Introduction

SilverStone Technology was founded in 2003 on the principle of recognition that merely having innovative expertise within the industry is not enough. Their objective is to ensure that their expertise is delivered to all products with consistency, in response to user’s needs, and with maximum user satisfaction. SilverStone Technology thrives on challenges of rapid technological advancements and creating an aesthetic standard for the industry. Their products are of high quality. Product lines include PC Chassis, PSU, Cooling Solution, Storage devices, etc.

They have sent me their bay device FP59. It is a 5.25” drive that fits in a 5.25” drive bay on any supported chassis. It has multiple functions like the card readers with support for the majority of the formats like micro SD, CF, XD, MS etc. It has a built-in fan controller for a single 3-pin fan. It has four USB ports with two of them being USB 3.1 Type-A and one USB 3.1 Type-C while the fourth one is a dedicated charging port. They are all metered that would mean user get to see their Voltage and Current Draw.

Item: FP59

Manufacturer: SilverStone Technology

Price: $39.99 at the time of the review

Specifications

Packaging and Contents

The device comes in a blue/black color cardboard box. The SilverStone brand name and logo are printed on the top left side. FP59 is printed on the right side in large size font. The picture of the item is printed on the left side of the bottom section. Salient features of the item are printed on its right side.

The backside of the box has the specifications of the item printed in tabular format on the left side. There are pictures of the items with the salient features highlighted. The EAN, UPC, and Serial no labels are printed on the bottom. Contact info of the company is printed on the top left side.

The left and the right sides have the features of the device printed in 10 different languages. The SilverStone brand name and logo are printed on the top left side.

The front and the rear covers have a picture of the item installed in a chassis on the right side. SilverStone brand name and logo are printed in the white color on the left side. FP59 is printed on its right side.

Once the box is opened, we see the user manual on the top of the content. Removing it would show the item wrapped in a plastic sheet and tucked inside Styrofoam paddings of the white color. The supplied accessories are visible on the rear side.

Accessories

They are:

  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A female to USB 3.1 Gen 1 19 pin connector male cable
  • 4 pin peripheral power cable
  • 4 screws

 

Closer Look

FP59 is a multi-functional 5.25”drive bay with the card reader, four power metered USB ports and a fan controller. The USB ports are all USB 3.1 Gen1 with both types and a fourth one is a dedicated charging port. There is an LCD to display the power settings of the corresponding USB device. Let’s take a closer look at the device.

The item is made of plastic and aluminum in the black color. The frame is completely made of the plastic but does not feel cheap from anywhere. There is a front façade made of aluminum housing the ports connectivity side. On the right side, we have a silver color slider button. This device is using the GL3522, 3223, MA5887 controllers for all the functionality. The input voltage range is 0-5.5V and input current range is 0-2.5A. It is supported on Windows versions Vista/7/8/8.1/10 in 32-bit and 64-bit. The USB ports are backward compatible with the USB 2.0/1.1 as well.

On its right side, there is speed marking for the fan. Only one fan can be connected to this device to control its speed. There is a white color 3 pin header on the back side of the PCB where the fan’s power cable is connected. The fan voltage range is 5.5V to 12V.

On the slider button’s left side there is a display area with V and A printed on its right side. This is what the SilverStone is referring to a power meter display. It is used to display the power being drawn by the USB devices connected to the unit. It has red color LED. There are numbers 1 to 4 printed on its right side along with the LED per number. The power meter can display only device’s power values at a time. If the user has connected multiple USB devices then the user would have to press the silver color button located at the bottom of the text Select. It will select the next USB port and will display its power values on the power meter. This is definitely a handy tool to see how much power each device connected to the USB ports is drawing. The LED indicators light up in the blue color.

The top left side of the device has 5 slots for the card reading. There is a CF port on the top left side followed by the port for MS/Pro/Duo/M2 format of the cards. The third port is the xD card format. The next two ports are for micro SD and SD/MMC cards. Following formats are supported for the cards:

SD, SDHC, SDXC, Mini SD, Micro SD (T-Flash), MS, MS Duo, MS Pro, MS Pro Duo, MS Micro (M2), MS Pro-HG Duo, MS Pro-HG Duo, MS Pro-HG Duo HX, MMC, RS-MMC, MMC Micro, MMC Mobile, xD, CF.

This is a comprehensive list of the supported format that left me wondering if SilverStone has missed any. This is an amazing functionality for sure.

On top of these ports, there are two LEDs. One indicates the power status of the device. Solid Green will indicate that the device is powered on. Next is the Card Reader LED. Blinking red would indicate that the read/write operations are being performed on the inserted card(s).

On the bottom side, we have four USB ports. To my surprise, these are not USB 2.0 or 3.0 ports but all are USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and Type-C ports. Hats off to the SilverStone for bringing the best if not the latest in this device. USB 3.1 Gen 2 is already in the market but I have absolutely no complaint as even USB 3.1 Gen 1 has yet to see the wider application and compatibility.

