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     iStarUSA BPN-DE Series Trayless HDD Cages for 5.25 Drive Bays by Futurelooks
Reviewer: Stephen Fung

Date: December 19, 2011

Article url:

Product page:


We get a lot of things sent to us to check out at Futurelooks and it's up to us to figure out which things deserve a full review and which things deserve to go back to where they came from. Other times, we're just so busy that we just don't get around to it. Neither scenario is what we desire so we've decided to start doing some new "Quick Look" videos that should give you a good idea of what some of these products are all about. Today we have a quick look video of a product series from iStarUSA called the BPN-DE Series. They're 3 and 4 bay drive enclosures that house 3.5 inch hard drives.

While iStarUSA is mainly known for manufacturing products for other companies, recently the company has started to focus on their own brand in retail. We have checked out a 6 bay 2.5 inch enclosure that fits in a 5.25 bay early this year. While the product was quite innovative, it definitely lacked some spit and polish for retail shelves in its brown paper box. With the BPN-DE series and the two models in it (BPN-DE230SS @ $76.99 and BPN-DE340SS @ $98.99) that seems to be changing with much more retail friendly packaging.

The enclosures do appear to be well built and I like the ability to drop a drive in without having to mount it to a tray. Just drop it in bare and go. The externally replaceable fan is also a bonus that makes swapping out a dead fan easy. The only thing that I wondered about was the vibration since there is no vibration dampening material. I'm happy to report that while there still is noise, drives seem much quieter once stuffed into one of these enclosures.

For more information on iStarUSA's other products, check out their website:

Expect to see more quick looks of cool products in the New Year. Happy Holidays!

     iStarUSA BPN-DE110SS 1×5.25" Bay SATA/SAS Trayless Hot-Swap Rack by


Date: September 16, 2011

Article url:

Product page:


That's a nice looking rack you've got there…  Winking smile


image390885 image390887 l

Presenting the BPN-DE110SS: Look No Further
iStarUSA powered by iStarUSA Group
September 15, 2011
Suppose you ran out of space or are looking for ways save space for additional hard drives in your PC tower. It seems that the logical solution would be to toss out the current case and purchase a more roomy case that could accommodate the extra load of hard drives. However this same problem could manifest later down the road with this new, but bulky case. Fortunately, you can look no further with iStarUSA's new hard drive cage, the stylish BPN-DE110. With this smart space saving hard drive cage, you can convert a single standard 5.25" bay to accommodate a 3.5" hard drive. Let us zoom closer to see the benefits of its intuitive design:

-Supports up to 6.0 Gb/s data transfer rate
-Flexible Connectivity of SAS I/II and SATA I/II/III
-Supports 3TB Hard Drives
-Aluminum Frame for Better Cooling and Minimize Total Case Weight
-Trayless Design for Convenient Hot Swap Data Transfer
-Fits in any Universal 5.25" Optical Bay, an immediate storage expansion for rackmounts and desktops
-Alloy Lock and Key for Data Security
-Multiple Color Options of Blue, Red, Black, and Silver, to match your current case
-7" Cage Depth is similar to standard optical drive

     iStarUSA BPN-DE110SS Trayless Hard Drive Cage by Futurelooks


Date: March 29, 2012

Article url:

Product page:


Video embed code:

We've been checking out a lot of iStarUSA products lately. That's because they make so much cool stuff! Our latest Quick Look is of something that allows you to throw a hot swap 3.5 inch hard drive bay in any computer enclosure with an empty 5.25 inch bay. And unlike its larger three and four bay versions, the BPN-DE110SS will fit in a lot more cases simply because it's only a single bay. But nothing is stopping you from taking its multiple colors and installing them all into a single case either. Check out the video above for more!

Not a Lock: Theft Deterrent

Futurelooks Quick Look   iStarUSA BPN DE110SS Trayless Hard Drive Cage (Video)

Like the previous products we've looked at, the BPN-DE110SS has a key mechanism on the front of the bay that is actuated with an included key. While it's a good theft deterrent, it's key is pretty much universal across the whole line. So if someone has one of these already, then their key will fit your bay too.

iStarUSA could improve this product's security a lot by simply providing a properly keyed lock system, similar to what the NZXT. Bunker had with its USB locking door. It at least came in different combinations so that the chances of someone else having the same key was more remote.

Not a Fan of Heat? Add Your Own Fan!

Futurelooks Quick Look   iStarUSA BPN DE110SS Trayless Hard Drive Cage (Video)

If heat is of concern in your enclosure, then mounting a fan to the back of the BPN-DE110SS is pretty easy. The hardest part is simply finding the fan which is a 40mm unit with a small 2-pin power connection. Most electronics and hobby stores should carry them, but it would be nicer if iStarUSA actually included the fan, even at a small premium. That way, it would at least provide some additional cooling and if you choose not to use it for any reason, you could remove it on your own.

The BPN-DE110SS is available from most major retailers including NewEgg. The $22 US MSRP is very affordable and the four colors (silver, black, blue, red) give you different options for color coding your hot swap bays in your system. It's definitely a little more versatile than their three and four bay block cages and much easier to install overall. If you're looking for a quick hot swap solution for your system, this might just fit the bill. Enjoy the pictures below.


     iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS Trayless Hot-swap Cage and BPU-350SATA Hot-swap Cage by Whaler_99

Reviewer: Shawn Hartford

Date: November 21, 2012

Article url:

Product page:


Hey everyone, I am back to review a few more units. It you haven't read the original 5x3 review, I suggest you check it out HERE first.

This time I am looking at two 3x2 cages - excellent options for those cases with only a couple of 5.25" bays left. Plus, one of them is trayless. Know a lot of you have been asking about them. I also have an updated model to one of the previously reviewed 5x3 cages and I also take a quick look at one 4x3 that a lot of us are familiar with.

I will be looking at the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS (Blue) (3x2), the Icy Dock MB153SP-B (3x2), a CoolerMaster STB-3T4-E3 (4x3) and finally a iStarUSA BPU-350SATA (5x3).

If you would like any additional pics or information on the units, please PM me and I will try and accommodate.

For anyone wanting to go to the main gallery and look at all the pics, please go Here.


Let me remind you, I am not a professional reviewer. What I have documented are things I have observed and experienced working with all four units and my own opinions. Hopefully this and the pictures will help you make that critical decision.

iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS (Blue) (3x2)

Initial Thoughts:
- Packaging is fine, should arrive without any damage
- Unit is "shrink" wrapped
- Unit overall has a pretty solid feel
- Grooves in the side, to allow the tabs separating 5.25" cages to fit. Should work on most cases.
- Includes 3 locking SATA cables and screws
- Really light weight, especially compared to the 5x3 cages
- Really nicely designed rear, ample room for SATA and power Cables
- Heavy duty switches for the FAN speed and HDD LED.
- Supports 6Gb/s SATA Connections
- Uses a standard size 70x70x15 rear fan, easy to get at, but custom 3 pin connector
- Basic manual included, shows the orientation between the trays and SATA connectors in the rear, but nothing on the unit itself to show which tray is which numbered slot
- Drive cage handles are a combination of aluminum and plastic. Pretty solid. There are holes drilled in the front, but there is a metal flap behind them. This is to help apply pressure to the drive when inserted, but also will block airflow somewhat

- Looks like cooling should be ok - pass through holes in the rear for each drive

- Mounting a "standard" drive is pretty straight forward. Note though, not all 3.5" drives are the same thickness. The average is about 25mm, which fits perfectly in. Some drives though are a slightly slimmer, coming in at 20mm. Special attention has to be placed when loading these as the SATA ports in the rear may not line up perfectly. If you force it, it will break inner components. If you mount the drives after the cage is installed, there shouldn't be any issues, as gravity is your friend.
- Once installed, a standard thickness drive in in pretty solid. Getting drive in was pretty smooth as was removing it.
- Once installed, a slimmer drive is not perfectly secured in the cage. The back (front?) of the drive can move within the drive mount. As long as you are not moving your case, shouldn't be much of an issue. Will vibration though affect drive over time? 
- Included screws, tested with some standard ones you would use to mount a CD-ROM, worked fine.
- Slides into case nicely. Even a bit loose. Screw holes line up fine. No issues, in my case, with the drive rails in the 5.25" bays

LED (as observed):
- Blue power led, not overly bright
- Blue HDD Power led

Overall Thoughts:
   I have been looking forward to trying out one of these trayless units to see just how well and sturdy the drives are inside. Very convenient being able to just pull and push drives in and out without having to mess with drive trays. I really like this.    Nice to see the SATA only power connectors. More and more modern PSU units going away with Molex and putting in more and more of the SATA form factor. No need to waste space adding in Molex power connections. 
    Lots of clearance for all the cable connections in the rear. Great design and layout.
   Still wondering about the drive and long term vibration issue, especially on the thinner drives. The standard drives though are in there pretty solid.
   Fan was great - at LOW was very quiet and then at high still not overly loud. Would be drowned out by most other components. At low speed though, I couldn't really detect any air being drawn in the front. At high speed I could feel a bit. 
   Really sharp looking cage. Solid black design, nice satin finish and the blue on the front, really pops.

Icy Dock MB153SP-B (3x2)

Initial Thoughts:
- External packaging is good, lots of info on the box.
- Packaging is good, unit comes wrapped in plastic. 
- Individually sealed drive tray and cage screws, labeled also. Tested with standard screws used for CD-ROMs, can be used to secure this cage
- Does not include any SATA cables
- Standard 80mm fan and standard connectors for both two pin and three pin fans, very nice. Some anti vibration material also applied.
- Really light weight, especially compared to the 5x3 cages 
- Solid feeling cage
- Supports 6Gb/s SATA Connections
- Drive trays seem pretty flimsy, as previously reviews. I believe the trays though are compatible with various models
- Only two cut outs in the rear PCB, but almost full width, so cooling should be ok.

- SATA power, minor issue with the connections. As per the pic, the way the connectors are wired in series on most PSU's can make it a bit tight depending on which plug you are using. The cabling on the SATA power connector is pretty tight.
-Mounting a drive in the drive cage on this unit is tedious. When you pull out the drive tray, you then have to remove this plastic spacer unit that is installed. They have to have that as the rails are a bit flimsy. Put the drive in, they provide 3 holes per rail that all line up. Bit of a balancing act to get the drives screwed in.
- Drive trays slid in and out pretty smoothly.
- Slides into case nicely. Good snug fit. Screw holes line up fine. No issues, in my case, with the drive rails in the 5.25" bays.

LED (as observed):
- Green power on LED for the HDD

Overall Thoughts:
   Has a three year warranty, which is a nice plus, they expect the cage to last as long as your hard drive. 
   Fan cable came tied down with a twist tie to the edge, bit of rudimentary cable management. Can't say enough about the fan solution now, brilliant. 
   No fan speed controller, but the included 80mm one isn't too noisy at all, and you can feel the air being pulled in front the front. Very easy to swap in a quieter fan if that is your thing or something with more draw.
   Another solid case that looks good installed. Minor issue with layout in the rear though.

CoolerMaster STB-3T4-E3 (4x3)

Initial Thoughts:
- Packaging is fine, should arrive without any damage
- Very lightweight
- No backplane nor hot swap support, all drives directly screwed into the cage
- Excellent cooling, from a standard sized, front mounted 120mm fan

- Pretty straight forward, just a bit tedious screwing in all the drives into the cage
- Have to disconnect everything and remove cage just to swap a single drive. 

LED (as observed):
- As there is no backplane, no LED's per say, but units does include a Blue LED fan

   Just getting started? Here is a great option to get a few more drives into your case without shelling out a $100 plus to get a 5x3. Excellent value for the money and great cooling potential. 
   A bit tedious removing the whole thing every time you want to work on a drive, but, still excellent option.
   Remember to mark down all your connections so everything is hooked up properly when you re-install it.

iStarUSA BPU-350SATA (5x3)]/b]

Initial Thoughts:
- Packaging is fine, should arrive without any damage
- Unit is "shrink" wrapped
- Unit overall has a pretty solid feel
- Drive tray screws and cage screws in individual packaging
- Missed in original review, but tray also support 2.5" drives
- Drive handles now have a more standard locking mechanism. Much easier to use. 
- Much more detailed instruction manual
- Offical support for 6Gb/s

- Same issues as the orginal - two SATA power connectors and three Molex power connectors and no indicator as to whether you can mix them or not - be safe and don't
- SATA power, minor issue with the connections. As per the pic, the way the connectors are wired in series on most PSU's can make it a bit tight depending on which plug you are using. The cabling on the SATA power connector is pretty tight.
- Slides into case nicely. Even a bit loose. Screw holes line up fine. No issues, in my case, with the drive rails in the 5.25" bays

Overall Thoughts:
Not a lot of changes - upgrade to support 6Gb/s. Better drive handle then the plastic locking ones.
Fan is like the original, seems to have pretty good airflow. Have to pull the entire rear of the cage off to access the fan.

Pictures on a following post...

Special Thanks to iStarUSA and Icy Dock for their assistance with the review.

Update November 26th - Will be doing some temp tests on these this weekend, see how the 80mm and cooling slots work when running preclears.


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

Reviewer: Brandon

Date: October 23, 2011

Article url:

Product page:

iStarUSA is a company with almost 20 years of experience in manufacturing their own industrial switching power supplies, rackmount chassis and server cabinets. Expanding their product catalogue, iStarUSA also makes workstation and server accessories including mobile hard drive racks. Used in situations where hard drives need to quickly swapped, mobile racks help to make the task easier. The drive cage we'll be inspecting today is iStarUSA's BPN-DE340SS. It takes up 3 adjacent 5.25" drive bays and gives you 4 3.5" SAS/SATA drive bays. It's a new model from iStarUSA that supports current SATA 3.0 technology with its 6.0Gb/s transfer rate. It also supports drives up to with 3GB capacity.


  • Aluminum Frame, designed for heavy-duty purpose
  • Standard Drive Bays: (5.25" Drives: 3) to (Hotswap 3.5": 4)
  • Hotswap HDD Type: 3.5" SAS I/II & SATA I/II/II (up to 6Gb/s)
  • Support Hot-Swap & RAID Configuration (need an additional RAID controller)
  • 3TB Hard Drives Compatible

The BPN-DE340SS Hotswap Drive Cage

The front of the cage is comprised of LED indicator lights and the drive bay doors. There are five LED lights, one for power to the unit, and one activity indicator light per drive. The doors are made of aluminum. The black aluminum part of the door is a latch used to open the door. Each door is individually lockable.The magenta aluminum part is perforated for ventilation. Interestingly, the colour scheme for this cage was marketed as red, but to my eye it looks more like magenta. For those who fans of other colours, the cage is also available in black, blue and silver.  To check out photos of the cage in other colours, check out iStarUSA's product page below.  The frame trim around the doors is black plastic.

The doors offer ventilation through perforations in the coloured aluminum piece. Behind that piece is a curved piece of metal that is used to put pressure on the installed hard drive. It ensures that the installed hard drive is tight and won't shift or vibrate during operation and transport. There is no provision of a dust filter. As with most other hot swap cages I've used, I expect that dust will build up on the front of the installed hard drives in this cage.

The sides and the top of the cage are made of black aluminum. It looks very sleek, and it's too bad that you don't see the cage as a whole when it's installed in a case. The sides have various screw holes for mounting inside of a case, and the sides are slotted to allow for cases that have rails between drives. I tried test fitting the cage in various Antec, Coolermaster and Lian-Li cases without issue.

The back of the cage has four SATA data connectors, one for each drive. There are two SATA power connectors, one per two drives. Two switches control fan speed (2 settings) and activity lights (turning them on or off). An 80mm cooling fan sucks air through the front of the cage and exhausts it via the rear. The whole back panel is made of black plastic.

Inside the cage you can see where the installed hard drives will operate. There are standard SATA data and power connectors for each of the 4 drive slots. Keep in mind that while most standard 3.5" hard drives will match up with the connectors in this hot swap cage, there are outliers like the Western Digital Velociraptor GLFS line that don't use the standard connector location. Separating each drive slot are plastic guides. The drives are packed tightly in this cage, and the size of the plastic spacers is basically the size of the space between the drives.

Installing a Drive

Installing a hard drive into the cage is a simple task. You merely open the door for the desired slot, then slide the drive in between the guides.

When the drive is in far enough, you close the door. The door puts a bit of pressure on the drive which ensures that the drive is snug and the connectors are plugged in tightly.

Voila. The drive is installed firmly in the cage.

Dissecting the Cage

Inside the BPN-DE340SS, there is one PCB that handles the electronic functionality of the drive cage. One side of the PCB has four SATA power and data connector pairs for the hard drives to connect to. There are nine screws holding down the PCB to the cage, which is important for a device like this since you'd want the part hard drives are being connected to and removed from to be able to handle many usage cycles solidly.

