Introduction & Specifications, Pricing and Availability
I don't know about you, but I don't like changing computer cases. Once you buy a model you really like and spend decent money on it, you want to use that case for a long time. I have a number of cases that I really like, but they don't have the modern bells and whistles found on newer cases.
The consumer storage market has undergone a transformation over the last few years. The 2.5-inch standard has gained market share with SSDs and smaller form factor hard drives. 2.5-inch drives offer lower power consumption and, in both cases, higher performance. The SSD products led the charge, but the fastest rotational speed SATA mechanical drive, Western Digital's VelociRaptor, is also a 2.5-inch drive.
The four Icy Dock EZConvert products we have on the review block today all function in the same manner. A 2.5-inch drive goes in the EZConvert tool-less adapter, securing the drive and turning it into a 3.5-inch (standard desktop hard drive) form factor.
I use a few of these products nearly every day while testing SSDs. The SSD slides into an EZConvert adapter, which makes it a 3.5-inch form factor. Then, the EZConvert is placed in an Icy Dock 3.5-inch x 5 tool-less adapter that is mounted in a computer case. I never have to handle SATA power or data cables, and the connections are secure. If you swap drives often, the Icy Dock tool-less products not only save a lot of time, but they also provide a secure connection that doesn't reduce transfer performance.
MB982SP-1S and MB982IP-1S-1
The MB982SP-1S is part of the EZConvert Pro line. It uses a metal case to secure a 2.5-inch SATA drive and convert it for use in a 3.5-inch environment. We found this model for as low as $24.99 online.
Since the EZConvert and EZConvert Pro products work with both SSDs and mechanical hard drives, good airflow is essential. We've shown an SSD controller reaching 80C before with our thermal imager, and we've all had a hot hard drive before.
The EZConvert products use the same mounting point locations as 3.5-inch form factor hard drives. There are three on each side and a total of four on the bottom.
The MB982SP-1S model uses the same SATA power and data connector location as a standard 3.5-inch hard drive. That makes this model great for adding 2.5-inch drives in older servers designed for 3.5-inch drives.
The top of the case has vents so that warm air can escape.
The top door slides open and a mechanical hinge slides an internal drive tray away from the internal SATA power and data connector. This allows you to simply 'drop in' the drive. When the cover closes, the internal drive tray slides the drive into place to plug the drive in. The top spring like foils apply pressure to the top of the drive, which secures everything in place.
Our second model is another EZConvert Pro model, also in silver painted metal. The MB982IP-1S-1 is different from the model above because it can use either SATA or SAS drives. SAS drives come in several different z-heights, and the MB982IP-1S-1 can use all of them from 7mm to 15mm. This model also supports the fastest SSDs and 15k RPM SAS products on the market. We found this model for as low as $28.55 online.
The SAS version of the EZConvert Pro is physically identical to the model above in every way except for the SAS connector on the back side.
Here we see the SAS connector that is formed from a single piece of plastic rather than having the data and power connectors separate. An additional 7 pins on the top side of the connector allow for dual-channel SAS operation. The clear button has LEDs on both EZConvert models, and it also releases the top door and mechanism.
Again, there are cooling louvers that allow heat to rise off from the drive.
The same mechanical action gently slides the drive in place; three of the four models we're testing today use the same feature. This model is unique in that it is SAS and metal.
PRICING: You can find the Icy Dock MB982SP-1S and MB982IP-1S-1 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 MB982SP-1S retails for $28.51 at Amazon.
United States: The Icy Dock MB982IP-1S-1 retails for $30.45 at Amazon.
MB882SP-1S-1B and MB882SP-1S-2B
The MB882SP-1S-1B is our first non-Pro model, and as you can see, the non-Pro EZConvert products use plastic instead of metal for the structure. Although plastic, this model is still tool-less like the EZConvert Pro adapters. The substitution to plastic from metal helps with the cost. We found this model online for as low as $14.50.
The non-Pro models are a bit different in a couple of ways besides the plastic construction. This first model, SATA only, has air flow louvers on the front and back as well as under the drive.
The mounting points are brass inserts installed at the factory.
The MB882SP-1S-1B is SATA only. This is the same model I use for my reviews. I pair an MB882SP-1S-1B with an Icy Dock FlexCage MB975SP-B, a 3.5-inch HDD tool-less dock.
The top cover on this model is not spring loaded like on the Pro models. The two indentions on the top offer grip to slide the top cover back a bit, and then the cover opens on a hinge.
Inside, it is not very different from the Pro models. The spring tension mechanism is smaller but the slide system is close.
The EZConvert non-Pro budget model is the MB882SP-1S-2B. This is also a plastic based model, but instead of using the same hinged-door mechanism, this model has a removable cover. We found the MB882SP-1S-2B online for $14.50, the same price as the non-Pro model above, which caught us by surprise. Designed for 9.5mm SSDs, 7mm drives work as well but require you to manually position the small z-height drive into place.
Cooling louvers in the front, back, and on the bottom keep the drive cool by allowing warm air to escape.
The same mounting points on the side and bottom are located in the same positions as standard 3.5-inch HDDs.
Like the three other EZConvert enclosures we've looked at so far, the SATA power and data connectors are in the same place as HDDs.
This model differs from the previous non-Pro in this area. The top cover appears the same from the outside, but it's removable on the MB882SP-1S-2B.
You can still drop a drive in and have it slide into place on the SATA connector bridge when the cover goes back in place.
PRICING: You can find the Icy Dock MB882SP-1S-1B and MB882SP-1S-2B 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 MB882SP-1S-1B retails for $24.50 at Amazon.
United States: The Icy Dock MB882SP-1S-2B retails for $14.50 at Amazon.
Testing and Final Thoughts
Desktop Test System
Today, we're using the same system we test consumer SSDs on every day. To eliminate the need of running a secure erase command between tests, we're using an OCZ Storage Solutions Vector 150 120GB drive that has excellent write consistency.
With the drive placed in each of the enclosures, we ran Crystal Disk Mark to measure performance. At the end of the enclosure tests, we ran CDM a final time with the drive connected straight to the motherboard.
Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0 Technical Preview
In our read and write test with a drive attached directly to the system and with the drive installed in the EZConvert adapters, the performance is the same. The adapters do not degrade performance.
When needed, the Icy Dock EZConvert and EZConvert Pro products simplify the integration of 2.5-inch storage products in what is still a 3.5-inch world. Technology always changes, but some parts don't require the latest and greatest to stay ahead of the curve. Computer cases and servers are two very good examples.
SSDs also breathe new life into old computers by increasing disk performance, the slowest component in the system. Often, even computers as old as six or seven years can run like brand new systems simply by installing an SSD.
Getting that SSD to fit, though, is another story, one that can easily be fixed with an EZConvert.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
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