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Question *STABLE* NVMe - USB Adapter?

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cyberjedi

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2010
21
10
81
I'm looking to buy a *RELIABLE* NVME-USB external adapter, that doesn't disconnect randomly, can keep up the close to 1GB/s speed.
So far all adapter's reviews contain frighteningly high % of reports of malfunction, random disconnects, sub-par speeds, falling to even under USB 2.0 speeds, etc.
There are 3 main chipsets in the market: JMicron JMS583, Asmedia ASM2362, and Realtek RTL9210 (no product has surfaced with the latter yet, so no REAL reviews, experiences yet UPDATE: it is on the market already).
Also ASUS has a new product, ROG Strix Arion, but there isn't enough feedback about it yet, and I mean real life feedback not just being able to run a few benchmarks, but real stress test to see if the device (adapter) can keep it up, without disconnecting or slowing down hard.
I would really appreciate any feedback from those who have GOOD experiences during stress-tests, like tons of random 4k writes with a stable speed, cloning 100's of GB-s at a stable high speed close to 1GB/s.
I know SSD's very well, so please stick to the point and don't start to educate me on how their speed falls after some writes, etc. I'm aware and this is NOT the point.
You can help if you can point me to a STABLE and RELIABLE NVMe-USB-C adapter that WORKS as expected.
Thank you in advance!
 
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cyberjedi

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2010
21
10
81
I'm happy to see the move away from JMS583, Jmicron was never known from their reliability...
Let's collect experiences on the 3.1 and 3.2 cables, as they seem to play a crucial part in determining data transfer speeds.
I also see an interesting phenomena: when using a USB C to USB A adapter cable with JMS583, the transfer speed swithced down to USB 2.0 - and I don't fully understand the underlying reason... I have tried several cables, same thing.
 

Monstieur

Junior Member
Mar 16, 2017
3
0
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Yes, and the USB3.2 Gen2 (2x1) drives (20 Gbps) use a variation labeled the ASM2364.
Do you recommend getting an ASM2362 or RTL9210 enclosure now? I suspect companies will investigate ASM2362 stability on their platforms due to its prevalence in popular external SSDs.
 

NewMaxx

Senior member
Aug 11, 2007
228
19
81
Do you recommend getting an ASM2362 or RTL9210 enclosure now? I suspect companies will investigate ASM2362 stability on their platforms due to its prevalence in popular external SSDs.
RTL9210 seems ideal but I haven't worked with it yet.
 

samboy

Senior member
Aug 17, 2002
200
43
101
A small update from my end and inspired by BrallyO's suggestion

Turned out that regular USB 3.1 Gen1 was not completely stable either (only saw twice).

Looking at the windows logs there was a "Reset To Device..." error which usually means a buggy driver or .....

I found this Link which exposes power options for the "AHCI Link Power Management " in the Windows 10 power settings advanced area.

By default it seemed to be set to HIPM+DIPM and I changed it to HIPM.
I'm back to using USB 3.1 Gen 2 again and have not seen any disconnects for the last couple of days; which is definitely progress but the jury is still out. The drive doesn't seem any warmer; but presumably the drive power management is not as efficient without the DIPM setting.

Suspicion is that the RTL9210 has some incompatibility issue with the DIPM setting (could well be an intel chipset driver issue as well?).

I didn't intend to buy a "project" (I like things to just work) but this may be helpful to others and may help with the ASM2362 and JMS583 chipset as well?

I'll post back any updates (I need to test to see if this helps for AMD x570 as well)
 

NewMaxx

Senior member
Aug 11, 2007
228
19
81
I didn't intend to buy a "project" (I like things to just work) but this may be helpful to others and may help with the ASM2362 and JMS583 chipset as well?
I'll test this on JMS583 today if I get the chance! Thanks.

edit has no impact on JMS583
 
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razel

Platinum Member
May 14, 2002
2,320
84
101
Thanks. Just updated my Pluggable USB-NVME (JM583) based. It was on firmware 204, now 208. No performance difference noticed. Unlike others, I had no issues with my JMicron. I probably will now. :) The Pluggable comes with thermal pads and I only put that on the controller. It only heats up when you copy files to it. It's fine when applying game patches. It's probably seen 300hrs+ of gaming usage as an external drive for the xbox 1x which shockingly does support USB 3 at 5Gbps and does transfer at those rates. I tested when using two USB3 drives and copy a game from one USB-SATA-SSD to the Pluggable.

