SSD as external drives - USB3 connector -- M2 vs standard 2.5 inch

  1. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 6,381
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       19 Apr 2018 #1

    SSD as external drives - USB3 connector -- M2 vs standard 2.5 inch


    Hi folks

    I was wondering if there was any problem using the newer format M2 type SSD's (they look a bit like DDR memory sticks) rather than the classical 2.5 inch format SSD's when you use them with external USB3 connector / adapter.

    The 1TB M2 devices are a bit cheaper than the classical 2.5 inch ones. I only want these as external devices so I know I'm sacrificing a bit of speed by using the M2 format with USB 3.1 . However that's not the issue here for me.

    something like this I know you have to have the right type of the SSD M2 device but anybody tried these yet.

    Wavlink USB C M.2 NGFF Hard Drive B Key SATA SSD Enclosure Case - Type C Gen 2 Superspeed up to 10Gbps with Aluminum Design, Included both USB C and USB 3.0 Cables -[Compatible with Thunderbolt 3]: Amazon.co.uk: Computers Accessories

    any comments

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,806
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.288 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       19 Apr 2018 #2

    I have no answer to you but you got me curious.

    Any other reason you want to go for M.2 SSD instead of 2.5" than price? Since you are going to use SATA M.2 over USB3.1, speed won't be much different from USB3.0 and you are not sacrificing much speed at all.

    I have a few USB enclosures for 2.5" drives that support UASP and the performance is exactly the same as I would connect the SSD drive directly to a SATA-port. :)
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Clintlgm's Avatar
    Posts : 919
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       19 Apr 2018 #3

    Jimbo, adapters for M.2 to USB 3.0 are only available SATA M.2 SSD, so far I haven't found an adapter or enclosure that supports NVME to USB. Other than that USB 3.0 would be the bottleneck in data transfers
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    19 Apr 2018 #4

    @jimbo:

    I've worked with M.2, mSATA and NVMe SSDs plugged into USB adapters. All work fine (and don't differ that much in speed, either). Because you're "dropping down" to USB 3.0 (or 3.1) speeds, the USB channel becomes the bottleneck for throughput anyway.

    If you're truly seriously concerned about this, please drop my old buddy Les Tokar an email at TheSSDReview.com. You can find his email address on the Contact page there. He knows a lot about this kind of stuff, and should be able to give you a more definitive answer, should you need one.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    20 Apr 2018 #5

    This one has worked very well for me, using several types of m.2 drives.

    https://www.amazon.com/Vantec-NexSta...rds=m.2+to+USB
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    21 Apr 2018 #6

    EdTittel said: View Post
    @jimbo:

    I've worked with M.2, mSATA and NVMe SSDs plugged into USB adapters. All work fine (and don't differ that much in speed, either). Because you're "dropping down" to USB 3.0 (or 3.1) speeds, the USB channel becomes the bottleneck for throughput anyway.

    If you're truly seriously concerned about this, please drop my old buddy Les Tokar an email at TheSSDReview.com. You can find his email address on the Contact page there. He knows a lot about this kind of stuff, and should be able to give you a more definitive answer, should you need one.
    @EdTittel

    I thought NVMe to USB adapters didn't exist (but I couldn't be wrong)? Where can I get my hands on one of said devices?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    21 Apr 2018 #7

    I'm not aware of any direct NVMe->USB3 adapters either. That would require either the SSD controller itself to support both NVMe and SATA (or USB), which I don't know if any do. Or the adapter would need to have a PCIe controller and another controller to convert between USB mass storage and NVMe protocols, which would be very complicated.

    Depending on your definition of "USB" there are Thunderbolt PCIe enclosures so you can do NVMe M.2->PCIe adapter->Thunderbolt enclosure->USB type-C->Thunderbolt-capable PC.

    There's also Netstor Technology , which is a direct NVMe M.2->Thunderbolt (USB type-C) adapter. It costs $360.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    22 Apr 2018 #8

    @jimbo: plenty of options for M.2 based non-NVMe SSDs but you're right about the native NVMe devices (like the Samsung 950, 960, and so forth devices). I've played with so much of this hardware, I frankly forgot that the native NVMe solution, when you don't have an NVMe slot on the motherboard, is to purchase a PCIe interface card that accommodates an NVMe plug-in device through a PCIe x4 (or better) motherboard slot. My apologies for leading you astray. I used a device like this StarTech item: PEX4M2E1 Adapter or this Ableconn PEXM2-110 Adapter (both cost about US$24, not inclusive of shipping) to accommodate them.

    My apologies for the mix-up and thanks to the others who posted here and set things straight. I also found out that one claimed reason for the lack of such devices may come from an Intel refusal to license the necessary interface circuitry to adapter and device makers for the necessary USB 3.0 or 3.1 translation to/from NVMe interface communications. Didn't know that, either!

    Thanks to @PolarNettles and @KabyBlue for prompting me to "check my blithe assertions" at the door!
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 

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