GMG Inc. has been providing a variety of drive enclosures since 2000. Galaxy Metal Gear Box provides several external drive enclosure designs with an emphasis on USB 2.0, Firewire (IEEE 1394), and SATA interface technologies. They are utilizing their enclosure expertise to expand their product portfolio and are now offering Digital Media gateway products.

We will be taking a look at the 5202 Galaxy series in the near future that offers internal drive support for either a standard 5.25" Optical drive or a 3.5" hard drive based on the SATA standard. A variety of interface options are available including Galaxy's first eSATA implementation.

Our review today centers on the Galaxy Metal Gear Box series of enclosures with our unit featuring a SATA/USB 2.0 interface. Unlike our recent review of the ICY DOCK MB559US-1SMB that featured an eSATA interface, our Galaxy unit uses the standard SATA interface. While performance is very similar between the two units the question of portability comes into play from a performance aspect.

The Galaxy unit ships with a SATA bracket that connects to an internal SATA port on the motherboard. This is basically a fixed design concept unless you have the ability to run a SATA cable directly to the motherboard port from the enclosure. Of course you can still utilize the USB 2.0 port if you are on the go, but the Galaxy enclosure defeats the performance and portability advantages of eSATA equipped systems.

However, the unit is priced around $30 and is really designed for the user that needs to quickly add an external drive to a system. This allows the user to take advantage of the SATA interface for its inherent performance advantages but it can also serve in a pinch as a portable drive via the USB 2.0 interface. Let's now find out how Galaxy's most popular SATA drive enclosure performs today.

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  • takumsawsherman - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    is how long this model lasts. I've had a couple of very similar looking Masscools die on me. There is a real lack of a reliable, metal enclosure, with a built in power supply, quiet fan, and a chipset that just works.

    Though initially disappointed with my PPA/Bytecc with the dreaded Prolific 3507 chipset, after a couple of firmware updates, it seems to be rock solid. ByteCC now sells a mostly metal 5 1/4 inch enclosure with Firewire daisy chain, USB2, and a built in power supply and fan. Still uses that Prolific chipset, but so far I have not had any issues.

    The biggest disappointment for me is how many manufacturers seem to think that we want to carry AC-DC bricks around with us. Using an standard IEC cable means one less thing to remember.
  • AmberClad - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    I've had an IDE version of this exact same model for the past three years and it's still working fine. The one I had was manufacturered by PPA though, not Masscool or GMG.

    This particular design (with the anodized aluminum body and Metal Gear Solid knock-off artwork) seems to have been around for quite a few years and it's built by various different companies (makes me wonder who was behind the original design). The SATA interface seems to be new though.
  • RamarC - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    My metal gear box with ide drive and fw/usb ports has been running for over 2.5 years now. I've had no problems/issues since installing it.
  • Slash3 - Sunday, July 15, 2007 - link

    Has anyone from Konami seen these things yet? It's bad enough that they put "Metal Gear Box" on the side, in the Metal Gear Solid font, but then they go one further and add the Substance subscript. How Do they get away with it...

    Cheese Factor +10
  • AmberClad - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    I'm not sure which is more blatant -- this, or SuperTalent's Walmart-inspired heatspreader artwork :-D.
  • Souka - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    They could've put another line under the logo....something like, "It's SOLID"

  • mojotronic - Monday, September 7, 2009 - link

    A solid POS.

    I bought one (a "Substance 2" model -- and I suspect the "substance" referred to is brown and smelly) with a 320 GB Seagate drive and the defective circuitry of the enclosure fried the HD. It worked for about a week when I got it, then one day the blue led light on the bottom flickered erratically and the HD icon disappeared from my desktop. I removed the drive and tested it in my tower and it was dead. As in killed.

    I subsequently tried an old but working 20GB drive in the Metal Gear Box just to confirm that it was the enclosure at fault. The drive mounted. My computer froze. The drive icon disappeared. Upon restarting the drive icon was gone. The drive was dead.

    I will now take a hammer to the nice-looking but ravenous enclosure. I wouldn't trust a replacement, and will never buy another product from Galaxy again.

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