iStarUSA BPN-DE340SS SAS/SATA 3x5.25" to 4x3.5" Hard Drive Hot-Swap Cage

Subjective Analysis and Conclusion

Starting off the with aesthetics of the iStarUSA cage, all you see when it's installed and in use is the front. I personally think it looks good. The aluminum look sets it apart from the deluge of plastic that I am accustomed to seeing with products in this class. Magenta isn't my choice of colour, nor will it be easy to match with components from other manufacturers, but other popular colours are available for this cage: black, blue & silver. The blue LED indicator lights on the front of the cage look great. As I mentioned earlier, installing a drive in this cage is a simple task. For compatibility sake, I successfully installed various consumer drives from Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital. As long as the drives you want to install have standard SATA data and power connector locations and are of the 3.5" size format, you should have no problems. In terms of cooling performance, it's very similar to the performance you would get with drives installed in a standard desktop case with active cooling. There is an 80mm fan sucking air through the narrow spaces between the drives. Should the fan fail, drive temperatures will get very hot in this densely packed cage. Because of their respective characteristics, I would have preferred a ball bearing fan used in this situation where failure could be disastrous. Related to cooling performance, the noise produced by the cage is all from the cooling fan. There is a switch that allows you to adjust the fan speed, but for this type of product I'd recommend the full fan speed during operation. Inherent to the type of product a hot swap cage is, most users will have this for server operations anyway, where reliability is of a higher concern than noise. Subjectively, the noise coming from the cage is a medium hum. You can definitely notice it, but it's not too loud so that you can't zone it out. The build quality is superb. The fit and finish are solidly good. No rattles or vibrations will emanate from this cage. As a result, when drives are installed, they are held firmly and aren't allowed any movement. As a result of these factors, the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS comes recommended from circuitREMIX.