Why does EC-SNVE run at USB2 (480 Mb/s) speeds when connected to USB3 (5Gb/s) ports?

  • To whoever comes across this in the future:

    Yes, I was seeing bad perfornance consistently.

    Turns out it was the cables though.

    Moral of the story: always double-check that any adaptors you might be using aren't causing throughput issues by testing with at least one cable that isn't using an adaptor.

    So I've been using these enclosures for a while in various systems (I've got five of them), and they've been reasonably stable, though I've been a bit underwhelmed by the performance.

    To be specific, I've used them with Macs (both intel and m1 based) and raspberry pi 4s, using various (USB3 gen 1) hubs and going direct to the usb 3 gen 2 ports on the mac, and the only time I see the expected (10 Gbps) performance is when they're directly connected to the USB3 ports on my M1 iMac.

    If I connect them to one of my USB3 (5 Gbps) ports either through a hub connected to the same USB ports that can do 10 Gbps when connected directly, or even when connected to my raspberry pis which only support 5Gbps, I don't get 5Gbps in any situation. Ever. They always runs at USB2 speeds instead.

    Up until this point, I'd assumed it was my hubs causing the problem until I randomly purchased a cheap enclosure from a different company which arrived today and I've now tried it with all my SSDs, hubs, and all my macs and raspberry pis, and it performs properly in every single situation where the EC-SNVE doesn't.

    I've got too many of these enclosures purchased over a long time for it to be a single bad unit (because all five peform the same), so it's a design flaw.

    For some reason it's limiting to 480 Mbps when connected to USB3 gen 1 on mac osx and linux.

    Needless to say, I've just ordered another two enclosures from the other company as I get around a 10 x performance boost when using it on the majority of my systems with the same drives, cables, hubs, ports, etc.

    In fact, the only time the Sabrent is competitive with the other enclosure is when it's connected directly to the USB3 gen2 capable ports on the iMac M1, and even then, it's slightly slower by a few percent, as it seems to throttle earlier due to poorer heat dissipation.

    Please improve your firmware to rectify these issues, as it's pretty embarassing for your product to get beaten by a product that's 2/3 the price.

    Now that I think about it, I've never seen these enclosures work at USB3 gen1 speeds.

    I wonder...has anyone?




  • @Ava Teleri It could be a power limitation, a compatibility issue with the bridge chip being used, or a firmware issue. Technical support can perhaps assist with a firmware update or you may be able to find one online to match the bridge chip. The RTL9210B handles both M.2 SATA and NVMe which is handy and it's a popular chip.

  • @Sabrent Thanks for getting back to me.

    Actually you can ignore everything I said because I'm an idiot.

    Everything I said above was true, but because the other enclosure came with their own cables, I was using their cables for the tests with their enclosures and I was using the Sabrent usb-c cables for the Sabrent tests.

    The issue I'd overlooked was something to do with the USB-C to A adaptors. They were very small so I assumed they weren't doing much, but apparently I was wrong. As soon as I used the cables from the other enclosures with the Sabrent enclosures everything was basically the same (there are still some minor inconsistencies, but nothing I'm bothered about).

    I'll edit my post above to help anyone else that reaches the same incorrect conclusion.

  • @Ava Teleri Cable issue, got it. Thanks for the feedback!

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