Acasis DIY Thunderbolt AND USB 4 Drive NVME Enclosure

hey everybody it’s la inside and we’re taking a look today at a new drive enclosure from accusys this is a usb 4.0 enclosure for an nvme hard drive and we’re going to install this samsung 970 evo in it in a few minutes now this is one of the first devices i’ve seen that is incorporating thunderbolt technology into a non-thunderbolt device that’s because thunderbolt is part of usb4 now and the manufacturer says that this will work with a usb 4 laptop along with thunderbolt 4 and 3 equipped laptops and computers and it will also work with regular usb type-c devices as well and we’re going to test the performance and the compatibility in this review in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that the enclosure here came in free of charge from the manufacturer however i did pay for the one terabyte 970 evo here with my own funds all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor is anyone reviewing or approving what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this enclosure is all about okay let’s take this thing out of the box and we’ll see what’s inside and we’ll pull everything out here so we have a little instruction guide here that gives you some information about what it supports and how to install the drive it looks like it supports the m key and i’ll give you an image they have up on their amazon product listing so it’s the m key interface b and m and

you can see what it supports here so what it doesn’t work with rb key drives but m and b and m keys do work so if you are curious as to whether or not your drive is compatible uh there you go it looks like it’s only nvme and not serial ata according to the graphic here i believe it can support up to eight terabytes of capacity if you can find a drive that large so there you go it looks as though it will support regular type c connections and thunderbolt as i mentioned so we’ll give that a shot in a little bit here is the enclosure itself it is all metal which i hope it would be because it’s going to need to dissipate some heat there and then you i guess you just pry open the bottom here there is a screwdriver that it comes with along with some mounting screws here as well and it does have a thunderbolt 3 cable and this will apparently work not only with thunderbolt but also with usbc so there you go and then you’ve got your connector there on the side so let me see if i can pry this open with my hands otherwise i might need to get a screwdriver out now the screwdriver they give you is a phillips head and i don’t know if that’s going to easily pop the thing open here for us so let me give it a shot here and see there’s a little bit of a lip on it but yeah it’s really really tough there so let me get this thing open and then we’ll take a look and see how our drive can go inside of it all right so i got the top part here pried off i just needed to get a bigger screwdriver that i could get a little bit more leverage and strength with so that popped off it doesn’t screw in you just snap it back on and i’ll give you a look at the internals here it doesn’t look like much but we’ll see how it all works now what i’m going to do is install the nvme drive here that i purchased so i’m going to pop that in there and just pop it down there and we just need to screw it down with one of the two included screws that it comes with so let me get that screw on

there and we’ll put it all back together and see how it performs now one thing that i noticed was in the box that wasn’t mentioned in the instructions is a little thermal pad they give you but look how thin this is there’s like no width to it so i don’t even know if this is going to come in contact with the top of the case to cool it off but i’m going to put that on top anyhow just because it’s in the box and it’s something you should probably do but it doesn’t feel like it does anything i don’t think the top of the case here even comes in contact with the top of the drive either so i’m not sure how well this is going to do on heat dissipation and the one thing about thermals on these devices is that it’s going to be dependent on the drive that you have so some drives handle those thermals better than others do so just keep that in mind as you’re using this that you might see different performance than what we might measure on this in a few minutes i’m going to snap this together now and there we go so i think we are all assembled so what i’m going to do next is boot up the windows pc i have on my desk here this supports thunderbolt 4 so it should work fine with this and we’re going to run some benchmarks on it get an idea as to how it’s performing versus being installed directly and then after that we’ll try it on a mac and on a usb equipped computer as well so let’s get it plugged in and see what happens all right so we’re ready to go here we’ve got the thunderbolt cable attached on one end and we will plug it in here to the other again this is the cable that it came with feels pretty nice decent thunderbolt cable there goes my other adapter there and i did not hear the system beep to say that it

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discovered something being plugged in the light here did light up and what i’m curious about here is whether or not this shows up as a thunderbolt device or a usb device so let’s jump over to the screen here and see and it looks like it is picking it up as a usb4 ssd and it does say that it’s connected so what i’m going to do now is jump into the disk utility here and format it and let’s see if we can write some data to it all right we’re ready to do a test we got the blackmagic disk speed test here loaded up this by the way is a yoga 9i leather from lenovo they sent this to the channel on loan for a review that i did the other day really kind of neat machine it’s got a leather backing on it but this is the most powerful or at least the most current laptop that i have here in the studio and it has a thunderbolt 4 port and as you saw it was detecting that usb4 device within the thunderbolt thing now this very same drive is what i use on my desktop computer to record video here on the channel and this is what i got from that drive on my desktop computer a little bit earlier about 2.3 gigabytes per second writing and about 2.9 gigabytes per second reading these drives are super fast but they tend to be a little bursty because once they heat up they kind of slow down a bit but it’s never been a problem for my video recording and what i’m going to do now is hit the start button here on the test and let’s see what we get and boy that’s disappointing huh we’re only writing out at about 500 megabytes per second although i suspect there’s a setting that we have to adjust to get the most out of this because as you can see here the read speeds are much closer to what we were experiencing on the desktop so let me show

