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Today we have an interesting brand landed on our doorstep; Icy Dock which a leading vendor for storage enclosures. If normal external storage is not able to fulfill your need and NAS is totally out of budget then you should probably take a look on MB662USEB-2S. This enclosure is a dual-bay 3.5" external HDD enclosure which supports RAID 0, 1 and JBOD.
ICY DOCK is a privately held company with more than 10 years being devoted in design, manufacturing, branding and distribution of Storage enclosure peripherals. By keep improving its own new product release process from previous toil experiences, ICY DOCK has formed a standard yet efficient new product development procedures to satisfy timely requirement from the market.
As one of the leading peripheral enclosure solution provider, we will continue to commit ourselves in supplying our customers the best performance per dollar products. "Your demand is our command" is the key to ensure our success in the business world.
* Support 2TB+ in each slot for all 3 RAID modes.
* MB662 Series fits 2 x 3.5" SATA I/II hard drives for maximum storage.
* Plug & Play USB 2.0 + eSATA + FireWire800 combo with OXFORD936DS chipset.
* FireWire 400 capability via FW800 to FW400 converter cable, supplied in the box.
* Built-in hardware RAID controller allows Three different RAID configurations:
RAID 0 (FAST), RAID 1 (SAFE), & JBOD (Concatenation/Spanned)
* No additional software and hardware required for RAID capabilities.
* User friendly Screw-less design just plug in the hard drive and play.
* 40 mm Sunon cooling fan with adjustable speed control.
* Multi-drive exchangeability & maintenance capabilities.
* Built with Solid Aluminum Construction for body.
* Built in security slot for security cable kit.
* Compatible for both Windows and Mac.
Package & Contents
Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S comes with a sturdy packaging box in white theme and clear descriptions were printed at the back. Besides that two high quality foams and a plastic bag are used to ensure the Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S's charming aluminum chassis is well protected.
The bundled accessories are power cord, adapter, USB cables, FireWire 800 cable, FireWire 800-to-400 cable, eSATA cable and a user manual. The adapter is a 2-pin 12V 4A AC-to-DC adapter and the user manual provides pretty complete guideline which is definitely helpful for new user.
Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S is a multi-interface external HDD enclosure which supports standard USB 2.0 (480Mb/s), eSATA (3Gb/s) as well as FireWire (400/800 Mb/s). All these cables are about 1.8m lengths which are more than enough to support most of the setup.
A Closer Look on Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S
Icy Dock is a master in storage enclosures and they do produce both internal and external storage enclosures; either in single bay or multi bays. Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S is just one of the latest 3.5" dual bay RAID external enclosures which was released on Sept 2010.
We are amazed with the dimension of Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S as it does not look like a dual-bay external enclosure at all; only comes with 20.6 x 13.5 x 6.1 mm. Besides that Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S is also a light weight enclosure about 0.8KG; thanks to its aluminum chassis.
The whole chassis of Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S is ~ 90% built by aluminum which is not only good for heat dissipation but also looks much elegant. Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S can be placed in both vertical and horizontal positions but stands are only provided for vertical placement.
A tray-less design is used on Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S to simplify the HDD installation but hot-swappable is not supported. These plastic front trays will be semi-ejected (10 degree) once the metal release button is pushed and HDD will only be ejected once the front tray is fully ejected (90 degree).
Here is the internal structure of Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S with some simple mechanic works. The two long metal bars are used to push and eject the HDD when the front tray is being pulled. Both of the installed HDDs are basically sitting side by side; no physical partition is used to segregate them.
Here are the clearer diagrams of Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S for you to understanding better about its structure and airflow circulation.
Here is the rear panel of Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S and everything looks neat. A proper active cooling is a must for such dual-bay 3.5" external HDD enclosure to ensure reliable operation; Sunon 40mm cooling fan with fan speed controller is used so that noise and performance could be balanced.
Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S supports eSATA, USB 2.0 and FireWire but four connectors are available as both FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 are provided. USB 3.0 interface is missing here but we foresee it will be added for the next product respin since USB is still a much preferred technology than others.
Other connectors and switches are power jack, On/Off switch, Kensington lock and a RAID selector. The RAID setting is something unique compare with ordinary external HDD enclosure and Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S support RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD.
