Home ConsumerClient Accessories Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B U.2 Enclosure Review

Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B U.2 Enclosure Review

by Charles P. Jefferies

The Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B allows easy conversion of externally accessible 3.5-inch bays to hot-swap U.2 NVMe Gen4 bays. Plug and play and tool-less, this enclosure is a simple, cost-effective way to add U.2 functionality to desktops, workstations, and servers.

The Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B allows easy conversion of externally accessible 3.5-inch bays to hot-swap U.2 NVMe Gen4 bays. Plug and play and tool-less, this enclosure is a simple, cost-effective way to add U.2 functionality to desktops, workstations, and servers.

Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B in HP Z2 SFF G9

Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B Specifications

The Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B allows easy conversion of externally accessible 3.5-inch bays to hot-swap U.2 NVMe Gen4 bays. Plug and play and tool-less, this enclosure is a simple, cost-effective way to add U.2 functionality to desktops, workstations, and servers.

That said, note this enclosure is more of a temporary solution for adding a U.2 drive. It has no active cooling, and unless significant airflow is directed at the bay where this is installed, any U.2 drive under extended load is likely to overheat, throttling the SSD inside.

This adaptor goes for $115 on Amazon without cables.

The enclosure’s technical specifications are as follows:

Model Number MB021VP-B
Color Black
Support Drive Size 2.5” SSD
Compatible Drive Type U.2
Number of Drives 1
Max Drive Height: 15mm
Drive Bay 1 x external 3.5″ drive bay
Host Interface 1 x SFF-8654, pin-out defined by SFF-9402 Rev 1.1

(Tri-mode incompatible)

Power Input 1 x SATA 15pin
Transfer Rate Up to 64Gbps (Depending on SSD Speed)
Support SSD Capacity No Limitation
Drive Cooling Metal heat dispersion with passive cooling
Structure / Material Metal with partial plastic
Product Dimension (L x W x H) 101.6 X 125.3 X 25.4mm
Product Net Weight 238g
Package Gross Weight 287.2g
Drive Activity LED Indication Drive power: solid blue; SSD access: flashing blue
Package contents Device, user manual, screw
U.2 Connector Insertion Rate 10,000
Humidity 5%~65% RH
Operating Temperature 0°C to 60°C (32°F to 140°F)
Storage Temperature -35°C to 70°C (-31°F to 158°F)
Compliance CE, RoHS, REACH
Warranty 3 years

Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B Build and Design

The flexiDOCK MB021VP-B is made of metal. It measures 1 by 4 by 4.93 inches and weighs 8.4 ounces empty. The drive bay accommodates 7mm to 15mm drives; adjustable pegs on either side of the enclosure set the height to ensure the drive fits snugly.

Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B FrontThe drive power button is on top; it slides left (off) and right (on). Just below it is the drive eject button. Installing a drive is a matter of pushing it into the opening. The eject button pushes out and illuminates blue when a drive is installed. A spring-loaded dust cover automatically covers the drive opening.

The backplane has a SATA power connection and SAS interface for the NVMe data connection. You’ll need a cable to connect it to the computer, which isn’t included.

Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B Backplane

This enclosure can be even more versatile with Icy Dock’s EZConvert MB705M2P-B adapter, which converts an M.2 SSD into a 2.5-inch SSD and includes a heatsink. It’s also possible to fit this enclosure into a 5.25-inch bay with Icy Dock’s Flex-Fit MB343SP drive bay bracket.

Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B Performance

We tested the flexiDOCK MB021VP-B in the front 3.5-inch bay of an HP Z2 SFF G9 desktop workstation. We installed an Intel P5800X SSD using an M.2 adapter card and used an SFF-8654 Slimline SAS cable to connect the enclosure to an M.2 Gen4 slot on the motherboard. Here you can see the enclosure connected to power inside the HP desktop.Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B Connected

Our test is the popular Blackmagic Disk Speed test. We saw the P5800X achieve 4,517MB/s write and 5,760MB/s read. This is peak performance and as noted earlier, this enclosure won’t sustain a U.2 drive for long under continuous use without having some cooling issues. Depending on the chassis setup, there may be some desktop designs that can draw air through an enclosure mounted this way. It’s going to come down to the specific installation.

Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B Intel P5800X Performance

Conclusion

Adding U.2 drives to systems that don’t natively support them can be a reality with the Icy Dock flexiDOCK MB021VP-B. This plug-and-play enclosure accommodates U.2 drives in an external 3.5-inch bay. It requires no drivers or apps, carries a three-year warranty, and is reasonably priced.

The main downside is lack of cooling, which makes this enclosure more of a temporary or short-term solution. At $115 it’s also on the more expensive side. But, for those who can take advantage of being able to easily swap in U.2 SSDs in their rig, these shortcomings are easily bested by the big gains in workflow efficiency.

Icy Dock Product Page

U.2 Adaptor at Amazon

Engage with StorageReview

Newsletter | YouTube | Podcast iTunes/Spotify | Instagram | Twitter | TikTok | RSS Feed

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap