When I upgraded the SSD in my Macbook I found myself with an SSD with no home. The logical solution was to put it in an enclosure and turn it into a robust external drive. Making use of the SSD’s SATA 3 connection narrowed down the possibilities, but the inateck stood out because of it’s positive reviews.
It’s not just got an internal SATA 3 connection but the enclosure is designed specifically for an SSD – they sell alternative versions for mechanical drives, if you’re interested. Connection is via USB 3, which ensures that you’ll get maximum benefit from the transfer speed.
The enclosure is made of a matt black plastic with rounded edges. On the flat end there is a USB 3 connection and an on/off switch. On the top is a blue light to indicate power and activity. It’s designed to be tool-less, which means that you simply slide the top away to access the inside – the drive is then inserted into a connector at the end. If you have a particularly slim drive (below 9mm, I’d suggest) then inateck provide a foam pad to add to it to ensure it doesn’t move about inside.
Benchmarks for my Macbook SSD within the enclosure, and connected via USB 3, are as follows…
Sequential / 4K blocks – 27.64 MB/sec read : 127.17 MB/sec write
Sequential / 256K blocks – 188.26 MB/sec read : 246.81 MB/sec write
Random / 4K blocks – 13.19 MB/sec read : 65.66 MB/sec write
Random / 256K blocks – 163.63 MB/sec read : 208.70 MB/sec
To compare, these are the benchmarks for the SAME drive whilst it was within my Macbook…
Sequential / 4K blocks – 35.93 MB/sec read : 342.17 MB/sec write
Sequential / 256K blocks – 309.23 MB/sec read : 270.67 MB/sec write
Random / 4K blocks – 15.49 MB/sec read : 65.13 MB/sec write
Random / 256K blocks – 182.04 MB/sec read : 243.39 MB/sec
In a way, it’s disappointing – although USB 3 shouldn’t limit the speeds, there is a marked slow-down (particularly sequential file reading) when using this enclosure. However, the next benchmarks are for a Western Digital My Passport – a mechanical drive which is also USB 3. That, at least, shows that you are getting a substantial boost speed by using SSD, whatever the enclosures short-comings may be…
Sequential / 4K blocks – 21.01 MB/sec read : 95.48 MB/sec write
Sequential / 256K blocks – 83.63 MB/sec read : 76.13 MB/sec write
Random / 4K blocks – 0.52 MB/sec read : 2.45 MB/sec write
Random / 256K blocks – 171.62 MB/sec read : 54.94 MB/sec
Without another similar enclosure to compare against, I don’t know if this is fast for an external enclosure. Certainly, as mentioned, it’s not as quick as being internally connected but I wouldn’t really expect it to be.
Packaging is relatively simple – a simple, and compact, box containing the drive (in a plastic bag), USB 3 cable, small instructions booklet and the aforementioned foam pad.
A good speed (that I can tell) coupled with easy maintenance, reasonably looks and excellent price means this is an enclosure I can wholeheartedly recommend.