Here are the descriptions about these RAIDs; RAID 0 is for greater speed like dual channel technology, RAID 1 is for safety purpose with redundancy data and JBOD (Just a Box of Disks) instructs the device to only write on the secondary HDD if the primary HDD is fully consumed.
Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S is using T5/T6 Polydrive screw to secure the rear panel with the PCB on the enclosure. The PCB of Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S is much bigger than normal external HDD enclosures due to additional components and chipsets for RAID, FireWire and etc.
OXFORD936DS is a universal interface dual SATA storage controller with integrated RAID engine. TSB81BA3D is an IEEE 1394b three-port cable transceiver/arbiter by Texas Instrument while 39VF040 is a 5124K x8 CMOS Multi-Purpose Flash (MPF) by SST.
Here are the LED statuses of Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S; each LED status carries a meaning and it is helpful for troubleshooting.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Hardware setup for Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S is simple and straightforward. The first step is to choose the right interface; either eSATA, USB 2.0 or FireWire and then connect the enclosure with the PC together with the power adapter. Next will be inserting the HDDs into the enclosure and it is always best to use the same capacity and model for best performance especially for RAID 0 and RAID 1 but it is not a must.
Two Samsung 160GB HDDs were installed on our Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S. Before powering up the Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S with installed HDDs, the right RAID setting has to be selected first; depend on your preference. We will test out all these RAID settings in later chapter to find out the performance and storage capacity differences between them.
Software setup is required by reformatting the HDDs through Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management (for Microsoft Window XP operating system). Right click on the connected disks to do a clean format for maximizing the performance. Once all these hardware and software setup are done then Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S is ready to be operated.
Here are the 2 x 160GB HDDs exact capacities on Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S with these three different RAID modes; RAID 1 (146GB), RAID 0 (297GB) and JBOD (297GB). Everything is working correctly according to the expected capacities.
If the RAID setup has been changed from one RAID mode to another then this alert box will be popped up when Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S is powered up again; just click "Next" and "Finish". Reformat the HDDs through Computer Management is required for any RAID mode modification.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3/Gigabyte G31M-ES2L
Heatsink: Noctua NH-D14
Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX260+
PCIe: Aten IC320U USB 3.0
Casing: In Win Maelstorm
PSU: Aerocool V12XT-800
Optical Drive: HLDS DVD RW +/-
Controller: Aerocool Touch 2000
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Operating System: Window XP Pro SP2/Win 7 HP
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
(RAID 1, RAID 0 & JBOD)
We have tested Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S with all these available RAID settings to find out the performance differences between them. Based on our results, there is no significant performance difference between all these RAID settings; pretty close to each other. This is expected for JBOD and RAID 1 but there should be performance difference for RAID 0 with others since the data will be read and writed in dual channel mode. However this could be due to the HDD's speed and only simple tests were conducted. We strongly believe that RAID 1 performance will be significant improved when huge file size is loaded (multimedia files) or if faster HDD is used (10K RPM).
Anyway the HDD's heat is able to be dissippated well through the aluminum chassis and the 40mm cooling fan; so far there is not any reliable issue with the installed HDD after 24 x 7 operating. Besides that the 40mm cooling fan does not generated loud noise and thanks to the fan speed controller which allows user to balance the noise and performance by a simple tweak. Last but no least the LEDs of Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S are quite dim and you will no be disturbed at all.
This is our first time to test out an Icy Dock product and oveall we are pretty sastified with it. Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S is not only a dual-bay ordinary 3.5" external HDD enclosure but it also equipped with universal interface (eSATA, USB 2.0 & FireWire 400/800) and RAID ability. Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S offers three RAID modes; RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD to fulfill different kind of requirements and preference. If you are looking an advanced external HDD enclosure then you probably should take a look on Icy Dock MB662USEB-2S which costs about 180USD.
+ Dual-bay external HDD enclosure
+ Support up to 2TB per slot
+ Support RAID 0, 1 & JBOD
+ USB 2.0, FireWire & eSATA
+ Tray-less HDD insertion
+ Simple hardware & software setup
+ Slim & light weight
+ Well-built with aluminum chassis
+ Great thermal solution
+ Controllable fan speed
+ Kensington lock
- Not a hot swappable enclosure
Thanks to Icy Dock for providing this sample for us to review.
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