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Thermaltake SilverRiver Drive Enclosure

Manufacturer: Thermaltake Technology
Supplied by: Thermaltake Technology
Street Price: TBA

by Dean Barker (9/22/2004)



The utility of an external drive rack is one of those things you don’t fully appreciate until you sit down and think about its uses.  With CD-RW and DVD-RW units, storage is considerable but limited to around 700mb and 4.7gb respectively.  That’s a lot of storage and for most of us that is perfectly adequate.  There are times however, when it is not.  Digital home movies, personal backups of you DVD collection, MP3s or any large general backup require substantial amounts of storage that may flat rule out CDs and DVDs as options unless you want to spread your data among multiple disks.  This is where hard drive racks come in.  A single 120gb HDD is much easier to carry around than 25 DVDs or 170 CDs are.  External drive racks utilizing hot swappable USB connections are where it's at for large data portable storage.  Today, we take a look at Thermaltake's external USB drive enclosure called the SilverRiver to see how well it fits into the drive rack market.  Let's start out with the specs.


  • Application: 3.5" IDE HDD

  • Interface: USB 2.0

  • Weight: 520gm

  • Construction: Aluminum/Plastic

  • Dimensions: 122 x 46 x 203mm

  • Cooling: 80mm fan (1500 RPM)

  • Colors: Silver

  • Supported OS: Win98/ME/2000/XP, MAC OS 8.6 or greater

Included with the SilverRiver is the bright aluminum rack itself, a vertical stand, power cables, manual, driver (for Win98 only) and a five foot silver braided USB cable.

The SilverRiver is designed to work with any IDE hard drive and convert the interface with a host machine to USB 2.0.  It obviously derives its name from the shiny aluminum finish it has.  The unit can be used laying on its side or in a vertical rack (shown below.)  Notice in the first pic below the feet on one side of the SilverRiver for use when it is laying down.


The front bezel is plastic and has two distinct areas on each side of its face.  These are screened vents.  As we will show you shortly, keeping an enclosed drive cool was certainly not forgotten by Thermaltake.  Also on the front are a power button and hard drive activity lamp.  Thermaltake is the first external rack maker I've seen to have a power switch mounted on the front of a unit.  This makes it much more user friendly than a switch mounted on the rear.



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