This thing is a little
we first laid eyes on the Trios Hard Drive Selector,
our initial reaction was "it looks like it belongs
in a Mac." In fact, the unit is fully
compatible with the Apple Macintosh as well as the
PC, but I'm willing to bet that the most common
customer for this unit will be using a PC.
The construction is a very light plastic that
doesn't give the feel of a quality constructed unit.
The buttons are clunky when pressed, which is
clearly heard by a definitive "clink" sound when
selecting between drives. In this case, given
the lackluster first impression, the
only true test of quality would be time.
When we inspected the
rear of the unit, the one thing that stood out was
the lack of a socket around
each IDE connection. Considering how close
each connection is, it may not have been possible to
factor this into the current design. However,
we found that extreme caution was needed to assure
that the cables were lined up
correctly on the pins before connecting them.
We'll elaborate more on this in the installation
other design issue we found was the actual
placement of the IDE connections.
As shown in the picture, the unit is designed as if
the hard drive placement would be above the the
Trios RX-910T6. This is a confusing decision
since the majority of cases on the market today have
the drive bays located on top and the hard
drives mounted below the Floppy drive.
Initially, this didn't weigh too heavily on us, but
once we tried to install the cables, we were forced
to try some advanced origami techniques to get the
cables to connect in a neat manner. Once
again, we will get further into this in the
installation and setup section.
A Little More Elbow Room Would
When it came to
installing the unit into a drive bay, it couldn't
have been easier, but that is where the simplicity stopped.
Once we had the unit mounted securely in the case,
getting the cable connected was quite a task.
As we mentioned earlier, the placement of the IDE
connections was a small concern upon first
inspection, but once we tried actually installing
the cables, the fun really began. With our test
system, we found it very tight working with four
separate IDE cables. It wasn't too difficult
getting the cables set up properly between the
drives and the Trios, but when it came to installing
the Primary IDE cable, we had serious difficulty
getting the cable to fold and fit to the motherboard without stressing the socket on both the board
and the Trios. In fact, to get this
accomplished easier, we used some high quality
rounded cables, supplied by our good buds at
that flexed much easier in this tight situation.
Once we got the Trios
Hard Drive Selector installed, however, the tide
began to turn. The majority of the issues that
we brought up earlier are quality and design issues
that don't necessarily effect how the unit would
perform. It was nice to see that once we
installed and began using the unit, this remained
The Romtec folks boast
that the unit can be seamlessly installed into
virtually any computer without affecting the hard
drive performance at all. We initially began
testing this by running HD Tach on all three of our
hard drives before and after connecting them to the
Trios RX-910T6. Our findings backed up
Romtec's claims 100%. Normally we would
display a few screen shots of the HD tach
performance graph, but we saw no difference in
hard drive performance whatsoever. We tested
this with three separate hard drives from three
different manufacturers. The first drive used
was a 15 GB IBM DTLA 30715 7200 RPM, followed by an
8GB Western Digital 5400 RPM and a 10GB Maxtor 3
2049H2 5400 RPM. All of these worked smoothly,
Another nice touch was
that if we tried selecting another drive while the
machine was powered on, the drive would not change
unless the system was completely shutdown and then
restarted. This is an excellent safety feature
that prevents anyone from damaging their data or
hard drive by engaging another switch while the
computer is running.
whole, the Trios RX-910T6 Hard Drive Selector offers
a lot in function and convenience but leaves a lot
to be desired in regards to the construction and
design of the unit. Although I found little to
like about the unit physically, once it was
installed, those flaws became a less
significant. With some reworking of the IDE
connection placement, a flush mount design, and more
solid construction, the Trios could easily fetch a
higher score with this reviewer.
All things considered, the $80 price tag seems a
little high, but where else can you find a unit like
the case of the Trios RX-910T6, quality and design
are mediocre at best, with its functionality and
performance being top notch.
We give the
Trios RX-910T6 Hard
Drive Selector from Romtec
a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of an 7.
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