The Icy Dock 3.5" to 2.5" drive-bay converter features a high quality construction designed for ease-of-use and drive protection. The sturdy steel construction provides an extremely tough exterior that will protect the drive inside from any of the typical bumps and scratches experienced during installation.
The Icy Dock Smart-Fit technology holds the drive snugly, regardless of the thickness. This system protects against vibration during use, and also does not scratch or mar the surface of the drive. We have used several adaptors in the past that can actually leave scratches and marks on the exterior of the drive. While these small marks only affect the aesthetic quality of the drive, they certainly are not desirable. The Icy Dock Smart-Fit system holds the drive snugly, without damaging it. A neat aspect of the Smart-Fit technology also is the lack of a need for fasteners to install the drive - this simplifies installation tremendously.
When the drive is placed into the converter, the user also does not have to worry about lining up the SAS port. The mating of the drive to the SAS connector happens through an automatic sliding action as the converter is closed. This type of system typically makes us leery, as many cheap converters on the market will not line up correctly and can actually break or snap off the SAS connections on the SSD or HDD.
With a very rare 12Gb/s SSD being installed into the converter, there was a bit of apprehension the first time we closed the lid. The sliding action worked perfectly, the best we have experienced actually, and mated correctly with absolutely no unnerving resistance. We opened and closed the converter a number of times to test the function, and users will have no issues with this system - it works flawlessly.
High performance SSDs and HDDs can generate quite a bit of heat during use. The excellent thermal ventilation slots, placed on all side of the converter, provide a tremendous amount of airflow that allows the device to stay nice and cool. We also noted the drive sets flush on the bottom of the converter case. This allows the heat to transfer to the case of the converter, essentially turning it into a large heatsink. This great feature allows for even better thermal dissipation.
In our testing, we can see that the converter applies zero overhead to the performance of even the fastest 12 Gb/s SAS SSDs available. Though the SSD scored faster in the test with the converter than connected directly to our HBA, we have to caution that the Icy Dock converter does not actually speed up the SSD, or allow it to break the laws of gravity. It just merely allows it to perform at its finest with no restriction, and the tests completed within the typical variation expected with flash devices.
The Icy Dock MB982IP-1S-1 is a high quality converter priced very competitively for the price conscious with a three year warranty. This is our first encounter with an Icy Dock solution in the enterprise area here at TweakTown, and it will not be the last. We will be using these converters in all of our server applications in the future. With its high quality and smooth function, we would recommend this to anyone looking for a SAS drive bay converter, easily winning the TweakTown Editor's Choice Award.