The other side of the PCB faces the back of the cage and the interior of the case the cage is installed in. Each drive has its own SATA data connector. Looking at the traces, we can see that the SATA power connectors provides power for two drives each (with one connector also powering the cooling fan).

The cooling fan is an 80x80x20mm fan from the Young Lin Tech Company. It's a sleeve bearing fan rated with an airflow of 32CFM with 37dB(A) of noise while running at full speed. While the physical aspects of the fan itself are universal with most other 80x80x20mm fans, the connector isn't. It still should be an easy task to switch fans.

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.


     iStarUSA BPU-124V2-SS Hot-Swap Backplane RAID Cage Review by DragonSteelMods


Date: August 7, 2010

Article url:

Product page:

iStar BPU-124V2-SS Hot-Swap Backplane RAID Cage

Notebook drives are becoming more and
more usable in that the speeds and capacities have picked up. People
are realizing that they can be just as good as a standard hard drive,
but have less power consumption. There was a time when you really
would never think to use a 2.5” drive in any computer besides a
portable one like a laptops, now though technology has got the point
where they can be equal tho their 3.5” counterparts, which of
course is a good thing for all concerned.

Today for review iStar has sent me over
the BPU-124V2-SS which allows you to put four 2.5” drives into the
space of one 5.25” PC bay. The setup can be used for raid, or you
can just use it as a hot swap rack to quickly and easily switch
drives and transfer data to and from places. The cage itself is very
nicely made, each bay locks individually and there’s even two 40mm
cooling fans built right in to keep things nice and cool.

Tech Specs,Features or the Basic Info:


1 x 5.25″ to 4 x 2.5″
SATA/SAS Hot-Swap Backplane RAID Cage


All Aluminum Material Solid Construction for Best Heat Dissipation

LED for Power & HDD Activity

Built-in 2 x 40mm Cooling Fans

Plug & Play, Hot Swappable

High Performance Transfer Rate Up to 3 Gb/s

Support HDD Thickness from 9.5 to 15mm

Support 4 x 2.5” SAS (Dual Channel) & SATA HDDs

High level Raid and high
availability storage in compact design, BPU-124V2-SS adds extra
storage and hot-swap capability to satisfy any application needs. The
BPU-124V2-SS is constructed of light weight and durable aluminum
material with 2 cooling fans to ensure best heat dissipation required
for high performance 2.5” laptop SAS/ SATA drives. It is designed
with excellent front to back vent airflow. Hard drives can also be
removed or added to the system without turning off your system power
or restarting your computer. BPU-124V2-SS is an ideal solution for
RAID and JBOD applications.


Model Number: BPU-124V2-SS

Standard Drive Bays: 5.25″
Drive: 1

HDD Interface: 2.5” HDD SATA/

Connectors: Standard 15-pin
Power and 7-pin Data

Material: Aluminum Body

Indicators: Power On: solid

HDD Access: blue blinking

Weight: 1.8 lbs

Dimension (W x H x D): 146 x 42
x 173 mm

Cooling Fan: 2x40mm

Price: $79.99 ( price from
NewEgg at time of review)

Better Look at Things:

iStar stuff comes in plain boxes,
and I like that, no frills, nothing fancy, it’s what inside that
counts right?

Inside you’ll find the dock
packaged well with four SATA cables, a pack of screws for
installation and a set of keys. Included also is a brief instruction
sheet, but you don’t need much really.

The dock fits into a 5.25” bay,
the outer enclosure is made of aluminum to help dissipate the heat.
There’s also several openings in it to help dissipate the heat as

On the front you’ll find four
removable racks that are all keyed, they have a small switch on them
to unlock the trays.

All the trays just slide right

On the back you’ll see the two
cooling fans, along with eight SATA ports and one SATA power
connection. There’s a very small switch just below the power
connection that you can use to turn the front LEDs on or off.


The black connections are just
your standard SATA ports. The yellow ports are SAS connections.

You can use the dock for a raid
setup or just your standard hot swap dock to easily pop drives in and
out for quick access.

Testing and Comparison:

So I installed it in my case with
no issues, just a few screws and connections. I like the fact that
it uses only one SATA power connection, but of course you’ll need the
four SATA data cables and you’ll have to have four open ports.

The hard drives are easy to
install, you can install them just by sliding them through the side
of the removable rack or the top just pops off and you can put the
drive in that way. Then you’ll just need to secure it with the
included screws.

There are blue LEDs on the front
for each drive that a re solid when powered on and that blink for
activity of course.

If you don’t like the lights you
can just flip the switch on the back.

installed a few drives in it as one should and I tested before and
after using ATTO DiskBenchmark. The drive I used for testing is a
2.5” Seagate 7200.4 500gig 7200RPM one.

Here’s the test results:

The results are pretty much the
same, but it seems on the straight SATA interface you gain just a
little bit more write speeds, the read speeds are the same really.
That little bit won’t matter much to most people I would think.

As far as temperatures are
concerned, there was really no difference between having it in the
cage or just having it inside of my case. The fans seem quiet, and
only added just a hint of additional noise to my case.

and Comments:

The iStar BPU-124V2-SS Hot-Swap
Backplane RAID Cage is extremely well made, and it’s very easy to
use. The cage offers the ability to quickly and easily swap drives,
or create a nice raid array to add a lot of additional storage to
your system.

It’s a quick and easy way to add a
lot of storage to your system in a small space.

Speeds shouldn’t be a concern, at
least not much of one. The read speeds seem fine, but the write
speeds are a tiny bit slower when inside of the cage. Not sure why
though. It’s so little of a difference though I wouldn’t worry about
it really.

gives the iStar
BPU-124V2-SS Hot-Swap Backplane RAID Cage
a 4.5 out of 5 score.


+Very well made

+Fans are quiet

+Easy to use

+Speeds are same

+Quick and easy raid setup


-Write speeds appear just ever so
slightly slower in the cage


     iStarUSA BPU-126SA 6 Hot Swap 2.5in HDD Cage for 5.25 Bays by Futurelooks

Reviewed by:

Date: August 1, 2011

Video embed code:


     iStarUSA BPU-2535V2 2 x 2.5″ SATA Hot-Swap Drive Cage Review by DragonSteelMods

Reviewed by:

Date: May 16, 2010

Article url:

Product page:

iStarUSA BPU-2535V2 2 x 2.5' SATA Hot-Swap Drive Cage Review


Being a reviewer I get a lot of stuff
for review, and I’ll be honest, I don’t keep quite a bit of it, I’ll
give it away, donate it etc, but some I find very useful and keep for
my own use, like what I have today for review.

Today for review I’ve got a drive cage
from iStarUSA called the BPU-2535V2 that holds two 2.5” SATA hard
drives, in the space of a single 3.5” bay. Each bay of the cage
locks individually, and you can use either one or both or just swap
drives as needed. I swap a lot of drives in and out of my computer
for testing and I found this to be a very useful product to have in
my computer. So read on to learn more..




Product Name: iStarUSA
BPU-2535V2 2 x 2.5″ SATA Hot-Swap Drive Cage

Author: Kristofer Brozio

Sponsor: iStarUSA


Tech Specs,Features or the Basic Info:

1 x 3.5″ to 2 x 2.5″ SATA I/II Hot-Swap Drive Cage


BPU-2535V2 internal drive cage
is a compact and cost effective solution for an internal 3.5” drive
cage with two 2.5” hard drives. It provides an extra storage

within a compact design to
satisfy many application needs. BPU-2535V2 is constructed of aluminum
material that provides best heat dissipation required for high

performance 2.5″ laptop
SATA drives. It is easy and quick to install it into any tower or
rackmount chassis.


* Aluminum Frame

* Hard Drive Interface: SATA

* Fit one 3.5” Drive Bay for
2 x 2.5” Hard Disk Drives (thickness: up to 9.5mm)

* Point to Point, Free from
Master/ Slave Setting

* With one SATA Power and two
DATA Connectors

* JBOD Support (two individual
hard drives)

* Energy Saving on Using 2.5″

* LED Indicators for Power &
HDD access

* Security Key Lock

* RoHS Compliance


Model Number: BPU-2535V2

RoHS Compliance Version: Yes

Standard Drive Bays: 3.5″
Drive: 1

Host Interface:

-SATA Power Connector x1

-Data Connector x2

HDD Interface: SATA I/II

Material: Aluminum &

Weight: 1 lb

Packaging Information:
Enclosure, Manual, Screws, Keys

Dimensions (W x H x D): 101 x
25 x 150 mm

A Better Look at Things:

The BPU-2535V2 comes in a stylish
looking box with pictures and specs listed on it. Inside you’ll find
the cage wrapped in bubble wrap and a brief instruction sheet.

The cage itself is metal and
plastic, it’s mostly all black with silver handles on the front.
What’s interesting is that on the back you’ll find only one power
connection and two data connections. On the bottom you’ll find some
ventilation slits. The cage is metal so it acts as a big heatsink to
help keep the drives inside cool.

The handles on the front just pull
to open the bays individually, there’s a lever inside of the cage at
the back attached to the handle so that when you pull the handle it
pushes the drives out for easy access.

Inside of the case I found another
brief instruction sheet, a set of key and screws for installation.
The keys are hexagon to match the holes on the drive bay handles to
lock them.

Installation, Testing and Comparison:

Installation is very easy, you
just need a free 3.5” bay in your case, which of course I had.

Installing the drives is easy as
well, just push them in and lock the bay. I actually used two SSD

There are LEDs on each of the bays
to indicate power and activity.

I tested the drives before and
after installing them in the iStar BPU-2535V2 and I found that the
speeds were exactly the same.

So that’s about it really, it
works and works well.

The only complaint I could have is
that the keys don’t do anything but lock the bays, I would like if
they were actually a switch to power the drives on or off.

and Comments:

The iStar BPU-2535V2 is a great
product really, if you need something like this, it works and works
well, there’s no doubt about that.

I think it’s a must have product
for those of us that test a lot of drives, or use a lot of them. The
average consumer could find this useful as well I’m sure for quick
access to drives.

If you run more than one computer,
I’m sure you might need more than one of these if you plan on
swapping drives often, or to transfer large amounts of data to and
from computers.

I’ve got a few hot swap docks in
my various computers, and they’re great for transferring large
amounts of data when a USB drive just won’t do, with the BPU-2535V2
now I’ve got an option besides using 3.5” drives for transferring
my data.

DragonSteelMods gives the
BPU-2535V2 a 4.5 out of 5 score and our Recommended Award as well.


+Easy to use

+Single power connection

+Individual locks on bays

+Can run one or two drives

+Hot swap

+Well made


-Keys don’t power bays

     iStarUSA BPU-2535V2 2 x 2.5″ SATA Hot-Swap Drive Cage Review by Overclockers

Reviewed by: JOETECK

Date: May 7, 2010

Article url:

Product page:


This is our first product from iStarUSA, which allows us to insert two 2.5″ laptop drives or SSD's in a 3.5″ bay. The material is aluminum and plastic with two SATA ports and one power connector on the back.  The dimensions are (WxHxD) 101 x 25 x 150 mm.

The package contains: the enclosure, manual, and keys.

The internal enclosure isn't anything fancy or unusual. It can accept two 2.5″ drives. It has a spring loaded entry with lock, preventing you from accidentally opening it.  It uses an Allen key, so if you were to lose it, no big deal; a standard Allen key can open it. I enclosed two 5400rpm WD1600BUDT drives in it and they did get a little warm. The enclosure's cooling ability could use some improvement.



Contents of package


The only concern I see is that it uses four metal springs inside the device. When ejecting, the springs push the drive(s) out of the slot.  Personally I don't want anything metal near power and data connections.  Hopefully over time, these will not break and cause a short and blow out your gear…

Metal Springs?

Metal Springs?

Matches the connections of a standard 3.5" drive

Easy insertion

These are the only holes on this enclosure.


The BPU-2535V2 performed well. There were no changes to hard drive throughput when used in RAID mode.  Cosmetically, it looks cool, with silver latches and semi gloss black finish.  It would be nice to have an open chassis for better cooling with mechanical drives larger than 4200rpm. This internal enclosure would be more suited for solid state drives, where heat is not an issue. Using an Allen key to lock the bays is nice, as any size 15 Allen key would open it.

For around $35, this is not a bad deal for what it does. If they can fix the cooling issue, it would give me better peace of mind that my drives will be safe from heat damage. There are other manufacturers that make something very similar and cost about the same, however, they offer better cooling… something to think about when looking for a device like this.

NOTE:  iStarUSA has another version model BPU-2535V2-R, which I did not review yet. This device has the ability to do hardware RAID just with a flick of a switch.  It would appear the power and SATA connectors match a 3.5″ drive.  I bring this up because now you have the ability to plug this into a back plane on another RAID card or controller giving you even more hard drive speed and space.  Imagine having two drives in RAID 0, technically acting as one physical drive. Add six of these enclosures totaling 12 hard drives set to RAID 0. See where I'm going with this? Intel Matrix RAID can only do a maximum of 6 drives in any RAID configuration. With this device, you can now have up to 12 drives in RAID 0, 1, or 5. Of course it would be ridiculously expensive, however, now we have the option to do (12) 2.5″ drives. Any takers?


     iStarUSA BPU-2535V2 Dual 2.5 to 3.5-inch Enclosure Review by OCModshop

Reviewed by:

Date: June 10, 2010
Article url:

Product page:


Some computer enthusiasts have toyed with the idea of using laptop hard drives in their desktop PC. Because of their lower noise and heat, they are perfect for small builds, home theater PCs (HTPCs), or any other computer appliance where silence is golden. I’ve even known people who set up 2.5″ hard drives in a RAID array so they perform faster than a traditional hard drive, yet are practically silent. You may even have just a buttload of laptop hard drives laying around and want to get some use out of them.

Regardless of your reasons, placing a 2.5-inch hard drive into a desktop PC requires some special mounting hardware and interface adapters What if there was some hard drive enclosure that allowed you to not only easily use laptop drives in your rig, but allowed for hot-swapping as well? Well iStar USA has you covered with their BPU-2535V2 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch hard drive enclosure.

Below are the specifications and features of this nifty little gadget:

BPU-2535V2 internal drive cage is a compact and cost effective solution for an internal 3.5” drive cage with two 2.5” hard drives. It provides an extra storage within a compact design to satisfy many application needs. BPU-2535V2 is constructed of aluminum material that provides best heat dissipation required for high performance 2.5″ laptop SATA drives. It is easy and quick to install it into any tower or rackmount chassis.

Features & Specifications
Model Number BPU-2535V2
RoHS Compliance Version Yes
Standard Drive Bays 3.5″ Drive: 1
Host Interface SATA Power Connector x 1
Data Connector x 2
HDD Interface SATA I/II
Material Aluminum & Plastic
Packaging Information Enclosure, Manual, Screws, Keys
Dimensions (W x H x D) 101 x 25 x 150 mm
  • Aluminum Frame
  • Hard Drive Interface: SATA I/II
  • Fit one 3.5” Drive Bay for 2 x 2.5” Hard Disk Drives (thickness: up to 9.5mm)
  • Point to Point, Free from Master/ Slave Setting
  • With one SATA Power and two DATA Connectors
  • JBOD Support (two individual hard drives)
  • Energy Saving on Using 2.5″ HDDs or SSD
  • LED Indicators for Power & HDD access
  • Security Key Lock
  • RoHS Compliance
  • A Closer Look

    The BPU-2535V2 cage looks like a miniaturized version of iStar’s other drive enclosures (one of which reviewed here). It is practically the same dimensions as a desktop hard drive (but is about a centimeter longer.

    The front of the cage has two doors with metal handles and small locks, which are of rather high quality, but we’ll show you more on this when we install the drives. The left corner of the drive is notched slightly, and has small activity LEDs next to their corresponding doors. Inside the enclosure is a small plastic bag with two hex keys (for the front doors), installation screws, and a small paper manual.

    Both sides of the cage have holes to fit a standard 3.5″ (floppy) bay, but do not have holes to mount inside a standard hard drive bay. The bottom of the cage has ventillation holes, a few identification stickers, and mounting screws to keep the whole thing together.

    On the rear is a standard SATA data and power interface, and a plug for an additional SATA cable. The additional port is to access the second drive in the enclosure, as this case does not provide any sort of RAID or drive translation (JBOD or BIG). The primary port is placed in the same spot as a desktop hard drive, and actually fits in standard HDD docking bays (like the device reviewed here).

