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Vantec Hot Swap Hard Drive Trays Review

Vantec Hot Swap Hard Drive Trays Review

Posted on Feb 5, 2010 by Paul White

Recently I decided to add some hot swap trays to my system.nbsp; I searchedfor quite a while before I found trays that would maintain my personalsense of style ( Bling ), and have functionality as well.nbsp; I went withthe Vantec Trays that include a blue LCD display giving you temperaturestats on the drives.nbsp; Overall I am very happy with my decision.

Why Hot Swap Trays?

First of all these are not true hot swap trays.nbsp; Yes they enable to you switch drives without shutting down your computer, but they are not hot swap in the sense of ripping out a drive while its live.nbsp; So these are more turn off and swap.nbsp; There are many reasons to get hot swap trays.nbsp; Maybe you have run out of room inside your case, maybe you want to get some dedicated cooling on the drives, maybe you don't like opening the side of your computer to plug new drives in.nbsp; All of these are valid reasons.nbsp; In my case I had 3 spare 5.25" external bays that were not being used.nbsp; That and the 3 SATA drives ( 2 TB for personal use, 1 TB for system backup, 750 GB for server backups ), are very important to me.nbsp; Before moving them to the vantec trays, they were mounted internally right next to my SAS drives.nbsp; Now SAS drives are rugged, but make a lot of heat,nbsp; While SATA drives.. not so much.nbsp; It only made sense to me that mounting my SATA drives right next to my SAS drives might not be good for the longevity of the drives.nbsp; Its almost like running them next to a fire, as my SAS drives would get scorching hot.

Vantec Hot Swap Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Nice blue LCD display with Temperature stats ( in F or C )
  • Alarm set by configurable Temperature setting
  • Trays fits both 3.5" and 2.5" SATA drives.
  • Built in Cooling fan
  • Auto spin down when drive is idle helps save energy
  • Blue LED indicator when read / write is happening
  • Attractive plate when tray removed
  • Trays are Aluminum construction

Vantec Hot Swap Cons

  • Installation Cage is very deep, only recommend for full tower cases
  • Not True Hot Swap, must turn key before removing drive
  • Front release bar hits case Door
  • Fans not Adjustable by Speed, ( would help reduce noise )
  • Fans are a little loud
  • Takes up a whole 5.25" drive bay, where other solutions can fit 5 drives in 3 bays.
  • Power Connector is stuborn.
  • Front bezel is cheap plastic

Photos of Vantec Tray Removal
I know how much people like box openings, so I thought I would include these for your viewing pleasure.

Vantec Hot Swap hard drive tray
Vantec Trays mounted in 5.25" external Drive Bays
Vantec Hot Swap hard drive tray
Pull lever to expose lock
Vantec Hot Swap hard drive tray
Turn key to kill power to drive and unlock for removal
Vantec Hot Swap hard drive tray
Drive ready to be removed
Vantec Hot Swap hard drive tray
Tray slides out
Vantec Hot Swap hard drive tray
After tray is removed EZ-SWAP plate folds down
Vantec Hot Swap hard drive tray

Vantec Hot Swap hard drive tray

Vantec Hot Swap hard drive tray

Overall I am very happy with these.nbsp; Considering they only cost me $30 each shipped on ebay I am pretty happy.nbsp; Its nice to see drive temperatures, plus when the lights are off the blue LCD displays look good.

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