ORICO M.2 NVMe USB4.0 SSD Enclosure Review

Summary

The ORICO USB 4 M.2 SSD Enclosure is kind of a product advance of its time as it brings the USB 4.0 connectivity which we have yet to see becoming streamlined on regular desktop PCs.

Overall
8.5/10
8.5/10
  • Performance - 9/10
    9/10
  • Design - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Value - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Build Quality - 9/10
    9/10

Pros

  • USB 4.0 connectivity at 40Gbps
  • Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and 4
  • Solid build quality using sand-blasted aluminum
  • USB 4.0 40Gbps rated cable
  • Cable supports USB Type-C and Type-A at a time
  • Cable supports PD charging of 100W
  • Better thermals
  • 5-Year Warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Thermal pad came torn
  • Not tool-less
  • Did not work on USB 3.2 and USB 3.0 ports

In this content we are taking a look at ORICO USB 4.0 M.2 SSD Enclosure. This is the first USB 4.0-based enclosure in our testing. The enclosure can house 1x M.2 NVMe SSD with up to a maximum of 4TB storage capacity. The transmission is done via a Type-C port which is as expected. The enclosure is compatible with the Thunderbolt 4/3, USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, and previous versions of USB standards above the USB 2.0. The enclosure supports the theoretical data transfer rate of 40Gbps.

Unboxing

ORICO M.2 NVMe Box
ORICO M.2 NVMe Box

The enclosure is shipped inside a paperboard cover which is covering the plastic-made tray box. Three main characteristics are:

  • Aluminum alloy material
  • UASP protocol
  • Type-C Interface
  • 40Gbps speed
ORICO M.2 NVMe Box Backside
ORICO M.2 NVMe Box Backside

M234C3-U4 is the model of the enclosure. The enclosure is available in three colors:

  • Rose Gold
  • Grey
  • Silver

Our test unit is in Rose Gold.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Gold Unit Picture
ORICO M.2 NVMe Gold Unit Looks

The tray box has the enclosure, the cable, and the Thermal fin placed on the top. The thermal pad and user guide are placed under the container.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Accessories
ORICO M.2 NVMe Accessories

ORICO has provided the following:

  • A user guide.
  • A black color thermal fin [heatsink cover made of aluminum alloy]
  • A thermal pad [Ours came with one side torn]
  • 2x screws.

Closer Look

ORICO M.2 NVMe Gold
ORICO M.2 NVMe Gold

The ORICO enclosure is made of sand-blasted aluminum material and an aluminum alloy cover. The top view shows the striped layout for better heat dissipation. There is an ORICO branding near the bottom.

The dimension of the enclosure is 107x50x17mm (LxWxH). The enclosure has sharp edges so take care when handling. The NVMe USB adapter supports Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

It is plug and play hence no additional drivers are needed. It draws power from the host making it bus powered solution.

ORICO M.2 NVMe to USB has built-in protection systems. It supports UASP acceleration protocol and Trim, SMART functions as well as the 10-minute smart sleep which would enhance the SSD life.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Front

Looking at the backside of the enclosure, there is a small screw at the base. The cover can be removed by removing this screw. This is not a tool-less design. One can see that the striped design is extended on the border sides as well. The enclosure is made in China.

ORICO M.2 NVMe
ORICO M.2 NVMe Port

The above picture shows the port side of the enclosure. This picture is also showing the striped design elaborately. There is an LED indicator on the side of the Type-C port.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Inside
ORICO M.2 NVMe From The Inside.

The above picture shows the inside of the enclosure after removing the top cover. We have a red color PCB with a single M.2 port on it. This PCB supports M.2 NVMe SSDs of form factor 2280. The PCB is secured to the housing using 4x screws.

ORICO M.2 NVMe
ORICO M.2 NVMe Box

The above picture shows the shell after removing the PCB. We have sand-blasted anodized aluminum material making up the shell. The machining job is quite good.

ORICO M.2 NVMe
ORICO M.2 NVMe Layout | Image: Tech4Gamers

The above picture shows the PCB of the enclosure. It is in red color with good soldering job.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Processor
ORICO M.2 NVMe Chip | Image:Tech4Gamers

Surprised! ORICO is using Intel JHL7740 (Titan Ridge class) as the main driving chip of the enclosure. This is basically a Thunderbolt 3 controller with a rated TDP of 2.4W. It supports dual port configuration in PCIe 3.0 interface. It supports DisplayPort 1.4 as well.

