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5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality. Works with a 4TB drive., 15 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Icybox IB-328U3SEb External Enclosure for 3.5 inch SATA HDD (Accessory)
Speedwise, the order is this : Thunderbolt > USB3.0 > Firewire800 > USB2.0 > Firewire400 > USB1.0

I have a older computer that has USB 2.0, Firewire800 and Thunderbolt. I wanted to make use of the faster ports.
Thunderbolt drives and enclosures are overpriced.
I could have gone with a USB3.0 enclosure and maxed out the speed of the USB2.0 port on my computer, but with the Firewire800 option available, it made sense to go Firewire800.

After a LOT of searching, I picked this enclosure because :
0) All metal construction and passively cooled.
1) Another reviewer pointed out it was of good quality (it is really exceptionally well made)
2) It could take a high capacity drive (my 4TB drive worked fine, and apparently the enclosure is not capacity limited)
3) In addition to the Firewire800, it has USB3.0 ports so it gives the option of swopping over to USB3.0 at a later date. This gives the enclosure a longer useful life, therefore better value for the money spent.

In the box :
- This enclosure comes with all the cables it has ports for i.e. SATA cable, Firewire800 cable, USB3.0 cable. You DO NOT need to buy cables.
- Instructions for installation of the drive (it only takes 15 mins to install the drive and get it up and running)
- Rubber stick-on padded feet (tip : stick them next to the enclosure screws, not covering the screws. This allows you to open p the enclosure later on, without needing to remove the padded feet.)

Once the drive was installed (I chose WD Green 4TB), it was detected automatically by my computer (Mac OSX).

I will be purchasing another one of these enclosures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Big enclosure with big upgrade options, 11 May 2014
This review is from: Icybox IB-328U3SEb External Enclosure for 3.5 inch SATA HDD (Accessory)
USB 3.0 is a great interface boasting amazing transfer speeds and a handy backwards compatibility. Unfortunately it has also meant it is becoming increasingly difficult to find external drives or enclosures that have any alternative interfaces, something you may desperately need if you have an older computer without USB 3.0. This offering from Icybox is one of the rare exceptions with 3 good alternative interface options all in one.


This enclosure includes a USB 3.0 port, an e-Sata port and two Firewire 800 ports capable of daisy chaining other devices. USB 3.0 is great but far too many manufacturers are relying on the backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 for users with older computers which just doesn't offer the transfer speeds you might want for external storage. This approach is particularly absurd when you consider that a large number of people looking for external storage are perhaps people looking to prolong the life of an aging computer. With three different connection options, this enclosure is great, for instance, if you want to pair it with different computers from time to time. If you do upgrade your computer, the USB 3.0 port means you aren't left with a useless enclosure but one that is somewhat future proof.

Adding to the future proofing credentials of the enclosure are the fact there are no capacity limits on the drives it can handle nor are there any specific requirements for drive type. The enclosure will take any capacity and any brand 3.5" SATA drive you can throw at it. I installed a 4TB WD Green drive without any real problems and it works perfectly well.

The enclosure is also solidly built with no 'aluminum effect' plastic in sight, it's all solid metal. The enclosure is effectively a giant heatsink to disperse any heat generated by the drive (which should be more than adequate for a single HDD). This is good if for no other reason than fans are one extra thing to go wrong.


The first thing to strike you here is the sheer size of the thing. The fact that it isn't a bespoke enclosure for a specific brand of drive but for all types and that it has to incorporate the circuitry for three interface types mean it is going to be bigger but by how much? As most 3.5" drives are about 15cm long, I'd assumed it would be about 18cm in length and didn't look at the product dimensions. It's practically 23cm long, not short off a foot and has no real options as to how it is placed other than flat meaning it can take up an awful lot of desk real estate. The cause for this would appear to be the design of the PCB which is large and also sits separately, requiring short lengths of sata data and power cables to hook up rather than slotting directly onto the drive like a lot of enclosures. This might be to help keep pcb cool considering there's a lot more on it than others or simply a design error, either way it adds to the size.

As for noise, this is largely dependent on the drive you put in. A downside to passively cooled heatsink styled enclosures such as this one is that just as heat is conducted out through the body, so too are any vibrations from the drive which in turn can reverberate through your desk surface and be highly irritating. A set of rubber feet to dampen this are thankfully provided (TIP: the instructions tell you to stick these over the screws that secure the inner tray to the outer shell but this means you'll have to rip them off and hope they reapply should you ever want to swap in another drive. Stick them to the side instead). I found the drive was still quite loud though when accessed and discovered this was caused by having the screws securing the shell to the tray too tight. It meant the shell pressed against the top of the drive inside and reverberated. Loosening them slightly stopped this and there is thankfully no wobbling sound.


There aren't many gripes on the looks other than the size. Icybox have used nice solid aluminum. At first glance you might think (as I stupidly did) that their brand name was just a cheap little sticker on the front. Be sure to peel off the protective plastic covering, it really does look better without it.


If you have a computer with a nice big USB 3.0 port and you want an enclosure, you'd be better off buying one of the thousand and one USB3 only enclosures/external drives out there. If, on the other hand, you have an older computer with eSata or firewire and want a nice new enclosure but one that won't be destined for the scrap heap when you upgrade then grab this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Saturates Firewire 800 bandwidth. Works perfectly as a Pro Tools recording drive too., 8 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Icybox IB-328U3SEb External Enclosure for 3.5 inch SATA HDD (Accessory)
I fitted a Toshiba 3TB SATA 6Gb/s 7200RPM 64MB 3.5" Hard Drive (DT01ACA300).

Partitioned the first 300Gb as a recording volume for Pro Tools and the remaining 2.7TB as a massive media storage volume.

It hits over 80Mb/s read/write with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and works perfectly with my 2009 Mac Mini.

It's wisper quiet too. The enclosure is basically one big fanless heatsink and the feet it comes with make excellent vibration dampeners when accessing large quantitites of data (copying from other disks, recording dozens of 24 bit audio tracks etc...).

I almost bought the older version in August which only supports USB 2.0 and has a 2Tb maximum drive capacity. I got the 3Tb drive to go with it on for 77 to go with it so all in, waiting 4 months got me 50% more capacity and USB 3.0 for another 15 or so accounting for the 60+ price of both the older enclosure it replaced and the cost of the 2Tb equivalent of the Toshiba drive I fitted in it.

This drive not only allows me to still use additional Firewire 800 devices but given that a lot of more recent Macs have USB 3.0 and no Firewire 800, a video on YouTube confirms that Pro Tools runs just fine off USB 3.0 drives because they don't have the hickups and CPU overhead of USB 2.0 drives so it's future proof for whatever system I upgrade to next.
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