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iStarUSA 5K3525U Hot Swap Bay Enclosure Review

iStarUSA 5K3525U Hot Swap Bay Enclosure Review

The iStarUSA 5K3525U allows 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives to come together in a single bay chassis solution. Let's see what Tyler thinks of it now.

By Tyler Bernath on Apr 29, 2014 01:05 am CDT - 2 mins, 26 secs reading time
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: iStarUSA

In our last review from iStarUSA, we had the chance to take a look at the 5K25TU, a hybrid solution that allowed us to install a slim optical and 2.5-inch SSD into a single 5.25-inch bay.

Today, we change things up a bit and look at another solution from iStarUSA but with a slightly different layout. This time around, we are taking a look at the 5K3525U, and as you would expect, this solution allows you to install a single 3.5-inch hard drive along with your favourite 2.5-inch SSD or HDD into a single 5.25-inch bay. Similarly to our last product from iStarUSA, we have front mounted USB 3.0 ports on this model that are powered via an internal header.


Scope of delivery for the 5K3525U includes a setup guide, dual SATA cables, mounting screws, and keys for both drive trays.


Here we have our first look at the front of the unit. As you can see, we have dual USB 3.0 ports at the right with the 3.5-inch tray holding the bottom slot and the 2.5-inch above.


The back of the device carries an open design, which allows single SATA power connection to supply power to both bays.


Above, we have loaded the iStarUSA up with a Seagate 600 Pro and 4TB WD Black for testing.


In testing the 2.5-inch slot, we found it to be a simple pass-through, and it gave us native speeds to our SSD.


The 3.5-inch tray also gave us native speeds as expected. Here you can see we achieved 188 MB/s read and 184 MB/s write with our WD Black.


Next up, we have USB 3.0, in which we were able to touch 443 MB/s read and 430 MB/s write, which are native speeds for our USB 3.0 controller.

Like the IStarUSA 5K25TU we reviewed previously, the 5K3525U carries a good deal of functionality along with build quality. The drive trays are tool-less, allowing for easy swapping of drives, and having the steel structure behind the plastic front panel really adds to the strength of the unit as a whole.

Performance of the 5K3525U was as expected with everything on the unit carrying a native pass-through giving us top performance from every interface. Overall, this is truly an excellent solution for anyone building a machine that would want to install a 2.5-inch SSD for their OS and 3.5-inch HDD for storage capacity.

MSRP of the iStarUSA 5K3525U is set at $74.99 with a one-year warranty.

PRICING: You can find the iStarUSA 5K3525U 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 iStarUSA 5K3525U retails for $65.32 at Amazon.



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Tyler Bernath

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Tyler Bernath

Growing up in a small farm town in northern Ohio, technology was never around unless it was in a tractor. At the early age of nine years old, my parents brought home our very first PC and I was instantly hooked and quickly learned what it meant to format a hard drive, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95 as my parents slept. As I grew up, many things changed around me, but my love and enthusiast nature always kept my PC at my side. Eager to get deeper into technology, I started reviewing products.

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