Thermaltake Max 5G Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Installation

At the back of the Thermaltake Max 5G, you will find four key parts. First one is the power switch. Just in case the smell of bacon is overwhelming for your liking, you can simply flip it off. Adjacent to the power switch is a light switch; this is a feature I wasn't expecting at all. It really shows that Thermaltake is thinking about its customers in the design process. Having the ability to turn off the fan's LED lights is a brilliant feature, as I know very few products with LED fans with such a feature. I sometimes really wish the fans on my computer case had this ability. Also on the back of the enclosure, we have a DC power input (A power adapter is included). This is obviously needed for the 3.5" enclosure and two LED fans, as one USB port doesn't stand a chance in powering the "baconator". The Max 5G also offers a blue USB 3.0 port on the back. In that case, this enclosure is something you might want to consider picking up. Fortunately, if you don't have any USB 3.0 ports, it is backwards compatible with USB 2.0, giving you the benefits of a cool enclosure until you get around to upgrading to the blazing fast USB 3.0 interface. The only thing this enclosure is missing is an eSATA port, but that isn't too much of a problem, considering the point of this enclosure is to utilize the USB 3.0 feature.

Installation was remarkably intuitive, and the design allowed for the whole process to be effortless. The only issue I have with the Thermaltake Max 5G is it uses non-standard screws, and by that, I mean uncommon. They do, however, provide a screwdriver that comes inside the box. The screws use a hex socket, also known as an Allen head. This is fairly annoying, and it would have been more preferable for users like myself to use either a Phillips head or a slotted head screw. I am only irritated by this because I have to find a way keep track of their tiny little screwdriver years down the road when I want to swap out the drive. Thankfully, once the cover was off, I was very happy to see how easily the drive would slide in. The tray that holds the hard drive slides back from the SATA connectors to make installation and removal as easy as flipping bacon. With the 3.5" drive installed, the only thing left is to put the cover back on the side and put the screws in. The nice feature here is it does not take any screws to secure the hard drive in place, because it easily slides and snaps in.

I have to say the Max 5G is fairly durable, despite many parts of it being plastic. I have transported around many times without any worries. The clips on the inside are plastic; however, based on some simple tests, they are still fairly strong and holds the hard drive in without any worries. Basically, I can spin this thing around and smack it against a few hard surfaces (I have an old dead HDD for this purpose), and the hard drive stays right in place. The plastic is just over 2mm thick, making it quite strong. Sure, it isn't metal, but don't underestimate it. The only thing that didn't hold well was the plastic clip used to secure the non-sliding half. It just slipped out of place, but the drive was still securely held in place, even with it only half clipped in. Unless you are planning to throw this off of your balcony, it will hold the drive in securely.

The metal mesh on the fans provides good airflow while preventing the user from accidentally coming in contact with the side fans. I really feel this was a well thought out design, as the whole thing feels rock solid when I pick it up or move it around. With a 3-year warranty mentioned on the package, you can really only expect high quality. The Thermaltake Max 5G uses an ASMedia controller for its SATA 6Gb/s internal interface. This means we don't need to worry about the any bottlenecks other than the USB 3.0 interface, which means that you can cook bacon very quickly! Unfortunately, I can't seem to find the specific model number of the controller bridge.

At the front of the enclosure, there is a blue LED light that acts as an HDD LED indicator. On the side with the fans is a metal mesh cover where you can also see the LEDs of the two 80mm fans. Now take note -- if you think the Thermatlake Max 5G is going to be loud thanks to this pair of fans, they are actually almost inaudible during operation. You'll be very pleasently surprised. Flipping it over to the bottom side, you are greeted with three rubber grommets -- one up front and two on a rotatable stand at the back. As aforementioned, the bottom of the Thermaltake Max 5G has a rotatable plastic stand. The enclosure stands on its side fairly well enough, even without it being rotated. Although it might not be needed, having the base rotated out provides you with an extra level of stability. The rubberized grommets are placed in very good position along the bottom to ensure that the Max 5G stays in place during operation, while lessening the vibration simultaneously. Well, enough about the enclosure's exterior, let's see how well it performs through the set of benchmarks!

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation
3. Test System, Benchmark Results
4. Conclusion