In The Box
When you open up the box you will be greeted with everything necessary to get your hard drive up and running, but all without ever having to attach it to your IDE channel. The model being tested today makes use of a USB 2.0 port but you can also find these units available with Firewire support if your system supports this function.
Included is the external drive assembly, a USB cable to connect the unit to your system, a power adapter to give the standard hard drive all the juice it needs to run properly, a user manual, a small bag containing four screws to mount the drive in the external unit and a small mini-disk with drivers needed for those with a Win98SE system. We'll be testing on a WinXP based setup so the driver disk won't be needed.
Since most of the items in the box are pretty much self-explanatory, we'll key in on the external unit itself.
The unit is actually two pieces, the external housing assembly and a bracket, which allows you to sit the drive unit upright. It works fine either way so it really boils down to personal preference and space requirements. There are also small rubber feet on the bottom of both the stand and the housing to protect the finish of wherever you happen to sit the device.
Looking at the front of the drive housing shows only a single button and a light. The button is for power and the light indicates whether it is getting any. This also works double duty since when I powered down the unit, it removed the drive from the system. Even though it was still hooked up to a USB port, the drive did not register in the system under My Computer.
On the rear part of the housing you see the power port and the USB port. It is fully compliant with USB 2.0 standards so you can expect to get a bit better data transfer rates. To show you just what type speeds you'll get, I'll be testing a hard drive externally as well as internally on the standard IDE channel. But before we do that we'll cover the installation process a bit.
Once you take off the top cover of the drive housing you'll be greeted by a reminder that Thermaltake has its roots deeply ingrained in the cooling arena. I've commented several times in the past about the importance of cooling modern hard drives. With drives today reaching spindle rotation speeds of 10K RPM, active cooling isn't just a luxury, it is vital to the continued reliability of your drive.
With this concept in mind, you'll find a low-profile fan mounted in the bottom of the drive housing. Though not a standard fan you might find for your system, a quick measurement shows it will be the equivalent of an 80mm x 10mm variety that spins at 1500 RPM. I don't have decibel specs available but I had to put my ear right up to the drive to make sure it was running. While not a technical reading, you can be assured of a quiet component.
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