It’s somewhat common to convert internal hard drives into external via an enclosure, allowing you to take all of your data on the go. Silverstone is getting ahead of the curve with the newer M.2 technology, offering a new accessory that can turn your M.2 solid state drive (SSD) into a USB drive.
M.2 SSDs are relatively new in the grand scheme of things, offering a smaller form factor than their SATA SSD and HDD counterparts. While many NVMe M.2 drives connect directly to the motherboard via PCI-Express, some still sport the same SATA connection as its predecessors, limiting speeds to that of the previous generation.
Unfortunately for the more up to date drives, Silverstone’s MS09 “pocketable M.2 enclosure” is incompatible with NVMe and PCI-e based devices, only being compatible with SATA M.2 devices. It works with 2260 and 2280 form factor drives with a maximum length of 80mm. This totals the entire enclosure at 110mm, a little longer than your regular USB stick but still vastly smaller and more portable than external hard drives.
It’s possible that Silverstone is marketing this towards early adopters who are looking to upgrade to a PCI-e based device in the near future, but I am not sure what kinds of speeds this enclosure would actually offer. The accessory uses a VIA VL715 controller along with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A interface, which is capped at a maximum speed of 10Gbp/s, however speeds will depend on the device you’re housing as SATA 3 itself is capped at 6Gbp/s. This likely means that converting your old M.2 drive will be slower than a true USB 3.1 drive.
The Silverstone MS09 features an anodised aluminium body with a retractable USB connector design and is readily available on the official website for just under $36.
KitGuru Says: It’s a great effort that Silverstone has made to make the conversion of older M.2 SSDs as accessible as possible. I rarely convert the drives I have, as most of the work I do is on desktop and backed up by cloud. Do you rely on external drives of any kind or have you gravitated towards cloud and NAS systems?