We are proud to present the Icy Dock review for your reading pleasure. First of all, I would like to thank Icy Dock for providing this product for review. What we have here is a perfect product for any average or advanced computer user. Let’s face it - the price of hard drives has been reduced to the point that you will never have to erase anything due to lack of space on your hard drive. For all hyper-advanced users such as application developers and hard core data users, this product might be for you too. The MB559 is an external enclosure that fits standard 3.5" sata drives. For this review I have used a Western Digital 500 gig sata drive for testing purposes.
About the Product
The MB559 enclosure comes with eSATA + USB 2.0 combo interface combo. It also has a slick aluminum body and a fanless cooling design. The MB559 can be mounted vertically or horizontally depending on the need. What I thought was a really cool feature are the feet that can be retracted with a push of a button. The MB559 is also has the ability to swap drives and could be easily maintained just by removing the drive tray.
The package came in a small box just big enough to fit the unit. When I took the MB559 out I quickly realized the box which surrounded it was made of plastic. Paying close attention to the exterior of the unit, I found a thin coat of plastic around the whole unit.
Side box shot
Side box shot
From both sides of the box you can see a small sticker seal with Icy Dock logos. The whole package was very small and looked just right for an average external hard drive enclosure. Lets open the beast up. :)
Side box shot
Opening the box was very easy and convenient. The whole package contained the actual unit and accessories.
Accessories and MB559
MB559 Out of the box
When handling the MB559 I immediately felt this was a high quality product. The slickness of this particular unit is eye-opening.
Rear access panel
Power and lock
The rear panel is very neat and has all the right ports. On the back we have the Off and On switches, eSATA connector, USB 2.0 connector, power, lock hole and a button for the retractable feet.
Front access panel
Front access panel close up
Retractable feet in action
From the front, I found a very stylish removable tray mechanism. The actual tray handle is made out of light aluminum. I took some close-up shots just to show the retractable llegs and side comparison.
Feet close up
Removing the front tray
One press on the release lever and the hard drive bay was easily removed. Everything inside the case was pretty self-explanatory. All I saw was one board with SATA connectors. The ventilation holes on the side of the case was a must! This case doesn't use any fans to redistribute the air for circulation.
On the back of the case there is a rubber strip so that the MB559 could be used lying down on the flat side. Very good idea considering the case would otherwise slide left and right. The accessories box was very well constructed; the following was what was inside:
Accessories and manual
Western Digital installed
Testing rig and MB559
The accessories box had an SATA cable extender, USB cable (a to b), power supply adapter, power cord, an SATA cable and instruction manual. For this review I used a WD 500 gig hard drive for testing. The testing rig was an ECS P4M800PRO-M main board, 2 WD 250 gig hard drives in Raid 0, 1 WD 500 gig hard drive on internal channel and 1 WD 500 gig drive in the Icy Dock MB559. The RAM I used was Patriot Ram, DDR 3200.
Lights on :)
Ok, so we looked at the physical shape of the MB559 and all of its cool features. It’s time to take a look at the actual testing performance of this product. In this review I used HD Tach and Sandra. Unfortunately the P4800PRO-M doesn't support eSATA so the testing was done in an SATA mode with 150 mb/s maxed speed.
The first test was done in HD Tach by running an 8mb sequential read test. The test was administered against the two identical hard drives but one on the internal SATA channel and the other one in MB559.
HD Tach 8 mb Sequential Read test
The blue-line graph represents the Internal WD 500 where the red-line graph represents a drive inside of the enclosure. The max speed we see here is 109.8 mb/s on the internal channel and 109.5 mb/s on the MB559. I was very impressed with these results.
The second test was the 32 mb version of the HD Tach Sequential Read test. The results were very impressive as the results previous.
HD Tach 32 mb Sequential Read test
Again the speeds were very close to each other. This means that there is literally barely any difference between the drive on the internal sata channel and the sata channel through the MB559. Great! I am also pretty sure I could run Raided drives with Icy Dock at the main drives for OS :)
My next test was to see how the drive would actually perform in comparison to other external drives out there. This time I used a USB cable which was supplied with the MB559 to conduct the test.
Sandra Removable Storage comparison chart
With the results shown above I think it’s safe to say that performance-wise, the MB559 competes very well among external storages such as Maxtor and SanDisk.
The MB559 is an excellent product to have handy if you are on the move or need to transport some data. Icy Dock did a pretty good job making this unit slick and an eye candy product. The easy removable drive tray and ability to interchange the drives is a great idea and could be highly beneficial when large amounts of data need to be either stored or transferred. The performance factor of this particular unit proved to us that the MB559 onboard controller board keeps up with the speed of the motherboard just as good as the SATA controller channel on the actual motherboard. This unit has earned a perfect 10/10 from UMLan :) Great product!
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