VIZO Ares II Dual 2.5in SATA Drive Rack - Installation and Testing

Article Index
VIZO Ares II Dual 2.5in SATA Drive Rack
Installation and Testing


Installation is pretty simple, if you can install a CD-Rom, you're not going to have any issues whatsoever. Installing a HDD into the Dual-Bay rack is very simple and doesn't require any screws to mount the drives. Installation of the second drive is honestly just as mundane as the first - the bay cover opens by sliding the release to the right; insert the drive, close the cover.  The cover locks into place - securing the drive to the power and data interface.  There is also a lever at the back side of the drive that helps push the drive out of the bay when you open the cover.  That's right ladies, no more chipped fingernails when taking out your 2.5" drive!  I bet that's a relief!

 Drive Installation
Drive Installation
Drive Installed
Drive Installed


If you've got your motherboard set to SATA or AHCI mode on your SATA interface, you should be able to hot-swap drives in this dual-bay rack as well.  We were able to drop in a 320GB drive while the system was running with no issues.  The drive was detected within seconds and we were able to run benchmarks.  The nice LED to the right of the drive slot kept us company through the tests.

Ares II Installed
Ares II Installed 


Performance Tests:

To get a quick feel for performance with the VIZO Ares II Dual-Bay 2.5in SATA rack we ran HDTach as our only benchmark.  The Ares II is merely a SATA pass-through device so performance of this unit should closely mimic what the drive placed inside is capable of.  We used a 320GB Western Digital Scorpio that spins at 5,400rpm for the test.  It's not the fastest 2.5" drive around, but it performs pretty well in our other enclosures as well.



 HDTach Chart

Compared to other drive enclosures; both internal and external, the VIZO Ares II does very well.  The Ares II uses the same drive as the iStarUSA 2.5in eSATA dock below.  The other drives show performance of a 3.5" Hitachi 120GB drive.  You can see that the Ares II pulls ahead of the iStarUSA dock in burst rate, but lacks slightly in random access times.  Average transfer is too close to call though with the Ares II pulling out an extra 0.1MB/sec.


VIZO Ares II - Conclusion:

The VIZO Ares II is a unique product that offers not one, but two 2.5" bays in a single 3.5" internal enclosure.  Either drive can be hot-swapped and the pass-through SATA interface assures solid performance.  The design of the product is very well done and while there is no active cooling available, most 2.5" drives should stay cool enough as they are designed for tighter, less-ventilated spaces.  There really isn't anything not to like about the Ares II and if you need to quickly add one or two small drives to your system, this is one of the few ways you can do it without opening your system or cluttering up your desk.



  • Easy installation of Dual-Bay unit as well as drives.
  • No real performance decrease over standard SATA connections.
  • Decent price for two SATA drive enclosures.



  • Latch feels a little cheap.


While the Ares II certainly may not be for everyone, it delivers on providing a very space-friendly way to add a couple of 2.5in drives to your system.  With these drives available in 500GB sizes, you can sure pack around a lot of data in your pocket.  The Ares II lets you easily connect these drives to your system without opening it up or having extra cables strung across your desk.  It's a beauty.


 Top Pick


I'd like to thank VIZO for sending the Ares II our way for a review.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.