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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.
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|
|Capacity||1TB, 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)|
|Weight||209g (1TB/2TB), 328g (4TB/5TB)|
|Material||Rubber + Plastic|
|Color||Black/Black, Black/Blue, Black/Yellow|
|Interface||USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB 3.0, USB 2.0 backwards-compatible)|
|Supported OS||Windows 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 Temperature||5°C – 55°C|
|Storage Temperature||-40°C – 70°C|
|Operating Voltage||DC 5V|
|Patent||TW Patent No. D216648|
|Certifications||CE, FCC, BSMI, Green dot, WEEE, RoHS, KC, RCM|
|Pricing||1 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|
The Armor A66 is designed for extreme durability.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 v184.108.40.206 – Use predefined 120 GB transfer file
|Motherboard||ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 3700X|
|CPU Cooler||be quiet! Dark Rock 4|
|Memory||G.SKILL Trident Z RGB 16GB (2×8) 3200MHz CL16-18-18-38|
|OS SSD||Crucial P1 NVMe PCIe 2280 M.2 SSD 1TB|
|Power Supply||be quiet! Pure Power 11 500W|
|Graphics Card||Gigabyte RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8 GB|
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 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.
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.
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