In The Box
Once we get through the plastic wrap and the packaging materials, we see ourselves with the standard accoutrements that we would expect to see with this type of product. Besides the main unit itself, you also get all necessary cabling, mounting screws, a plastic stand for vertical setup, and a small manual.
Taking a closer look at the cabling shows that we get a USB cable, an e.SATA cable, and something that you may not have expected; an e.SATA bracket for those who don't have a case (or external device) that supports this feature. It is beginning to look as if the folks at Rosewill are serious about this "value" concept.
Moving on to the main unit shows a very clean appearance without a bunch of extra stuff that will get in the way of normal operation. The housing of the enclosure is all aluminum, so this should help with cooling for newer hard drives that have a tendency to run on the hot side.
The front of the enclosure shows nothing more than a power switch. The clear plastic also doubles as a power indicator and an activity light. Blue indicates the unit is powered up and red (generally flashing very rapidly) indicated disk activity. The color scheme works regardless of whether you are connecting by means of USB or e.SATA.
The back side is where you will need to make those vital connections. The power cable is mandatory for operation, then you will have to choose between the connection mode. Since the cabling and a PC bracket are all included with this kit, the choice will be yours. e.SATA is faster as a rule, but even if your motherboard does not support the SATA standard, the USB connection will still allow you to make use of this newer drive technology, albeit a bit slower than what it is capable of.
Also seen is a toggle switch for a fan. Factory default position is OFF, but I would highly recommend making sure this thing is turned ON at all times your enclosure is running. Hard drives today get too hot for this not to be used. The fan can be heard, but is not loud by any stretch of the imagination, so there is really no reason for it not to be on at all times.
Taking the housing apart is as simple as removing two screws from the back side of the unit. Remove the two screws, take off the plastic end cap and slide the internals out the front of the housing. That is all there is to it, so just have a Phillips screwdriver handy and you'll be ready for business.
The PCB is something that we have become used to seeing in this type of product. It handles the task of connectivity so that your drive will be compatible with any OS Win98SE and beyond. It is also compatible with Mac OS 8.6 and newer as well as any Linux kernel beyond 22.214.171.124.
The round half moon you see toward the upper right above is the 50mm fan I mentioned earlier. Since it acts as an exhaust and there are some minor venting holes on the front of the unit, airflow appeared to work very well. Your drives will always run hotter in this type of enclosure, but the Rosewill unit looks to address cooling better than many I've seen in the past.
Installing a hard drive is a matter of simplicity. Lay the drive inside the enclosure and slide it into the ports toward the rear. From there you use the four included screws to secure the drive into place.
I have tested many IDE devices and internal cabling within the enclosure has almost always been an issue to one extent or another. Since this device uses the industry standard power and SATA ports of the hard drive, it is hard-connected to the drive and there are no cabling issues to deal with. This not only makes installation easier, it gives you a much cleaner layout that will not interfere with cooling airflow. Just like inside your PC enclosure, better airflow equates better cooling.
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