Plugable USB 3.1 Gen 2 Tool-free NVMe Enclosure

Product Description

Reach peak performance with the power of the Plugable USBC-NVME USB 3.1 Gen 2 NVMe SSD Enclosure. With a sleek and slim, tool-free design, the USBC-NVME is the first of its kind. Enjoy top of the line heat dissipation maximized by the rugged aluminum case and conveniently connect with compatible USB Type-A and Type-C hosts.

Our USBC-NVME Enclosure’s innovative tool-free design allows the quick installation of an M.2 NVMe SSD in just a couple of seconds. Simply remove the aluminum cover using the locking latch at the back of the enclosure, then insert the SSD and secure with the rubber SSD lock and reinstall the cover. The rubber SSD lock can be moved to support multiple M.2 NVMe SSD lengths including: 2280, 2260, 2242, 2230.

Capable of read and write speeds of over 900 MBps, depending on the SSD used, and when connected to a Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1 Gen 2 port. Over 200% faster write speeds and over 40% faster read speeds than leading SATA SSD external enclosures and USB 3.0 flash drives, making long wait times a thing of the past.

Compatibility

SSD Requirements

  • This product is an enclosure only. Compatible SSD storage must be purchased separately.
  • Compatible with NVMe M.2 SSDs
  • Not compatible with M.2 SATA SSDs, M.2 PCIe AHCI SSDs, or other M.2 non-NVMe devices
  • M.2 NVMe SSDs with B-key and M-key cutouts are 2x PCIe Lane devices and will work in this enclosure but may have significantly reduced performance compared to 4x PCIe Lane NVMe SSDs

System Requirements

  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 is required for 10Gb/s connection speed (actual drive speed may vary due to media and file system overhead, and potentially thermal throttling for some SSDs)
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 or USB 3.0 maximum connection speed 5Gb/s
  • USB Type-A, USB Type-C, and Thunderbolt 3 compatible
  • Operating system compatibility: Windows, macOS, and Linux. File systems may be operating system specific.

Incompatible SSDs

We have identified an incompatibility with NVMe SSDs using the Phison E7 and E12 controllers and our USB-C NVMe Enclosure. This incompatibility causes the enclosure to go offline shortly after being detected by the host computer and affects Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. Currently the only media we have identified using the Phison chipets are being sold under the brand name Silicon Power. We have escalated this issue with our manufacturing team and the chipset manufacturer. Only the NVMe enclosures with the updated Realtek Chipset (these have the silkscreen pictured the right in the Revisions section below), our JMicron JMS583 based NVMe SSD enclosures are not affected.

We have released an updated firmware to enable Phison E7 and E12 based NVMe SSDs with our enclosure. The firmware update file includes upgrade instructions in the README.PDF and is compatible with Microsoft Windows operating systems, unfortunatly the updater is not compatible with macOS or Linux. Please feel free to contact our support team via email at support@plugable.com if you have any questions or for macOS and Linux users without access to a Windows computer and we will be happy to help!

USB-C NVMe Enclosure Hardware Revision

Our USB-C to NVMe SSD enclsoure was one of the first devices of its kind to market, since the release we have been working to bring improvements in build quality, drive detection, and new features to this product. We were unable to achieve some of our goals for this device with the original chipset manufacturer and have moved to a new USB-C to NVMe chipset from Realtek. This change does not affect the speed of the enclosure or performance of the drive, but should provide for slightly cooler operation as well as drive name passthrough to help support some of the free cloning utilities that are provided with many NVMe SSDs.

To help identify the new SSD enclosures we have changed the silkscreen, in the figure above the left image is the original JMicron JMS583 chipset, and the right is the updated silkscreen with the Realtek RTL9210 chipset. The newer devices also include serial numbers starting with “2645-” and up.

In The Box

USBC-NVME Enclosure with one USB-C to C cable, one USB-C to 3.0 cable, 3 replacement SSD rubber locks, and optional adhesive thermal pads. SSD media is *not* included.

Performance and Methodology


Sequential Speed Test Results
SSD Manufacturer SSD Model Number SSD Capacity Sequential Read (MB/s) Sequential Write (MB/s)
HP EX920 1TB 915 935
Intel 660p Series 512GB 915 897
Kingston A1000 240GB 910 818
Sabrent Rocket 256GB 897 913
Sabrent Rocket 512GB 914 948
Samsung 960 Evo 250GB 915 947
Samsung 960 Evo 500GB 915 949
Samsung 970 Evo 250GB 915 949
Seagate Barracuda 510 256 GB 912 911
Seagate Barracuda 510 512 GB 915 933
Seagate FireCuda 510 1 TB 913 939
Seagate FireCuda 510 2 TB 915 940

We tested the USBC-NVME enclosure with a variety of NVMe SSD media. The tests above are the sequential read and write speeds from Crystal Disk Mark with the enclosure connected to a Thunderbolt 3 ( USB 3.1 Gen 2 compatible ) notebook system. The above speeds are the average of five tests performed sequentially on the media, each test consisting of five passes at 1 GiB using an exFat file system.

