Joined on 03/20/08
Koutech "Model IO-UU220" USB Header-Pin to Dual Type-A adapter
Pros: Works as expected. Useful for utilizing an unused motherboard USB header, and freeing up two external USB connections for other uses.
Cons: Bit pricey, but this is not a common mass-use item either. The header connection is firm, but not solid. But I didn't expect the fit to be "solid" since it is only held in by the friction of the header pins. Cable ties, tape, etc can easily be used reinforce the final installation to keep everything in place. If you need the flexibility of a cable directly off the motherboard, look at the other Newegg part that is basically and USB extension cable with one end replaced with the header connector. I agree that the shipping box is almost all empty air, with just a bit of cardboard filling to hold the part from flopping around inside. The box size was obviously designed to provide enough room for nice graphics and make a buyer feel like they are getting something when the box in sitting on a store shelf. The box is basically wasted on mail order sales.
Overall Review: I can now place a bootable flash drive, along with the cable from an IDE-to-USB adaptor off the internal CD drive, inside the case. This product allows me to avoid using two external case USB plugs for these permanent connections, which felt like they were begging to be hooked on something, or snapped off by accident long term. If you look at the first and fourth product pictures, you can see the filler plug filling in the lower-left corner of the connector socket (using the image zoom). The plug fits over the missing pin on your motherboard, and will determine which way the board will face. The fourth picture also shows the extra parts thickness, and how it will protrude away from the motherboard missing pin by about twice of the connector width. Check you system for proper motherboard/expansion slot/case clearances.
Pros: Works as expected.
Cons: (MINOR CON.) Noticable drive noise when reading a data disk when full spun up at high speed. But I have heard worse, this is just typical of high speed drives. The drive is almost silent when playing an audio CD (system fan noise was louder) as the disk did not need to spin at full speed for realtime audio playback.
Overall Review: One of my four older PATA CD/DVD drives started to get stuck halfway open when the drive tray was ejected. I bought two of these SATA drives to replace the two PATA drives sharing the same data cable. I set the old drives aside for later reuse if needed elsewhere. To test the new drives, I virus scanned an 800 MB data disk, once in each of the four drives. The new drives completed the scan in 3:32 and 3:36 (minutes:seconds). The older PATA drives took 3:56 and 6:39 to complete. The PATA drives are from different manufacturers. The newer drives are definitely louder than the two older drives still installed, but about as loud as one of the replaced drives. Since these will be used to rip audio CDs, I don't have to listen to the whirring very long, so the faster read time is preferred over being quieter. They only make noise when fully spun up. Realtime playback was nearly silent as the disk did not have to spin-up to full speed.
Rosewill RC-215 VIA PCI SATA 1.5G x2 / ATA 133 (IDE) x1 Controller Card
Pros: Both SATA ports work under Windows 7 32-bit. Did not need the PATA connection (yet) as the single PATA conector on the motherboard is all I need as this time.
Cons: None. (Assuming it keeps working.)
Overall Review: My old system had 2 PATA controller slots to support the 4 PATA CD/DVD drives I had installed. The new motherboard only had one PATA connector, so only two CD drives could be connected. Replaced the two unused drives with SATA drives (since one of the older drives would only open halfway when ejected) and I only had one free SATA port still available on the motherboard. This card allowed both SATA drives to be connected, but should also allow me to go back to the older PATA drive(s) if needed. Both of the new SATA CD/DVD drives work using this new controller card.