I also just bought the Orico RTL9210 based version for my other Intel 660p. I'll report if anything is odd with that one once I get it.
 
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samboy

Senior member
Aug 17, 2002
200
43
101
For those interested i have uploaded RTL9210 firmware v1.20.12 from 12.02.2020 + v1.18.1 from 28.10.2019 and upgraders for x86 and x64 ( read the note inside) along with examples of configuration for upgrade from different ........
Thanks for uploading this; I've upgraded my drive successfully.

The "AHCI Link Power Management " post I made earlier seemed to have helped; but the "device disconnecting" issue still occurs; just less often.

I'll try running with the new firmware and report back later........
 

ppptech

Junior Member
Mar 29, 2020
15
1
16
Been lurking in this thread for awhile. I bought a Sabrent EC-NVME based on the JSM583 bridge chip and I can't use it on my Razer Blade 15 Advanced. Works fine on an Alienware 13 R3 I tested it on and my Macbook Pro though. Maybe some sort of problem with newer chipset/cpu? Anyone else have similar hardware?
 

eddieobscurant

Junior Member
Oct 19, 2015
13
5
81
I found out that if i connect my jms583 on the usb ports that come from the cpu, i don't have any disconnections, but when connected to ports from the chipset i have huge issues.

Could someone verify that? You could check which usb ports come straight from the cpu and which from the chipset through your manual. I have a ryzen am4 motherboard
 

ppptech

Junior Member
Mar 29, 2020
15
1
16
You could look up what it looks like in usb device tree viewer. I only have issues with it on USB 3.1 gen 2/Thunderbolt port. My USB A ports work fine at lower speeds.
 

razel

Platinum Member
May 14, 2002
2,320
84
101
Just received my Orico PFM2-C3 NVME-USB adapter with the RTL9210 chipset today. Used it for 3 hours as a x1x external drive and it's much cooler than the Pluggable Jmicron based. Sadly out of the box it's firmware didn't support TRIM. If you bring up 'Defragment and Optimize Drives' in Windows, it detects it as an HDD instead of SSD.

Thanks again to famtom3l, I updated the firmware from 1.16 to 1.20 and it now supports TRIM. So far so good after the unoffical firmware update. I'm pretty sure Orico could release one themselves, if they don't I probably won't buy from them. I'll wait for a competing product from StarTech or Sabrent since they have released firmware updates for their SSD to USB adapter products. Sabrent surprized me most with 2 updates to their cheap $10 SSD to USB adapter.

If you plan on buying be very careful with it. It's very slim and you can easily nick the controller or NVME chips when assembling.

I also wonder about shielding. Both Pluggable and Orico have metallic cases. Seems like the Pluggable one isn't shielded to USB ground while Orico appears to be which is good.
 
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cyberjedi

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2010
21
10
81
Some news: the ASUS ROG Strix Arion, which is the most expensive solution on the market, uses the ASMedia ASM2362 chipset (and thermal pads). Good to know...
https://www.tech-critter.com/review-asus-rog-strix-arion-m-2-nvme-ssd/ says:
"For our case here, the temperature is hovering at 34~38°C when it’s left idle and topped at 48°C when we performed a file copy loop for 1 hour under the ambient temperature of 28°C. " - so it appears to be stable!
Another source: https://pricespy.co.uk/computers-accessories/storage-media/external-enclosures/asus-rog-strix-arion--p5214561/reviews
"Tested on ASUS Zenith Extreme 1 with Threadripper 1950X. Tested on both AMD Native USB 10Gbit Controls and ASMedia 3142. Did not work stably on the native controller, first unstable device." - not so stable after all on every platform...
 
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BrallyO

Junior Member
Feb 22, 2020
13
2
41
I finally got my RTL9210-based JEYI i9 GTR adapter from Aliexpress. This is the one with the USB-C female port. It took 2-3 months due to the virus outbreak.

I will do more testing in the next few days, but so far no problems. It's obviously running much cooler than my previous drives. I did a full badblocks check on my USB 3.1-based linux laptop and that was fine. I also tested on some of the USB ports on other computers that had given me problems with the JMicron drives and no problem there. I was able to boot from it twice.

