Icy Dock ExpressCage MB038SP-B Review

Practical testing …

We have installed and tested the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB038SP-B removable rack in a server. It was placed between an MB326SP-B and MB902SPR-B for better comparison. Incidentally, it is also noticeable that green LEDs have now been used instead of blue ones. These are more visible and hopefully also more durable, as the blue LEDs of the MB326SP-B had already failed after a few months.

The following PC setup was used as the test system:

Motherboard Supermicro X10SRA-F
Processor Intel Xeon E5-2660 V4
Cooler Noctua NH-D9DX i4
Thermal paste Revoltec Thermal Grease Diamond
SSD 4x Samsung 970 EVO 1TB as system drive in an Asus Hyper M.2-Card
PSU Cooler Master G450M
Case InterTech 4U-4129L 4HE
Operating system Proxmox 8.1

The removable frame was equipped with six SSDs (Samsung EVO and WD-Red) with capacities from 500GB to 1TB, combined in a ZFS striped mirror. As previously mentioned, the ExpressCage MB038SP-B is a removable rack without RAID functionality and the drives are connected directly to the mainboard or HBA, so there should be no compatibility or speed problems.

Performance …

As expected, the drive speed is identical to the direct connection to the mainboard and is therefore not listed separately. Only the data rate of the “ssdpool” during a ZFS scrub is shown, where a maximum of 1.64 GB/s can be seen during reading.

Temperature …

The temperatures of the data carriers (sda-sdf) during the scrub were approx. 37 to 40 °C at a room temperature of 19 °C. As the drives are subjected to high stress during a scrub, the cooling can therefore be described as effective.

Fan volume …

The fans are audible, but not annoying.

This brings us to our conclusion.

Icy Dock ExpressCage MB038SP-B Result and general impression …