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The Smart Drive Neo is offered by a Japanese company called GUP, which is some sort of abbreviation for “Grow Up Japan.” This product is a noise cancellation frame, which aims to reduce hard drive noise by physically decoupling the drive through spring mounts, and also by installing the drive into a sealed enclosure; GUP calls it a “HDD silencer.” The sound proofing works extremely well, but we weren’t sure about the temperature level of the installed hard drive at first. Fortunately, the product didn’t disappoint; it combines noise canceling with effective cooling through the enclosure by providing an aluminum top plate.
The Smart Drive Neo is suitable only for 3.5” hard drives, as the top of the drive has to touch the cover plate of the Smart Drive Neo. When this is the case, heat dissipation is reliable, which we checked using a 10,000 RPM 74 GB WD Raptor WD740 drive—one of the hottest 3.5” hard drive models.
Inside the Smart Drive Neo you will find SATA power and data connectors, as the hard drive isn’t just screwed into the Smart Drive. Instead, GUP developed a spring mount solution to reduce vibration noise. As you can see in the photo below, the mounting mechanism is based on four springs, which hold two metal bridges. The drive has to be put on these bridges so the springs can buffer drive vibration, which in fact is hardly noticeable on the HDD silencer. The spring mechanism actually serves a double purpose, as it not only eliminates most vibration, it also ensures that the drive makes firm contact with the cover plate for cooling purposes.