The first two ports are the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports. The third one is the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port. Yeah, that’s right, it also features a reversible port. The fourth port is the dedicated charging port with support of up to 5V/2A for fast charging the mobile devices. Each of these ports is numbered 1 to 4. These numbers correspond to the numbers on the power meter display.

The left the right sides of the unit have two golden color mount where the screws are threaded in to secure the unit in the 5.25” bay drive area.

The backside has a sticker pasted on it having the SilverStone brand name and logo printed on the top left side. The complete model of the unit is SST-FP59B. Serial no sticker is pasted on the bottom.

The backside has total three PCBs in the green color each with its own controller for the specific functionality. The top PCB is handling the card readers’ ports. The bottom PCB is handling the USB ports. The vertically mounted PCB is handling the fan controller and the power meter display.

Installation and Testing

Setting up device is straightforward and easy. Connect the supplied USB connector cable on the two USB male connectors on the PCBs. Connect the 4-pin peripheral power cable with the power header located on the bottom PCB. This is a self-explanatory procedure and does not need any help. Connect the 3-pin fan connector on the fan header located on the vertically mounted PCB. That is all. The device is ready for the testing. You would need to connect the USB 3.1 connector on the motherboard’s USB 3.1/3.0 header.

I connected the device with the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero motherboard. Power Supply was Thermaltake Tough Power DPS-G RGB 750W PSU. The fan used was the Thermaltake Riing 12 White. I connected the Kingston USB DataTraveler G44 8GB with USB 3.0 interface on the USB port 1. For cards testing, I have only microSD and SD cards. I connected both to the card reader ports labelled as micro SD and SD/MMC. Before connecting the device, turn the PC off. The device was tested with the Microsoft Windows 10 x64 Pro build 1607. As soon as windows was loaded, there were 5 drives popped up in MY PC. Each of these corresponds to the card reader ports.

Take a look at the above picture showing the windows explorer with the storage drives options. I have labeled the drivers corresponding to the card readers as 1 to 5. The last one is the USB flash drive connected to the USB port 1 of the device. The data copying speeds were right on the money and I did not encounter any issue what so ever.

The above pictures show the unit in action. Note the power meter display showing the power being drawn by the connected USB drive. Please take a note that the last USB port which is a dedicated charging port does not show up in the windows explorer as it is not meant for any data copying.

Conclusion

The SilverStone FP59 is a multi-functional 5.25”drive bay with 5 card reader ports, four power metered USB ports and a fan controller. The USB ports are all USB 3.1 Gen1 with both types and a fourth one is a dedicated charging port. There is an LCD to display the power settings of the corresponding USB device.

The item is made of plastic and aluminum in the black color. The frame is completely made of the plastic but does not feel cheap from anywhere. There is a front façade made of aluminum housing the ports connectivity side. On the right side, we have a silver color slider button. This device is using the GL3522, 3223, MA5887 controllers for all the functionality. The input voltage range is 0-5.5V and input current range is 0-2.5A. It is supported on Windows versions Vista/7/8/8.1/10 in 32-bit and 64-bit. The USB ports are backward compatible with the USB 2.0/1.1 as well.

The fan controller can control a single 3-pin fan. There is a slider button to control the speed of the connected fan. There are four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on this controller labeled from number 1 to 4. The first two are the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports whereas the third one is a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port. That is right. This device has a reversible port as well. The fourth port is a dedicated charging port with up to 5V/2A provision to fast charge the mobile devices. These ports are metered meaning that user will get to see what power they are drawing at any time using the power meter display.

We have five card reader ports on this unit. There is a CF port on the top left side followed by the port for MS/Pro/Duo/M2 format of the cards. The third port is for the xD card format. The next two ports are for micro SD and SD/MMC cards. Following formats are supported for the cards:

SD, SDHC, SDXC, Mini SD, Micro SD (T-Flash), MS, MS Duo, MS Pro, MS Pro Duo, MS Micro (M2), MS Pro-HG Duo, MS Pro-HG Duo, MS Pro-HG Duo HX, MMC, RS-MMC, MMC Micro, MMC Mobile, xD, CF.

Value and Performance

The item is listed at $39.99 at the time of the review. This is a high price tag but for the features that this accessory is offering it is worth it. Mind you we are talking about the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and Type-C ports, maximum possible compatibility for the cards and a fan controller as well. This is a good value proposition. In my testing, the unit has performed as the manufacturer has rated it for and I did not encounter any issues with it what so ever. I tested it with the micro SD, SD, USB 3.0 flash drive and Samsung S7 Edge mobile charger cable and the unit performed flawlessly.

The SilverStone SST-FP59B has won our Recommended award. I am thankful to the SilverStone for giving the opportunity to review their SST-FP59B.

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