Hard disk drive enclosures are cases for you to install a hard disk drive outside the computer, being a terrific way to carry a huge amount of data around, for backing up data, for storing and carrying files from home to the office and vice-versa, for storing and carrying videos, etc. The main problem with external hard drives is speed, because most of them are based on the USB 2.0 port, which is limited to 60 MB/s (480 Mbps). Max 4 Active Cooling from Thermaltake, however, also has an eSATA port, which is the best way to connect an external hard drive, as this interface allows the hard disk drive to be accessed at the same speed as it were installed inside the PC. Let’s take a detailed look at this Thermaltake enclosure, including its performance.

The good thing about Max 4 Active Cooling is that it also has a USB 2.0 port, so if you carry your hard drive to a place like your friend’s home where the computer doesn’t have an eSATA port, you can simply hook it up to any available USB 2.0 port.

This unit, by the way, only accepts SATA hard drives. So you will need to buy a SATA hard drive to use with it (it doesn’t come with a hard drive and you will need to install it by yourself; installation, however, isn’t complicated, as we will show in the next page).

As the name implies, this enclosure has an 80 mm fan to cool down the hard drive. The case is made of aluminum.

Thermaltake Max 4 Active CoolingFigure 1: Thermaltake Max 4 Active Cooling

The unit comes with a stand to make the enclosure to take less space on your desk.

Thermaltake Max 4 Active CoolingFigure 2: Thermaltake Max 4 Active Cooling.

In Figure 3 you see the rear side of the unit, where you can see both eSATA and USB 2.0 ports.

Thermaltake Max 4 Active CoolingFigure 3: Rear side of the unit.

In Figure 4 you see the power supply and cables that come with the unit. As you can see it comes with one eSATA bracket, allowing you to convert any standard SATA port into eSATA, if your motherboard does not provide an eSATA port. So you won’t need to buy any extra part to make this enclosure to work with your computer enjoying the maximum speed provided by the SATA interface. It is important to know that eSATA uses a different plug than SATA, so the cable is different from the standard SATA cable that comes with the motherboard.

Thermaltake Max 4 Active CoolingFigure 4: Power supply, cables and stand.

Now let’s take a look inside Max 4 Active Cooling.


Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.