Vantec MRK-425ST-BK EZ Swap F4 Quad Bay

Posted by on Friday, October 26, 2012 - 5:41pm

Swap F4

Our friends at Vantec have sent to us over our first multi-drive 2.5” rack in the form of the MRK-425ST-BK or the F4 Quad Bay rack. The rack installed in a single 5.25” optical drive bay and can house a total of four 2.5” SATA drives allowing you to get rid the interior HDD cages and allow for better airflow in many cases.

Swap F4 whole

Vantec MRK-425ST-BK EZ Swap F4 Quad Bay 2.5” SATA SSD/HDD Rack

 

Introduction

To my surprise one of the fastest growing component being seen in system builds are hard drive racks, especially in small form factor rigs. And I am sure this has to be either the lack of space in some of these SFF cases or the difficult it takes to which drives in and out after the system has been completely built.

Our friends at Vantec have sent to us over our first multi-drive 2.5” rack in the form of the MRK-425ST-BK or the F4 Quad Bay rack. The rack installed in a single 5.25” optical drive bay and can house a total of four 2.5” SATA drives allowing you to get rid the interior HDD cages and allow for better airflow in many cases.

Vantec’s take on the EZ Swap F4 Rack

The Vantec EZ Swap F4 – brings simplicity to your storage needs by allowing you to quickly retrieve four 2.5" hard drives without the hassle of dealing with the insides of a computer. Compatible with all standard 2.5" SATA or SSDs hard drives: simply install your 2.5" SATA hard drives onto the hard drive trays and then slide the trays into the EZ Swap F4, enjoy a pure SATA connection with speeds up to 6Gb/s. Enclosed in an aluminum shell along with a 40mm fan in the back ensure your four hard drives are safe and cool. Whether if it may be form or functionality you are looking for, the simplistic design of the Vantec EZ Swap F4 is an all in one solution for your 2.5" SATA hard drive needs.


Specifications

Model

MRK-425ST-BK

 Device Support:

Compatible With SATA I/II/III Hard Drives & SSDs

 Device Size:

2.5" (9.5mm ~ 12.5mm Height)

 Interface:

SATA

 HDD Capacity:

Up To 4TB*

 Material:

Aluminum & Plastic

 Dimension:

170 x 146 x 42mm

Features
  Seamless Integration
  Fits In Any Standard 5.25" Drive Bay
  Easy To Install & Remove Rack Design
  Supports Up To Four 2.5" SATA Hard Drives/SSDs
  Pure SATA III Connection Enjoy Maximum Transfer Rates Of UP to 6Gb/s
  Compatible With SATA I/II/III Hard Drives & SSDs


Closer look

Because I seldom build rigs with optical drives anymore I love the idea of these racks occupying in some systems the lone optical drive bay. With network drives and online apps like Steam, optical drives are not needed as much as before. I stuck my optical drive an enclosure for when I need it.

Swap F4 whole2

The F4 is made mostly of plastic which makes the unit light but a metal construction would have made the unit sturdier. Once the device is installed you really shouldn’t have a reason to remove it except to maybe put it into a new machine, so this really should not me a problem for most people.

Swap F4 corner

Like we stated above the device should not have any issues slipping right into an open 5.25” drive bay. And this was the case for us in the Silverstone PS07 we know use to test devices like this.

Swap F4 side

The front of the device consists of four racks to install your drives into. For added info it doesn’t matter what order your install the drives. Each of the rack can be accessed by pressing the red lever to the left and releasing. The lever releases a small door which you can pull on to slide out the remainder of the rack.

Swap F4 bays

Each rack is also made of plastic. Drives are installed by securing them to the bottom of the rack using four small screws. Each individual cage can support drives from 9.5 to 12.5mm in height.

Swap F4 rack1

Swap F4 rack2

Getting back to the rack itself, the rear of it consist of four SATA ports that are SATA III complaint. A small 40mm fan is used to help keep the drives installed running cooler. And a single Molex plug powers all the drives.

Swap F4 rear

Accessories include all the screws needed to secure the device to the case and four drives, four red SATA cables and a Molex-to-SATA power cable.

Swap F4 accessories

Here we have the F4 rack system installed in our SilverStone PS07 case.

 Swap F4 install


Testing performance

Our testing method will simply consist of us testing the transfer speed of our Kingston V+ 200 solid state drives using HDTune.


Drive installed in Swap F4.


Drive alone.


Conclusion

The MRK-425ST-BK Rack system from Vantec is a nice addition to any build where you want quick access to your installed drives and that includes your O/S drive. It is extremely easy to install and doesn’t take away from the good looks that may of our cases have. And in our testing we found the device does not interfere with the data transfer of our drives which is really important.

Looking on Newegg, we found just a couple of devices similar to this one. With this model being the least expensive of the units at $35.

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