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schoondoggy

Icy Dock MB601VK-B review

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schoondoggy

Icy Dock MB601VK-B review

2.5” U.2 NVMe SSD Mobile Rack

http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=245

In my basement lab, I am working on virtualization and containers. I got the itch for more speed. M.2 NVMe drives are great, but none of my servers have a slot for one. There are PCIe adapter cards for them, but I wanted to be able to move the drive easily between servers. Then I stumbled onto U.2 NVMe drives, similar specs to M.2, but they are 2.5” 15mm drive form factor. I picked up an Intel 750 800GB NVMe, open box deal on NewEgg, great deal! Searching for a way to make it removeable I was referred to Icy Dock. They had recently launched the MB601VK-B, single drive U.2 mobile rack for 3.5” drive bay. The MB601VK-B is a metal design that is very well built. It appears to use the same slide tray as many other Icy Dock products.

For testing I used:

HPE ML10 v2 Server

https://www.hpe.com/us/en/product-catalog/servers/proliant-servers/pip.hpe-proliant-ml10-v2-server.7796450.html

Intel SSD 750 800GB NVMe drive with cable

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/memory-storage/solid-state-drives/gaming-enthusiast-ssds/750-series/750-800gb-2-5-inch-20nm.html

StarTech x4 PCI Express to SFF-8643 Adapter PEX4SFF8643  

https://www.startech.com/HDD/Adapters/pcie-nvme-u2-ssd-adapter~PEX4SFF8643

20171005_144254.jpg

The drive fit perfectly in the tray and slid smoothly in and out of the bay.

20170926_000641.jpg

The carrier has a lock option on it as well. There is also a dust flap to cover the opening when the drive is not installed.

20170926_000700.jpg

First issue, none of my servers have 3.5” bays. There are lots of 5.25” bay adapters for 3.5” drives. I decided to try the Icy Dock MB343SP.

The MB343SP has space for two SSD (7mm-9.5mm) on top facing back and a forward facing 3.5” bay. The SSD slots are spring loaded and have a locking tab. The 3.5” device offers screw-less mounting, but you can also use screws. The screws for mounting the MB343SP are self-tapping and should work well for most cases. On the ML10 v2 I needed to use HP screws as 5.25” devices slide in and out in a locking channel. The HP M3 screws fit fine. Even though the MB343SP is plastic, it is strong and well-constructed.  

http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=167

20171005_144451.jpg

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The cable connection on the back of the MB601VK-B is identical to the connector on the drive. The cable that shipped with the Intel drive provides data and power.

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All mounted and ready for testing.

I tested temperature on the Intel 750 SSD while it was under load. With the SSD mounted in the case it ran around 31C. With the SSD mounted in the MB601VK-B/MB343SP mounted in a 5.25” bay the temperature ran 33C. The MB601VK-B has no fan so it will rely on the air flow in your case. The cooling profile in the ML10 v2 is set to maximum, so the fans are running fast and moving a lot of air.

intel 750 case temp.PNGintel 750 icy temp.PNG

 

The Intel SSD performed very well. I ran performance tests several times. I ran tests with the SSD direct connected and in the Icy Dock. The performance was very similar. I was a bit concerned that the connector in the Icy Dock would slow the four PCIe Gen3 lanes from the Startech card to the drive. It did not. I removed and reinserted the SSD several times and it reconnected and worked perfectly.

 

intel 750 ssd case.PNGintel 750 ssd icy.PNG

I will update this thread as I work with the MB601VK-B. I will also start another thread to discuss the Intel SSD.

And, yes, I know my workbench is a mess,,,,,,,

 

 

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