Armor A66 meets the military drop-test standard and is IPX4 water-resistant. It is available in all black, black and blue, or black and yellow. Utilizing the included USB 3.2 Gen1 cable, the A66 has a maximum bandwidth of 5GB/s. Storage capacities available are one, two, four, and five terabytes. The Armor A66 is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Mac OS 10.5, Linux 2.6.31, and newer operating systems.

Here is a list of the specifications per Silicon Power.

Silicon Power Armor A66 2 TB Portable Hard Drive Specifications
ModelArmor A66
Capacity1TB, 2TB, 4TB, & 5TB
Dimensions (L x W x H)139.2mm x 96.0mm x 16.2mm (1TB/2TB), 139.2mm x 96.0mm x 24.0mm (4TB/5TB)
Weight209g (1TB/2TB), 328g (4TB/5TB)
MaterialRubber + Plastic
ColorBlack/Black, Black/Blue, Black/Yellow
InterfaceUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB 3.0, USB 2.0 backwards-compatible)
Supported OSWindows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP 64-Bit, Mac OS 10.5.x, Linux 2.6.x
*Reformatting required for use with Mac OS
Operating Temperature5°C – 55°C
Storage Temperature-40°C – 70°C
Operating VoltageDC 5V
PatentTW Patent No. D216648
CertificationsCE, FCC, BSMI, Green dot, WEEE, RoHS, KC, RCM
Warranty3 years
Pricing1 TB Amazon $45.99
2 TB Amazon $68.99
4 TB Amazon $114.99
5 TB Amazon $129.99(Sale: Reg $139.99)

 

We have also included a list of the features found on Silicon Power’s website.

Silicon Power Armor A66 2 TB Portable Hard Drive Features

All Around Tough
All-Around Tough
All-Around Tough

The Armor A66 is designed for extreme durability.

Rugged
Rugged

Rugged Drive For All-Terrain Reliability

The Armor A66 is the ultimate all-terrain drive to back-up and protect your data from out in the wild to back in the office, safely and securely. With its all-around protective rubber bumper, IPX4-level water-resistance, and military-grade shockproof design, this portable hard drive is ready to shake-off drops, shocks, rain, and dust with ease.

Shock Proof
Shock Proof

Nothing Shocks This Drive

Meeting the MIL-STD 810G Method 516.6 Procedure IV drop test requirements, this drive is military-grade shockproof. For extra defense, an all-around bumper provides 360˚ protection to take it anywhere, worry-free. On the inside, an advanced suspension system effectively reduces impact force and increases shock-absorption.

IPX4 Water Resistant
IPX4 Water Resistant

Inclement Weather? Not A Problem

IPX4-level water-resistance gives this drive the protection it needs to be truly all-terrain. Your data is safe against splashing water from any direction so you can fearlessly go out without checking the weather forecast.

USB 3.2 Gen1
USB 3.2 Gen1

Fast And Spacious With USB 3.2 Gen 1

Up to 5TB of storage gives you a massive amount of portable space to back up your photos, video footage, and files wherever your adventures lead. Super-speed USB 3.2 Gen 1 interface delivers rapid read and write speeds up to 5Gbps to cut the time needed for editing or transferring large files and get the job done faster.

Cable Storage
Cable Storage

Nothing To Lose With This Design

The Armor A66 was cleverly constructed with a built-in cable-carry design. It’s a portable-friendly way to ensure you never misplace that loose, pesky cable again.

Packaging

On store shelves or online, the Armor A66 comes packaged in a colorful white box. On the front is a vibrant colored image of the specific model and a few basic features. The model name is allocated at the top and at the bottom lists the USB connectivity and storage capacity. The back of the box is multi-lingual and lists several other specifications similar to those in the table above. Opening the box reveals an inner plastic tray that keeps the drive safely secured. The USB 3.2 Gen1 cable is tucked into the backside of the tray. For a shock-resistant portable hard drive, the packaging is more than adequate and identifies all the necessary features.

The Armor A66 Portable Hard Drive

The model Silicon Power sent for review is the black and yellow version and features two terabytes of storage. The outer yellow portion of the case is a soft rubber that does a fantastic job of absorbing shock if dropped. At the bottom is a water-resistant flap for sealing off the USB port, while the top and sides provide a convenient storage slot for the USB cable while in storage or when traveling. The front and back of the case are constructed of smooth black plastic. Located at the bottom of the front panel is a Silicon Power “SP” logo while the back has several printed certifications. The included cable measures about 330 mm from end to end and is shorter than the average portable drive cable. This is necessary, however, to store correctly in the case slot.

Plugging the drive into our test rig, Windows 10 immediately recognized the drive and was ready to transfer files. There was no need to format or install drivers. Preinstalled on the drive is a copy of the user manual. This is a multi-lingual guide showing the very basics of the hardware. We have included a screenshot of the one page that is in English. Launching AIDA64 allows us to see what is at the heart of the Armor A66. Selecting the ATA properties reveals a SATA III Western Digital 5,400 RPM hard drive. Checking the drive’s SMART data displays the current temperature and if it’s functioning within its threshold, which it is.

Testing Method and Test System

Testing this portable drive will be different from our standard suite of benchmarks. Since this is not a primary drive, there is no reason to run it through the full gamut. We first test the drive out with Crystal Disk Mark to get the baseline read and write speeds. These are the fundamental stats used when comparing hard drives. What is truly essential for an external drive though, is its transfer rate and times. To get this data we run Diskbench using its default settings and transfer 120 GBs of random data from the OS drive onto the A66 and record the time it takes to complete the transfer. We then transfer the data back to the OS drive to get us a ballpark of how this drive will perform for the user. During this testing, the A66 is connected directly to one of the motherboard’s rear USB 3.2 ports to eliminate any potential variables.

