The Icy Dock is not silent but the sound is only noticeable if you are listening for it. When you do tune it you simply hear it. There is no whiz, wine or any other annoying fan noises – there is only a sound that is quickly forgotten.
Temperature control is what this external drive housing is about.With the Icy Dock (ID on the Chart) reading 5º C lower than the passively cooled Thermaltake BlacX 5G (Tt on the chart) it is a definite winner at keeping a drive cooler.
These tests were done with an ambient room temperature ~78º F so the actual impact of the active cooling is lessened. In cases where the ambient room temperature is higher the active cooling will be noticeably more effective than passive cooling.
Aesthetics are an important factor in desktop product design and Icy Dock put some thought into this. The design allows for the acceleration of the air through the housing by decreasing the case volume toward the exhaust giving the unit a higher effective CFM while using curvy transitional design elements. This combination can affect the consumer by increasing dopamine levels while also causing the the brain to kick into gear with the tech specs… and moving to function.
We know the Icy Dock is capable of read speeds comparable to internal SSD SATA III drives. We also know there are no weaknesses on USB 2.0 but on the USB 3.0 tests using an SSD we find that there is a big deficiency; a ~30% deficiency. Is this a problem? Not really, as this dock is not designed for SSD drives – the Thermaltake dock is.
So to get things in order here.
1. High marks for design and cooling
2. High marks for having both USB 3.0 and eSATA
3. Par performance on USB 3.0 using a HDD
4. Good marks for eSATA performance; though, we had Marvell controller issues.
5. Easy drive changes
6. Meh Performance on USB 3.0 using a SSD
So where does it rate?
Our final verdict here is GOLD; though, we are disappointed with the performance of the Internal Agility III drive. It got spanked by spanked a drive riding eSATA!