Interestingly enough, this enclosure does not have the Thunderbolt logo on the cable or itself. This clearly indicates that ORICO has used the Thunderbolt controller but uses the USB 4.0 bridging hence the USB 4.0 nomenclature.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Chip | Image:Tech4Gamers

ORICO has employed a JMicron’s bridge controller JMS583 on this enclosure which turns the NVMe drive into a USB product or enabled USB-based communication over the NVMe drive. This controller also supports USB Type-C connectivity. This controller also controls the internal power management.

The above two are the main driving units of the ORICO USB 4.0 M.2 SSD Enclosure.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Chip | Image:Tech4Gamers

The CYPD5126 is an EZ-PD CCG5C USB Type-C Port Controller with the main function of Power Delivery over USB Type-C (PD). This micro-controller supports PD 3.0 specifications. This controller has the functionality of:

  • Over-voltage protection
  • Under-voltage protection
  • Over-current protection
  • Short Protection

ORICO M.2 NVMe Chip | Image:Tech4Gamers

Winbond IC with likely model number 25X20DVNIG is a memory chip of serial flash type.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Memory Chip | Image: Tech4Gamers

The MT3905 from M3TEK is a fully integrated high efficiency synchronous step-down converter that requires a minimum number of external components. It offers a very compact solution with up to 4A continuous output current over a wide input range.

This enclosure is rated for up to 40Gbps (breakneck speed). Please note that once the NVMe SSD (PCIe or M/B-Type) is installed and the enclosure is put to use over either the USB 4.0 port or the Thunderbolt 3 / 4 port, the maximum speed that the SSD can achieve is 3100MB/s in sequential read and write.

We know from Thunderbolt 4 that the 40Gbps bandwidth is shared among the devices since this interface can support display, fast charging, and data connectivity at the same time using a single cable.

The PCIe-based connectivity is bi-directional with 32Gbps bandwidth hence we have a maximum of 32Gbps speed available for the external storage drives.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Cable
ORICO M.2 NVMe Cable

ORICO has provided a two-in-one design cable with the enclosure. Take note of the 40 number and its USB speed symbol above.

This trademark shows that this cable is a certified USB 4.0 cable to provide up to 40Gbps USB 4.0 connectivity.

There would be a Thunderbolt logo on the cable if it had a license from Intel for Thunderbolt connectivity. The above configuration shows the USB Type-C to Type-A connectivity.

The above picture shows the USB Type-C to Type-C connectivity. The speeds above 6Gbps are possible using the Type-C interface only. The cable has a length of 30cm. The cable supports PD 100W charging (Source: ORICO).

Installation

Setting up the enclosure is easy but it requires a screwdriver since it is not a tool-less solution. We have used a Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB PCIe 4.0 drive to test the enclosure.

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

Place the provided thermal pad on the top of the SSD after removing the protective cover from one side. Since there is a single thermal pad provided with the enclosure, I am assuming this enclosure supports single-sided NVMe SSD by design.

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

Remove the protective cover from the top of the thermal pad and place the thermal fin over the SSD.

Install the SSD in the M.2 connector as shown in the picture.

Use one of the two provided small-size screws to complete the SSD installation.

The enclosure is ready for testing.

Testing

The following test configuration is used:

  • GIGABYTE Z690 AERO G
  • Intel i7 12700k [Stock, Auto]
  • Sabrent Rocket 2x16GB DDR5
  • Sabrent Rocket Q 500GB NVMe Drive [OS]
  • Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO
  • Colorful iGame GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4G [For Display]
  • GIGABYTE Thunderbolt 4 Add-In Card
  • be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W Platinum PSU
  • Thermaltake Core P6 TG Snow Edition in an open-frame layout

We have tested the enclosure on the Thunderbolt interface.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Testing

We checked the Thunderbolt Control Panel and the enclosure was listed there as Intel USB 4.0 SSD.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Testing

After initializing the drive, it showed up in This PC (MY Computer).

Synthetic Testing

The following software-based testing is done:

  • AS SSD
  • CrystalDiskMark
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Anvil’s Storage Utility
  • 3DMark Storage Benchmark

Here are the results:

ORICO M.2 NVMe Testing
ORICO M.2 NVMe CrystalDiskMark

The drive reaches the 3100MB/s sequential read speed. The overall numbers are healthy including the 4k speeds.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Testing

The maximum read speed was 2.92Gbps and the maximum write speed was 2.73Gbps.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Testing

The 7677 is quite some score for the external enclosure.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Testing

We spot the good performance of the drive.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Testing

We have fewer dips in the overall read speed but there are two big dips in the write speed though the overall performance is still quite well.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Testing

We are seeing a similar result here as well.

