4 Bay 2.5" NVMe U.2 SSD Mobile Rack For External 5.25" Bay - ICY Dock ToughArmor MB699VP-B

larryexchange

Active Member
Dec 27, 2016
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I have been using different types of ICY DOCK mobile racks for long time. Among them, ToughArmor series is my favorite. Here is MB994SP-4SB-1 in my DELL T7810 workstation.
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When NVMe drive and U.2 interface are getting more and more popular, I was curious why there was not NVMe mobile rack for desktop PC just like the above SAS mobile rack. Finally ICY DOCK release ToughArmor MB699VP-B. Here is official web page.
MB699VP-B_NVMe Solutions_2.5" HDD/SSD CAGES_ICY DOCK manufacturer Removable enclosure, Screwless hard drive enclosure, SAS SATA Mobile Rack, DVR Surveillance Recording, Video Audio Editing, SATA portable hard drive enclosure

Although I could not find out detailed product review, I decided to give it a try. Since T7810 has built-in PLX, I use a cheap ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 card and four MSI M.2/U.2 adapters.
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As for cable, I just use the standard mini SAS HD cables (SFF-8643 to SFF-8643).
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Here are MB994SP-4SB-1 (Left) and MB699VP-B (Right) side by side.
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I used MB699VP-B to replace MB994SP-4SB-1.
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Then plug in two U.2 drives
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Power on T7810. As you could see it's hard to tell which is SAS mobile rack and which is NVMe mobile rack from the front panel.
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In device manager, two U.2 NVMe SSDs have been recognized successfully.
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Overall I am happy with the ICY NVMe mobile rack. But there are two issues.
  • The mobile rack comes with 2 Fans but the temperature of NVMe SSDs are still pretty high (>50 Centi-degrees).
  • One of the two fans doesn't work. I don't have time to troubleshoot it yet.
 
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TomUK

Member
Aug 30, 2017
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Great post - I've been considering getting one of these but it's hard to find people talking about or using them, so thanks!
 

azev

Active Member
Jan 18, 2013
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Have you done any benchmark to see if there's any performance degradation at all ?? I am also looking to get something similar for when I upgraded my pc and your post helps alot, thx.
 

Netwerkz101

Active Member
Dec 27, 2015
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The mobile rack comes with 2 Fans but the temperature of NVMe SSDs are still pretty high (>50 Centi-degrees).

The pic above pretty much tells the story.
I don't recall ever seeing any similar enclosures where the fan(s) do nothing more than cool
the back plane/PC Board.

It would seem that it would be better to open up the sides/top/bottom with vent holes/slots.
 

azev

Active Member
Jan 18, 2013
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my concern of using a hot swap bays in a standard case have always been drive temperature and sometime noise.
One thing I do miss though with NVME drives as such is drive activity light, i wonder if activity light works on these.