    So how easy is it get installed? Read on…


    Installation and Use

    The drive cage does not have screw holes to mount this enclosure internally, but could be easily modified to do so. You would lose the hot-swap features of this enclosure, but you would then be able to fit two laptop hard drives neatly in a small form factor.

    This drive is intended to fit inside an externally-accessed 3.5-inch drive bay, and the front panel is notched so you can see the activity LEDs of each drive. Once the device is mounted, all you need to do is plug up a standard SATA power cable from your power supply, and two SATA cables (one for each drive you want to access).

    Inserting and removing drive is very simple, even if you’ve never used hot-swappable enclosures before. Just pull on one of the front door handles and pull the door open. A small lever at the back of the unit pulls on the installed drive, undocking it and sliding it forward for easy retrieval. The reverse is just as easy… insert a drive and close the door and the drive is automatically mounted and powered. Usually HDD enclosures only power the drive once the door is locked, but this is not so with this cage… once you plug it in then it is powered. The lock only serves to prevent accidentally opening the door (or theft).

    We tested a variety of 2.5″ hard drives and SSDs in the enclosure and achieved the exact same performance both with and without the enclosure. The cage is essentially a “dumb” device so there are no chips to translate or manipulate data in any way and provides a straight-through connection. Some may actually prefer an external RAID card, as “internal” solutions tend to not have professional features like data rebuilding, recovery, and administrative alerts.

    On the next page we consider its usefulness…



    Many users will want to use this device to mount small drives and SSDs into their small HTPC and gaming appliance builds, but this requires adding more mounting holes. This device was intended for use in a standard desktop or server to add additional storage in a space that would otherwise go unused. There are several practical applications for this device. You could use it to reduce or eliminate noise in a HTPC (using SSDs would make the drives absolutely noiseless). This device could even be an alternative to using backup tapes… just plug in a new drive and let the backup schedule continue as normal. If you’re a fan of several operating systems, you could hot-swap your boot drive to alternate between several versions of Windows, Linux, or a “sterilized” test environment. You can even test the limits of SSDs by RAIDing them together, and don’t forget that IT shops will find cloning drives so much easier with this.

    The iStar BPU-2535V2 hard drive enclosure is rather innovative in that it allows you to fit two 2.5″ hard drives into a 3.5″ bay that usually goes unused. The mechanical parts are rather high quality (iStar does have expertise with professional server parts), and has thoughtful installation features. Many enthusiasts would be interested in taking this enclosure a step further, and use RAID features on this device, and those users should consider the “upgraded” version of this enclosure, the BPU-2535V2-R, which has onboard hardware RAID and only requires one SATA cable.

    This hard drive enclosure is so cute and nifty that hardware enthusiasts just can’t resist having one in their desktop rig. It is perfect for small SSDs. Now that I have it installed, I’m not sure how I ever lived without a cage like this. The RAIDed version is the next part on my list…


    REPORT CARD : iStar BPU-2535V2 2.5″ to 3.5″ Internal Drive Bay Cage
    category rating comments
    Quality 4 Small, compact and sturdy. Steel construction with plastic parts
    Innovation 5 Why hasn’t there been a device like this before?
    Performance 5 Drive performance is not affected by the enclosure. No heat problems from tested drives
    Installation 4 Easy to install, but internal mounting options would have been nice.
    Value 4 Really nifty device for $30.
    FINAL VERDICT: 5 out of 5 stars


         iStarUSA BPU-2535v2 HDD-SSD 2.5 to 3.5 Adapter Review by OverClock Intelligence Agency
    Author: Zahn Funk  
    Editor: Shawn Knight
    Date: July 31, 2010
    Article url:
    Product page:



    It has been some time since our last review of an iStar product, the T5F-SS SATA Hard Drive Rack. That product allowed you to install a 3½" SATA hard drive into an external 5¼" drive bay so that the drive could be accessed and hot-swapped from outside the computer case. The product we have for review today, the BPU-2535v2, provides a similar type function, allowing you to install up to two 2½" SATA hard drives or solid state drives into an external 3½" drive bay. Like the T5F-SS the drive slots are hot-swappable and feature key locks to prevent someone from walking off with your data.

    With the growing popularity of SSDs and their frequent use in desktop machines, which are not traditionally setup for 2½" drive mounting, adapters like the BPU-2535 are needed to provide a solid method of installation. The fact that this iStar unit can fit not just one but two 2½" drives into one 3½" bay will be sure to please those enthusiasts who are using dual SSDs in a RAID configuration. In fact the BPU-2535v2-R version of this product provides built-in hardware RAID functionality, although most desktop motherboards these days do have RAID capability onboard.

    Continue as we test out the iStar 2½" to 3½" drive adapter.


    The iStar 2½" to 3½" drive adapter features two hot-swap bays with hinged doors that open on the front. These also act as levers to push installed drives out from the rear when opening the door to remove them from the cage. The slots are stacked very close to fit both within the confines of a single 3½" drive bay and there are no provisions for cooling of any kind, either active or passive. Only one SATA power connection is required whether you use one drive or two, although separate data ports are provided for each drive.

    The top slot is labeled for SATA1 and the bottom for SATA2. Once the drive is slid into the slot the door can be closed and the latch optionally locked using the provided keys. This helps to prevent unauthorized tampering when using the iStar cage in an external drive bay.

    I'm installing the iStar BPU-2535v2 with the following hardware:

    AMD Phenom II 1090T X6 BE
    MSI 890FXA-GD70
    Kingwin XT-1264
    2x2Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600
    Diamond Radeon HD5850
    128Gb Crucial C300 RealSSD
    Icy Dock 2½" Adapter
    1Tb WD Caviar Black
    Optiarc 24x DVD+/-RW
    SilverStone Decathlon DA750
    Cooler Master HAF 932 AMD Edition

    The HAF 932 requires a 5¼" adapter for mounting a 3½" drive in one of the external bays, however the iStar BPU-2535v2 can also potentially be used internally as well. The mounting holes on the iStar are cut exactly like a floppy drive, which uses a smaller, fine-threaded hole compared to 3½" hard drives. Thus any case that utilizes snap-on rails or other tool-less, post style brackets may not work. The Cooler Master drive tray has removable posts however, and screws provided with the iStar can be used to secure it to the bracket. A blue LED on the left corner indicates power and activity for each drive slot, although they are not very bright.

    Let's wrap things up with some final thoughts and conclusion.



    The iStar BPU-2535v2 2½" to 3½" drive adapter cage is a versatile product that offers flexible uses. It can function in an external 3½" drive bay for easy hot-swap access capability to dual 2½" SATA drives. Or it can be used as a simple internal drive bay adapter for those looking to install an SSD or two into their desktop. Both door latches are lockable using the provided hex-shaped keys for security. And since the SATA1 data and power ports are located in the standard spot, it will even work in those 3½" bays with hot-plug connectors, although you would lose access to the SATA2 port in that situation.

    The only problem I ran into was when mounting the iStar adapter in the Cooler Master internal drive tray bracket. The rubber isolation posts did not line up or fit correctly in the holes, because they're made to fit a 3½" hard drive, and the iStar is keyed like a floppy drive. I made it work by removing the posts and utilizing the screws that iStar provides with the product, which have a smaller and finer thread. Those cases that use snap-on rails or other tool-less post mounting may experience similar issues. Cases that have traditional metal-sided bays with slotted mounting holes for screws could easily accommodate the iStar in either external or internal configuration.

    I found the iStar BPU-2535v2 available online in the $30 to $40 range. Although this is slightly more expensive than other 2½" to 3½" drive adapters such as the Icy Dock units, the iStar is constructed of aluminum rather than plastic, and features dual, lockable, hot-swap slots for your 2½" drives. The BPU-2535v2-R version is also available if you need hardware RAID capability built-in. awards the iStar BPU-2535v2 our Gold Seal of Approval.


         iStarUSA BPU-2535V2 miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage Review by HiTechLegion
    Reviewed by: Eric Stemplewski -skataneric-

    Date: May 1, 2010

    Article url:

    Product page:

    The floppy disk was once the king of the 3.5" drive bay. It was standard procedure when you were building a new computer to get a 3.5" floppy disk drive. This reign lasted for over a decade until CD-ROM drives started taking over. Now, we are getting to the point were everything is moving into the the realm of USB and eSATA, so 3.5" drive bays are going neglected and unused. Standard procedure has changed, so companies are coming up with innovative ways to use the empty drive bays.

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5

    The iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage looks to help make use of that unused drive bay. The iStarUSA miniDUAL Internal Drive Bay Cage allows you to expand your computer further by adding an extra two 2.5" hard drives that can be hot swapped. The miniDUAL has a sturdy aluminum construction and allows use of a hex key in order to lock the drives securely into the bays.

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5


    Here is a little information about iStarUSA taken from their website. "iStarUSA, Inc., established in 1989, is a Taiwan-based company with over 20 years of experience specializing in OEM/ODM projects and manufactures industrial Power Supply, DVR/IPC rack mount chassis, and Rack mount cabinet. Having the belief of "Always provide our customers with the best products and superior customer services," iStarUSA has grown to be one of major provider in IPC power supply Industry."

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage

    The iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage comes in a black box. The front side of the box has a picture of the drive cage with text of the model number and series. There is also iStarUSA's logo on the bottom right corner, as well as a picture of their HTL Tech logo on the bottom right. The back of the box has more pictures of the miniDual as well as bullet-points of its features. Inside the box, the miniDUAL drive bay cage is enclosed in pink bubble wrap.

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5 iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5


    Once removed from the bubble wrap, we can see that it is a solid black drive cage. The miniDUAL is constructed of aluminum metal for the casing and plastic for the front plating. The top is solid metal. The bottom has a plastic grill for venting.  The front of the cage has two clips that pull out to insert the 2.5" HDDs. There are also two LED lights on the side that indicate HDD power and access. Each clip has a hex keyhole that is used to lock the bay doors. The back end of the cage has a single SATA power connector and 2 SATA data connectors for each HDD.

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5 iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5 iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5


    In order to open up the miniDUAL, the silver front clips pull and swing open. A HDD is inserted into the bay and the door is pushed closed and locked. There are springs loaded on the rear, inside of the miniDUAL, so when a HDD needs to be removed, it will pop out when you open the bay door.

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5 iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5


    The iStarUSA miniDUAL is installed in any 3.5" bay. The case I am using has a 5.25" to 3.5" drive bay adaptor.

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5 iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5


    The included accessories are a warranty card, drive bay screws, and hex keys to lock the bay doors.

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5


    Specifications and Features


    Model Number BPU-2535V2
    RoHS Compliance Version Yes
    Standard Drive Bays 3.5" Drive: 1
    Host Interface

    SATA Power Connector x 1

    Data Connector x 2

    HDD Interface SATA I/II
    Material Aluminum & Plastic
    Weight 1 lb
    Packaging Information Enclosure, Manual, Screws, Keys
    Dimensions (W x H x D)

    101 x 25 x 150 mm

    External Version: BPU-2535V2-SAU



    • Aluminum Frame
    • Hard Drive Interface: SATA I/II
    • Fir one 3.5" Drive Bay for 2 x 2.5" Hard Disk Drives (thickness: up to 9.5mm)
    • Point to Point, Free from Master/Slave Setting
    • With one SATA Power and two DATA Connectors
    • JBOD Support (two individual hard drives)
    • Energy Saving on Using 2.5" HDDs or SSD
    • LED Indicators for Power & HDD access
    • Security Key Lock
    • RoHS Compliance

    Testing Methods

    The iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage was tested utilizing the HD Tune, ATTO, and Everest benchmarking utilities to test the read/write speeds of the drive. The tests were performed in two different sets of conditions. First, the HDD was directly connected to the motherboard SATA port to get the standard benchmarks of the HDD to compare against. Then, the HDD was inserted into the drive cage and benchmarked using the same tests.


    Test System(s):


    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750
    • Motherboard: MSI P43 Neo3-F LGA 775
    • Video Card: PNY Nvidia 275 GTX
    • Memory: G.Skill 4GB DDR2 800Mhz
    • Hard Drive: WD Scorpion Black 320GB 7200RPM
    • Media: LG DVD-RW
    • Power Supply: Ultra X4 850 Watt Modular
    • Operating System: Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit



    • HD Tune
    • ATTO
    • Everest


    HD Tune

    To test Hard Drives and Hard Drive Enclosures, we use HD Tune, which tests various aspects of hard drives, including transfer rates and access times, which are a couple of the most important factors in HDDs. Both average transfer rate and burst rate are measured in MB/s and the higher the score the better. The access times are measured in milliseconds and the lower the times the better.

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5



    ATTO is a Hard Disk benchmark that that calculates both read and write times. You can download ATTO here.

    Native SATA

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5


    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5


    Everest is a diagnostic and benchmarking tool. Everest will be used for its Disk Benchmark. We will use the read test suite. Lavalys is the producer of this software.

    Native SATA

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5

    iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage



    Provided by: iStarUSA

    No compensation was received for review of this product

    Price Point

    Price: $34.99 USD

    Class: Mainstream

    At a price of $34.99 USD, the iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage falls in the Mainstream Category for HDD accessories.


    The iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage performed exactly as if the hard drive was plugged directly into the motherboard itself. There was no real significant loss in performance going through the controller card other than a random read test in Everest.

    Reviewer's Opinion

    The iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage is a very nice accessory to have in your computer case. The tests that I ran were with a normal spindle SATA hard drive, so I wasn't able to saturate the SATA's full speeds. Installation was super easy. The procedure was similar to installing a DVD or CD drive. Screw into the drive bay and connect the power and data cables. The hard drive is recognized by the BIOS like any other hard drive connected to the system, so no drivers or program installation is necessary.

    One thing that really would bring this cage to life would be SSD drives. The 2.5" form factor is becoming ever so popular with the SSD line because they are being used in both notebooks as well as desktop computers. Super Talent has also just released a line of smaller, more affordable VSSDs that would complement the miniDUAL perfectly. Their smaller capacity makes them perfect hot swap drives for application storage.

    The miniDUAL also expands a single 3.5" bay to accommodate two 2.5" hard drives. Many HTPC and MicroATX cases come with a single 3.5" drive bay and limited internal space. Therefore, utilizing the miniDUAL drive bay cage will allow for greater expansion or cut out the need to keep a hard drive mounted inside the case. This leaves room for better airflow within the case but also an ability to swap hard drives without the need to disassemble the computer entirely.

    If you need an internal hard drive enclosure, the iStarUSA miniDUAL 2.5" HDD/SSD to 3.5" Internal Drive Bay Cage is a perfect solution.



    • Aluminum Design
    • Two HDDs in a single 3.5" Bay
    • Security Locks
    • One SATA power connection needed



    • None



         iStarUSA BPU-340-SA Backplane Hot Swap Module Review by We Got Served

    Reviewed by:

    Date: March 7, 2009

    Article url:

    Product page:

    My short review series of Backplane Hot Swap Modules would not be complete if I did not take a look at my reference module, the iStarUSA BPU-340-SA.

    Popularized by HP MediaSmart Servers, these modules have found their into many competitor’s WHS-specific machines and many home-built machines.  They really are a very useful addition to WHS computers, especially as one begins to swap drives to provide an increased level of backup protection.

    bpu340sal001 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    This module is a 4 bay device that fits in (3) 5-1/4” case bays.


    Model Number BPU-340-SA

    RoHS Compliance Version Yes

    Standard Drive Bays 5.25″ Drive: 3

    Interface SATA 2.0 Hot-Swap Capable

    Cooling Fan 1x80mm

    Materials All Aluminum Design with Conductive Dissipation Grooves

    Color Red: BPU-340-SARED
    Blue: BPU-340-SABLUE
    Silver: BPU-340-SASILVER

    Cables SATA Cable Included (4pcs)

    Weight 10 lbs

    Dimensions (W x H x D) 146 x 126 x 202 mm


    • Stylish aluminum color handle and heat-sink body
    • Plug & Play
    • Support Hot-Swap, RAID 0/1/5
    • All Aluminum Design with Conductive Dissipation Grooves
    • Power, fan and high temperature LED indicators
    • Super Air Ventilation & Heat Sink with 80mm Fan
    • Exceeds rotational vibration requirements specified for today’s high-RPM drives
    • Patent Balance Handle – No Skew In/Out

    Before I give you a hands-on look at the module, it is appropriate to provide some background information about iStarUSA.  From their website:

    iStarUSA established in 1989, iStarUSA Computer Inc. has over 19 years of experience in designing and manufacturing Industrial Switching Power Supply, Rackmount Chassis and Server Cabinet. From the standard switching power supply to high-end redundant power supply, iStarUSA has grown to be one of major provider in IPC power supply industry. In recent years, we have also expanded our products to include 1U to 8U rackmount chassis and 6U to 42U server cabinets. Our goal is always to provide our customer with the best products and superior customer services. In the beginning, iStarUSA focused on providing our customers the combinations of cutting-edge technologies, high quality manufacturing, and superior customer services. It has been a proving record that these principles earned a strong partnership for iStarUSA in today’s competitive market.

    iStarUSA builds its strength upon its experience, technology, and strong partnership. We have been working closely with major computer components manufactures and system integrators for years to ensure that our products have high compatibility and solid stability. We also adopt new industrial standards to improve our design. Our ability to design according to customer’s requirement also wins us a high reputation in the industry.