Below are the tests we run with a brief description.

  • Crystal Disk Mark v 7.0.0 x64 – Run at Default Settings (5 Passes)
  • DiskBench v2.7.0.1 – Use predefined 120 GB transfer file
Testing System
MotherboardASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X
CPUAMD Ryzen 7 3700X
CPU Coolerbe quiet! Dark Rock 4
MemoryG.SKILL Trident Z RGB 16GB (2×8) 3200MHz CL16-18-18-38
OS SSDCrucial P1 NVMe PCIe 2280 M.2 SSD 1TB
Power Supplybe quiet! Pure Power 11 500W
Graphics CardGigabyte RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8 GB

Benchmark Results

CrystalDiskMark

Crystal Disk Mark
Crystal Disk Mark

The results from Crystal Disk Mark are exactly what a 5,400 RPM hard drive should produce. With a sequential read of about 135 MB/s and a sequential write speed near 130 MB/s. Even if the drive was connected directly to a SATA connecter we would see the same speeds as the USB 3.2 Gen1 cable does not create a bottleneck at these speeds.

DiskBench

DiskBench is one of my favorite hard drive benchmarks as it provides us with a great, real-world test. It determines the actual file transfer time using a 120 GB file composed of random data. Transferring the file from the primary (OS) drive to the test drive and recording the results and then reading the file from the portable drive back to the OS drive.

With a total transfer and write time of just over 18 minutes, it’s clear you won’t be breaking any transfer speed records. This is a good result for a 5,400 RPM mechanical drive. Generally, to achieve a transfer rate above 100 MB/s, you would need a 7,200 RPM drive, but the Western Digital is genuinely working to earn its keep. Reading the data and writing it back to the OS drive produced a slightly faster time of 17 minutes and 45 seconds and a transfer rate of 115 MB/s.

Conclusion

The Silicon Power Armor A66 is a rugged portable drive that you can take anywhere without having concerns about physical damage to the unit itself. The construction seems quite durable, and it would take some serious neglect to cause any real damage to the internal drive. You’ll find the two terabyte model we reviewed listed on Amazon for $68.99. While there are certainly less expensive models on the market, none of them have a rugged case like the A66, except the ADATA HD710 Pro, priced at $59.99. This puts the Armor A66 around the same price point as its closest competitors with the quality and dependability of Western Digital drive inside. So, if you are looking for a rugged portable hard drive with oodles of storage capacity and transfer speed isn’t at the top of your priority, you’ve found it. We have no problem recommending the Silicon Power Armor A66 portable hard drive.

Click the stamp for an explanation of what this means.
Click the stamp for an explanation of what this means.

 

-John Nester (Blaylock)

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About John Nester 359 Articles
John started writing and reviewing PC components for Overclockers.com in 2015, but his passion for PCs dates all the way back to the early 1980s. His first personal computer was a Commodore 64 with a cassette drive. As a dedicated member of the news team, he focuses his articles on new product releases and software updates. He reviews a wide variety of PC components including chassis, storage drives, keyboards, and more. John works in technology as a C.A.D. designer for a major automotive manufacturer. His other passions in life include motorcycles, hunting, guns, and football.

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MaddMutt

Member

1,981 messages 44 likes

From reading the article : The use of a 5400rpm hdd was to keep cost down. Do they have plans to use 7200rpm hdd or a ssd? IIRC a ssd would have a max transfer at 550mb. Can you take the product apart to manually upgrade it?

Thank You for a Great Review :plus1:(y)

Reply 2 Likes

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner

74,586 messages 1,538 likes

Heh.. I thought we took it apart in the review...yes I edited it too. Lol.

We need to see inside. Sometimes there's proprietary or soldered on interfaces so you just can't drop any 2.5" drive.

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Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member

7,868 messages 564 likes

I'm not aware of any plans for silicon power to upgrade to a 7200 RPM. I did take the drive apart and the drive can be replaced. The PCB at the base looks to be a std SATA power/data connector while the other side is the USB 3.2 Gen1. The dive is taped to the back plastic panel with some fairly decent dbl sided tape. In trying to remove it it was destroying the tape so I stopped. Upgrading the drive is outside of the realm of the review so I left it at that. Just a review of the product.

If you are interested I can post a couple pics of it here when I get a free minute, but everyone pretty much knows what a 2.5" hdd looks like.

Reply 2 Likes

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W
Woomack

Benching Team Leader

12,332 messages 958 likes

@MaddMutt
These products use cheaper HDD which are still not much slower than the 7200RPM. This is HDD, you can't make miracles going from 5400 to 7200 RPM and I don't think anyone cares if it's 10% faster or slower when it's for a data copy and you won't really work directly on these drives. No matter what HDD you install inside, it won't be even close to the slowest SSD on the market right now.
External SSDs are a different product line. External 3.5" HDDs are also a different product line. It's not hard to check their products on the official website - https://www.silicon-power.com/web/category/PortableSSDs ... as I said, it's a different product line designed for different purposes. There are also external enclosures if you want to use your own SSD instead of HDD ... and surprise, it's also a different product category ;)

Reply 3 Likes

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Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member

7,868 messages 564 likes

100% agree Woomack.

If you are looking for an external SSD or need higher transfer speeds than the A66 maybe consider Silicon Power's PC60. It's an SSD with USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C connector and capacities range from 240 GB up to 1.9 TB. Naturally, it will be more expensive (i.e. the 1TB is $154 vs. $45).

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Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member

7,868 messages 564 likes

BONUS MATERIAL!

Below are some additional pictures of the internal components and how it is built.

20220414_093154_HDR.jpg20220414_093238_HDR.jpg20220414_093403_HDR.jpg20220414_093530_HDR.jpg

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