you what that special setting is to improve performance here on the drive all right so to fix this problem we have to adjust the right cache settings on the drive and to do that we’re going to pull up a windows explorer thing here i’m going to select our test drive here that we formatted a minute ago i’ll go over to properties and i’m just going to move the window up here a little bit what you want to do is go over to hardware you want to select the drive that you have installed inside of your enclosure and click on properties again and then you need to go over here to change settings there might be a quicker way to get to that screen but this is how i usually do it and then what we’re going to do is go over to policies and right now you can see that it’s set to quick removal which is the default but we want to actually enable here better performance and that’s going to light up this option here for write caching and this is one of the issues that you will encounter when you do enable this which is that if you pull the drive out before that cache writes back out to the disk you could lose data so you can’t treat this like some cheap usb drive that you can just pop out at will you really got to be careful here to eject it properly before you remove the drive physically otherwise you’re in trouble here i’m going to leave this second option off because i want to get the best performance out of it so i’m going to click ok here and click ok again and now the drive has remounted so now let’s go back to the disk speed test it should be in the same position it was before i’m just going to point it again at our d drive and we’re going to start the test again and now look at that we’re getting much better write speeds we’re not getting what we saw out of my desktop computer here but this does look a lot better than it did just a minute ago so not bad there on the rights

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although definitely behind what we would see on a desktop computer there’s always some penalty to using one of these enclosures and usually it tends to be on the right side here but overall we’re doing better than we were before and again for reference this is what we were seeing on the desktop computer when we had this plugged directly into a motherboard all right so we also just ran the crystal disk mark here in between takes and this test not only measures your sequential read and write speed like we were doing on the black magic test a minute ago it also looks at random reads and writes and the last three rows of this result here indicate the performance that you’ll get out of the drive inside of this enclosure on this computer and everyone’s mileage is going to vary based on the computer you’re using the drive you picked so your results here will undoubtedly be different than mine but what we can do is compare it to how this drive performs on a desktop computer and here you go this was run a little while ago on my production pc and you can see here that not only are the sequential reads and rights faster most of the random reads and writes are a lot quicker plugged directly into a motherboard versus going through the enclosure there’s always a penalty to be had here and that is what you’re seeing play out here between these two sets of numbers all right so we got it hooked up now to my macbook air this is with the new m1 chip and before we run the speed test let’s take a look at the system report here and see how the drive shows up so again it’s showing up under the thunderbolt bus but it’s showing as a usb 4 device and as you can see here we are

connected at up to 40 gigabits per second so we are getting the full bandwidth of that cable i believe so there you go that’s a good sign and let’s close out of that and let’s get the speed test going here and see how this drive performs we’ll hit the start button this by the way is a new version of the speed test that is optimized for the m1 mac now you’ll note here that the m1 mac is writing to the drive a little slower than the windows machine was but we’re reading the drive a little faster here on the mac versus the windows machine now i also plugged it into my macbook pro upstairs with an intel processor and that one did a little bit better on the rights as you can see here much closer to the windows computer we just tested so we got my surface laptop go out now here on the desk a really nice lightweight windows laptop that i bought and reviewed a few weeks ago and you’ll note that we’ve got a usb type-c port here along with a traditional usb a port and this one does not have thunderbolt it is just a usbc computer but we’re going to take out the thunderbolt cable here anyhow and plug it in and see what happens so we’ll attach that and hopefully the drive will mount itself here there it goes so it looks like it is working let’s get in a little closer on the screen now and run the blackmagic disc speed test and see how it does it shouldn’t get even close to where it was before because this doesn’t have thunderbolt but let’s see what we can get out of this enclosure anyhow alright so let’s hit the start button and see how we do and again we’re well under what we saw on the thunderbolt equipped pcs but over usb we’re doing pretty well here and it’s definitely making use of the 10 gigabits of bandwidth that it has available to it so that is not bad at all and it’s nice to see here that we’ve got something that will work on a thunderbolt computer and work on a usb computer and make the best of whatever connection it has to work with now this laptop also has a usb a connector so let me stop the test here pop the drive out and plug it into the other usb port to see how it works on that so this is one of these standard

usb c to usb a cables we’re not going to run another speed check here we’re just checking out compatibility so i’m going to take the usbc side of this and pop it into the back of the enclosure here i’m going to take the usb a portion and plug it into the usb a port what i’m looking for here is just to make sure the drive can mount itself and we should see that window pop up again like it did before maybe i’ll just copy a file over to it real quick and write something out to the disk so it looks like if you’ve got an old computer with a big old usb a port with the right cable this will work on this all the way up to your thunderbolt equipped pc now from a thermal perspective i did not notice my drive throttling at all even when we were running that blackmagic disk speed test for a sustained period of time in thunderbolt mode the case was definitely getting warm but that’s a good sign that it’s able to get some of the heat from the inside to the outside which is kind of what you want to see so overall it was a good experience for me both in performance and sustained performance but your mileage will vary based on the drive that you choose and the things that you’re doing to the drive while you’re writing data to it typically you will see some throttling especially if you’re writing out very large amounts of data over a sustained period of time but we didn’t see that with the samsung drive on here and overall pretty nice little enclosure i like the fact that it’s universally compatible so you get the best out of your thunderbolt connection if you

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have one but it also is backwards compatible with usb usb is a bit confusing we did a video on all of the different things that usb supports now but if you have a computer that has usb4 on there at a minimum you should be able to get the 20 gigabits of bandwidth out of this that that spec has at its minimum and then for computers that support the 40 gigabit option it’ll of course work with that as well if you plug it into a thunderbolt pc it should support the 40 gigabits all the time and it was nice to see that the cable that it came with the us the thunderbolt 3 cable is adequate for all connections that you might use with it so all in not a bad little enclosure here a fun little project if you want to build your own external ssd and that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters brian parker jim peter tom albrecht and chris allegretta if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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