    Our experienced design and project engineers complete an OEM project within the deadline and meet the product requirements. We believe that being a leader of innovative technology means able to integrate it into our products which is the key to be successful for us as well as for our customers. iStarUSA has a global ISO 9001 certification which means a consistency of delivering products that meets customer requirement and continue improvement for our product and services. We are proudly to provide cost effective solutions, responsive services and the best delivery time for our customers.

    What’s In The Box?

    This is a toughy.  This is a module I purchased some time ago.  As such, I no longer have the box and associated packing materials.  Short section here!

    Sitting the iStarUSA BPU-340-SA on my table reveals a very sharp looking 4-in-3 bay module.  The exterior casing is aluminum which should provide a nice heat sink to pull heat away from the hard drives.  This unit came in as the heaviest all the modules I looked at.  This is a heavy-duty unit with full caddies.  The module comes with the prerequisite package of screws and it come with 4 SATA cables.  Which is the only module that came with cables.

    istar1 thumb2 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    Just a shot of the HD trays.  Unlike the other modules I looked at, the iStarUSA BPU-340-SA comes with a full caddy trays.  Thick machined aluminum trays.  This unit is designed to withstand a tank rolling over it!

    istar3 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    The following picture is a shot of the back side of the module.  You can see the fan here, of course, the SATA data connectors, and 2 each SATA and standard 4-pin Molex power connectors.  You will notice that this particular module has slots incorporated into the sides to easily allow it’s use in a case with drive bay guides.

    istar2 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    As can be seen above, the power connections are on the far side (away from an open side cover).  The data connections are on the near side (closest to an open side cover).  There is also a switch located on the back to set a high or low fan speed.

    You can remove the fan.  It is not exactly meant to be removed, but you can do so.  I had the great idea of changing out this fan at one point with a quieter fan, however, it is 20mm thick fan.  20mm fans are somewhat difficult to find and none were made by companies that I knew to make quiet fans.

    This module has a fan failure warning capability.

    Module Comparison

    I have reviewed several of these Backplane Hot Swap Module recently.  I thought it might be nice to recap the iStar module with the ones I have already finished reviewing.  So here goes.

    Norco SS-500 and the iStarUSA BPU-340-SA

    ss50013 thumb21 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Moduless50012 thumb21 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Moduless50011 thumb21 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    Icy Dock MB454SPF-B and the iStarUSA BPU-340-SA

    4548 thumb11 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module4549 thumb11 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module45410 thumb11 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    Icy Dock MB235SPF-1B and the iStarUSA BPU-340-SA

    2358 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module2359 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module23510 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    And all 4 together.

    istar4 thumb2 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Moduleistar5 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    Hopefully, you can find the module style of your choice among those pictured above.

    Installing the Hot Swap Module

    As in previous Hot Swap module reviews, I mentioned that the most time consuming portion of that whole exercise was to transfer drives from 1 set of caddies to the other set.  Once again, that observation has not changed.  There are simply a lot screws to deal with!

    istar6 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    32 screws later, I was able to gently slide/push the iStar device into my computer bays, hook up the data and power connections, and secure the the module.  As you can see below you can actually see the other side of case.  This module is by far and away the shortest of the modules I have looked at, which gives it an advantage when trying to fit it in small and large cases.

    istar7 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    And one last time (I just have to say it)!  My wire management *still* sucks, and I *still* need some compressed air to blow the dust out.  I guarantee that wiring situation will not improve.  And I still have not made it out to buy some compressed air!

    istar8 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    It was nice to be able to use SATA power cables, since I had plenty of length to hook them up outside the case.  Since the data connections are on the open side of the computer, I had no trouble hooking up them up.

    What follows are a couple of pictures of the iStar module installed in the computer and the computer all tucked away into its normal place in my little world.  Same ole, same ole except for different hot swap modules.

    istar9 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    istar10 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    I turned on the computer and (for the last time!) was relieved to discover that I had reconnected everything correctly (again!).

    It is rather difficult to get a good picture of the light show when the computer is starting up, but here it is.

    istar11 thumb1 Hands On: iStarUSA BPU 340 SA Backplane Hot Swap Module

    The iStarUSA BPU-340-SA utilizes multi-purpose (colored) LED’s to indicate various HD states.  The bottom LED is a fan fault indicator.  I am not sure why, but each HD LED also serves as a on/off button for each drive.  And the top button is a reset switch.  If someone could explain to me why one would want such a feature, please clue me in!

    This module has a high/low fan speed switch.  I guarantee that you will want to put in on the low-speed side.  The low-speed setting is noticeable; the high-speed setting is annoying, to say the least.  The result is that the drives seem to be a few degrees warmer than the other modules I have looked at, but they are still well within any temperature limits.

    Looks?  I liked it when I purchased this item, as I just happened to like the blue accents.  After looking at the other two 4-3 modules, I think I prefer the understated black color with or without some small offsetting accents.  The iStar looks nice; it just not look as “professional” as some of the others.  Obviously, this is a very subjective opinion.

    A couple of final observations to note during initial inspection and installation are as follows:

    • The module is very sturdy and is incredibly well built.
    • The frame and trays are machined, and could have been deburred a little better.  The module had some rather sharp edges.
    • Insertion of the caddies was very smooth, with or without drives installed.
    • There was no mistaking when the hard drives were properly inserted and the module latched.  There was a very definite feeling a proper insertion.

    Costs and Conclusion


    • Very soft, but very legible LED array.  Put another way, these LED’s do not light up the whole room.
    • Fan Alarm.
    • The best built unit of the ones I have looked at.
    • Very short unit which allows for ease of installation in most cases.
    • SATA power connectors.
    • Comes with SATA data cables.


    • Loud fan in high-speed setting.  Acceptable noise level in low-speed setting.
    • The power connectors are in an inconvenient location, but the use SATA power connectors made this mostly a non-issue.
    • Power/reset buttons are there for, what?

    Would I recommend this hot swap module?  Well, I bought it didn’t I?  I might make a different decision today based upon direct comparison to other hot swap modules, but it does have some better features than the others.  And a few not so nice ones.

    Company: iStarUSA

    Model Reviewed: BPU-340-SA 4-in-3 bay hot swap module

    Cost: Newegg price: $99.99

    Final note: I must apologize on the pricing detail, as I am in the U.S.  If a reader elsewhere spots one at their favorite etailer, I (and others) would appreciate it you could note source and cost as a comment.

         iStarUSA T5F-SS SAS/SATA Hard Drive Mobile Rack by CircuitRemix
    • Author:
    • Date: January 11, 2009
    • Article url:
    • Product page:

    I love storage.  It doesn’t matter what kind.  I have stock in those plastic dresser-style drawers, and I keep ‘em chock full of crap I’ll never use or at the most very rarely.  Any time I look at a car I check out the trunk first, and try to estimate how many bodies would fit in there.  If I’m unsure, I’ll ask the salesman.  And yes, I have done it before.  Ah, the joys and freedoms of being a sociopath.  But my favorite type of storage is always those heavy bricks we call Hard Drives.  I have them in all capacities, and when I want to access one, I simply take apart my external storage unit, or power down my computer and take the side off, install the HD, and then put it all back together.  It’s a pain in the ass at best.

    And then I recieved this little dandy.  The T-5F SS by the people at iStarUSA.  It’s an HDD reader, like the SD card reader on the front of most of your computers.  T5F-SS is a mobile rack for use with 3.5″ SAS and SATA I/II hard drive. The storage capacity of the hard drive is unlimited. The trayless and screwless design is for fast and easy installation. The anti-vibration design gives hard drive an extra protection from damage. Blue LED indicator enables monitor power and hard drive activities. Security key-lock prevents intrusion and theft to the most important data.  And, possibly the best of all… it’s Hot Swappable!

    Here are some more specs on her:


    • Screwless and Trayless Design for fast HDD mounting
    • Anti-vibration Design
    • Support SAS and SATA I/II Hard Drive
    • Key Lock Prevents Theft or Removal During Operation
    • Fit for Standard 5.25″ Drive Bay
    • Best Air Ventilation with 1 x 40mm Fan
    Model Number T5F-SS
    RoHS Compliance Version Yes
    Standard Drive Bays 5.25″ Drive: 1
    Interface SAS / SATA I/II
    Cooling Fan 1x40mm
    Connectors 2 x SATA Connectors – 4 Pin Power Connector
    Materials Frame: Metal  -  Front Panel: Plastic
    LED Display HDD Activity
    Security Key Lock
    Certification TUV, CSA, CUL/ UL, CE
    Packaging Information Mobile Rack, Manual, Keys, and Screws
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 146 x 40 x 190 mm

    A closer look

    So now you know what it can handle.  And you know what comes in the box.  I love it when the manufacturer does my work for me.  Unlimited capacity, and a small amount of installation.  What more could a storage lover want?  And it comes equipped with its own 40mm cooling fan.  This little baby is awesome.  But enough of my swooning, let’s slap a drive in there and see what it can do.  I expect that there won’t be much difference in the data transfer speed, but we’re going to test it anyway.  Because that’s the type of in-depth journalism we do here at OCModshop.  Okay… my editor is forcing me to do it.  He’s so anal.

    Installation is a breeze, assuming you have all your wires and cables safely out of your way.  I removed the plastic panel from the front of my case, slid the T5F-SS in there, and screwed it down.  A simple plugging in of the cables and I was good to go.  FYI, there are two SATA-style ports on this, a yellow one and a black one.  The yellow one is for SAS only, and the black one is for your SATA drive.  It took a minute to figure this out when my PC didn’t recognize that there was a drive connected to it.  One other thing I noticed is that the T5 didn’t use the SATA power plug for its juice.  It instead used a typical 4-prong power plug.  My best guess is that this is to provide adequate power to the fan as well as the HDD.

    Now that everything is connected, I put the side back on the case and insert my HDD into the T5F-SS.  Man, that sounds dirty doesn’t it?  That’s geek dirty talk, my friends.  So I open the front door of the T5 and insert the HDD.  As I slid it to the back it catches on a metal tab that closes the door as it goes.  A small push of the fingertip, and the drive is locked into the plugs at the back of the enclosure.  And when you open the door again, the same tab pulls the drive toward you, effectively disconnecting it and sliding it out so you can grasp it.  How wonderful.

    Just for fun, I used the included keys and locked the door of the T5.  On a side note, what good do these keys do?  Every lock screw, every other lockable computer component has this exact same key.  Any other PC user with a set of these keys can walk right up, unlock your drive bay, and pull your HDD out.  Then they walk away whistling to themselves.  But alas, I am not the designer, and there’s only so many ways you can make a key for something like this.  Although I am sure there are more than just this one…


    Back on the subject, I have fired up my computer and am proceeding to run Hard Disk Sentinel Pro to make sure that the speeds are sufficent to receive my two thumbs up.  The blue light on the front of the T5 tells me that the drive is being accessed with its constant and bright blue LED blinking.  So I close the front of my case to get that annoying light out of my eyes, and sit back and wait for the results of the benchmark test.

    As I suspected, the benchmarks on the hard drive’s speed wasn’t affected by the enclosure.  I was getting an average speed of 45.89MBs, just under the Western Digital WD2500KS and the Hitachi Deskstar.  The enclosure’s fan also seemed to do its job as well.  The drive was staying as cool as my OS’s HDD, which is equipped with a single fan cooling system.  So all in all, I am happy with the performance of the T5F-SS.  The speed is consistent and there is no lag.  The cooling system seems to do the job adequately.  It’s a breeze to install, just as easy as hooking up a new optical drive.  And, did I mention that it’s hot swappable?  I’m sure I did, but it’s still a beautiful thing.  And swapping is easy too, just open the door and take the drive out, then slide the new drive in.  My only suggestion to iStarUSA… check into a new lock and security system.  Biometrics is the new black, you know.

    REPORT CARD : I-Star T55F-SS Hot-Swap Drive Bay
    category rating comments
    Quality 4 Screwless loading, loading an HDD is as easy as .
    Innovation 4 Easy to use, self-cooling, and hot-swappable.  The security locking is pretty typical though.
    Performance 5 The enclosure, unlike most external USBs, doesn’t slow down read or write speed.
    Installation 4 Easy as can be to install.  But can be a little confusing if you don’t know to use the black SATA port.
    Value 5 Can be had for $29.99 brand new, the same price as good external drive.  But faster than external.
    FINAL VERDICT: 4 out of 5 stars



         iStarUSA T5F-SS 3 1/2 Review by

    Reviewed by: Reviewer

    Date: September 24th, 2008

    Article url:

    Product page:

    The IStarUSA T5F-SS is an internal 3 1/2″ Sata drive docking bay. It securely docks a Sata drive in a 5 1/4″ bay. Docking is as easy as sliding the drive in and closing the door.


    Storage needs have changed over the years and it seems like we’ve seen a never ending parade of drive enclosures and docking stations. But the problem lies within the limited choices in regards to interface and capacity. USB is limited in transfer speeds but offers portability in exchange. Firewire offers speed, but not all computers are set up to handle it. E-Sata leaves you with a drive enclosure cluttering up your desk and wires trailing behind it.

    With our specific need for easy access to multiple drives, boot to multiple operating systems, and craving the ability to migrate from SATA to SAS, we went looking for a solution. What we found was a docking bay that fits into a 5 1/4″ drive bay, accepts SATA and SAS drives, and has unlimited storage capacity (depending on how many drives you want to swap).

    The iStarUsa T5F-SS accepts 3 1/2″ Sata or SAS (you of course have to have a SAS controller and drive to use the SAS portion) hard drive, connects to the internal controller inside the computer, and swapping a drive is as easy as sliding it in and closing the door.



    • Screwless and trayless design for fast HDD mounting
    • Anti-vibration design
    • Support SAS and SATA I/II hard drives
    • Key Lock prevents theft or removal during operation
    • Fit for standard 5.25″ drive bay
    • Best air ventilation with 1 x 40mm fan


    iStarUSA T5F-SS

    Model Number
    RoHS Compliance Version Yes
    Standard Drive Bays 5.25″ Drive: 1
    Cooling Fan 1x40mm
    Interface SAS / SATA I/II
    Connectors 2 x SATA connectors
    4 Pin power connector
    Materials Frame: Metal
    Front Panel: Plastic
    LED Display HDD activity
    Security Key Lock
    Certification TUV, CSA, CUL/ UL, CE
    Packaging Information
    Mobile rack, manual, keys, and screws
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 146 x 40 x 190 mm


    Click For A Larger Image

    The T5F-SS comes packaged in a sturdy box with enough information on it to help the informed consumer make a decision about it’s purchase.

    Click For A Larger Image
    Inside The Box

    Inside the box you’ll find the T5F-SS in a bubble wrap bag, which could have used a little more padding to keep it securely in place. Despite the lack of packing it arrived safely. You’ll also find a set of keys, 4 screws, and a minuscule manual. You won’t find a SATA or SAS cable for the unit. That’s a bad oversight on iStarUSA’s part. We like to see a product come out of the box ready to go with all the accessories required for it’s operation.

    Click For A Larger Image
    The Front

    On the front of the T5F-SS there’s a lockable door to ensure that no one absconds with your hard drive. The locking system is solid steel and quite secure. One of the most impressive things about the T5F-SS is it’s solid steel construction. The gauge steel they used in it’s construction is very substantial. To open the door just use one of the keys and unlock it and pull out on the indented section. Slide your drive in and you’re ready to go. You mount the unit just like any other drive that fits in a standard 5 1/4″ drive bay. Depending on the drive you chose to use (SAS or SATA) you’ll need to connect the appropriate cable to the drive controller. We chose to use a SATA drive for testing because SAS is primarily used for enterprise and server applications and is not representative of our reader base.

    Click The Image And Nothing Will Happen
    The Back

    On the back of the iStarUSA T5F-SS, you’ll see a yellow SAS and black Sata connector. The T5F-SS also uses a molex connector so a SATA to molex adapter would have been appreciated for those that don’t have a molex to spare. The 40mm cooling fan to the right of the picture provides cooling for your drive while in operation.

    We thought we’d throw in a picture of the T5F-SS installed in a tower before moving on to the Testing & Conclusion section.

