Thermal Aspects and Power Consumption

The thermal design of external storage enclosures has now come into focus, as high-speed SSDs and interfaces such as USB 3.1 Gen 2 can easily drive up temperatures. This aspect is an important one, as the last thing that users want to see when copying over, say, 100 GB of data to the drive inside the enclosure, is the transfer rate going to USB 2.0 speeds. In order to identify the effectiveness with which the enclosure can take away heat from the internal drive(s), we instrumented our robocopy DAS benchmark suite to record various parameters while the robocopy process took place in the background. Internal temperatures can only be gathered for enclosures that support S.M.A.R.T passthrough. Readers can click on the graphs below to view the full-sized version. Note that the ASM1352R supports S.M.A.R.T. passthrough. In the RAID 0, RAID 1 and SPAN configurations, the statistics that are read out are from the first disk. The graphs below show the transfer rates as seen at the enclosure interface, but the temperatures is of the MX200 in the first slot.

Storage Enclosure Thermal Characteristics

The enclosure has excellent thermal characteristics, with the drive temperature remaining below 50C even under sustained heavy traffic. There is no thermal throttling in the transfer rates also.

It is challenging to isolate the power consumption of the storage bridge alone while treating the unit as a black box. In order to study this aspect in a comparative manner, we use the same SSDs (Curcial MX200 500GB) in the units and process the same workloads on them (CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2's benchmark traces with a region size of 8GB and the number of repetitions set to 5). Plugable's USBC-TKEY power delivery sniffer was placed between the host PC and the storage bridge to record the power consumption. The average power consumption for each access trace was recorded. The pictures below present the numbers in a compact and easy to compare manner.

Power Consumption - CrystalDiskMark

Due to the presence of two SSDs in the unit, the power consumption goes as high as 13.4 W. Not all Type-C ports support the 15W power delivery profile. It is advisable to keep the AC adapter handy while using the CRU ToughTech Duo C.

Performance Benchmarks Miscellaneous Aspects and Concluding Remarks
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  • iranterres - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    Anandtech is in a wave of uninteresting reviews...sadly.
  • Charlie22911 - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    Speak for yourself, as a person who travels and has had multiple Seagate\Western Digital portables fail I found this to be both relevant and informative.
  • MrSpadge - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    Yep - didn't know such an option exists.
  • Samus - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    I thought the review was interesting. Although I'm not searching for external storage, this is something different that warrants a look as it's not a single drive enclosure. The fact that it has RAID1 support might make it useful to quite a few readers.
  • bug77 - Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - link

    True, but I think most people will just slap mechanical HDDs in the enclosure and the review doesn't say anything about that...
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - link

    Yeah, I can't argue with that. External storage enclosures are good candidates for mechanical drives. It's a really common scenario since a lot of people aren't as concerned about speed as they are about high capacity and cost effectiveness. On the other hand, testing with mechanical drives will be more of a test of the drives' performance than the enclosure since SSDs are probably the only things quick enough to push the USB interface hard enough to expose any shortcomings.
  • bug77 - Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - link

    It's not like testing with both SSDs and HDDs is unthinkable...
  • powerarmour - Saturday, November 19, 2016 - link

  • rocketman122 - Monday, November 21, 2016 - link

    I agree somewhat.. As of late not so interesting reviews and they are less frequent. I think (me specifically) they should do a review of a product every day or 2. So much to review.

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