Icy Box IB-266StUS-B External HDD Enclosure
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Rutledge Feman
Date: 08-23-2007
Provided by: Tagan
Discuss: View Comments

I will be testing the Icy Box using HD Tune 2.53 as well as a real-world timed test, where I will transfer MP3s to and from the Icy Box. All tests will be conducted on my dedicated test system which consists of the following hardware:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.5 GHz
Zalman CNPS9500 CPU Cooler
EVGA 680i SLI Motherboard
2x 8800GTX VGA cards in SLI
4 Gb OCZ Platinum PC2-6400 Memory
74 Gb Western Digital Raptor 10k RPM HDD
Lite-On Optical Drive
Mountain Mods Duality Case

First, I will be testing the Icy Box as an internal device; that is, using the docking station. My case does not have a 3.5" drive bay, so I had to place the dock outside of the case. I also tested the Icy Box using the USB 2.0 interface. I wanted to test the unit using the eSATA interface too, but my motherboard does not have an eSATA port and an adapter/add-in card was not included with the Icy Box kit.

First up, the results from HD Tune.

Via Direct SATA

Via USB 2.0

As expected, the drive performed better directly connected via SATA. Let's see what kind of results we get with a real-world file transfer. I performed this test by transferring 13.4 GB (2,884 files) of MP3s to and from the Icy Box under both SATA and USB interfaces. I ran each test three times then averaged them together to get the final results. Below are the results obtained.

I was pretty surprised to see that the USB read/write times were not very far behind those of the SATA interface.

Usage, Findings and Conclusion

The Icy Box performed well during all of my tests here today. The unit will appeal to those looking for a hot-swappable, external drive that is very small in size. The enclosure itself is aluminum and light-weight and only has the necessary lights (power, read/write) and connectors (DC, eSATA and USB 2.0). The drive itself, inside the enclosure, was very quiet and only got semi-warm. The docking station performed well, allowing me to insert the drive then remove it with ease.

The only negative I could find with this drive is that it doesn't come with any type of eSATA add-in card or adapter. I have never owned a motherboard that has eSATA and don't know anyone who has a board that supports it. The inclusion of such a card would make the overall kit even more attractive, although I am sure it would add to the overall cost.

As of writing, the Icy Box IB-266StUSD-B sells for under $35 at a popular online reseller. OCIA.net has awarded the Icy Box our seal of approval!

Thanks to Tagan for supplying us with this review sample.

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