External Enclosure vs SATA Adapter.

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by FenFox, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Does anyone here have experience using both?


    https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-10Gbps-Adapter-Cable-Drives/dp/B00XLAZODE/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=SATA+to+USB+Cable&qid=1565218171&s=gateway&sr=8-10


    VS


    https://www.amazon.ca/UGREEN-Enclosure-External-Adapter-Housing/dp/B07D2BHVBD/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=SSD+external+enclosure&qid=1565214839&s=gateway&sr=8-4


    Is there going to be any performance difference between the two or any weird functionality quirks I should know about? Although, I don't think TRIM works with the adapter. Should I go with the enclosure over the adapter?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  2. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,452
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    Difference depends on the bridge chip. The StarTech seems to use the ASM1351 while the UGREEN is using the ASM235CM. These are similar chips but the latter is technically superior.
     
  3. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    From reading the adapter Amazon page, it seems like it doesn't support TRIM either whereas the enclosure does. But, I don't know for sure--Amazon commentators generally aren't overly reliable.

    Your links are broken.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  4. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,452
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    TRIM is unfortunately one of those things that is way overblown. It used to matter with the first SSDs that supported it, it's much less important these days. Modern SSD controllers are far superior with garbage collection even without TRIM. And there are tons of cases where TRIM is not supported and people don't even talk about it - for example, any game console, internal or external, generally lacks TRIM support. It's just not a big deal if you're not doing certain workloads.

    But to avoid lecturing on that - any drive with UASP support will have TRIM technically. UASP means SCSI so actually the chip is passing the SCSI UNMAP command which is equivalent to the ATA TRIM command. Both of these bridge chips/controllers support SCSI commands because they have to if they're USB3.1 Gen2, no real argument to be had there. It's tough even to find USB3.0 devices without UASP these days since people market around sequentials and BOT is just slower there. Keep in mind you will always take a hit to 4K performance going over USB regardless.
     
  5. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Well, the main thing I'm gonna be using either the adapter or enclosure for is to connect an SSD to my Nvidia Shield which uses 3.0 connections. Primarily for Kodi metadata and I guess whatever else the Shield decides to install there. And I may run the occasional emulated game from the SSD storage. So, what would you recommend? I mean, I technically don't need USB 3.1 since the Shield only uses 3.0, but I have a PC with 3.1 connectors.
     
  6. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,452
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    Yes, I have a Shield myself. Was an early adopter actually as I wanted to develop for it - definitely a good investment. There are of course many options with it, including NAS or very fast SD, but external works well. I run KODI on mine and have dabbled with emulation in the past as well using those listed methods, no real problems. If it's running a Plex server or something then the metadata definitely benefits from solid state and cheaper options (SD) are insufficient. Networking generally limits to 100 MB/s or so (GbE) but sequentials aren't really the issue, latency and 4K IOPS are, so yeah.

    3.1 doesn't bring much to the table since it just enables higher sequential performance. I even use 3.0 enclosures on some of my older SSDs still. Moving forward I would suggest 3.1, though, if not for anything else but the superior bridge chips. An enclosure is generally unnecessary (as opposed to just a connector), I suppose that's a matter of aesthetics plus potential environmental damage; SSDs can run hot but SATA is mostly fine regardless, so cooling should not be an issue (although I know some people run their HTPCs in very tight spaces). So that's up to you.

    I'd suggest a drive with DRAM as that helps mitigate some of the 4K performance issues (it's abstract to the controller/FTL) but otherwise you won't notice much difference for that type of usage (mostly reads). The SU800 is a popular choice here and what I recommend for console use as it's a good $/GB option. But if you're transferring stuff over on it manually a lot (from PC) you might want something that can stay fast with writes, like a MX500.
     
  7. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    I plan to use the following SSD with the Shield for adopted storage. (It was RMA'ed recently) and I have no use for it otherwise.

    https://www.newegg.ca/samsung-860-evo-series-500gb/p/N82E16820147674?Item=N82E16820147674

    I run a Synology DS918+ NAS so I would never dream of using the Shield as a server. The NAS runs my Plex/Emby servers and stores all of my Plex/Emby metadata, but the Kodi metadata is stored locally on the Shield, hence why I want to use adopted storage.

    So I dunno, should I use the adapter or enclosure with the Shield for my purposes? (Emulation/Metadata) and both 3.1 for the superior controller? Do you have a particular enclosure or adapter that you'd recommend from Amazon.ca?
    It may be kinda annoying to use an enclosure due to the blinking access lights because my Shield is positioned right next to my TV. I guess I could always tape it over *Shrugs* but I would likely not have that problem with the adapter. I just want to get whatever will offer the best performance for both my Shield and else where should I decide to use it for a PC later on.

    The other thing that I was slightly hesitant about with an enclosure was heat--as you mentioned. A lot of those enclosures don't even appear to be ventilated, so an adapter would probably be better for that. But maybe It's irrelevant since there are no moving parts in an SSD. The SSD will be placed in a fairly wide open space whether It's in an enclosure or via an adapter. Not overly concerned about accidental damage, but I may transport the SSD from time-to-time so an enclosure would be better protection.

    Overall really, I want the adapter/enclosure to JUST WORK for the Shield/Windows etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  8. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,452
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    You'll be fine with the StarTech, yep.
     
    FenFox likes this.