ORICO M.2 NVMe Testing

The enclosure scores 2386 marks with 413.22 MB/s bandwidth and an average access time of 76 μs.

Real World Testing

We have used a 97GB compressed file to check the read and copy speeds and timing of the drive along with a 167GB size folder with multiple files and sub-folders including large compressed files to measure the directory copy speed and timing. The DiskBench utility is used for this purpose.

ORICO M.2 NVMe DiskBench

The average speed was 2057MB/s to read the 97GB compressed file with a time of roughly 46 seconds.

ORICO M.2 NVMe DiskBench

We copied the same file on the drive with an average speed of 1700 MB/s with a time of roughly 55 seconds.

ORICO M.2 NVMe DiskBench

We have a 1550MB/s average speed to copy the 167GB folder on the drive taking a time of roughly 1 minute and 55 seconds.

Thermals

The ambient temperature was 31°C and the drive under load (real-world copy-paste operation) reached to 63°C. The thermals were monitored by HWInfo64 software.

Conclusion

ORICO has released a new NVMe enclosure using the USB 4.0 standard. This is called USB 4.0 M.2 SSD Enclosure. The enclosure is made of anodized sandblasted aluminum material and has a cover that acts as a heatsink and it is made of aluminum alloy.

The USB 4.0 is an eye-catcher here as the enclosure comes with up to 40Gbps rated speed. However, note that this enclosure will give you up to 3100MB/s sequential read and write speed provided the NVMe PCIe SSD that you are using has rated sequential read and write speeds of 3100MB/s and above.

This enclosure is compatible with:

  • Thunderbolt 3
  • Thunderbolt 4
  • USB 3.2
  • USB 3.1
  • USB 3.0

This enclosure is not compatible with USB 2.0 and below. The dimension of the enclosure is 170x50x17mm. It has a striped design for better heat dissipation.

The heatsink cover is termed Thermal Fin. It is in black color. ORICO has provided a thermal pad with the enclosure. Since there is a single thermal pad coming with the enclosure, we are assuming that this enclosure supports only single-sided SSDs.

This SSD is using USB Type-C port for the data connectivity and there is an LED indicator that would blink continuously during the drive in use.

The enclosure also supports the 10 minutes of sleep on the drive when not in use. ORICO has used Intel JHL7740 which is the main controller of this enclosure. This is a Thunderbolt 3 controller which is bridged to USB output by using JMicron’s JMS835 controller.

ORICO has provided a single 30cm long cable with a two-in-one design. This single cable supports Type-C to Type-C and Type-C to Type-A connectivity. According to ORICO, this cable supports PD charging of up to 100W though this can’t be used with the enclosure.

The user can install M-Type/B-Type and PCIe NVMe-based SSD in the enclosure with a form factor of only 2280. The enclosure is not tool-less as the screwdriver is needed for the removal of the back panel and SSD’s installation.

We have tested the enclosure using the GIGABYTE Thunderbolt 4 Add-In card. The drive reached the 3100MB/s sequential read in the CrystalDiskMark benchmark. The overall performance of the enclosure is quite good.

You must install the SSD with a good read and write speeds to enjoy the true performance of the enclosure. Although we did observe this enclosure not being picked by either USB 3.2 Gen2x2 and Gen 2 ports on the backport of the motherboard.

When connected to the USB 3.1 port on the second system, it was not read either. ORICO has mentioned that this enclosure is backward compatible with up to USB 3.0 so we are hoping it is our testing unit that seems to have some fault for this behavior. ORICO is offering 5 years warranty with a whopping USD 170 price tag on this enclosure. the Thunderbolt 4-based enclosures are expensive.

Don’t expect USB 4.0-based enclosures to be less expensive anyway but remember the JHL7740 employed in this enclosure. Anyhow, at this price tag, they should have at least made this enclosure a tool-less design!

We are thankful to ORICO for sending in the unit for the testing.

 

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With over 10 years of experience in the Hardware Reviews and Tech Category, I've now worked at multiple publications, reviewing all sorts of products, and continue to do so at Tech4Gamers.