    You can see that it’s not gaudy and doesn’t attract undue attention to itself but projects a professional image. The locking feature is pretty nice for an Office environment where hard drives are known to disappear by the dozen.


    Test Rig

    Test Rig
    Case Type NZXT Tempest
    CPU Intel E8400 @ 3.214Ghz 1.22 vcore
    Motherboard Gigabyte EP45-Extreme
    Ram 2GB Patriot Viper DDR2 1150  5-5-5-15 2.3v (2.0v on the P45)
    CPU Cooler Thermalright Ultra 120
    Hard Drive Western Digital 400 Gig Sata II 8MB cache
    Optical Sony DVD R/W
    Graphics Cards In Crossfire Sapphire 4870
    Sapphire 4850 Toxic
    Power Supply Thermaltake ToughPower 1K
    NB Cooling Thermaltake Bigwater 760I
    External Enclosure iStarUsa T5F-SS


    To test the IStar T5F-SS we ran HDTach with a SATA II hard drive in the enclosure. We ran the test three times, and of those three runs the average was reported. The HDD used to run the test was a 400GB 16MB cache Western Digital SATA II HDD. For comparison we used the Thermaltake VI-ON in USB mode with the same hard drive. We also used the same model drive as the primary boot drive and ran those numbers to see how they compared to the iStarUsa T5F-SS.

    Test Results

    Hard Drive Tach
    32 MB Test

      TT VION In USB Mode
    iStarUsa T5F-SS In Sata Mode Internal Hard Drive In Sata Mode
    Random Access Time* (ms) 15.1 14.4 14.2
    Average Read (MB/sec) 27.54 112.6 112.9
    CPU Utilization* 2% 2% 2%
    Burst Speed (MB/sec) 29.71 129.5 131.2

    *Lower is Better … Otherwise Higher is Better

    The differences between a USB enclosure and a true SATA enclosure are like day and night. With a higher RPM SAS drive the differences would be even more dramatic. You can clearly see the advantages of an internal SATA docking bay. The internal bay runs at the same speed as the internal hard drive. The internal did do a little better, but nothing that can’t be explained by normal testing variance.


    The iStarUsa T5F-SS is a well built drive bay enclosure. It operated in SATA mode as well as an internal hard drive. It also offers the upgrade path to SAS drives which earns it a few points. What detracts from it isn’t performance, but rather the non-existent bundle that drags down it’s value. Most hard drives don’t come with cables, most motherboards come with cables. If you’re maxed out on your cables then to use the T5F-SS you’d have to purchase a cable for SAS or SATA. While most of us have Sata Cables laying around, very few of us have SAS cables. We are big fans of ready out of the box products and without cables the T5F-SS falls short of this ideal. Nobody wants to receive a product to find out that they need to run down to a local shop to purchase an over priced cable just to use it.

    That being said, it still performs really well. The steel used in it’s construction is heavy gauge but since it’s an internal that doesn’t earn it a lot of leeway. We’d see using it in a tech or shop environment but a really limited number of people have a stack of hard drives they want to swap in and out. For a business man that want’s to carry data home, e-Sata makes more sense. It’s hard to find a niche to categorize this enclosure in for home use. In a SAS server environment it’d be handy, in a reviewers environment it’s nice, home use for a multiple drive enthusiast wanting to boot multiple Operating Systems from stand alone drives, maybe.

    With SAS in the same boat as SCSI, we’d say on normal boards (non-server non-native SAS controller) it would be beyond the average users pocket to use SAS. The controller (a bargain controller) runs upwards of $200+, SAS drives run as much and more than Raptors. So to use the enclosure you’d have to have $400 or more invested in hardware and that’s if you only run one SAS drive in the T5F-SS. Most people would want to run it internally and externally so they’d be looking at a $600 dollar investment plus the cost of the enclosure. Makes it kind of prohibitive for most of use to use the SAS portion of the enclosure.

    It’s a good idea but it’s a little ahead of the times for home use, and a little out of reach for most pockets.


    +  Performance in SATA mode is excellent
    +  SAS ready
    +  Solidly built
    +  Quiet operation (in SATA mode)


    -  Cost of operation in SAS mode
    -  Non-existent bundle
    -  e-SATA is more convienent

    The T5F-SS performed well in SATA mode but it would be hard to justify the cost of operation in SAS Mode. The glaring lack of included cables decreases it’s value. In a server environment or those demanding the absolute most of every piece of equipment no matter the cost, it might find a home. For home use it’s good for SATA but it’s not very portable so e-SATA makes more sense.

    Overall, the iStarUSA T5F-SS recieves a final score of 6 out of 10 (pretty good). We could see it moving to a 7 if cables were included, but even at 7, with the scores of more functional enclosures (ie. e-SATA devices, and docking Stations) it would still fall short of being award worthy.

         iStarUSA T5F-SS 5.25in Trayless SATA/SAS Rack Review by BCC Hardware

    Reviewed by: Benjamin "Zeus" Heide

    Date: Monday, 22 September 2008

    Article url:

    Product page:


    iStarUSA may not be the first name on your lips when you think mobile HDD racks.  Other companies like Kingwin, Thermaltake, Nexstar and IcyDock get a lot of press with their external and internal HDD docks, racks and enclosures and iStarUSA is one of the names that often gets left out in the cold.  Today we are looking at a trayless 5.25" Anti-vibration SAS (Serial Attached SCSI)/SATA mobile rack that may be just the ticket if you have a drive that you want to pull from a system for security or large scale data portability.  Keep on reading to find out if the T5F-SS is a worthy choice in this crowded market.

    About iStarUSA:

    For those of you not familiar with iStarUSA, you might find their company information interesting.  We've pulled it from their site and posted it below for your convenience.

    iStarUSA established in 1989, iStarUSA Computer Inc. has over fifteen years of experience in designing and manufacturing Industrial Switching Power Supply, Rackmount Chassis and Server Cabinet. From the standard switching power supply to high-end redundant power supply, iStarUSA has grown to be one of major provider in IPC power supply industry. In recent years, we have also expanded our products to include 1U to 8U rackmount chassis and 6U to 42U server cabinets. Our goal is always to provide our customer with the best products and superior customer services. In the beginning, iStarUSA focused on providing our customers the combinations of cutting-edge technologies, high quality manufacturing, and superior customer services. It has been a proving record that these principles earned a strong partnership for iStarUSA in today's competitive market.

    iStarUSA builds its strength upon its experience, technology, and strong partnership. We have been working closely with major computer components manufactures and system integrators for years to ensure that our products have high compatibility and solid stability. We also adopt new industrial standards to improve our design. Our ability to design according to customer's requirement also wins us a high reputation in the industry.


    You can read the full company profile over here.


    Bundle & First Look:

    The T5F-SS comes is a pretty plain looking box and the bundle is pretty plain as well.  In the box is the enclosure/rack, a set of keys, four screws for mounting the rack in a 5.25" bay and a small manual.  The T5F-SS is really simple to install as you insert it into an available bay, open the door, slide a drive in and shut the door.  There is no tray to install on the HDD - it's a one piece unit that really makes installation simple.

    T5F-SS Bundle
    T5F-SS Bundle


    The front of the unit is somewhat vented and this allows the small 40mm fan at the rear of the unit to achieve small airflow inside the unit to keep your drive cool.  Because there is no major aluminum component touching the drive (such as a tray) the drive could get hot if the unit were cooled passively.  The active cooling on this unit is quiet and works very well.

     Front Close - Closed
    Front Close - Closed
    Back Close
    Back Close


    The black hard drive connector on the back is for SATA while the orange connector is for SAS devices.  Not familiar with SAS?  Check out Wikipedia for more info.

    On the next page we'll install it and test it out.


    As I mentioned before, installing the T5F-SS is very simple.  To install it into your case is as simple as installing a SATA Optical drive - just make sure if you're using a SATA drive that you connect the SATA cable to the black connector.  You can secure the unit with the included screws if you case isn't tool-less.  I used the Zalman GS1000 case and the unit slid easily into a bay and was secured with thumbscrews that came with the case.  Installing a drive is as simple as turning a key, pulling the latch on the left front of the unit and then sliding the drive in place.  When you close the door it will push the drive securely into the connector and keep it from vibrating thanks to the secure fit and spring-loaded door.

    Front Close - Open
    Front Close - Open
    Drive Installation
    Drive Installation


    Once you've got the T5F-SS in your system and powered on, you'll see that there are two distinctive LEDs on the front left on the device.  The LED at the top of the lock indicates power and that a drive is installed.  The LED at the bottom of the lock is an HDD activity indicator.  It flashes like every other HDD light on the front of every case.  The handy thing about having drives installed in the T5F-SS devices is that you can see which drive is being accessed.



    Usage & Testing:

    I've used the T5F-SS for about a week and have had absolutely no issue with it at all.  While some may shy away from the unit because of the fan, I never found this to add any noise to the system at all.  This is currently running one half of a RAID 0 stripe on an Phenom 9950BE system and it has been rock solid.  The performance with the drive in this enclosure is identical to the performance when the drive was strapped solely into the GS1000 Case.  The benefit for some corporate users is that this device also supports SAS drives as well.  When using the iStarUSA T5F-SS in a RAID 1 array, it works as advertised and lets you hot-swap drives with no issues at all.  In terms of performance and usability, this device scores very well.

    Final Thoughts:

    The iStarUSA T5F-SS works as advertised and brings iStarUSA to the table in the crowded market of HDD enclosures.  One of the main benefits of this HDD Dock is also its weakness; it is tray less.  This means that you have nothing to install on your HDD and you can use your HDD in any system, dock, or other device without taking it out of its proprietary tray.  This also means that if you plan on pulling your drive from the T5F-SS before you go home at the end of the day, you'll have to transport your Hard Drive without any protection on it at all.

    With this in mind, the T5F-SS is not for everyone as it is not a standard rack/tray design that many other companies use.  This leaves your drive free of the burden of a tray and makes it more usable more quickly in different situations.  Still, if you use this in your office machine and plan on taking your drive home with you at the end of the day it will certainly leave your drive more exposed to damage.


    • Simple to install both in system and drive
    • Quiet - even though it's actively cooled
    • Drive doesn't vibrate
    • Trayless design leaves drive free for other applications quickly and easily
    • Supports both SATA and SAS drives


    • Trayless design fails to protect drive when transported outside the entire enclosure



    Top Pick


    I'd like to thank iStarUSA for sending over the T5F-SS for us to review.  It just squeaked in at 9.0 to make a Top Pick.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.

         iStarUSA T-7M1 HDD Rackmount Enclosure Review by Hardware Logic
    Reviewed by: The HL Staff
    Editor: Aron Schatz
    Date: February 17, 2008
    Article url:
    Product page:
    iStarUSA T-7M1 HDD Rackmount Enclosure

    With more and more enthusiasts relying on external hard drives to backup and transport their data with, it is no wonder that the market is simply inundated with these kinds of devices. iStarUSA's newest offering, the T-7M1 removable internal hard drive rack, looks to do something different by attracting enthusiasts with a more versatile and performance minded product. Can the T-7M1 out-perform its external HDD cousins? Will the T-7M1 be able to prove its mettle? HardwareLogic is on the hunt to find out!


    Fifteen years of experience in the computer industry has led iStarUSA to become one of the most sought after and successful companies in the world today. With a full stable of computing solutions that run the gamut from enclosures to server rack mounts to everything in between, iStarUSA has proven itself to be a company solely focused on their customers. It is due to iStarUSA's dedication to both the computing industry and their customers that allows the company to retain that much needed edge in a highly competitive environment.

    With more and more enthusiasts relying on external hard drives to backup and transport their data with, it is no wonder that the market is simply inundated with these kinds of devices. iStarUSA's newest offering, the T-7M1 removable internal hard drive rack, looks to do something different by attracting enthusiasts with a more versatile and performance minded product. Can the T-7M1 out-perform its external HDD cousins? Will the T-7M1 be able to prove its mettle? HardwareLogic is on the hunt to find out!


     Model Number  T-7M1-SABLUE
     Tray Type / HDD  5.25" SATA HDD enclosure in 3.5" HDD form factor
     Weight  3.0 lbs
     Dimensions  5.25" x 1.65" x 7.32" (H x W x L)
     Materials  Aluminum
     Interface  SATA 2.0
     Cooling Source  1 x 60mm fan
    • Hot swap capable 
    • All aluminum construction
    • Active HDD cooling via 60mm fan
    • RoHS compliant
     Price  Newegg

    The T-7M1 bundle, while sparse, is not a letdown by any means. Lesser manufacturers would have you fend for yourself by having to purchase a separate SATA cable to connect your device with, and it's nice to see that iStar included one with the T-7M1. It is worth noting that the cable is quite long, approximately 30" in length which is more than enough to connect the internal HDD enclosure to your motherboard. Along with the cable, iStar gives you enough screws to mount the HDD inside the enclosure, as well to mount the enclosure in an available 5.25" bay in your chassis. The manual, while brief, was more than enough in instructing us on how to install a hard drive in the enclosure and mount the enclosure into a chassis.

    Upon removing the HDD enclosure from its packaging, we were extremely surprised by the build quality of the product. At about three pounds sans hard drive, this enclosure is beefy, strong, and extremely sturdy. Made completely of aluminum, we expect this HDD enclosure to exist long after we have departed this Earth. Needless to say, we were very impressed with the fit and finish of the T-7M1. We could not find a single flaw in the construction of this enclosure, a true testament to the quality that iStar is known for in its products.

    To remove the HDD tray from the enclosure, simply pull on the black tab at the front of the enclosure and slide the entire tray from the chassis. It's that easy, and yes, we love the way that iStar has designed it. The handle, if you would call it that, comes in a variety of colors, and they are all made of anodized aluminum. Currently, you can purchase the T-7M1 in silver, black, red, and blue.

    The front of the T-7M1 is devoid of eye-candy that would normally make a product such as this appear gaudy and cheap. The only lights on this enclosure are the HDD and power LED's, and along with a power button located on the lower right-hand side of the enclosure, there really isn't much else to the T-7M1. This is not to infer that we don't feel that this enclosure is drab or boring, quite the contrary. iStar has included enough to make the front of the enclosure look great, while at the same time remaining professional. As mentioned earlier, you can get the "handle" in different colors for those enthusiasts that want to personalize their system.

    The rear end of the T-7M1 is about as basic as one can get for connection outputs. RoHS compliant, the T-7M1 gives you connection points for a SATA data cable and power connector. It's worth mentioning that this enclosure does not support legacy 4-pin molex power connectors (or IDE hard drives for that matter!), and if you're still using IDE drives, well, it's damn time to upgrade 'em! Nevertheless, it would have been nice if iStar had included a patch cable for those people that do not have an available SATA power connector in their systems.

    The cooling system for this enclosure is handled by a single 60mm fan that is not speed variable. Yes, yes, cry us a river. The fact of the matter is that, during our testing, the fan was barely audible, requiring us to put our ears to the enclosure to ensure that the fan was working. However, the fan puts out plenty of air, and we found that it kept our hard drive nice and cool during operation. Further testing revealed that the fan was able to keep our hard drive a few degrees cooler than hard drives installed in their respective 3.5" internal bays in our test chassis.

    Taking a peek inside the T-7M1, we can see the bottom mounted 60mm fan and the PCI board for the SATA hard drive. However, one of the things that we would have liked to have seen inside the enclosure is the use of anti-vibration dampening materials for the tray as it is slid and finally locked into place inside the enclosure. While not necessarily a deal breaker, much in the same as the Tagan Icy Box, it would have been a really nice touch nonetheless.

    The tray of the T-7M1, like the rest of the enclosure, is made completely of aluminum, save for the plastic housing area of the handle. With a cutout for the 60mm fan to do its thing and four holes to install a 3.5" SATA hard drive into, the tray is more than adequate to handle the weight of the heaviest hard drive used. While four screw holes to secure the hard drive to the tray is expected, what was not was the lack of grommets between the tray and the hard drive. This would have prevented any kind of vibration from occurring from hard drive operation, and a necessary one as well.

    The installation of a SATA hard drive in the T-7M1 is a relatively painless process. Orient your SATA hard drive of choice onto the tray, and with four screws, secure the drive to the tray. Yes, even a monkey could do this, it's that easy.

    Once the hard drive is installed onto the tray, carefully slide the tray into the T-7M1 enclosure and push the handle until it clicks into place.

    Once the tray is installed into the T-7M1 enclosure, install the enclosure into an available 5.25" external bay in your chassis and secure it with the screws that iStar provided in the accessory bundle. After that, connect the SATA data cable and presto! You're done!

