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SilverStone MS04 IDE Hard Drive Enclosure Review

Written by: Maxwell Anderson
Date: March 13th, 2007
Rating: 8.0 out of 10
Page: 1

There aren’t many among us who haven’t tried to install something, only to realize that we don’t have enough space on our hard drive. I remember, back in my Packard Bell 60MHz P1 system, I had a whopping 1.4GB hard drive that regularly made me decide between one application and another. Nowadays, we’ve got crazy big hard drive sizes thanks to newer platter and reader technologies. Still though, even with my main 160GB HDD (small by today’s standards), I still find a way to fill it up, resulting in the old “which file is more important?” debate. Basically, the way it works is, if we’ve got it, we’ll use it. That’s just how us humans live. There’s no reason to have something if we’re not going to use it, right?

I know, a lot of people don’t fill up their big hard drives, and some don’t even come close. BUT, are those people the ones reading this review right now? Probably not. It’s us techologically-minded nerds (sorry, it’s true) that use up the space. Personally, I like to back up my DVD movies onto my computer, because I use my computer as a home theater PC. I’m also very neat-freaky when it comes to my DVDs, so I don’t like to handle them too much. Well, this works out famously until I realize that “wow, yeah, that’s 8.5gb per movie” when Windows gives the all-too-familiar “Not enough space on drive C:” error. Now, when we come to this bridge, there are two ways to cross it. One way is to delete one of the files/folders/applications we’re probably never going to need again, which is lame, because you never know when you might just want to watch that one episode of “Captain Planet” (he’s our hero) for the fourth time. The next, better way to solve this dilemma is to find somewhere else to put our data.

Computer peripheral manufacturers realized that this is a big problem and started manufacturing external hard drives. At first, these external hard drives were a pretty penny, but then started to drop in price. Apparently the price never became quite cheap enough, because another solution came about.. to use that old hard drive you’ve already got. Most of us probably have a hard drive or two lying around. Some of us have big hard drives laying out, simply because we upgraded from ATA to SATA for the increase in performance. Usually, we never find the time to put that old hard drive on eBay or try to sell it to a friend, and it just gets covered with dust and/or old papers. Sure, you could keep that hard drive installed inside your computer, hooked up to your motherboard’s IDE port, if you’ve got it. Newer motherboards, though, often don’t even have IDE ports, simply because they’re old-school. What are we to do then? Use an external hard drive enclosure.

There are many external hard drive enclosures out there, but none quite as pretty as the SilverStone MS04. Sure, to some people looks aren’t everything, but to people like me, well, they’re definitely important. I mean, if there are a bunch of similar products that you assume all work about equally well, wouldn’t you just pick the one that’s most visually appealing to you? Of course! Now, I’m not yet saying that the MS04 features are above or below the level of functionality of its bretheren, but merely that if it WAS on par with them, I would probably still pick it out simply for the neat curvy shape. Come on, it has a Coke-bottle figure! Yes, I know, the way it looks isn’t the only thing that matters in these, so let’s take a look at some of the design aspects that make this product excel above the competition, then check out how it performs in real-world tests.

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