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IcyDock MB452 eSATA/USB2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure Review
IcyDock MB452 eSATA/USB2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Icy Dock MB452 is an external eSATA and USB2.0 hard drive enclosure whose removable drive caddy is compatible with the companies PC mounted MB122SKGF system.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Hard Drives/SSD Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: IcyDock Feb 05 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives/SSD > IcyDock MB452

Installation Steps Are Straightforward

The SATA hard drive installs in the aluminum caddy and is connected with a standard hot swappable SATA data jack fixed to the rear. A few screws (included) ensure the hard drive stays put, and that the HDD chassis makes direct contact with the aluminum for small measure of conductive cooling. With the lid back in place. The key lock on the front of the Icy Dock external chassis is what makes the entire system work.

The drive caddy must be locked in place inside the external chassis for power to flow to the hard drive, and the caddy must be unlocked to be hot swappable - it's the perfect definition of counter productive. Loss of the little key is not incredibly important, the lock is of such poor quality that any key from any such similar HDD rack will work.

So long as you are running Windows XP or Vista, and the removable hard drive caddy does not contain your operating system, the PC will react pretty sensibly to the immediate removal or insertion of a hard drive. It's best practice to go to "removable devices" in the control panel and "stop" the hard drive before pulling it out of a running computer, or data loss may occur. This step ensures data integrity while the latter is a little like playing russian roulette with your data. SATA is inherently hot swappable so it won't affect the drive.

The general build quality of the Icy Dock MB452 is nice, we particularly like the little rubber feet which help reduce vibrations and noise for high speed drives. The aluminum parts of the chassis have been sand blasted and anodized, so this should allow them to hold up to little bumps and scrapes well enough.

eSATA Device Support

eSATAII (aka external Serial ATA) support is easily the most exciting feature to pop on motherboards of recent. When it comes to external mass storage, bandwidth has always been, and will always be an issue. USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) and IEEE 1394a/b (400/800 Mbps) offer better alternatives than past connections like Serial and Parallel ports but they are still slow compared to dedicated hard drive channels.

With the emergence of Serial ATA, external storage took a huge step forward. Serial ATA is an affordable solution (as opposed to SCSI) that offers speeds at well past USB or IEEE 1394 levels. Serial ATA generation I has up to 1.5Gbps worth of bandwidth and Serial ATA generation II doubles that bandwidth to 3Gbps. Serial ATA makes even IEEE 1394b's 800Mbps bandwidth look paltry by comparison.

Standard internal Serial ATA cables are sufficient for internal connections, but SATA-IO governing body decided a while back that the external version should be somewhat different, thus creating the eSATA standard. The eSATA cable that accompanies the Icy Dock MB452 is the eSATA I ('eye' not 'one') type connector (of the two pictured, it is the left one). There are also eSATA L connectors floating around, so we'd advise you to double check what type of connector end is on any kind of cables you might pick up.

The great thing about eSATA enclosures is that hard drives connected over this standard are just as fast as internal SATA devices. The connectors are hot swappable, so it makes adding and removing an external hard drive about as complex as clipping in a USB memory key.

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Contents of Article: IcyDock MB452
 Pg 1.  IcyDock MB452 eSATA/USB2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure Review
 Pg 2.  — Installation Steps Are Straightforward
 Pg 3.  Closer Examination of Features
 Pg 4.  Removable Hard Drive Rack Style

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