    If you've made it this far in the review, you're no doubt wondering how the T-7M1 fared during our torture testing of the product. Well, to be perfectly honest, we cannot find a single substantial negative remark concerning this product. iStar put together a perfect product without resorting to gimmicks or other tomfoolery that commonly befall similar products. Suffice to say, if the only negative comments we can make about the T-7M1 is the lack of grommets on the HDD tray, anti-vibration materials inside the enclosure, and the lack of a 4-pin molex patch power cable, then you know that this product is destined for greatness.

    For those wondering about transfer speeds via the T-7M1 interface, we experienced no detrimental speed decreases or noticeable drop in throughput during our testing of this product. The T-7M1 retained the same data transfer speeds as a regular hard drive mounted inside a case in an available 3.5" bay would. The time it took to unpack the product, install a hard drive onto the tray, and install the HDD enclosure into our test chassis took less than 10 minutes. This, by far, was one of the quickest and easiest installation and setups of a rack mount HDD solution we've ever encountered.

    Our Recommendation

    Completely made of aluminum, there is something to be said of the heat-wicking abilities of this lightweight, yet sturdy metal. Coupled with a 60mm fan, our hard drive stayed nice and cool during operation, even during our stress test of defragging our hard drive or transferring tremendous amounts of data from one drive to another. In the end, we could not find a single failing point with this product. It's a solid performing device at a terrific price point. Simply put, the T-7M1 will appeal to any enthusiast, novice or expert, who are serious about removable media storage.

    The iStarUSA T-7M1 earns our coveted "Great Innovation" award.


     - Extremely well built and sturdy
     - Easy to install and maintain hard drives 
     - Superb performance; exceptionally cool and quiet operation 
     - Price point is fantastic for a product of this caliber

     - Lack of anti-vibration materia;s on the HDD tray and inside the enclosure
     - No 4-pin molex patch cable for those that don't have an available SATA power connector

    Other Reviews of Note

    It's always nice to have more than one opinion on a component before you spend your hard earned money. For one, we may see something others missed, or vice versa. As with all reviews published at HardwareLogic, we'll not only give you our recommendation, but also point out reviews from some other great sites around the web.

         iStarUSA T-7M1-SA Removable Sata Hard Drive Rack by Techware Labs
    Author:  Michael Lynch
    Date:  December 26, 2007

    Article url:

    Product page:



                   Transferring large amounts of data from one computer to another can sometimes be a hassle.  If you are using a flash drive you might have to take several trips back and forth between computers and if you are using an external hard drive, it might take a while.  A nice alternative is to simple copy the data onto an internal hard drive and then just move the hard drive to the other computer.  You might be thinking that this will end up being a lot of work since you are going to have to take the computer apart and unplug everything, but no, you don’t have to do any of that.   With the iStarUSA T-7M1-SA Removable Hard Drive Rack which will mount into a 5.25” drive bay, all you have to do is simply press a button and the hard drive comes right out with no problems.

    iStarUSA’s Take:

                   “Audio type aluminum hot-swappable iStarUSA T-7M1-SA mobile rack. Unique compact in size, high performance SATA interface. T-7M1-SA is tough in strength, but flexible in functionality. Additional blower cooling fan provides extra cooling in worst operating condition. LED indicator enables monitor power and hard drive activities. Security lock prevents intrusion and theft to the most important data. T-7M1-SA audio mobile rack construct with quality and versatility.”



    • SATA Interface
    • Cableless Connection, Support Plug & Play, Hot-Swappable
    • All Aluminum for Best Heat Sink
    • Best Air Ventilation with 1x60mm Blower Fan
    • Point to Point, Free from Master/Slave Setting


    Model Number


    RoHS Compliance Version


    Standard Drive Bays

    • 5.25" Drive:
    • 1

    Cooling Fan [Option]

    1x60mm Blower


    SATA 2.0 Hot-Swap Capable


    All Aluminum Design


    Red: T-7M1-SARED
    Blue: T-7M1-SABLUE
    Silver: T-7M1-SASILVER




    3.0 lbs

    Color of Handle

    Silver / Black / Blue / Red

    Dimensions (W x H x D)

    146 x 42 x 186 mm


                    Installation and ease of use are probably the two most important factors in a product of this type. First off the installation is extremely easy as it fits into the standard 5.25” drive bay, which can be installed several different ways depending on the case. Once securely placed into the drive bay we simply plug in the SATA and power to the back of the drive and that’s it. Installation is complete. Placing and removing a hard drive into the tray involves simply putting the hard drive down into it. Once you place the tray into the rack and push it in, it will connect to the SATA and power that you have plugged into the back. Now onto speed: I copied and pasted data from one hard drive to the hard drive in the rack and it maintained the same speed as if it was plugged in directly as an internal drive. With removable hard drive rack's what you have is basically a setup almost identical to mounting the hard drive internally. Speeds of writing and access will not be affected as all you have esentially done is mounted the drive into an enclosure which can be removed.


                    The iStarUSA T-7M1-SA also has a 60mm fan located on the bottom so that it will keep your hard drive running nice and cool. The hard drive ran a few degrees cooler in the rack than as if the hard drive ran as an internal with no fan or any type of direct air circulation. As we know heat is the number 1 killerof hard drives, and as such anything we can do to reduce the heat in will lead to a longer hard drive life.


                    From our testing, you can see that the installation and ease of use is extremely simple.  As we explained transfer speeds depend more on the max speed of the hard drive itself and other system factors than on anything to do with an enclosure.  Additionally since the iStarUSA T-7 comes in a variety of different colors, you are likley to find one that will match your case perfectly.   Overall I would have to say that the iStarUSA T-7M1-SA is a very well designed and thought out product.


         iStarUSA BPN-DE230 Drive Enclosure Review by
    Product page:
    Hard drives are now relatively cheap, but data loss is expensive, so using the money you save on individual drives to better protect your data makes sense. One way to protect data? Hot-swappable drives that can be backup targets for that one machine or an entire network. Then swap the drive and carry it offsite for disaster recovery. One way to implement swappable drives? One of iStarUSA's drive cages. Today we look at the BPN-DE Trayless Hard Drive Cage.

    The review model we received is the BPN-DE230SS three drive enclosure. Ours came with the black door color, but red, blue, and silver are available for an upgraded disk look on workstations and servers. The BPN-DE family also includes a single drive enclosure (BPN-110SS), a four drive model (BPN-DE340SS) and a five drive unit (BPN-DE350SS). Street price for the BPN-230SS tested is about $70, which includes a one year warranty.

    Included in the box is the aluminum three-drive enclosure, three SATA cables, mounting hardware, door lock keys, and a small but clear instruction pamphlet. Support for up to 3TB drives at 6.0 Gb/s transfer speeds (pass through) connecting via SATA I/II/III or SAS I/II, and a 70mm fan to keep the drives cool are all part of the package.

    Drive installation is a snap, literally. As shown in the photo, installation means sliding a raw drive into the slot until it seats with the connectors. Close the drive door, and the drive locks into place. Open the door, and a springed lever pulls the drive away from the connector. The machined holes in the drive doors allow plenty of air through, pulled by a two-speed fan that can be easily replaced if you have a preferred fan model.

    There's no intelligence in the unit, and the circuit board inside just handles the connectors and LEDs (which can be turned off, interestingly). Slide the drives in, attach the included SATA cable from each drive enclosure slot to the motherboard slot, and you're done. If you connect to a RAID controller, you'll get RAID support, but iStarUSA doesn't add any RAID intelligence to this drive enclosure (see our BPU-230 review). Surprising that iStarUSA doesn't offer an option for USB connections for an external drive. The good looks of this drive housing and ability to slide any 3.5 inch SATA drive into the tray-less case should do well in the market.

    Many people just bolt their drives to the cage in the case, but it is nice to slide drives into a classier looking case that packs three drives into two drive bays. Add in the extra cooling and hot-swappable drive support, and the few extra dollars for the BPN-DE pays off by giving your workstation or server better looks and better data protection. Both are worth more than the cost of the BPN-DE enclosure.

         IStarUSA BPN-DE230SS and BPU-230SATA Review by HardwareMX
    Author:  CARLOS DIEZ
    Date:  MARCH 25, 2013
    Article url:
    Product page:,

    When you need more storage media include our computer solutions exist that allow us to convert our bays of 5.25 in bays 3.5-inch hard drives. iStarUSA is dedicated to this kind of solutions that bring us this time two of its newest models that can benefit with the functionality to attach more hard drives or SAS or SATA SSDs in our computer / workstation easily.
    The models in question is the BPN-DE230SS used to integrate three 3.5-inch hard drives without trays easily and quickly, then we have the BPU-230 SATA that unlike the previous model has 3 trays that allow you to use disks 3.5 and 2.5 inches respectively, in addition to alarm functions and independent control overheating switch.
    In the review we will see in detail each of the products and their use and performance.

    Included in the box is the aluminum three-drive enclosure, three SATA cables, mounting hardware, door lock keys, and a small but clear instruction pamphlet. Support for up to 3TB drives at 6.0 Gb/s transfer speeds (pass through) connecting via SATA I/II/III or SAS I/II, and a 70mm fan to keep the drives cool are all part of the package.

    About iStarUSA
    iStarUSA Group has over 20 years experience in the industrial computing industry. We are a manufacturer of industrial power supply, redundant server case, server cabinets and installation, server racks, data storage and supply customized solutions. We also offer industrial engineering services specializing in OEM / ODM projects and systems integration solutions.
    Our brands include product lines such as server rack cabinets, accessories HDD, wall mounted cabinets, open frame racks, cabinet accessories, cabinets eSATA RAID, RAID SAS expander, Fibre Channel, iSCSI RAID mini-SAS -SFF8088, redundant power supply, high efficiency 80 Plus power supply and redundant power modules.

    Let us know the features and technical specifications of these products from iStarUSA that this time we will know.

    Features and Technical Specifications
    iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS

    Aluminum Frame, designed for heavy duty.
    Hard Drives Support SAS I / II, SATA I / II / III.
    Data transfer rate up to 6.0 Gb / s.
    Integrated aluminum design for greater heat dissipation.
    Aluminum front bezel with key lock mechanism for safety.
    Removable fan cover for easy maintenance.
    Multi-functional LED Indication.
    Support Hot-Swap and RAID Configuration (need an additional RAID controller).
    Design of low noise fan speed control.
    Compatible with 3TB hard drives.

    Technical specifications



    • Elegante mango de aluminio en varios colores y cuerpo con disipador de calor.
    • Soporte Hot-Swap y RAID Configuration (necesita un controlador RAID adicional)
    • Diseño de aluminio conductor con ranuras de disipación.
    • Indicadores LED de encendido, ventilador y temperatura alta.
    • Ventilación Super Air y disipador de calor con ventilador de 80mm.
    • Alto Rendimiento Velocidad de transferencia de hasta 6,0 Gb/s.
    • Soporte de Discos Duros 3,5 “SAS I / II y SATA I / II / III.
    • Soporte de Discos Duros 2,5 “SAS I / II y SATA I / II / III.
    • Equipado con interruptor de control de velocidad del ventilador.
    • Compatibles con discos duros de 3TB.

    Especificaciones Técnicas


    We finished to know the highlights of both products and their technical specifications, let us know how they get these products into our hands

    Gallery: Packaging and Accessories
    iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS


    The product comes in retail presentation consisting of a photograph in front of the cage along with the brand and the series to which it belongs, we mentioned that this model does not require tray for use.


    On the back we find more pictures of the product in question and we mentioned a list of relevant points which have already met before.


    By removing the box found the cage gets covered with rubber-based packaging foam and can appreciate the SATA cables and additional accessories located in this part of it.


    El cage BPN DE230SS llega envuelto en una película plástica y su instructivo dentro del mismo.

    iStarUSA nos incluye tres cables SATA y los tornillos para montar el producto en nuestro gabinete, de misma forma se incluye un par de llaves correspondiente al sistema de seguridad que podremos utilizar con el producto.

    iStarUSA BPU-230


    Unlike the previous product, the BPU-230 comes in OEM presentation, which only consists of a white box and accompanied barcodes fine print model.


    Dentro de la caja tenemos el cage (o jaula) de discos duros que llega envuelta de hule espuma para una mayor protección.


    The Cage comes wrapped in a plastic film to prevent dust and scratches during transport, to the right is a sheet that indicates the use and the specifications and product features.


    Within the bays are three SATA cables and screws to mount the cage in the cabinet, plus screws to install the discs in each tray is included to 3.5 inches and 2.5 inches respectively.
    Let us know first the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS in the following gallery.

    Galería: iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS


    Here we have the first cage (or cage) for 3.5-inch hard drives, its construction is made from black brushed aluminum on the front have 3 bays that can be opened easily besides being insurable by a key.
    iStarUSA has several colors for the product in this case we review the play that bears the silver.


    On the back we see a 70mm fan can be removed to their respective maintenance.


    On the sides we see some holes to secure the cage in our cabinet using the screws provided.


    On the other side the same story is repeated above, you can also appreciate the cage screws in case you want to disassemble.


    The product requires two SATA power connectors to feed the three hard drives that can be installed.
    Every hard disk has a separate bus and will need to connect to our motherboard, iStarUSA includes cables to get the job.
    To the right are two switches that let you change the fan speed (Low / High) and disable the activity LED (color purple).


    Inside the cage we see the PCB with SATA data and power mounted thereon.
    Installing hard drives


    The installation of each hard drive is extremely simple a matter of opening the bay door and take respective clockwise as far as stop, this procedure is repeated with two additional bays. As a note tray is not necessary at all.


    As shown in the photograph is introduced 3.5-inch hard disk, it is noteworthy that the cage is compatible with common hard drives and so-called Slim. Close the door to push the same manner the hard disk to ensure the internal connectors.


    For safety we have a couple of keys that allow putting on the bay lock in use.
    Now we know the second option iStarUSA you give us what the BPU 230 SATA model.

    Gallery: iStarUSA BPU-230 SATA


    The second cage by iStarUSA BPU-230 is SATA that comes in black, it is noteworthy that iStarUSA provides several colors for the handles of the three trays if we want to do with aesthetics concordance with our system.
    We can see to the right four buttons that correspond to the following:
    The first is reset, which will disable the alarm for overheating, this will flash to let us know if there is a problem.
    The remainder are of each bay corresponding to HD1, HD2 and HD3, these in same way include a status LED and each bay can be turned on / off independently.
    The last LED located under HD3, is the fan that would indicate its condition, if it is green everything is correct and in red have a problem with the fan.


    Unlike previous cage that carries a cooling system based on a 80mm fan for efficiency.


    First we have a gap that allows it to be placed into two 5.25-inch bays and corresponding mounting holes, the chassis also carries its own screws in case you want to disassemble.


    On this side you can also see the mounting holes for the cabinet where it will be placed, it is noteworthy that the design allows for better heat transfer to maintain a suitable temperature.


    As for the power of hard disks we can use Molex connectors in case our source does not have SATA them or we've known before, we see it has three connectors of independent data for each HDD or SSD.


    On the left side of the fan have a configuration panel that allows fan speed control included (two settings low and high), you can also set the temperature to activate the alarm limit overheating with jumpers located above the switch above.
    Upstairs we have a few extra jumpers for temperature sensing and fan failure.


    Inside the chassis we see the PCB SATA connector that carries power and data, and it shows that the PCB has some space to allow adequate ventilation of disks installed.
    Installing hard drives / SSD


    Now let's see how it conforms to the installation of the hard drives in the cage BPN 230, the first step is to remove the tray from the bay we need.


    The iStarUSA BPN cage 230 has 3 trays unlike the previous model which already met, this time will be necessary to mount the hard drive or SSD on the tray and secure it with screws upon installation.


    The procedure is simple is placed on your hard disk to use and proceeds to screw.


    As shown in the picture, include flat head screws to avoid problems with the other trays.


    To use a hard drive or 2.5-inch SSD repeat the same procedure as above.


    The remainder is to place the disc on the corresponding bay and push inward, then secure with the handle shown in the picture.


    And that is already successfully installed the hard drive in the cage iStarUSA BPN 230.
    We have finished to meet both of iStarUSA cages so let's proceed to meet the test team and the results that can be expected from these two products.

    Test Equipment, Software and Results
    Both cages operating iStarUSA


    The first cage DE230SS LBW includes several blue LEDs, we have one power status LEDs and three star-shaped one for each hard drive installed.


    In the same space you can see a purple LED that indicates the HDD activity in operation.
    Likewise the LED of activity can be disabled from the rear of the chassis.