Smartmontools/smartctl on linux doesn't appear to support this adapter yet, so I can't poll any info from it.

I will update again in a few days after more testing.
 
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BrallyO

Junior Member
Feb 22, 2020
13
2
41
cyberjedi, how do you know the ASUS ROG Strix Arion uses the Asmedia ASM2362 chip? I did find one review (unboxingtreatment.com) that says it uses the ASmedia chip, but the Asus site doesn't say and I did some googling but didn't come up with very much. Previously it was thought this was going to use the Realtek chip and Anandtech did a story claiming/speculating that it was using the RTL9210, so that's interesting. Thanks for your info.
 

Surgeon100

Junior Member
Apr 3, 2020
5
0
6
I got a Sabrent Rocket Q 2TB with an SSK enclosure (JMS583 chip v206) with the intention to run it semi pemamently on my PC. Ofcourse it is completely unstable on both USB 3.1 Gen1 and Gen2 ports, idependently if the ports are coming from the Intel Z370 chipset or the ASmedia3142 USB3.1 Gen2 controller of my MB.
I have tried everything mentioned here plus the AHCPI changes and the behaviour is exactly the same.
I ordered now this ASmedia2362 based enclosure: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UGREEN-Enclosure-Adapter-External-Tool-free-Grey/dp/B07NNL8VGB/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=nvme+to+usb+ugreen&qid=1585919678&s=computers&sr=1-3
based on the review there of a buyer who was running Windows (via bootcamp) on his Macbook reliably, after a bad experience with JMS583.
Will post any findings.
 

BrallyO

Junior Member
Feb 22, 2020
13
2
41
After several hours of testing, I have not yet been able to reproduce any of the problems I had with the JMicron adapters on my new RTL9210 adapter. It's working perfectly. I've tested on all of my computers and it's even booting on the USB ports where I couldn't get any of the JMicron adapters to work.

I can't poll the device in linux to get temperatures because it's not supported yet, but it's obviously running much cooler than any of the JMicrons. I've observed a maximum temp of 94F/34.5C with 80F ambient while doing sustained transfers. I was able to get this same SSD to hit 60-70C easily in the JMicron adapters. Performance seems good though I've not payed much attention to the numbers and don't' care as long as it's decent and stable.

While I'm here and since I'm not going to do a review anywhere else, I'll say that the JEYI i9 GTR adapter is pretty good. The one they sent me was obviously used. It had small scratches all over the back cover and the screws had evidence of torquing, but it works and I'm going to keep it. The screws on the back are nicely flush, the cables are good and snap into the USB plug nicely. The activity/power LED is green and very nicely diffused and not too bright. It shows up simply as "RTL9210" in my BIOS or EFI boot menus; you don't see the name of the NVME itself like with the JMicron drives. Applying thermal pads is super easy as long as you have the right thickness.

One other thing I've learned today is that Pluggable has apparently switched from using the JMS583 chips to Realtek RTL9210 in their adapters! That's cool, so there will definitely be more RTL9210 drives out there, and I'm likely to get one since I like the pluggable name and they are a linux-friendly company, even though it's more expensive than it probably should be. Pluggable has some tech notes on their product page, including a note about some firmware issues with Silicon Power Phision E7/E12 SSDs having trouble with the RTL9210, so watch out for that. Apparently firmware fixes it.

Finally, good luck Surgeon100 and let us know how that UGreen goes. I have a bunch of UGreen adapters and cables and they generally make some pretty good quality stuff for a Chinese brand.
 

BrallyO

Junior Member
Feb 22, 2020
13
2
41
I just updated my Jeyi drive with the Pluggable firmware package from the Pluggable website for the RTL9210. Worked great. I can give the drive a better name and a real serial number too to make it easier to ID.

Thanks fantom3l for your files and notes on the firmware.
 
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ppptech

Junior Member
Mar 29, 2020
15
1
16
Been talking back and forth with Sabrent. Trying to get them the information to start working on maybe a fix for this for their enclosures and their external SSDs. Not really getting anywhere fast. I think I will have to return the enclosure. Too bad as it seems very well built, uses decent screws and has a large heatpad. The ASUS strix looks good but it's so expensive and gaudy. Maybe I will reach out to pluggable and ask them why they switched chipset and if they know anything.

