Seasonic may be rethinking power supply design for better cable management, but Icy Dock seems to be doing the same for hard drives and SSDs.
Icy Dock is known for its wide range of storage enclosures. As Tom’s Hardware reports, the company’s latest product targets PC owners who are limited on space or ports for adding extra storage.
The ToughArmor MB839SP-B is a PCIe expansion slot enclosure that sits neatly in a single PCIe slot and uses its own SATA controller. Either a 2.5-inch hard drive or SSD (7mm or 9.5mm) can be inserted into the enclosure (and hot swapped out if required using the included removable drive tray). As the PCIe interface handles both data transfer and power, no cabling is required inside the case for the drive to work. However, transfer speeds will be limited to 500MB/s.
Icy Dock believes this enclosure will be useful to anyone who’s run out of SATA ports to connect another drive, or doesn’t have a drive bay free. It could also be extremely useful to anyone using a very small desktop case and a mini-ITX motherboard with PCIe slots available. As it removes the need for any cabling, it’s going to aid airflow in a tiny case, too.
The MB839SP-B uses a metal chassis with EMI grounding built in and large ventilation holes on both sides for cooling. It works with x1, x4, x8, and x16 PCIe slots and the hot-swap connector can handle 10,000 insertion/removal cycles. A built-in LED on the tray shows power and drive activity, but it’s also possible to plug in an optional 2-pin HDD status header allowing connection to your case for its hard drive LED output.
At $65, the enclosure certainly isn’t cheap, but the convenience and lack of internal cables could be enough to warrant the cost under the right circumstances.