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Asking the impossible? TB3 to Nvme full speed

CMetaphor

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I've been hoping to make this happen for a while now. An external drive working just as fast as an internal one. Thunderbolt 3 = 40gbps or 5GB/s, just fast enough to match a 1TB nvme drive I have in my laptop. I want that laptop drive to carry games and important files between my laptop and desktop, without any loss of speed or reliability.
I've found the following on Amazon, and I've got just enough money to make this dream a reality:
https://www.amazon.ca/TDBT-Thunderb...+3&qid=1577733449&sprefix=nvme+thunder&sr=8-5

I'm hoping someone has some experience with this or a similar enclosure. There's another one on Newegg but apparently it's far worse quality. And those two are the only such enclosures I've seen, anywhere. Any opinions or suggestions are welcome... Thanks in advance all.
 
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Entz

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Can't comment on that enclosure, but don't expect anything close to 40gbs. Despite what Intel marketing says (**, superscript, see buried whitepaper) PCI-e mode can't actually run that fast, it will cap out at 22 gbps (This is also what is killing eGPU bandwidth). For some dumb reason they decided to always have bandwidth set aside for USB/Displayport even in PCI-e data mode.

That is still 2.8 GB/s which is faster than any PCI-e drive can do outside of sequential epeening, so its kind of a moot point but don't think its the enclosure :D
 

CMetaphor

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Thanks for the reply. I haven't read the whitepaper, but I'm surprised Intel would do something so stupid with the fastest connection in existence. Why can't the device tell the host which lanes it wants? What protocols it requires? Don't need displayport or ethernet or USB or anything else other than the PCIe lanes active when you just want those lanes. Sounds like a bad decision on Intel's part, narrow-minded. But until USB4 comes out, TB3 will still be (by far) the best way to connect a fast external drive. And even then, there is no guarantee the USB4 will outpace TB3.

If I were Intel, I'd smarten up quick and take advantage of that last unique thing they have. Open up the licensing, get many more products out there for cheaper with TB3 support. But I doubt they will. Two 200$ enclosures are all I've seen. That's just sad. If it didn't have backwards compatibility (which I need to double check, now that I'm thinking about it) and if I didn't already have TB3 on a a couple different PCs, I wouldn't be considering such a thing.

Seems like there's no objection to this enclosure itself though? I've got my own thermal pads and things, and this one at least is built out of aluminum - the one from Newegg is plastic... Instant Nope. Just gotta read carefully on drive support and driver compatibility before I make my final decision to go for it. I'm not exactly swimming in money now. But, having a single portable drive with everything I need on it would be a boon, a time saver, and less expensive overall than multiple nvme SSDs and syncing/transferring all the time.
 

Entz

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Yeah it looks fine to me imo. The nice, or evil (aka why prices are high), thing about TB3 is there is literally only 2 chips that can be used and they are both made by Intel and most stick to reference designs, so its really down to things like the enclosure. For a SSD metal, especially if it can act like a heatsink is a good thing imo.

Besides its amazon, if you don't like, they can get it back :D

At 159 (coupon) with a cable its cheaper then its clone sibling made by Sodial which doesn't include one as far as I can tell.
 

Mr. Friendly

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I would look for a mainstream brand...might cost a bit more, but then you know you have support and likely can find review on performance, that convinced you it's the right buy.
 

moocow

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CMetaphor

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I would look for a mainstream brand...might cost a bit more, but then you know you have support and likely can find review on performance, that convinced you it's the right buy.
What mainstream brand? Everything else already has an nvme drive in it and costs more than double.

Why the price difference? Is there something in the specs that I missed / don't understand? This one is $50 before a coupon.

That only lists TB3 for backwards compatibility. Aka it's just a USB 3.1g2 on USB-C , that's why it says 10gbps max. It's a quarter the speed of the one I linked, probably why it's a quarter the price (although it's more like a third the price consider the rebates).

I'm going to go with the Amazon one I linked and will report back after. If i have time I'll even do benches on the nvme drive in the laptop vs in the enclosure to compare.
 

CMetaphor

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Ugh... My indecision and time taken replying here as resulted in the last two on Amazon being sold. Did one of you guys jump past me to grab one? Sigh.
 

Mr. Friendly

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my comment was just based on a common logic suggestion...but Googling for TB3 NVMe enclosures, not a lot of mainstream comes up, though I do see OWC having an option. Icy Dock may as well. but what about someone like G-Drive (former Lacie)?
 

CMetaphor

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Whatever. Gives me more time to find the best possible enclosure. I don't like how all of these enclosures have thermal pads/cooling on only one side of the nvme. And it seems like all of them have their heatsink *slide* into place, not ideal either. So I'm going to be scouring eBay and other places now, will try to find one which -at very least- has a heatsink that's screwed down to the nvme surface with a thermal pad. And if possible, try to find one with at least a thermal pad on both sides of the nvme too.

Fingers crossed.
 

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