Coolmax SATA Combo Enclosure

Article Index
Coolmax SATA Combo Enclosure
Testing Performance Every-which-way

Product: Coolmax CD-311-SATA Combo Enclosure
Provided By: HowdyDuty
Price: MSRP $49.99 USD

The Story:

Ever hear that ticking sound emminating from your case? What's the first thing that comes to mind? No, it's not your wife / girlfriend tapping their fingernails on your case trying to tell you to get off the computer and do some housework. It's the sound of a hard drive crashing! Once you start hearing this noise typically time is not on your side. I rushed out to purchase the next biggest drive size (300GB) to attempt a backup up my WD250. Oddly enough, after transferring both drives to a spare system to perform the backup, the ticking stopped and the drive backed up and operated flawlessly. After some quick diagnostics in my main system, I saw my 12 volt rail dropping to about 10.5 volts. After hooking the 'failing' drive back up to my main system and replacing the PSU everything was great! Now what do I do with a spare 300GB drive?


I certainly didn't have enough room in my case to mount it, so why not put it in an enclosure for backups and huge portable storage? The unit that stood out from the rest was the Coolmax SATA Combo Enclosure. This aluminum enclosure sports three, count 'em three different methods of connecting the enclosure to your PC. USB2, firewire, and Gen 1 SATA are your choices. That should be enough connections for almost anybody. The only way you could make this enclosure better would be to upgrade the firewire to firewire2, and possibly add network connectivity.

The Package:

Everything is included to get you together and running in no time. All three cables are included, a power adapter, power cable, the enclosure itself, and even a little screwdriver! The SATA connector and cable are standard and not the e-SATA connector. This doesn't bother me in the least, but it might be a negative to some. Here's a shot of the contents:


Drive Installation:

Let's take a look inside this beast. All the connections are supplied inside the enclosure for either a regular IDE drive or a SATA drive. It is recommended to remove the IDE cable if using SATA, but it'll all fit with a little finess. It's definitly a snug fit mounting the drive, but it'd rather have it snug and secure than loose.

Finishing the install was a snap. The top half interlocks with the bottom half on the sides and slides shut. Four screws on the connector end hold the two halves from sliding apart. In addition to that, four hard rubber feet wrap around from the top to the bottom with tabs that insert into the case for added durability.

And of course, the best part of the enclosure...


On to the benchmarks...