Thermaltake Max 4 3.5″ HDD Enclosure Review

With hard drive enclosures becoming more and more popular these days there are many different styles out there. There are some that are sharp looking bound in leather, some are elegant and grace full and designed to look nothing like an enclosure at all. Something that most of them have some form of cooling have it be from heat transfer through the aluminum body, or a cooling fan built into the side of it. Well today we are going to take a look at the Thermaltake Max X 4 Active Cooling Storage Enclosure. Let’s take a look at what separates this enclosure from the rest:

Product Provided By: Thermaltake

Price: $46.55

Closer Look:

Specifications:

 
Enclosure Interface   

eSATA
USB 2.0

Transfer Rate    eSATA: up to 3Gbps
USB 2.0: up to 480Mbps
HDD Compatible    SATA I
SATA II
HDD Capacity    3.5” SATA HDD up to 2TB
OS Compatible    Windows Vista / XP / 2003 / 2000 / NT / 98 / 95 Mac 10.3 and later
Material    Aluminum & Plastic
Power    -External Universal Switching Power Adapter (12 V 2.0A/5V 2.0A)
-UL, FCC, CE, CSA Certified
Dimension    215 (L) x 134 (W) x 50 (H) mm
8.64 (L)  x 5.28 (W) x 1.97 (H) in
Accessory    eSATA external Cable
USB2.0 Cable
SATA to eSATA PCI bracket
Foot Stand
Fan    Dimension: 80 x 80 x 15 mm
Speed: 1500 RPM
Noise: 20 dBA
Voltage: 12V
Current: 0.16A
Weight    425 g
Speical Features    -Including High Performance 8015 Silent Fan

Features:

 

Support All 3.5″ SATA HDDs up to 2TB !
Including 80x80x15mm blue LED silent fan
Supporting eSATA & USB2.0 interface – the best performance & convenience
Application for 3.5″ SATA HDD
LED for power and disk activity
Made by Aluminum body for thermal solution
Easy stand
Transfer speed up to 3Gbps(eSATA); 480Mbps(USB 2.0)

Blue LED indicator
eSATA & USB Combo
80x80x15mm
Blue LED silent Fan
Vent holes
Aluminum body
Easy stand foot

Air-Flow Chart
Appearance
(a) MAX4 serigraphy.
(b) Aluminum case.
(c) Vent holes design.
(d) LED light.
(e) USB 2.0 high speed port.
(f) eSATA port.
(g) Power port.
(h) Power switch.
(i) Foot stand
(j) 80x80x15mm Fan
   

 

Easy stand foot
eSATA PCI bracket
eSATA Cable
USB2.0 cable
Power Adapter

Testing:

For testing I will be running a few tests. First I will be running HDtune and recording the Average transfer time in MB/sec, the Access Time in ms, the Burst Rate in MB/sec, and then the CPU Usage. After that test is done I will then time how long it takes to transfer a 10MB, a 100 MB, and a 500 MB file. I will perform these tests for both the USB 2.0 and the eSATA functions of this enclosure. I will be pitting the Thermaltake Max X 4 up against the Ultra Aluminum Enclosure as well as my CoolMax USA Leather Enclosure.

HD Tune (USB)

 

Enclosure

Ultra Aluminum

Thermaltake Max X 4

CoolMax Leather

Ave MB/sec

33.2

33.3

32.7

Access Time

15.5 ms

15.3 ms

15.3 ms

Burst Rate

17.8 MB/sec

27.8 MB/sec

27.8 MB/sec

CPU Usage

3.3%

3.2%

3.6%

HD Tune (e SATA)

Enclosure

Ultra Aluminum

Thermaltake Max X 4

CoolMax Leather

Ave MB/sec

102.3

101.9

97.8

Access Time

15.5 ms

15.2 ms

15.3 ms

Burst Rate

112.6 MB/sec

99.1 MB/sec

196.3 MB/sec

CPU Usage

1.2%

2.4%

2.0%

 Transfer Times (USB)

Enclosure

Ultra Aluminum

Thermaltake Max X 4

CoolMax Leather

10 MB

1

1

1

100 MB

4

3.5

5

500 MB

17

14

19

Times (e SATA)

Enclosure

Ultra Aluminum

Thermaltake Max X 4

CoolMax Leather

10 MB

0.5

0.5

0.5

100 MB

1

2

1

500 MB

5.5

4.5

8

 

So from these we see that over all this is a pretty average enclosure. While in some things t was slightly better, in others it fell slightly behind, overall in most enclosure I have found this to be true. However one thing that I found that made the Thermaltake Max X 4 enclosure stand out is its cooling features which I will now go over in my conclusion.

Conclusion:

So over all the Thermaltake Max X 4 Active Cooling Enclosure performed as a middle ground to both of the other enclosures. One thing that was different though is that its cooling ability is a mixture of the other two enclosures that it was pitted against in the test. Its body is made of brushed aluminum which does a great job of heat dispersal while having an 80mm fan built into the side and unlike the jet engine of the CoolMax Enclosure that is actually louder than my entire system, the fan inside the Thermaltake Max X 4 Active Cooling Enclosure is virtually silent.

Another great thing that I liked about this enclosure was the simple and easy way that you install the hard dirve itself. unlike most where you remove one end, pull the guts out, insert the hard drive and then reassemble and undoubtedly catch some edge of something or other while putting it back to geather. The Thermaltake Max 4 Active Cooling Enclosure has 4 screws that you remove and the top half opens up you insert the hard drive and the replace the to and that’s it. No chance of bending connectors on the board and no edged or groves that you have to line up and hope that you can reinsert your enclosure guts properly.

So would I recommend this enclosure? You know what, I think I will. With the ability to keep your hard drive nice and cool with the power of an 80mm fan, while remaining as quite as a full body aluminum enclosure, the Thermltake Max X 4 Active Cooling 3.5” Hard Drive Enclosure is a great way to take your data with you while giving it a nice long, and cold life span.

Pros:

  • If you like Blue LEDS then it’s a pro
  • Cool hard Drive = Longer life span
  • Easy to open and install hard drive
  • Near Silent
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Looks good

Cons:

  • Non come to mind

 

 

 


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