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Xigmatek Hotswap Cage 3 in 3 HDD SATA review Saturday, 18 May 2013

There are many backplane hot-swap solution out there, cheaper or at high prices, all doing more or less the same thing – offering a better solution to mount, manage and cool your hard drives. After many hours of search and comparisions we finally found a cheap solution, but is not the price that counts for all, there are a number of features that captured our attention and made this HDD cage the best candidate.

Product Name 3 in 3 SATA HDD Hot-Swap Cage
Product Number COA-UGOCBS-U01
Dimension 149(W)x128(H)x220(D) mm
Suitable chassis Universal
Fan Spec 12cm black fan 1200RPM
2.5/3.5″ HDD available 3
5.25″ bay occupied 3
Hard Drive Interface SATA
DC input 5V/12V by Molex 4pin connector

Evaluated features:

  • sturdy, solid design, does not bend or make strange noises due to faulty joining or some other manufacturing defect
  • plenty of space between hard drives to ensure proper ventilation
  • easy to mount / dismount the disks with no lock key, the disk trays are perfectly aligned to the SATA data and power sockets on the circuit board
  • even more features for 3.5″ hard drives, nice little bumps on the left hand side, those will enter on bottom screw holes and will not let the drive slip away, to remove the unit you need to pull it upwards
  • ventilation holes on each side
  • 120 mm – 1200 rpm fan very easy to change or to clean it properly
  • the circuit board is small enough to let most of the fan air to flow towards the drives, covers nearly half of fan
  • front dust filter with push clip which is working flawless
  • no flashy colored logo already placed on the cover, there is an selfadhesive one in the screws bag which is not bad at all but the best part is the fact that you can choose to place it or not
  • there is only one red spot for this cage, is not coming with hot-swapping function, so you need to enable this function on motherboard or RAID card in advance
  • maybe some will see this 3 bay of 5.25″ for just 3 x 3.5″ / 2.5″ HDD’s as a waste of space but in terms of better & silent cooling seem like the best solution, maybe a better circuit board design is requiered with additional ventilation holes but even like that is better than most of backplanes on the market

Alright, final step was to mount the backplanes into the tower. After successful installation we faced a big proportion surprise – the mounted HDD temperatures has stabilized after 30min at 49c … what is wrong ? something is not right here, can’t be that high, was 47c before with no 120mm at 1200rpm fan blowing up on HDD’s from 3cm distance. So we took it slowly, step by step and the problem was indeed there, the fans were positioned to draw from HDD’s and not to blow on HDD’s. We changed the fan to blow in HDD direction, even is drawing warm air from the case and indeed that was the solution, the drives cooled down to 40c – 41c and stabilized there.

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