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Stuart I.

Stuart I.

Joined on 03/30/07

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 12
Most Favorable Review

The Best HDD Removeable rack

KINGWIN KF-813-T-BK SATA Mobile Rack Tray
KINGWIN KF-813-T-BK SATA Mobile Rack Tray

Pros: I have all three Kinwin KF-81X types (813, 812 and 811) I also have V@nt*c and iSt@r competing products. The Kingwin 813 is the best! Excellent cooling (three 40mm fans). Anti-vibration mounting for the drive (rubber mounted plate). Does not use the drive SATA & power connectors for the sliding connection (wear & tear occurs on tray connector which is cheap to replace rather than HDD connectors which would require replacement of the drive). Cheaper than competing products and you can buy additional cartridges by themselves. SATA 2 speed.

Cons: Since it provides interface connectors it is approx 2 inches longer that competing products that use the HDD connector to make the connection. I had to mount it in the top 2 bays of my case where it can overhang the motherboard. Construction is a bit flimsier than competitors. Especially the cartridge lid locking feature which some people report having broken. The locking handle does not engage as readily as the other two removable racks I own. Therefore requires more care when inserting drive.

Overall Review: This is the cartridge only - you need to buy a KF-81X rack to use this with. I'm an engineer and I don't agree with earlier reviewer than two fans on front mismatches the single rear fan. The two front fans will simply pass more air which will then pass through the rear fan aperture at a higher velocity than the rear fan would achieve by itself. There'll be a minor increase in internal air pressure which will actually aid heat transfer from the drive. Think about the logical extension of one front fan and no rear fan - there's still airflow... Moreover, the rear fan is half blocked by structure so the front fans will be more useful anyway. IMO, for the small extra price, the 813 is better than the 812 (one front one rear) and the 811 (one rear fan only). I can't discern any noise difference between 813 and 812 so go for the 813.

Most Critical Review

Good but watch the connectors

Vantec EZ Swap 2  Internal Cartridge for 3.5" Aluminum Removable SATA Hard Drive Mobile Rack with Key and Fan - Model MRK-300ST-BK*C
Vantec EZ Swap 2 Internal Cartridge for 3.5" Aluminum Removable SATA Hard Drive Mobile Rack with Key and Fan - Model MRK-300ST-BK*C

Pros: I have this HDD rack as well as competing I5t@r and K1ngw1n products. This Vantec unit is well built and has the best lid lock of the three types with counter sunk screws to hold the lid in place. Fits into a standard 5 1/2 inch bay and does not over hang. Good price and you can buy the cartridge separately.

Cons: This unit uses the HDD SATA and power connectors to make the sliding connection when you insert the cartridge. If you are doing repeated removals then the connectors may not hack the pace and fail leaving you with a broken HDD. Racks that use connectors on the cartridge with an internal interface between the cartridge and the HDD avoid this risk (but are longer and may foul your mobo in a lower bay). This is not a problem if you can leave the cartridge in the PC and turned off (via the key) most of the time if you don’t need it and only power it up when you want to use the HDD. More expensive than competing products. Does not have a rubber anti-vibration mounting so HDD is hard mounted in the cartridge. Some competing products have a rubber mount (look for my other reviews).

Overall Review: This item (MRK-300ST-BK*C) is the Cartridge only. You need the MRK-300ST-BK rack if you want to use this. Would have given it 4 eggs if the price was lower.

Love the five 5 1/4 inch external bays

Cooler Master Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Cooler Master Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: I looked at lots of cases before buying this one. I mainly chose it for the five external 5 1/4 inch bays, the front IO connectors and the fact that that it has no front door (since I'm using this with removeable drives for video editing). Came with 2 120mm low noise fans (side and rear). Good compatibility with INTEL D975XBX2 mobo (connectors for the on-board sound) and everthing fits well. Good build quality and no sharp edges. Screwless mounting system seems to work well. No bling apart from front blue LEDs (I wanted a more traditional case).