Just an update regarding the Ugreen (ASM2362 chip) enclosure.
It has been 100% stable during the last two days. No disconnections or interruptions. I had the drive working for 10 hours straight, downloading and gaming, without a hiccup.
The bechmark results are lower than before (around 720mb/s read and 900mb/s write vs 970mb/s read and 990mb/s write on CrystalDisk). However, when transfering files, it seems quicker at 700ish mb/s vs 650ish mb/s with the JMS583 based SSK enclosure.
What's your opinion on the soft TPU piece that holds the SSD in? Which drive are you using? Do you think the drive got quite hot?
 

Surgeon100

Junior Member
Apr 3, 2020
5
0
6
The soft TPU holder is getting secured by the top lid when you slide it in, so it seems that it does the job well. Also there is no rattling.
The lid to the top of the drive has a 4mm distance. I don't think you can add a thermal pad. The enclosure is getting warm but not hot. But then again, I use the drive for gaming and dowloading. I am not transfering files 24/7.
I think heatsinks on nvme drives, that are desinged to work barebones inside thin laptops, are a bit overrated anyway.
Most importantly the enclosure is 100% stable on both my desktop and laptop.
 

ppptech

Junior Member
Mar 29, 2020
15
1
16
The soft TPU holder is getting secured by the top lid when you slide it in, so it seems that it does the job well. Also there is no rattling.
The lid to the top of the drive has a 4mm distance. I don't think you can add a thermal pad. The enclosure is getting warm but not hot. But then again, I use the drive for gaming and dowloading. I am not transfering files 24/7.
I think heatsinks on nvme drives, that are desinged to work barebones inside thin laptops, are a bit overrated anyway.
Most importantly the enclosure is 100% stable on both my desktop and laptop.
Doesn't sound so bad. Does it come with a spare?

Which laptop model/cpu do you have?
 

ppptech

Junior Member
Mar 29, 2020
15
1
16
Laptop: lenovo t490s with i7 8665U
Desktop: i5 8600k on MSI z370 based motherboard

I had problems on both with the JMicron chip.
Interesting. I have tested a few laptops thunderbolt ports with the Jmicron:

Razer Blade 15 2018 - i7-8750H - Unstable
Alienware 13 R3 -7700K - Stable
MBP15 2017 - 7700HQ - Stable

I am really feeling like there is a compat issue with Coffee Lake. Anyone else want to chime in on what CPU/Chipset they are having issues on?

Yes, spare included.
That's not too bad then. Thanks!
 

cyberjedi

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2010
21
10
81
cyberjedi, how do you know the ASUS ROG Strix Arion uses the Asmedia ASM2362 chip? I did find one review (unboxingtreatment.com) that says it uses the ASmedia chip, but the Asus site doesn't say and I did some googling but didn't come up with very much. Previously it was thought this was going to use the Realtek chip and Anandtech did a story claiming/speculating that it was using the RTL9210, so that's interesting. Thanks for your info.
Hi BrallyO, I was researching like a Sherlock Holmes with Google and found the same website as you did, https://www.unboxingtreatment.com/2019/10/asus-rog-strix-arion-ssd-enclosure-release.html as a source of info. I find it too expensive to buy it just to look at the chipset, but I can't wait for someone to send an actual photo of what is inside.

And thanks for all your contributions to this topic, they are very valuable! I love it that the cross-flashing has already started :) Let's admit: we are hobbyists and we love tinkering!

Let's keep this topic alive until we made all necessary conclusions and can nail it down for others what to buy and what to avoid.

By the way, my Jeyi i9 GTR soon arives, for the second time (first shipment got cancelled because of Corona), that looks like a keeper - I'm happy that you have found it stable!
 
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ppptech

Junior Member
Mar 29, 2020
15
1
16
I have pointed out to Sabrent the problems with multiple different platforms and their JSM583 powered enclosures. Their R&D department is saying that it is a problem with my laptop's motherboard. It's like talking to a brick wall. Not impressed by JMicron or Sabrent. Though the Sabrent enclosures are surely some of the nicest on the market in terms of build quality.

I will have to buy another enclosure and move on with life. One could hook up some usb capture software and see if they can spot a problem but I am thinking it's probably going to need debugging from the device side not the host side.
 

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