There are four SATA data and two standard 4-pin molex
power connectors on the back of the IcyDock MB674SPF-B module. Either
SATA I or SATA II hard drives can be used with
the product. You'll need to supply four of your own SATA cables to
connect each of the four SATA data connections to the corresponding SATA
headers on the motherboard.
The headers next to the SATA
jacks in the picture below are there to support various modes of HDD
failure signal and power signals, these are mainly for server motherboards or
rack-mountable RAID array cases.
The only other control you really may be interested in
is the temperature alarm which can be set to buzz off at 45°C, 55°C, or 65°C. The 80mm fan clips
into place with a special set of power jacks, and is
hot swappable (it is shown removed in the picture above). In the likely event
the instruction manual is misplaced there is a sticker with all the pin-outs affixed to the bottom
of the unit.
Now let's wrap up this review and highlight some of
the aspects of IcyDock's product that are likely to be of most interest
Conclusions on IcyDock MB674SPF-B
In the space of three 5.25"
optical drives the IcyDock MB674SPF-B module packs in four 3.5" SATA hard
drives, all hot swappable, all accessible without lifting a single screw driver.
There's no need to open up a cramped computer, no HDD rails to fuss with, and
a fan ensures a modicum of airflow over your drives to prevent excessive heat
Just open up a bay door, slide a bare SATA
hard drive in and close it. The SATA drive is automatically connected and within
a few moments should be accessible from the desktop. As the electrical connections disengage, data flowing to
the drive is stopped, and power cut off.
We'll forgo data transfer benchmarks because there is no difference between a SATA
hard drive attached directly to the motherboard, and one hooked up to the IcyDock MB674SPF-B
module. The ICYDock MB674SPF-B 4-bay hot swap hard drive module is such a simple device, but
until PC case makers start including SATA backplanes in every case you'll want to consider spending the $120CDN ($ 105USD/£50GBP) the
MB674SPF-B commands. For anyone that runs one
or two RAID 1 arrays, it's definitely worth while.
Now the bad
Functionally the IcyDock MB674SPF-B module is handy, but
in places the build quality leads to a very
flimsy feeling. That isn't to say it's made from excessively cheap materials that
will break, it's just that the drive bay doors are connected by pins which allow a
lot of excess movement, and the use of plastic catches further adds to this.
Metal drive bay doors would have given the IcyDock MB674SPF-B a more solid
Take for example the aluminum lever which prevents
the door from opening. Hidden behind it is a little purple plastic lock
that your finger needs to press in to disengage first, allowing the door to
freely open after. During our tests it was not uncommon to find ourselves
pulling on the door until it clicked open... And because the joints are all
pretty loose this happens easily.
The hard drives themselves slide in and out
of the 4-bay unit smoothly, ICYdock has used stainless steel in
very specific areas to ensure smooth running with any parts that contact the
metal hard drive. This serves a double purpose by electrically grounding the
metal chassis of the hard drive too.
The single 80mm cooling fan spins quietly, while
drawing a moderate amount of air over each hard drive to help keep temperatures
in check. To some degree the all aluminum chassis further aids conductive
cooling of the hard drive chassis. The main issue you may encounter with the IcyDock MB674SPF-B though, is dust buildup over
time. Given that air is drawn in through the front of the unit into the computer
case, and the openings are all quite small, it seems to filter out
dust judiciously! We recommend you periodically power down and dust off each drive.
There is no denying that IcyDock
IcyDock MB674SPF-B is convenient to work with. If you find yourself
looking for extra SATA hard drive space, or have a RAID array you need at hands reach, the
tool free IcyDock MB674SPF-B adds four HDDs in the space of three
5.25" drive bays. It could be just what the doctor ordered. Overall PCSTATS is
quite pleased with the the IcyDock MB674SPF-B and we recommend it for PC work station
or light storage server applications.
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