Raidsonic IcyBox IB-RD3219StU3

Raidsonic IcyBox IB-RD3219StU3

After the initial setup, all the switches you need to worry about are located in the back section of the case. Along with USB-slot and powerswitch we see two small switches. With these small switches you can setup your drives inside the case to act in either JBOD, RAID0 or RAID1 modes. Raid0 requires two identical (in terms of size) disks to work and it spreads the data over the both disks and gives you double the capacity of a single disk. Raid1 mirrors the data giving you redundancy in case a single drive breaks. JBOD will show your disks as separate drives in your computer basically making the enclosure act like two one hdd enclosures. However the downside of this is all the data will go through single USB3 lane compared to two lanes with two external enclosures.

Raidsonic IcyBox IB-RD3219StU3

You open the metal casing by removing two screws from the bottom of the case. After that you can remove the HDD cradle from the enclosure.

Raidsonic IcyBox IB-RD3219StU3

We installed two 640GB Samsung HD642JJ disks in the enclosure. Both drives are held within the case with four screws. Raiding and SATA to USB bridging of the disks is done with SIL5923 + AS Media ASM1051 chipsets which can be found on the PCB.

Raidsonic IcyBox IB-RD3219StU3

In operation we can see three leds; one for Power, one for HDD1, and one for HDD2. Led power is a simple on/off led signalling us whether the product is online or offline. The HDD leds however have multiple functions. If the LED is not lit, then no hard disk is installed in that port. If the LED is red, it means HDD is installed. However if the red led blinks slowly, there is a high propability of HDD failure and if it blinks fast then some data is written / read from that particular disk.

Testing:

During our tests, our setup was based in four core Intel I5-2500K processor combined with Intel P67 chipset Asus P8P67 motherboard. This system also has 8GB DDR1600 DDR3 RAM and AMD Radeon 6850 graphics card. The Power supply in our test system is Enermax EMG700AWT. Operating system in our tests was Windows 7 64-bit Professional edition.

Intel Core I5-2500K (3,30GHz, 3.7GHz with Turbo)
Asus P8P67 (Intel P67)
AMD Radeon 6850
4×2 G.SKILL Ripjaws 1600MHz
2x1Tb Hitachi 7200RPM SATA2 HDD
Samsung DVD-RW
Bitfenix Shinobi Window Edition Case
Dell U2412M 24″ 1920×1200 monitor

In Raidsonic IcyBox IB-RD3129StU3 we had 2x 640GB Samsung HD642JJ hard disks. These disks are 7200rpm SATA2 combined with 16M cache.

Raidsonic IcyBox IB-RD3219StU3

Raidsonic IcyBox IB-RD3219StU3 gets quite respectful results in HDTach test. Random access times are in fact faster than with our reference 2x1TB RAID0 setup (in SATA2 ports). Average read speeds in RAID0 are a bit slower than reference and in RAID1 falls way behind. However these are best results I’ve yet seen with external enclosure – partially thanks to high speed capabilities of USB3. Burst speed falls way behind the internal disks, but if you use your USB3 disk as data storage / backup unit, it won’t matter much.

Raidsonic IcyBox IB-RD3219StU3

HDTune results are in line with the ones we saw with HDTach. Internal hard disks minimum speed is affected by the fact that the disks were not empty. Other than that, results are very similar to HDTach. Internal RAID0 wins with a small margin to IB-RD3219StU3 in all other tests than access time. Icyboxes burst rate is limited by the USB3 slot speed.

Conclusion:

Raidsonic IcyBox IB-RD3219StU3 provides an easy way to either have very large USB-hard disk (RAID0) or fail tolerance via hard disk mirroring. It is capable of rebuilding the new disk in case either of the disks breaks and you replace it with at least the same size disk. Performance was very good compared to other USB-disks we’ve reviewed.

Unfortunately, at least here in Finland, my main concern is the availability. With a little search in internet I did not find any reseller stocking the product. However in German markets Icybox should be widely available. Considering 2TB disks cost around 75€ at the moment, combining two of them in IB-RD3219StU3 gives you 4TB of storage space with a bit over 220€. Thats a really good deal if you ask me.

Pros:
+ Silent
+ Speed
+ Easy to install

Cons:
– Tends to get a bit hot

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