    The second cage BPN 230 includes LEDs to indicate HDD is on or off and each has their respective bays LED red activity.
    The first LED Reset button is used to disable alarm overheating.
    It also includes a fifth LED indicates the fan operation, in green the fan is working properly, in red the fan has a problem.
    It is noteworthy that activity LEDs can be turned off from the rear of the chassis.
    Test Platform:

    Plataforma de Pruebas:


    Software Testing:


    Methodology for testing of Cages:
    We will use 3.5-inch disk with CrystalDiskMark software and all tests will be run directly from the port on the motherboard.
    Subsequently used the cage connected to the same port on the motherboard and re-run the tests previously performed in order to obtain a comparison of the product already in use.
    Also used an SSD (as applicable) for the same tests.
    It took a temperature reading with CrystalDiskInfo software HDD or SSD housed in a common enclosure.
    Then take a second reading HDD or SSD inside the cage with the two available speeds (low / high)
    Results Obtained:
    iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS





    iStarUSA BPU-230




    On to the conclusions and know the pros and cons of each product iStarUSA below.


    Final words of both products
    Important: The author's views are purely personal, so the individual point of view is based on experiences gained through other reviews, on a different time period. This revision was based on results obtained from the products previously reviewed. It makes the best effort to provide concrete and objective reviews, the prize offered is merely the author's final decision. 
    iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS


    This cage is a fairly simple option to use especially if you need to attach additional three hard drives 3.5 inch to our computer / workstation in the front 5.25 bays, a tray is not required to work with this product so just a matter of Insert the hard drive and close the door for each bay available.
    The system also includes ability to use SAS or SATA disks according to our needs and supports Hot Swap (check your motherboard allows it) to remove the disk without shutting down the computer.
    The yield is almost similar to that if the disk was connected directly to the motherboard so no need to worry about this aspect. Speaking of thermal performance to spend thanks to his fans is maintained at temperature similar to that obtained in a common PC case fan is adjustable at two speeds, full speed even when not annoying at all.
    Ready for Hot Swap.
    It does not require a tray to install the hard drive.
    Included with two-speed fan for better performance.
    Available in various colors.
    Cabinet with heavy duty aluminum for heat dissipation design.
    Blue LEDs for activity status and purple (this can be disabled).
    Front Lock disc for added protection installed.
    3.5 disc only.


    iStarUSA BPU-230


    This option 3-Device cage is the most complete of the two we've reviewed since it allows also the use of hard drives or 2.5-inch SSDs unlike the previous cage that allows only 3.5 inches.
    Unlike this includes an overheating alarm which will help us to prevent damage to our HDDs and losing information stored on them. It also includes a cabinet design that allows better heat dissipation and fan produced larger diameter (80mm) to keep our records operable temperatures.
    This cage is also very easy to use when removing or placing a disk or SSD, the difference is that we have to ensure each device to the tray for this 100% insured and avoid false contacts.
    The product is a few dollars cheaper than the previous option with the abovementioned differences that made us choose this cage iStarUSA BPU-230 a product to recommend if you need to attach more devices to your cabinet easily and quickly.
    Ready for Hard Drives 3.5 and 2.5 inches.
    Ready for Hot Swap.
    Available in various colors.
    LED status and activity (this can be turned off).
    It can be turned on or off each hard disk independently.
    Disk Alarm for overheating.
    Ready to SAS and SATA disks up to 6Gb / s.
    Standard 80mm fan.
    Remarkable fan at full speed.


    We thank the company iStarUSA , for having collaborated with HardwareMX, to provide a review of both products.
    We also thank you, our users, members and guests of HardwareMX for your time in reading this review.
    Product Reviewer: Carlos Diez.
    Photography and Editing: Carlos Diez.

         iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER Review by APH Networks
    Author:  Kenneth Kwok
    Date:  June 21, 2013
    Article url:
    Product page:
    It has been quite a while since I have had enough time to go over my huge backlog of tasks I wanted to complete. This week, I managed to catch up on some of the anime I wanted to watch this season. One anime many of my friends suggested is called "Hataraku Maou-sama!"; translated in English, it would be something along the lines of "The Devil is a Part-Timer!". When I first heard about this anime, and read the premise about how a demon lord on the verge of conquering some fantasy land ends up getting defeated by a hero and flees to modern day Japan, I was quite skeptical of the quality of such a show. The genre for "Hataraku Maou-sama!" is classified as a romantic comedy, which is something I would normally enjoy -- but I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I did. In fact, I liked it so much, after watching a few episodes, I was quickly hooked and eagerly awaiting for upcoming episodes. If there was one thing to be taken from this, it would be to always judge something after experiencing the product itself. I am pretty sure I have said this multiple times before, but it really is true that you need to experience something before being able to fully understand it. Not only does this apply to shows or video games, but also to reviews as well. This week, we will be taking a look at a product from iStarUSA, an OEM known for making server racks and hot swap bays. It has been a long while since we last reviewed an iStarUSA product, so we look forward to seeing how their latest product stacks up. The iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER is one of these hot swap bays, and will be evaluated in depth in this week's review.
    Our review unit of the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER came in a standard brown corrugated cardboard box from iStarUSA's American office in California, USA. The shipping method used was USPS via Canada Post in the United States up to our Vancouver, BC location here in Canada. The package arrived in good condition; both USPS and Canada Post handled the package very well, and kept the package safe from any noticeable damage during transportation. Although the retail box mostly fit the shipping box, some packing peanuts were also used to keep the box inside from moving around too much.

    When it comes to design, the retail packaging for the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER is pretty bland. Usage of a white background with some gray and blue mixed in there doesn't really seem to jump out at you. Some people would say simplicity is the best -- well, minimalism is alive and well in this product packaging for sure. Anyway, on the top right, we have the product name "BPN-DE Series", and on the bottom right we have the iStarUSA logo/text. Only one thing really pops out, and that would be the product photo, found near the center. Interestingly, the picture of the blue version of the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS is used by default, but don't worry, the back of the box is marked off as the silver version.

    Before we move on further in this review, let's take a look at the features and specifications, as obtained from iStarUSA's website:

    - Aluminum Frame; light weight and durability design
    - Support SAS I/II, SATA I/II/III 3.5" Hard Drives
    - Data Transfer Rate up to 6.0 Gb/s
    - 3TB Hard Drive Compatible
    - Integrative shaping aluminum design for quickest heat dissipation
    - Aluminum front bezel with metal key lock mechanism for security
    - Removable fan cover for easy maintenance
    - Cooling fan (70x70x15mm) with High/Low speed control
    - LED for Power & HDD access
    - Support Hot-Swap & Raid Configuration (need an additional RAID controller)
    - Bezel Color Options: black/red/silver/blue

    - Hot Swap: 3 x 3.5" HDD
    - Cooling Fan: 1 x 70mm
    - Standard Drive Bays: 5.25" Drive x 2
    - Dimensions(W x H x D): 5.71 x 3.35 x 7.64 inches
    - Material: Aluminum Design with Conductive Dissipation Grooves
    - HDD Interface: SATA/SAS
    - Weight: 2 lbs
    - Cable: SATA Cable included (3 pcs)

    After removing the small cardboard cover, we are greeted with the actual box that houses the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER. There really isn't too much to say here, other than the small white cardboard box is simplistic. The box opens easily after taking out the flap on the side, and opens as one would expect it to. Inside this box, we will find our hard drive hot swap bay and some accessories sandwiched between two foam brackets. With these brackets, everything inside the packaging does not move around, and stays in place as expected.

    Removing the foam brackets, the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER is finally revealed to us, as well as some of the included accessories as well. Of course, we are most interested in the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER, which is sealed in plastic with a small instructional booklet found just above it. Included with the hot swap bay are some accessories, which include some screws, three SATA cables, and most importantly, the key used to lock the front bays. Since there is a need for security in enterprise and business usage, it is a great feature to have each drive bay come with its own locking mechanism. Nothing else can be found here save for these accessories and the product itself, which is already pretty fully stocked in terms of accessories and cables.

    Looking at the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER from this angle, we can see the majority of the front of the product and the bottom as well. What I first noticed when I looked at this product was how refined the styling and how well built the drive bay was. Compared to the iStarUSA T5F-SS we reviewed years ago, there have been noticeable strides to improve the quality of their products. From the brushed black aluminum used to encase the entirety of the product to the stylish front, everything here looks great, and feels great. The build quality is also solid, with no sharp edges and no defects in the material itself.

    The front of the product where the drive bays are accessible is where the design really shines. Our review unit was the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER in case you have missed it – which is the silver version, as its name suggests. The bezel on the right side of the drive bay doors is the color indicated at the end of the model number. Of all the possible colors, which include black, red, silver, and blue, we chose the silver version, as it most appealed to me. There are also a few holes on the silver bezel to allow for airflow through the device. The doors are easily opened using the plastic hinges on the side. In addition, there is also a lock for the drive bay doors, as that is very important in some settings as mentioned before. We will delve deeper into installation of hard drives later on in our review.

    Going to the back of the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER, we can see the part that will be housed inside the computer chassis. On the left, there is a moderately sized 70mm fan. Given the size of this product, the inclusion of a 70mm fan seems just right, as it is just big enough to fit on to the back without having it protruding too much. This fan protrudes by at most 20mm from the rest of the product, and should do an adequate job of cooling our three hard drives. Other than the holes in front and the opening for the fan, there is no other room for air to dissipate except through the aluminum. Hopefully your computer case used will have enough cooling to draw the air back out of this area quickly, since a lot of heat will be generated if three hard drives are all in use at once.

    On the right side, we have all the different connectors that need to be attached to different components inside the computer. Starting from the left, we have three SATA ports for the three separate drive bays arranged in a vertical configuration going from the top bay to the bottom bay. Next to that, we have two SATA power connectors for powering up our device, which would include powering both the hard drives and the exhaust fan. Lastly, we have two switches; the one on top is for enabling and disabling the HDD activity lights, and the second one on the bottom is for adjusting the fan speed between high and low. The low setting can be chosen for builds that have a good amount of cooling, and a little bit of excess heat won't hurt the thermal capacity of the system -- while the high setting is used if the heat may become a problem or if all three drives are constantly used at once.

    Installation of the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER was a straightforward process. The whole enclosure just needs to be slid into place. The hot swap bay enclosure takes up two normal 5.25" drive slots, and can house three 3.5" hard drives. After pushing the drive bay into place, all one has to do is to secure the drive bay with the included screws, or in our case our screw-less installation system inside of our NZXT H2 chassis. When the bay is secured, all that is left is to plug in the three SATA cables, and the two SATA power cables. When that is all completed, the drive bay is ready to be used. With installation complete, I can say the style and refinement of the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER is very agreeable, and mixes very well with the rest of our system.

    When it comes to actually using the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER, it does not disappoint at all. Accessing the drive bay is as easy as popping open the front panel using the spring lock mechanism by simply pulling up on the plastic handle. Next, we just need to insert the hard drive, and then close the front door back up, and we have completely installed our hard drive. This is the main reason people use these hot swap bays, as they provide simplicity and ease of access. Taking a hard drive back out is just as easy, due to the spring lock that pops the drive back out when you open up the front door to any of the drives. Two keys are also provided with the package, which allows users to lock up the individual drive doors and discourage people from removing the drives. Although it may not be too useful for home usage, in an enterprise environment, or even taking your PC to a LAN party, security is important. My only concern with this device overall is the noise emitted from the fan, since it is fairly small at 70mm, a slight buzzing can be heard on high. It is more acceptable when the fan is set to the speed setting of low, but the lack of vibration dampeners seems to hurt it a bit when the drives start spinning up.


    All in all, the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER is a great offering for those looking for a hot swap drive bay enclosure. Using only two 5.25" drive bays to convert them into room for three 3.5" drives is a great feature for many users who need to have hard drives in and out of their computers very often. Starting from the impressive looking polished black aluminum construction, with the included colored bezel that further adds to the sophisticated look, and solid construction throughout, iStarUSA has definitely stepped up their game when it comes to design and execution of products. Installation was a breeze and completely painless, especially if you are using a screw-less installation system such as in our setup. The backside also has more than enough features, which include the ability to disable the HDD activity light and adjusting the fan speed. There is only one thing that sets the product back, and that would be the noise that is produced from the 70mm fan. This is due to the fan being so small, having it run on high can be quite noisy at times, and the lack of vibration dampeners doesn't help in that regard. All in all, the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER is a great product, and has a very high potential in today's market.

    iStarUSA provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
    APH Review Focus Summary:
    8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
    7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
    -- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.7/10
    Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
    The iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-SILVER is a fully featured and great looking 3.5” hot swap drive bay rack if noise is not a concern.

         iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS Review 3.5″ 5-in-3 Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack by ServetheHome
    Author:  Patrick Kennedy
    Date:  January 28, 2013
    Article url:
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    Today we are looking at the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS which is a 3.5″ tray-less hot swap mobile rack. For those unfamiliar with this type of product, the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS can be utilized in server and workstation cases to take three adjacent 5.25″ bays and turn them into five 3.5″ bays. Although 5.25″ bays are standard fare in both desktop and many server chassis, the need for multiple bays to house optical drives is much lower than it was ten years ago. With optical media being less of a critical feature, vendors have created mobile racks to allow the installation of multiple 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives. The other major feature of these units is the ability to hot-swap drives which makes installation very quick and easy. The iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS adds one other feature, a tray-less design. Let's look at the unit.

    Test Configuration

    For this test we will use the recent AMD workstation platform.

    1. CPU: AMD FX-8350
    2. Motherboard: ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0
    3. Memory: 32GB 4x Kingston 8GB
    4. GPU: XFX ATI Radeon 7950 3GB
    5. OS Drive: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB
    6. Enclosure: Norco RPC-470
    7. Hot-swap chassis: iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS
    8. Power Supply: Corsair AX750 750w 80Plus Gold PSU
    9. OS: Windows 8 Pro 64-bit, Ubuntu 12.04 Server

    Overall a fairly standard configuration for custom-storage applications.

    The iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS

    Core to the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS is its ability to hold five 3.5″ drives in three 5.25″ drive bays. The unit is built around an aluminum frame which makes the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS feel solid. There are portions of the unit made of plastic so this is not an all-metal design but the unit generally feels solid. It should be pointed out that the review unit sent is black, but the unit can be purchased with either blue, red or silver face plates.

    iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS-Black Front View

    iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS-Black Front View

    Aside from the main unit, the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS comes with five 7-pin SAS/ SATA cables, keys and screws. In tray-less mobile racks, locking mechanisms are especially important because one does not want to accidentally remove the wrong drive.

    iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS-Black Accessories

    iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS-Black Accessories

    The rear of the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS is a very standard design. An 80mm fan dominates the rear of the chassis. There are five SATA/ SAS 7-pin connectors along one edge. Two SATA power connectors feed the five drives which helps to simplify cabling. The blue switches allow one to optimize the fan's speed for either quiet operation or high airflow while the other allows one to set LED functions.

    iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS-Black Rear View

    iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS-Black Rear View

    Inside the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS is a PCB backplane that delivers power and data connections to each drive. One can see holes in the PCB to facilitate airflow. Also, there are spring loaded arms for each drive, next to the power/ data connectors in the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS. These arms eject drives when the latching mechanism is released. With traditional designs where there are drive trays or caddies, one has the ability to pull drives out easily. With tray-less designs, it is important that the drives can eject a bit so they do not get stuck in the enclosure.

    iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS-Black Interior View

    iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS-Black Interior View

    Here is a Seagate 1TB drive installed in the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS. One can see that it fits securely inside a slot. The latching mechanism closes and the spring loaded arm is compressed. One major benefit to the aluminum design is the fact that the chassis acts as a heatsink for the drives in conjunction with the 80mm fans.

    iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS-Black Drive Installed

    iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS-Black Drive Installed


    Overall the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS is a solid option for those looking to add a tray-less 3.5″ mobile rack to their servers or workstations. When asked what color we wanted to review, the response was black, but from pictures the blue and red versions of the unit are very eye catching. With the lessened need for multiple optical drives in a system, using 5.25″ mobile racks such as the iStarUSA BPN-DE350SS are a great way to reclaim that density while adding hot swap capabilities. Being able to access the drives from the front of a chassis means that drives can be replaced faster in RAID arrays. Time to replace drives is a factor in RAID reliability/ MTTDL calculations. Hot-swap mobile racks do impact this metric versus securing dries internally within the chassis.

    1. CPU: AMD FX-8350
    2. Motherboard: ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0
    3. Memory: 32GB 4x Kingston 8GB
    4. GPU: XFX ATI Radeon 7950 3GB
    5. OS Drive: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB
    6. Enclosure: Norco RPC-4224
    7. Power Supply: Corsair AX750 750w 80Plus Gold PSU
    8. OS: Windows 8 Pro 64-bit, Ubuntu 12.04 Server

         iStarUSA BPU-230SATA Drive Enclosure Review by ChannelPro Network
    Author:  James E. Gaskin
    Date:  June 12, 2013
    Article url:
    Product page:

    When you want to put three hard drives in the space of two, a drive cage like iStarUSA's BPU-230 can make it possible. Even better, since this model has a tray for each drive (their BPN-DE family of drive enclosures has guide rails to slide in raw 3.5 inch hard drives), you can install either 3.5 or 2.5 inch drives in the unit.

