Want to have a high-performance external storage device with USB 3.1 interface, but consider commercially available products too expensive? Sharkoon, a leading maker of PC peripherals, may have a solution!
Sharkoon has introduced a special DIY [do it yourself] kit for an external storage device with USB 3.1 interface. The kit – which contains an enclosure for a drive and a USB 3.1 type-A cable – is easy to use and is not too expensive. Unfortunately, while the kit allows to build a high-performance external storage device, the product will not support maximum bandwidth of the USB 3.1.
The Sharkoon QuickStore Portable USB 3.1 features a stylish dwelling for a solid-state drive or a hard disk drive in 2.5”/9.5mm form-factor with Serial ATA-6Gb/s interface. The enclosure features black, brushed aluminium finish, measures a compact 134mm*85mm*14mm and weighs only 51 grams. Packaging includes a USB 3.1 cable (type-A plug to micro-B port).
The QuickStore Portable USB 3.1 storage drive case is based on Asmedia ASM1142 PCI Express to USB 3.1 bridge (compliant with Intel extensible host controller interface specification revision 1.1) and an unknown PCIe-to-SATA 3.0 bridge. Since maximum bandwidth of the Serial ATA 3.0 is 6Gb/s (actual transfer rate is ~600MB/s), under no circumstances QuickStore Portable USB 3.1-based external storage devices will be able to boast with 10Gb/s (1.25GB/s) bandwidth supported by USB 3.1. Moreover, the ASM1142 controller supports either PCIe 2.0 x2 or PCIe 3.0 x1 interconnection with up to 1GB/s peak bandwidth, which is less than the USB 3.1 can provide.
Keeping in mind that virtually all current implementations of the USB 3.1 standard on mainboards rely on the Asmedia ASM1142 controller, they all cannot offer maximum bandwidth the USB 3.1 can provide. As a result, while Sharkoon’s solution has a limitation because of the Serial ATA-6Gb/s standard, actual storage solutions built using the QuickStore Portable USB 3.1 will not be considerably slower compared to retail SSDs with USB 3.1 interface in real life.
The Sharkoon QuickStore Portable USB 3.1 is available for the suggested retail price of €34.99 (around £25) from authorized retailers.
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KitGuru Says: If you have a spare 2.5” solid-state drive and a USB 3.1 mainboard, then building a fast external storage solution is something you might consider. The Sharkoon QuickStore Portable USB 3.1 may not be perfect, but it should be good enough for the vast majority of end-users.