We are looking at the ICY DOCK ToughArmor MB601VK-1B 3.5" U.2 External Drive Bay unit in this review. As the name suggests, it is among the most resilient hardware products from ICY DOCK, geared not towards end-users like most of you and I, but those professionals working in large-scale, high-stakes environments where data safety, up-time, and protection against hostile environments are key.
To test the ThoughArmor MB601VK-1B in a well-rounded environment with both NVMe and U.2 drives, we received a 5.25" drive bay adapter and a U.2 housing for NVMe drives, along with the external drive bay. We will focus on the unit first, but will also take a closer look at supporting products from ICY DOCK.
Naturally, to review the device in a proper environment, we require some pretty unique parts. Intel was kind enough to provide us with an Optane SSD 905P in a whooping 1.5 TB capacity. It is representative of an extreme option for the MB601VK-1B as this high-capacity drive tends to get quite toasty with even its integrated heatsink. These types of drives meant for enterprise use are usually actively cooled without much regard for noise output. On the other end of the spectrum, Teamgroup has supplied us with the MP34 in the 1 TB capacity, which represents our consumer-level device and allows us to showcase how to use an M.2 NVMe drive within the MB601VK-1B. Lastly, but certainly not least, Silverstone sent us the Precision PS14-E, which is a modern, functional workstation chassis with that needed 5.25" drive bay for this review.
In addition to those, you will also need a way to connect the U.2-based MB601VK-1B to the test system, for which we are using a U.2 to PCIe adapter and cable. Lastly, just for the sake of completeness, as the ICY DOCK 5.25" adapter may also hold an ODD at the same time, we have a classic SATA ultra-slim DVD unit along for the ride.