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In use the Icy Box performed flawlessly, although it’s worth noting that if your motherboard doesn’t support Hot-Plug SATA you’ll have to restart your system before Windows will recognise the drive.
Copying 8.1GB of digital images from a native SATA drive in the test system took 10 minutes 19 seconds connecting via SATA, while using USB 2.0 the same operation took 11 minutes 40 seconds. I found this somewhat surprising, and it shows that you’re not losing a huge amount of performance over USB 2.0 when copying thousands of files. Things were slightly different when I copied a single 4.3GB file – this took one minute 55 seconds over SATA compared to three minutes three seconds via USB 2.0. For comparison sake I took the Seagate drive out of the Icy Box and connected it to the test rig natively. The times that the drive turned in over the motherboard’s EIDE controller were nine minutes 26 seconds for the 8.1GB of images, although it took slightly longer than when in the Icy Box to write the 4.3GB single file at two minutes two seconds.
Of course, as far as performance goes, the real deciding factor is the drive that you choose to install. If you decide to splash out on a Western Digital Raptor, then you’ll get better performance, but the overall cost of the solution will be far greater.
I have to say that I really like the Icy Box and with a street price of £35.24 it’s pretty good value as well. There’s no denying that an external hard disk is a very useful tool and the Icy Box allows you to put any disk you like in a slim and stylish enclosure.
A great looking external hard disk enclosure that has the added bonus of SATA connectivity. If you need an external hard drive and want to choose the exact model of disk, the Icy Box is a good solution.