Saturday, August 02, 2014

Silverstone SDP-08 2.5" to 3.5" Drive Converter Mini-Review

At some point, one gets tired of using nylon zip-ties to "gently" secure a $100 solid state drive (SSD) to one's case. This despite the fact that one uses a windowless case with its contents unseen for the majority of its life.

And there's also 2.5" hard drives. I needed a new hard drive recently and was impressed by the lower power requirements and super small profile of 2.5" drives. Their performance on paper also appeared more than adequate for my purposes.

Unboxing the Silverstone SDP08

So, what to do when your case doesn't accommodate 2.5" drives?

Get a new case or a drive adapter. I chose the latter because rebuilding is such a pain. For the longest time, I avoided getting an adapter because I couldn't find one that fit for cheap. That changed recently when I found a well-rated, quality, sort of reasonably priced drive adapter.

This was the Silverstone SDP08. Turns out there were three versions: silver, black, and grey. The grey had the cheapest sticker price where I bought it. It appeared to be the same case at (time of writing), but not by the same magnitude. I paid about $17 a pop for two of the silver adapters because they looked nicer and the savings were pretty low compared to the grey version due to an increased shipping cost.

Silverstone SDP08 Box Contents
Silverstone Tek 3.5 to 2 X 2.5-Inch Bay Converter SDP08-LITE - ~US$ 7
Silverstone Tek 3.5-Inch to 2 X 2.5-Inch Bay Converter, Silver (SDP08) - ~US$ 8
Silverstone Tek 3.5-Inch to 2 X 2.5-Inch Bay Converter, Black (SDP08B) - ~US$ 8

Silverstone SDP08 Side
The adapter came in a very boring cardboard box, which was more than adequate. I just had to cut the tape, open the seal, and take out the adapter inside a clear plastic bag. The screws came in a tiny zip-lock type bag.

Silverstone SDP08 Front
One thing I noticed was that the included fine-threaded screws used to mount the 2.5" drive to the converter were slightly longer than the ones included with my Antec P183. However, since my P183 didn't natively support 2.5" drives, maybe they were different types of screws. I think the case provided screws were used for mounting 5.25" drives. Whatever, I'm glad Silverstone provided 8 screws so I didn't have to think too hard about this.

Silverstone SDP08 Bottom

Success. The screw holes on the sides of my Intel 520 SSD and Western Digital Black 2.5" hard drive matched up perfectly with the holes on the converter. Screws were provided and they, again, fit both drives. I used one converter for each drive just to leave room for future expansion, make attaching the cables easier, and to allow for better airflow.

Silverstone SDP08 included Screws
One minor inconvenience was that one of the adapters had a slightly bent mounting tab -- one of the four fins you can see in the photos. That made fitting the drive between the tabs harder until I bent it "back" into shape. Thin, malleable metal, not totally unexpected. It wasn't really a big deal for me.

After attaching the drives to the converter, I screwed the converter to the computer case like a regular 3.5" hard drive. All the screw holes lined up on my Antec P183, and instead of using the provided screws, I used the longer ones so that the rubber grommets fit.

Silverstone SDP08 Screwdriver Holes
Everything fits, nothing's broken yet a week later. It's made of aluminum or steel, so I don't see anything happening long-term. Vibration hasn't been an issue with the SSD since there aren't any moving parts. However, I've been hearing the hard drive doing its thing. It's a Western Digital Black, so it may be the drive itself and not vibration transmitted to the converter. The noise isn't that bad and may not be related to the hard-mount. The product's probably more meant for SSDs than 2.5" traditional hard drives anyways.

Silverstone SDP08 Intel 520 SSD attached
Love them. They work and provide the possibility of further expansion in the future using 2.5" drives with my case. The silver color looks good and having the necessary screws provided is a plus. Only issue is price where I got them from. They're about US$ 8 a pop at, which is pretty reasonable. I paid double that.

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