Compatible NVMe SSDs available from Amazon

Heat Dissipation and Thermal Throttling

NVMe SSDs generate a great deal of heat, the Plugable NVMe to USB-C Toolless Adapter includes ports for airflow on either side of the SSD as well as extruded aluminum fins for heat dissipation. Even with these features some SSDs may still enter a reduced performance state as they heat up, especially when under heavy load, this is most common with older NVMe SSDs with less efficient flash storage. To help maintain performance we recommend allowing for plenty of airflow around the enclosure. Please be careful when handling the USBC-NVME after extended use, the aluminum cover may be quite warm to the touch.

NVMe SSD Installation Instructions

  1. Optional: Locate the thermal pads included with the USBC-NVME, remove backing to expose adhesive, and affix to the controller chip and flash memory module(s) on your NVMe SSD
  2. Use the slide lock to remove the aluminum casing
  3. Gently align the SSD notch into the socket at a 30 degree angle from the circuit board. Press the SSD edge connector into the socket. Using excessive force may damage the SSD or casing
  4. Tilt the rubber peg away from the SSD. Then press down on the SSD. Release the rubber peg to secure the SSD into the notch
  5. With the SSD securely in place, slide the aluminum cover back into place
  6. Connect to the computer using either the USB-A to USB-C or USB-C to USB-C cables provided

Partitioning and Formatting

New NVMe SSDs come from the factory without a partition table and will need to be partitioned and formatted before use, NVMe SSDs previously used in a computer that have already been partitioned and formatted will work right away. When a new SSD is installed into this enclosure and connected to a Windows computer nothing will happen, the drive must be manually formatted throug the Disk Management utility, we made a video explaining the process here: How to format a hard drive in Windows. MacOS will normally prompt the user when the drive is connected, like Windows the drive will need to be formatted and we also made a video for macOS here How to format a hard drive in macOS.

FAQ

General Information

A: Yes, our USBC-NVME USB-C NVMe Enclosure supports UASP for optimal performance!

A: Yes, our USBC-NVME USB-C NVMe Enclosure supports Trim! Trim is operating system dependent, for example: In Windows, NTFS supports Trim while EXFat does not and may eventually suffer from reduced performance.
A: Yes, our USB-C NVMe Enclosure does support SMART data passthrough! Reading the SMART data is software dependent and requires software capable of reading SMART through the USB to NVMe chipset in the enclosure. Smartmontools is a free, cross platform smart monitoring and checking utility that can read the SMART data from an installed NVMe SSD using the “-d sntjmicron” argument for the JMicon based USBC-NVME enclosures, or “-d sntrealtek” for our Realtek based enclosures. Support for the Realtek chipsets was added to smartmontools build #949 (7.2-r5053) in April of 2020, thank you to the smartmontools team!
A: If the aluminum cover is installed backwards and gets locked trying to remove it, wiggle the cover from side to side, it should pivot to the right and come off (with the Plugable logo at the top, facing forward).
A: The ridges in the locking latch tend to catch dirt, gently brushing off the latching lever with a microfiber or cotton cloth should clean this right up.
A: USB 2.0 ports provide less power than USB 3.0 and USB-C ports, in our tests the enclosure worked correctly on USB 2.0, at USB 2.0 speeds. However some SSDs may require more power than USB 2.0 can provide and may not work as expected.
A: Unfortunately no, the Samsung Data Migration Software will not recognize a Samsung NVMe SSD connected through USB as a valid target drive at this time.
A: Unfortunately no, the Acronis True Image for Crucial software Software will not recognize a Crucial NVMe SSD connected through USB as a valid target drive at this time.
A: Yes, these NVMe SSDs should be accessible through our NVMe SSD Enclosure with some exceptions. These SSDs are generally economy SSDs and will have reduced performance compared to 4x PCIe Lane NVMe SSDs, this is expected behavior and they may even be outperformed by 2.5-inch USB 3.0 SSD enclosures in some cases.
A: Samsung MS951 M.2 SSDs come in SATA, PCIe AHCI, or NVMe varieties, only the NVMe varieties are compatible with our external enclousre. Unforatuntly these are not well labeled so please feel free to contact our support team directly at support@plugable.com and we can help to determine if this drive and enclousre will be compatible.
Model: MZ-HPV**** are PCIe AHCI SSDs and are not compatible with our enclousre
Model: MZ-VPV**** are NVMe SSDs and should work well with our enclousure