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Icy Dock ToughArmor Series Overview Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | Accessories in Storage | Posted: May 14, 2014 2:00 pm



The MB994SP-4S is another model that supports SATA and SAS drives.




This is the first 5.25-inch enclosure of the ToughArmor group. It holds four drives, either SATA or single-channel SAS and up to 15mm z-height. Two 4-pin Molex connectors provide power to all of the drives, keeping cable clutter to a minimum. We found the MB994SP-4S for as low as $75, making the cost per bay just $18.75.








The four-drive model allows you to use large height SAS drives, and that makes it fairly unique on the market.




This model and the other 5.25-inch models do have a special requirement when installed in a computer. You have to be careful not to use long screws. Icy Dock supplies special short screws that work in nearly all cases. The reason for the short screws is so the drives will fit in the enclosure. Two 2.5-inch drives together comes to 5 inches in a 5.25-inch space. It sounds easy enough, but the enclosure also has to have sides and a space between the two drives.




Even though this model supports both SATA and SAS, you can only use the SAS drives in single-channel mode. The dual fans will keep your high RPM hard drives cool.







I own several MB996SP-6SB units and use them every day in our NAS test servers. The units allow us to have a dense drive environment in very little space. When using rackmount servers, density is an important consideration.




The MB996SP-6SB fits six 2.5-inch HDDs or SSDs in a single 5.25-inch drive bay. Users can fit drives up to 9.5mm z-height in a space designed for optical drives. We found this model online for as low as $87.84, which is just $14.64 per drive bay.








It's difficult to recommend anything else when you need to build a high drive count array in a small space. The MB996SP-6SB simply delivers unrivaled build quality paired with high functionality.




Again, it's important to pay attention to the screws with this system, but Icy Dock supplies the short screws that work in most systems.




Two 4-pin Molex power ports supply the juice to all six drives. A single cooling fan keeps the drives cool (yes, SSDs can get hot without proper air flow). A fan speed selector switch sets the speed to high, low, and OFF. On the low setting, you can't hear the fan under normal use.





PRICING: You can find the Icy Dock MB994SP-4S and MB996SP-6SB for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.


United States: The Icy Dock MB994SP-4S retails for $85.78 at Amazon.


Canada: The Icy Dock MB994SP-4S retails for CDN$94.81 at Amazon Canada.


United States: The Icy Dock MB996SP-6SB retails for $84.99 at Amazon.


Canada: The Icy Dock MB996SP-6SB retails for CDN$133.84 at Amazon Canada.

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