I-Star T5F-SS Hot-Swap Hard Drive Bay Review

istar-drive-bay

A closer look

So now you know what it can handle.  And you know what comes in the box.  I love it when the manufacturer does my work for me.  Unlimited capacity, and a small amount of installation.  What more could a storage lover want?  And it comes equipped with its own 40mm cooling fan.  This little baby is awesome.  But enough of my swooning, let’s slap a drive in there and see what it can do.  I expect that there won’t be much difference in the data transfer speed, but we’re going to test it anyway.  Because that’s the type of in-depth journalism we do here at OCModshop.  Okay… my editor is forcing me to do it.  He’s so anal.

Installation is a breeze, assuming you have all your wires and cables safely out of your way.  I removed the plastic panel from the front of my case, slid the T5F-SS in there, and screwed it down.  A simple plugging in of the cables and I was good to go.  FYI, there are two SATA-style ports on this, a yellow one and a black one.  The yellow one is for SAS only, and the black one is for your SATA drive.  It took a minute to figure this out when my PC didn’t recognize that there was a drive connected to it.  One other thing I noticed is that the T5 didn’t use the SATA power plug for its juice.  It instead used a typical 4-prong power plug.  My best guess is that this is to provide adequate power to the fan as well as the HDD.


Now that everything is connected, I put the side back on the case and insert my HDD into the T5F-SS.  Man, that sounds dirty doesn’t it?  That’s geek dirty talk, my friends.  So I open the front door of the T5 and insert the HDD.  As I slid it to the back it catches on a metal tab that closes the door as it goes.  A small push of the fingertip, and the drive is locked into the plugs at the back of the enclosure.  And when you open the door again, the same tab pulls the drive toward you, effectively disconnecting it and sliding it out so you can grasp it.  How wonderful.

Just for fun, I used the included keys and locked the door of the T5.  On a side note, what good do these keys do?  Every lock screw, every other lockable computer component has this exact same key.  Any other PC user with a set of these keys can walk right up, unlock your drive bay, and pull your HDD out.  Then they walk away whistling to themselves.  But alas, I am not the designer, and there’s only so many ways you can make a key for something like this.  Although I am sure there are more than just this one…