Sabrent USB-C Instrument-Free Enclosure M.2 NVME+SATA Review

With the proliferation of high-speed exterior connectivity corresponding to USB 3.2, USB 4.0, and Thunderbolt, it has change into a lot simpler to rework laptops into workstations able to dealing with multi-terabytes of information inside an appropriate efficiency envelope. Usually, constructing a DIY exterior SSD results in greater efficiency, resilience, and worth.

The Sabrent USB Sort-C Instrument-Free Enclosure for M.2 PCIe NVME and SATA SSDs (that’s the official identify) is a competitively priced exterior enclosure suitable with each SATA and NVME M.2 drives (2242/2260/2280 sizes). The broad compatibility is its first benefit as a result of loads of different enclosures work with NVME -or- SATA drives, however not each.

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The utmost sustained information transmission charge is 10 Gbps with USB 3.2 and above (TB 3&4, USB 4), and it’ll go down in case you use USB 3.1 and USB 3.0 as these older protocols have decrease speeds. That interprets right into a theoretical charge of ~ 1000MB, pushed by a controller believed to be the Realtek RTL9210B.


1000MB/s is lower than what inner NVME SSD drives can attain, however many real-world functions are restricted by their computation speeds or different issues than the drive itself. As such, many customers will discover the perceived efficiency to be comparable and continuously very acceptable.

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We assembled the enclosure with a Sabrent Rocket Q NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 2TB SSD drive (roughly $250 on Amazon). As an exterior drive, it’ll carry out under its peak internal-NVME efficiency (~3200MB/s). Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful choice for this kind of software, and it comes with a free license of Acronis True Picture, a disk-cloning and backup software program that I’ve used for a few years.

This Sabrent exterior SSD enclosure’s design emphasizes resilience, and it appears extraordinarily arduous to crush or break in case you drop it, even from a multi-story dwelling. I haven’t tried breaking it, however I’ve dealt with sufficient exterior storage to identify a stable one once I see it.

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The truth that it’s toolless additionally makes it handy for frequent SSD swaps. I assume that it’s a area of interest use case, however I like the concept of not even needing a screwdriver to assemble a practical exterior SSD drive.

Upon pushing the entrance button, the highest cowl pops out and provides you entry to the SSD drive, which is locked in place by a (delicate) rubber knob as an alternative of the everyday small Philips screw. Upon closing, a delicate pad will firmly maintain the SSD in place. That pad additionally serves as a heatsink that transmits that warmth vitality to the aluminum chassis, dissipating it.

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In case your app does heavy disk I/O (video export…), SSD drive can generate fairly a bit of warmth, and a very good cooling system will assist keep away from efficiency throttling on the SSD degree.

I examined the efficiency by connecting the 2TB enclosure to a Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen3 workstation because it might a sensible situation (through Thunderbolt 3). As anticipated, the efficiency is correct round 1000 MB/s, and that’s just about the utmost that the 10Gbps protocol will permit.

The random 4K efficiency is hindered by the exterior storage nature of this setup, so in case you cope with a ton of small information, the perceived efficiency distinction in comparison with an inner SSD can be extra pronounced. Sadly, that is inherent to exterior storage programs, and there isn’t a lot that may be accomplished at this level.

We’ve additionally confirmed that the pace is an identical when going via the Sabrent Thunderbolt 3 DS-TH3C docking station, and we assume that’s true for different 10Gbps ports on different docking stations as properly.


Retailing for $26.99 at publishing time (was $39.99), the Sabrent USB Sort-C Instrument-Free Enclosure for M.2 PCIe NVME and SATA SSDs are priced very competitively. Not so way back, I purchased an unknown-brand NVME-only enclosure with a lesser design and constructed high quality for ~$24.

I’d clearly not make the identical alternative immediately, and this Sabrent enclosure is a no brainer decide at that value level: I extremely advocate it.

Filed in Computer systems. Learn extra about Exterior Drive, Social Hit, SSDs and Storage.

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