Cons: Did not come with a front 120mm fan. I needed to buy another Cooler Master fan for the front. Instructions were very poor English and light on information (just as well I had good instructions with my D975xbX2 mobo to close the gap). Side mounted CPU cooling duct does not line up with the CPU on a D975XBX2 board (Easy to remove via four screws - however, don't rely on this.

Overall Review: No PSU (not a con but be aware). Came with one less stand-off than required to mount the mobo - needed to go and buy a pack of stand-offs. This is a great case if you're not modding a lot. The two things that make it less suitable for modding are: 1) Removing the front bezel takes a bit of care and you wouldn't want to do it too often. 2) no removable mobo tray.

Works with D975XBX@ and E6600

Kingston ValueRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR800D2N5K2/2G
Kingston ValueRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR800D2N5K2/2G

Pros: This memory worked without a flaw with the INTEL D975XBX2 mobo and the Conroe E6600 Core 2 Duo chip. Installed it, and the PC booted up just fine.

Cons: None for me - maybe not good for o'clocking? I paid eighty greenbacks more than it is now selling for. At the current price it is a steal...

Overall Review: I wanted stable performance for video editing out of the packet. Not into o'clocking.

Good but watch connectors

Vantec EZ Swap 2 3.5" Removable SATA Hard Drive Mobile Rack with Key and Fan - Model MRK-300ST-BK
Vantec EZ Swap 2 3.5" Removable SATA Hard Drive Mobile Rack with Key and Fan - Model MRK-300ST-BK

Pros: I have this HDD rack as well as competing I5t@r and K1ngw1n products. This Vantec unit is well built and has the best lid lock of the three types with counter sunk screws to hold the lid in place. Fits into a standard 5 1/2 inch bay and does not over hang. Good price and you can buy the cartridge separately.

Cons: This unit uses the HDD SATA and power connectors to make the sliding connection when you insert the cartridge. If you are doing repeated removals then the connectors may not hack the pace and fail leaving you with a broken HDD. Racks that use connectors on the cartridge with an internal interface between the cartridge and the HDD avoid this risk (but are longer and may foul your mobo in a lower bay). This is not a problem if you can leave the cartridge in the PC and turned off (via the key) most of the time if you don’t need it and only power it up when you want to use the HDD. More expensive than competing products. Does not have a rubber anti-vibration mounting so HDD is hard mounted in the cartridge. Some competing products have a rubber mount (look for my other reviews).

Overall Review: Would have given it 4 eggs if the price was lower.

Well built but uses HDD Connectors

iStarUSA T-7SATA Aluminum (Military Type) SATA 5.25" Mobile Rack
iStarUSA T-7SATA Aluminum (Military Type) SATA 5.25" Mobile Rack

Pros: I have this HDD rack as well as competing V@nt*c and K1ngw1n products. The IStar is the best built of the three types, it looks and feels solid and durable. Also it has the best locking handle with good positive feel and thicker plastic. Fits into a standard 5 1/2 inch bay and does not overhang. Good price.

Cons: As other people have mentioned, I don't like the lid lock. You wind a screw out from underneath the lid that wedges against the lid. If you wind it so far that you get good positive lock then the lid distorts and the cartridge won't slide into the rack. If you back off to avoid the distortion, it leaves the locking loose and with rattles. Not a problem if you don’t take it out too much. Also this unit uses the HDD SATA and power connectors to make the sliding connection when you insert the catridge. If you are doing repated removals then the connectors may not hack the pace and fail leaving you with a broken HDD. Racks that use connectors on the rack with an internal interface to the HDD avoid this risk (but are longer and may foul your mobo in a lower bay). This is not a problem for me as I leave this one in the PC turned off (via the key) most of the time and only power it up when I want to use the HDD.

Overall Review: Cannot buy spare trays seperately. So you need to buy the whole rack to get a spare tray. However the entire rack is not too expensive.