Installation and Testing
After opening the box, we were presented with the brushed aluminum enclosure and obligatory AC adapter. Additionally Macally included the promised dual stands, as this design is inherently top-heavy. This is in no means unexpected or avoidable. Due to the narrow design of the enclosure as well as the rounded feet, the device will easily topple over if bumped. To counter this Macally includes two stand designs which help stable the enclosure. While this does detract from the design in some aspects, it makes the device more functional, and is optional if you can afford the occasional tip-over. What impressed us the most about the device during the unboxing was the extras that were included, but not mentioned on the product page. Also included in the box was no less than 3 cables – a USB 2.0 cable, a FireWire 400 cable, and a FireWire 800 cable. These were a welcome addition that helped set this enclosure off from the rest of its competitors.
Installing our 3.5″ internal hard drive took a mere 2 mins. After removing the only 2 visible screws on the back panel, the aluminum housing slide off, revealing the internal circuitry. With the design of the enclosure there were no wires to connect. To install the drive we simply slid the device forward after inserting it into the frame. The power and SATA connectors on the circuit board aligned perfectly with our drive, and after installing the 4 hard drive mounting screws (included), we only had to close the case back up.
After our painless 2 minute install, I connected the device to our Mac Mini via the FireWire 800 cable and it was instantly recognized. From here we ran several hard drive benchmarks to test the enclosure’s noise levels as well as performance. Under load our hard drive reported temperatures of around 47C, or 116F. These temps are well within normal operating temperatures, and are considered safe for a hard drive, internal or external. Unfortunately, the sound of the drive was quite noticeable when the drive was under load or starting up. This is probably in part due to the drive being mounted directly on the frame and the fact the enclosure is entirely made of aluminum. It would have been nice to see some sort of noise dampening mounting system, such as rubber grommets or screws. With the exception of the noise the drive performed beautifully and we consistently were recording hard drive speeds close to the interface maximum.