Icy Dock MB080U3S-1SB Blizzard & MB559U3S-1S Ultra Slim External Hard Drive Enclosure Reviewajmatson - August 20, 2012
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Now we get down to the testing phase of the review. For the testing I will be running the two enclosures through a series of benchmarks designed to push the hardware to the limits bringing out their full potential. For the hard drive I choose a modest but very common Seagate ST200DL003-9VT166 two terabyte drive with a spindle speed of 5900 RPM. I chose this drive because it is a good mix of high capacity with low heat and power draw. Since the Icy Dock Blizzard and Ultra Slim enclosures offer both USB 3.0 and eSATA the tests will be run with each connection. I will also be comparing them to the Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 enclosure, the Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 3.0 tock and also to an internal SATA connection.
- Processor(s): AMD Phenom X6 1100T
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair V Formula
- Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE
- Memory: Mushkin 996744 DDR3 1600MHz 8-8-8-24
- Video Card : XFX HD 7970
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: LG Supermulti DVD-R/W
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- External Hard Drive: Seagate ST2000DL003-9VT166 2TB SATA 6Gbps 5900RPM
- Icy Dock MB080U3S-1SB Blizard USB 3.0 & eSATA
- Icy DockMB559U3S-1S Ultra SlimUSB 3.0 & eSATA
- Thermaltake BlacX USB 3.0
- Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0
- Internal SATA
- Average Transfer Rate (HD Tune)
- Access Time (HD Tune)
- Burst Rate (HD Tune)
- CPU Usage (HD Tune)
- Physical Disk Drive Index (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
- Physical Disk Access Time (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
- File Systems Drive Index (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
- File Systems Access Time (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
- Real world transfer time
- 4K, 128K, 512K & 1M Read/Write (ATTO Disk Benchmark)
- Sequential, Random, 4K, & 4KQ32 Read/Write (Crystal Disk Mark)
HDTune allows you to do many things with hard drives beyond benchmarking, however, for the purposes of this review I just used it for benchmarking. After the benchmark finished I recorded the Average Transfer Rate, Access Time, Burst Rate, and CPU Usage.
Since this is an actively cooled enclosure I wanted to show the temperatures both in an idle and load state. For this test I used HDTune and let the drive site idle in the enclosure for 20 minutes and took the temperature. Then to simulate the loads I ran HDTune 5 times and again recorded the temperatures at the end of the 5th run.
SiSoft Sandra allows you to run a veriety of hardware benchmarks on your PC. For the purposes of testing I investigated Physical and File Systems in both Drive Index and Access Time. Upon completion of each test I marked down testing statistics
Real Time File Transfer:
For the Real Time File Transfer tests I used TeraCopy to mearue the amount of time and the average MB/s that it took to transfer a 100MB, 500MB and 1GB file.
ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.47:
Atto Disk Benchmark is another aged, but good hard drive benchmark utility designed to test read and write speeds for different file sizes.
Crystal Disk Mark 3.0:
Crystal Disk Mark is a hard drive benchmark designed to measure the read and write speeds of drives by using 4k blocks, 512k blocks, and sequential data. For the test, we chose the 1000MB option.
Overall both Icy Dock enclosures faired quite well. On eSATA they were the fastest comparing to an internal SATA connection. For USB 3.0 they both were on par or fairly faster than the Thermaltake offerings we compared against. One thing of note was the temperatures. When the Icy Dock Blizzard was put against the Thermaltake Max 5G, the active cooling features of the Blizzard were cooler by 2°C, which in the world of computing are a big difference.