    Officially the BPU-230 Military Grade Hot-Swappable Drive Enclosure, the package includes the drive enclosure, three SATA cables, mounting hardware, and a short but clear manual. Our review unit came with black faceplates on the drive trays, but iStarUSA also makes them with front colors of red, blue, and silver.

    Drives mount to the tray from the bottom, using four screw holes. 2.5 inch drives only use two screws (plenty of screws are included).

    When attached to a RAID controller on the motherboard, the BDU-230 supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 1+0, and RAID 5 (but not in this unit with only three disks). Other models in the BPU family hold four or five disks, giving more RAID options. You can see there is a bit more intelligence in this box than in the BPN-DE units (BPU-230-interior), although the price is almost identical ($75 street up to the $109.99 retail). Multiple online retailers and distributors now carry iStarUSA products (they have multiple other drive enclosure hardware lines).

    Perhaps because of the extra chips inside the box for RAID support, the BPU-230 has a slightly larger fan than the BPN-DE at 80mm rather than 70mm. Add in the aluminum trays and chassis, along with the two speed fan and thermal warning light, and your disks will be cool and monitored with this enclosure. The four different power supply connection options guarantee your drives (up to 3TB drives with full SATA 2.0 throughput of 6.0 Gb/s) will have plenty of juice to spin.

    While it may seem odd to spend extra bucks on a drive enclosure when you can just bolt your hard disks to the frame of your case, the added sheckels provide hot-swappable drives with color options to turn a white-label workstation or server into a custom, data protecting workstation or server. Use some of the money saved as drives become less expensive every week and add some visual flair to your system, and data protection with swappable drives that can be taken offsite for an inexpensive backup and disaster recovery procedure. Drives get cheaper, but recreating terabytes after a drive failure gets more expensive every day. Plan ahead, with the help of the BPU-230, and save yourself and your customers the grief of data loss.

    Besides, the colorful trays make your workstation or server look more professional. Good looks and better data safety is a winning combination.

         iStarUSA BPU-340 and BPN-DE HDD Enclosures Review by Overclock Intelligence Agency
    Author:  Michael O'Neill
    Date:  Shawn Knight
    Article url:
    Product page:,

    iStarUSA is a somewhat unknown company to the average consumer despite the fact that they have been making various hard drive enclosures ranging from consumer class equipment all the way up to enterprise level equipment for over 10 years. As a major supplier to OEMs, you may have used some of their hardware and not have ever known it.

    The BPU-340 and the BPN-DE series that we are taking a look at today are two different hard drive enclosures that allow for easy hot swapping of hard drives in and out of a chassis. These are quite simple units in design but offer functionality that few vendors out there provide. Both enclosures allow up to four SATA drives to be docked to a computer and easily removed. This is helpful to people who may have RAID arrays or otherwise highly available storage volumes in their PCs or home file servers.

    Both of these enclosures are designed to fit in a computer case with three contiguously open 5¼” bays available. They may not fit in some cheaper cases that have metal tongues that divide the drive bays but will likely work just fine in any quality full-sized ATX case. By design, iStarUSA instructs that both enclosures should be installed internally, but it is worth noting that it is also technically possible for them both to be used as external enclosures. This is assuming you can come up with the correct power supplies and SATA convertors. As the enclosures have SATA connectors, using them outside of the case may require eSATA to SATA convertor cables. You will of course also need a power supply, but I digress.

    With that said, let's move ahead and take a closer look at the BPU-340 and the BPN-DE series hard drive enclosures.


    The BPU-340 is touted as a "Military Grade" hot swappable hard drive enclosure by iStarUSA. The enclosure features a solid aluminum body and bays to dock up to for standard sized 3.5-inch SATA or SAS hard disk drives. The rear contains four SATA connectors, two SATA power connectors and two Molex power connectors. Either of the two power options will work depending on your power supply (eg: you can use two SATA power connectors or two Molex connectors). Also on the back are a set of DIP switches to disable the hard drive activity LEDs on the front of the unit as well as a switch to control the speed of the on-board fan ranging from low to high settings. There are header pins to set the thermal alarm between the ranges of 55, 60, and 65 degrees Celsius and LED pins for power, reset and other functions which would likely be utilized by OEMs.

    The design is a basic silver aluminum chassis that will fit in three contiguous 5.25” drive bays. On the front of the unit are slots for up to four hard drives. The drives are mounted to drive trays which are included with the main chassis and can be locked into place with a very basic slotted design which would be very easier to overcome, so don't count on this locking mechanism to truly secure your drives.

    Also on the front are buttons to turn each drive on or off independently. This could be a handy or disastrous feature depending on if you have your drives in a RAID configuration. The front comes off as feeling very plastic-like which goes against the whole "Military Grade" description.

    The BPU-340 retails for about $75 at most online merchants with separate drive trays selling for an additional $45.

    The BPN-DE Series enclosure is just ahead.

    BPN-DE Series

    The BPN-DE series enclosure is similar to BPU-340 as it also docks a total of four hard drives in a three 5.25-inch bay footprint. This enclosure goes a bit further though with an almost completely aluminum design with much less plastic than the BPU-340. It also touts SATA 3 support along with support for SAS hard drives. The enclosure also drops the Molex power connections in the back in favor of just SATA power inputs while the rear of the unit features a similar DIP switch to turn the hard drive LED indicators on / off and to control the fan speed.

    One of the biggest differences in this model versus the BPU-340 is that this enclosure is completely trayless. This means there is no fumbling with screws or having to purchase separate drive trays for additional hard drives. You can simply insert a bare drive and it will be ready to go. Some may argue a hard drive tray helps to protect the hard drive when it is not docked, but most people will probably prefer not having to deal with the hassle and the potential added cost. Also worth mentioning is the drives can be locked by a barrel style key giving them a bit more security than the locking mechanism in the BPU-340.

    The BPN-DE series hard drive enclosure sells for around $95. Of course, since there are no hard drive trays for this unit, there is no extra cost.

    Let's move ahead and wrap things up with some testing and a conclusion.

    Testing and Conclusion

    Since these enclosures are very simple devices, testing isn't as sexy as say a motherboard or CPU. The best test is how easy they are to hook up and use. Both the BPU-340 and the BPN-DE come with all of the necessary screws and SATA cables. Installation and docking of the drives was very easy, especially with the trayless design of the BPN-DE. Once cabled to my computer and powered on, Windows quickly recognized drives in both enclosures and they were ready to use. Testing to see if the enclosures hampered I/O rates in anyway came up (as expected) with no meaningful impact to data transfer rates.

    All and all testing was pretty dull and considering what kind of devices these are, this is a good thing!


    Both the BPU-340 and the BPN-DE series hard drive enclosures have a solid build and functioned as expected. They are simple and elegant and do exactly what they are designed to do. The BPN-DE series does have a clear advantage over its little brother as it supports SATA 3 and carries a trayless design. The aesthetics are nicer and the construction contains much more metal which is simply going to hold up longer over time.
    Even though it is slightly more expensive, I would recommend just getting the BPN-DE series as there just seems to be little reason to get the BPU-340 when comparing the two.

    iStarUSA seems to really be backing this model, too, as there are several different color options out there and other enclosures for single drives. This enclosure is also worthy of a business environment with its solid construction and support for higher-end SAS hard disk drives. Though the BPU-340 is nice and there are not a whole lot of negative things to say about it, the BPN-DE is far superior in just about every way and therefore earns our Gold Seal of Approval!





         iStarUSA BPU-340SATA Military Grade Drive Enclosure Review by Nikktech
    Date:  May 2013
    Article url:
    Product page:

    bpu 340sataa

       One of the many benefits of full tower PC cases are the many 5.25" optical drive bays they have (5 or more) so if you happen to own one there's no doubt you will most probably look for ways to make use of them. Personally i always use at least two in each of my test rigs one to mount a fan controller (two 5.25" bays sometimes) and the other to either mount a DVD-ROM or a Blu-Ray drive. Lately however we've started testing several 5.25" hard drive cages inside which you can mount up to four 3.5/2.5" SATA/SAS drives by making use of just three 5.25" optical drive bays. A few weeks back we tested the BPN-DE340SS hot-swap storage bay adapter by iStarUSA which not only managed to keep the temperatures of the SATA III drive we used for testing at a minimum but surprisingly enough it also improved its read/write data transfer speeds. Well today on our primary test rig we have it's cousin the BPU-340SATA military grade hot-swap drive cage.


       iStarUSA Group has over 20 years of experience in the industrial computers industry. We specialize in OEM/ODM projects and manufacture of industrial power supply, rackmount chassis, enclosed cabinets and racks, data storage, and custom power solutions. Our intrinsic value is driven by one steadfast belief: "To always provide our customers with the best products and superior customer service." This credo has made iStarUSA Group a major contender in the IPC power supply industry. We cover a multitude of vertical markets. Our products are widely used in industrial computing, servers, multimedia production, DVR/Surveillance, and telecommunication industries. In the past eighteen years, iStarUSA Group has provided unsurpassed OEM/ODM products and services with exceptional design flexibility, rapid prototyping, and cost-effective solutions. The ISO 9001 certification ensures our product quality and customer commitment. iStarUSA Group bases its strength on our experience, technology, and strong partnerships. For many years, we have worked closely with major computer component manufacturers and system integrators to ensure our products are highly compatible and extremely stable. We continuously adopt new industrial standards to improve our designs. Our ability to customize products according to customers' specifications has won us a prominent and solid industry reputation. Our experienced design team and project engineers complete OEM projects within deadline and product specs. Being on the cutting edge of technology is a key to the success of iStarUSA Group and that of our customers. We believe an innovative technology leader must be able to incorporate the latest advances into all products to ensure customer satisfaction.


       Much like its cousin the BPU-340SATA hot-swap storage adapter can be used both with four 3.5/2.5" SATA/SAS drives but it also carries a few extra features that can be extremely useful for server environments such as individual on/off buttons for each of the drives, a reset switch for when the temperature alarm goes off, both SATA and Molex power connectors and LED activity indicators placed right next to each drive that double both as power on/off indicators and as temperature alarm indicators (you can choose the temperature threshold between 55/60/65 degrees). Unfortunately unlike the BPN-DE340SS the BPU-340SATA uses aluminum drive trays and so using it takes more time since the drives need to be mounted on them with screws prior to sliding them back in the adapter. Responsible for cooling the 4 drives is an 80mm exhaust fan that features a low/high speed control switch (like the BPN-DE340SS) however it's not removable so cleaning it is not really an easy task (unlike the BPN-DE340SS). Let's take a closer look however and see exactly what you can expect from the BPU-340SS military grade hot-swap drive cage by iStarUSA.



    bpu 340sata 01t

    The BPU-340SATA is packed inside a white/red colored box with a large product picture at the front along with a description and its features list.



    bpu 340sata 02t

    Both the main unit and the bundle contents are placed between two thick Styrofoam spacers.



    bpu 340sata 03t

    Inside the box you will find the BPU-340SATA, 4 SATA cables, several mounting screws placed in two small plastic bags and the user's manual.


    bpu 340sata 04t

    The black/blue version of the BPU-340SATA arrived to our lab however much like the BPN-DE340SS iStarUSA also has versions available with black, red and silver bezel colors. Size-wise the BPU-340SATA measures 202mm in depth, 146mm in width and 126mm in height (3x5.25").



    bpu 340sata 05t

    All four bays feature hard plastic and aluminum at the front.



    bpu 340sata 06t

    Right next to each tray/bay iStarUSA has placed blue/red LED lights (power/temperature) that double as power on/off buttons.



    bpu 340sata 07t

    We didn't like the quality of locking mechanism as much as we did with that of the BPN-DE340SS (because of the hard plastic used it just doesn't feel as sturdy).



    bpu 340sata 08t

    You can mount either 2.5" or 3.5" drives in the aluminum drive trays.



    bpu 340sata 09t

    The rear of the unit is black and populated with several ports and switches.



    bpu 340sata 10t

    Starting from the rear top we see the LED on/off switch, temperature alarm jumpers and the IJP3 extension (can be used with special server towers that have separate front HDD LEDs).



    bpu 340sata 11t

    On the rear left we see both SATA and Molex power connectors so regardless of how old your system is if you have SATA connectivity you can use the BPU-340SATA.



    bpu 340sata 12t

    The fan control switch is placed at the lower rear left corner (High=3600RPM/Low=2800RPM).



    bpu 340sata 13t

    The 80mm exhaust fan can spin up to 3600RPM to produce airflow of up to 37.80CFM at 41.33dBA.



    bpu 340sata 14t

    Finally on the rear right we see 4 SATA ports and the temperature alarm speaker.






         Testing 5.25" storage bay adapters is not really needed since they just act as a bridge between your SATA or SAS controller it doesn't however harm to be 100% thorough. So in this kind of reviews we use a Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V.3 4TB SATA III HDD with our typical benchmarking suites in an effort to bring you the most accurate results across the board. Now the only reason why we say effort is because real-world usage is not always on par with what results one gets by running several benchmarks on a drive and that's mainly because there are many variables at work from ambient temperatures to hardware configurations and even firmware versions. The benchmarking applications we use are the AIDA64 suite (former Everest Pro), HD Tune Professional, HD Tach RW, ATTO, Sisoftware Sandra Pro and the Crystal Disk Mark 64bit. These benchmarking tools are the best in what they do and as you will also see later on their results more or less agree. Each test is performed a total of 6 times and then the average is recorded into the charts. Temperatures are recorded using Hard Disk Sentinel and after 45 minutes of continuous testing in a 23 degrees Celsius temperature controlled room. Finally we also use an ExTech HD600 dBA meter next to each drive cage (5-10cm away) in order to accurately record their noise levels, although it's very possible that the fans in your system will mask noise coming from the cage. The operating system as usual is a fresh installation of Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 with every update installed up until the 22nd of May 2013.















    bpu 340satab

       When we finished testing the BPN-DE340SS a few weeks back we were quite surprised to see that it improved on the already very fast read/write speeds of the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V3 4TB SATA III quite a bit (perhaps due to the reduced temperatures of the drives). Well the same pretty much applies to the BPU-340SS only in a slightly smaller degree but any improvement in terms of speed is welcome, regardless of whether that's large or small. iStarUSA has packed the BPU-340SATA with quite a large number of useful features like the 4 power on/off buttons placed right next to each tray that also double as activity/temperature LEDs. These are very convenient not only because they can alert you whenever a drive goes over the temperature alarm preset you chose at the rear (50/55/60 degrees) but also because thanks to them you can be 100% certain that the drive you want to hot-swap is not powered on. The presence of both SATA and Molex power connectors means that the BPU-340SATA can be used with older power supply units as well. Much like the BPN-DE340SS the only issue we found with the BPU-340SATA was its rather high noise levels when the 80mm fan switch is set at high RPM but that's to be expected so we think that the low selection might be more ideal for most users.


       With a price tag set at USD113.55 inside the USA (Purchase Directly from you just can't go wrong with the BPU-340SATA Military Grade Hot-Swappable Drive Enclosure. Certainly the BPN-DE340SS retails for slightly less but it doesn't really offer the same range of features found in the BPU-340SATA (although the BPN-DE340SS is slightly easier/faster to use). Unfortunately iStarUSA doesn't have a strong presence inside the EU so their products are pretty much available mainly inside the USA something which will certainly disappoint potential buyers around the globe so i really hope they do something to resolve that soon. Because of everything mentioned in this review we are awarding the BPU-340SATA Military Grade Hot-Swappable Drive Enclosure by iStarUSA with our Platinum award and we hope that they will continue on the same successful path for many years to come.



    - Build Quality
    - Design
    - Performance
    - 2.5” And 3.5” Compatible
    - Activity/Temperature Alarm LEDs
    - 4 Different Color Models
    - Hot-Swap Aluminum Drive Trays
    - 80mm Exhaust Fan
    - Temperature Alarm Selection (50/55/60 Degrees)
    - Low/High Fan Speed Switch
    - SATA And Molex Power Connectors
    - LED On/Off Switch
    - Drive Power On/Off Buttons
    - SATA/SAS Compatible
    - Price (For Some)


    - Noise Levels (mostly at High RPM)
    - EU Availability

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    Prodct specifications subject to change without notice. Pictures and drawings may include optional components.