Games are constantly expanding due to increased texture sizes and larger data sets that drive better graphics. Our video and RAW photo files are also growing with each new camera release, so our data is growing from gigabytes to terabytes at a consistent pace. With such large volumes of data, it helps to have a faster interface to transfer it all.
Thunderbolt 3 is the fastest option available, but it is much more expensive than competing interfaces. If you have an extra NVMe M.2 stick laying around, MyDigitalSSD’s M2X enclosure is a great little DIY external enclosure. While not as fast as Thunderbolt 3-equipped devices, the MX2 still enables transfer performance up to 1 GB/s over the USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface, making it a much faster option than run-of-the-mill USB 3.1 Gen 1 enclosures.
MyDigitalSSD developed the MX2 with both speed and thermal performance in mind. The finned aluminum design helps a lot with heat dissipation. We transferred 100 GB of data to and from the device, yielding acceptable temperatures that ranged from the high forties to mid-fifties (C) at most.
We only have one reservation with the MX2: We also tested the enclosure with a Z170 motherboard equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 AIC from ASRock (Intel JHL6540 chipset) and experienced a delay during device detection. The external enclosure also disconnected during some transfers even though its thermal readings stayed within the safe zone. Although the JMicron chip itself could have been overheating, it never disconnected from our main test system which features a fairly new ASMedia ASM3142 controller. We aren't sure if this problem is specific to the JHL6540 chipset, but we have noticed similar complaints in Amazon reviews. We're following up with the company for more information, but you should take this into consideration if you have a motherboard with the Intel JHL6540 chipset.
If you need more performance from your external storage or have an old NVMe SSD sitting around, check out MyDigitalSSD’s M2X USB-to-NVMe adapter. At $40, it is a killer deal compared to alternatives that are $20 to $40 more expensive.
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Photo Credit: Tom's Hardware