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Akasa AK-ENU3M2-07 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 SSD Enclosure Review: 20Gbps with Excellent Thermals

Storage bridges have become an ubiquitous part of today’s computing ecosystems. The bridges may be external or internal, with the former ones enabling a range of direct-attached storage (DAS) units. These may range from thumb drives using an UFD controller to full-blown RAID towers carrying Infiniband and Thunderbolt links. From a bus-powered DAS viewpoint, Thunderbolt has been restricted to premium devices, but the variants of USB 3.2 have emerged as mass-market high-performance alternatives. USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 enables the highest performance class (up to 20 Gbps) in USB devices without resorting to PCIe tunneling. The key challenges for enclosures and portable SSDs supporting 20Gbps speeds include handling power consumption and managing thermals. Today’s review takes a look at the relevant performance characteristics of Akasa’s AK-ENU3M2-07 – a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 enclosure for M.2 NVMe SSDs.