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Final Touches on ATA: Hard-Drive Accessories Roundup

Conclusion

Raid Sonic sent us the IB-3T4 that cut a good figure once we got it to work. At only $200 (€250), this backplane module with a four-channel controller is a real steal. Too bad it doesn't use professional ATA controllers.

The IB-500 failed to impress us. Seeing that modern 7,200 RPM IDE hard drives are robust, we would generally avoid the inextricable tangle of cables caused by the IB-500 by using a simple hard-drive cooler.

Nor would we go with Maxtron's Mobile Rack, the vendor simply cut too many corners for our taste. There's really no call for you to subject your hard drives to cheap plastic and poor ventilation.

We were pleased with the Promise and Star Tech products, both of which were high-quality, useable units. Promise has targeted users looking for a hot-swap system for Serial ATA hard drives. Star Tech, on the other hand, makes do with "just" a swap-rack system that we would describe as virtually flawless.

The Smart Drive 2002 is a whole 'nuther ball game targeting sound conscious customers. The Smart Drive also keeps the enclosed hard drives surprisingly cool.