Tech content trusted by users in North America and around the world
7,296 Reviews & Articles | 53,189 News Posts

ICY DOCK ICYCube MB561U3S-4S Four Bay USB 3.0 Storage Enclosure Review

ICY DOCK ICYCube MB561U3S-4S Four Bay USB 3.0 Storage Enclosure Review
Plentiful performance, build quality and good looks make up the latest in the ICYCube external storage solutions series from ICY DOCK.
By: Tyler Bernath | Enclosures/Externals in Storage | Posted: Jul 9, 2015 2:13 am
TweakTown Rating: 86%Manufacturer: ICY DOCK

icy-dock-icycube-mb561u3s-4s-four-bay-usb-3-storage-enclosure-review_99

 

Early April of this year, ICY DOCK announced the availability of their latest four bay storage enclosure. Coming from the ICYCube product series, this solution combines quality, good looks and performance into a single enclosure ready to fit your needs. As with many markets the storage enclosure scene is flooded with both good and not so good products and today we take a look at the MB561U3S form ICY DOCK which we only hope can be categorized as good.

 

The ICYCube MB561U3S is a USB 3.0 and eSATA storage solution that features four bays of connectivity. Each of these bays supports either 2.5" or 3.5" drives either of the spinning platter or solid-state type. Aimed at media professionals and others who want a high quality storage solution, the ICYCube supports JBOD function over USB 3.0, while those with a capable port multiplying eSATA RAID controller card will be able to configure this solution as needed. The back of this enclosure houses a 80mm detachable cooling fan, while the drive trays use the latest EZ-Tray design from Icy Dock.

 

MSRP of the ICY DOCK ICYCube USB 3.0 / eSATA enclosure comes in at $189.99 with a three-year warranty.

 

icy-dock-icycube-mb561u3s-4s-four-bay-usb-3-storage-enclosure-review_03

 

Product packaging for the ICYCube houses an image of both the black and white models on the front. Down below we have marketing information, while the top gives us the model and the product description.

 

icy-dock-icycube-mb561u3s-4s-four-bay-usb-3-storage-enclosure-review_04

 

Scope of delivery includes both the eSATA and USB 3.0 cables, along with the power cord and reading materials.

 

icy-dock-icycube-mb561u3s-4s-four-bay-usb-3-storage-enclosure-review_05

 

Above, we have the latest EZTray design from ICY DOCK. While comprised of a metal design the front does use some plastics that add to the aesthetics of the enclosure.

 

icy-dock-icycube-mb561u3s-4s-four-bay-usb-3-storage-enclosure-review_06

 

The back of the unit houses the 80mm cooling fan, while underneath we have the built in power supply and switch. To the right the eSATA and USB 3.0 connections reside alone.

 

GO TO TOP OF THE NEXT COLUMN ^

 

icy-dock-icycube-mb561u3s-4s-four-bay-usb-3-storage-enclosure-review_07

 

As mentioned previously, the rear-mounted fan is removable and requires no messing with wires at all. Once removed, you get a smaller footprint for situations that require such a thing.

 

icy-dock-icycube-mb561u3s-4s-four-bay-usb-3-storage-enclosure-review_10

 

Since we do not have a port multiplier capable eSATA card in the lab, we tested the ICYCube over USB 3.0. With our 1TB Toshiba hard drive, we were able to achieve 190 MB/s read and 189 MB/s write.

 

icy-dock-icycube-mb561u3s-4s-four-bay-usb-3-storage-enclosure-review_11

 

To find peak performance of the ICYCube we swapped our Toshiba spinner with our Intel 730 SSD. After testing was complete, we found this solution was much quicker than the Black Vortex coming in at 432 MB/s read and 424 MB/s write.

 

icy-dock-icycube-mb561u3s-4s-four-bay-usb-3-storage-enclosure-review_12

 

In the same manner we tested the Black Vortex in its JBOD configuration, we set up the ICYCube to check if there was any performance loss while copying from two drives both mounted in the enclosure. To start, we copied a 5GB file from one drive to another. Seen above, the transfer speed averaged out to 183 MB/s.

 

With the vast amount of enclosures on the market, each vendor has to attempt to differentiate itself from the pack. With the ICYCube, we found that ICY DOCK did this by allowing both USB 3.0 and eSATA to co-exist on the enclosure, while keeping with its traditional metal chassis. The metal shell of the ICYCube adds build quality along with durability to the package, while the latest EZTray design adds functionality and aesthetic appeal to the unit with their piano black exterior. While the trays don't allow for putting your drives behind lock and key, they do latch quite snuggly and when opening the large aluminium arm of the tray allows the drives to slide out effortlessly.

 

Performance of the enclosure was quite good, and in fact perfect for use with solid-state media. While typical users will most likely go with standard hard drives to get more capacity out of the unit, it is reassuring to know performance is their should you ever need it. In our testing, we were able to ramp up the ICYCube to 432 MB/s read and 424 MB/s write.

 

Overall, I am happy to report that all is good with the ICYCube. It carries plenty of performance; build quality and aesthetic appeal for any user to set it on their desk, but the asking price is pretty high.

 

icy-dock-icycube-mb561u3s-4s-four-bay-usb-3-storage-enclosure-review_100

Product Summary Breakdown

Performance89%
Quality including Design and Build86%
General Features88%
Bundle and Packaging87%
Value for Money81%
Overall TweakTown Rating86%

The Bottom Line: Comprised of solid performance, build quality and great looks, the ICYCube is a great solution for those wanting to store large amounts of data. It just needs work in the MSRP department.

    We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.

Related Tags

Got an opinion on this content? Post a comment below!
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Latest News Posts

View More News Posts
View Our Latest Videos

Forum Activity

View More Forum Posts

Press Releases

View More Press Releases
loading