VisionTek mSATA Mini USB 3.0 SSD Enclosure Review


How Hot Is Too Hot For Portable USB 3.0 Drives?

One of the long known issues with mSATA SSDs is that they have been known to get pretty hot. A number of laptops and Small Form Factor computers like the original Intel NUC suffered from overheating issues due to the mSATA SSD. Stuffing an mSATA SSD into a USB 3.0 enclosure that has another controller in there with no airflow is certain to cause the metal housing to heat up. One of the biggest complaints for devices like this is heat, so we took a large 71GB 4K movie file and moved it from our ASUS UX31A Zenbook (Intel Ultrabook) to the VisionTek mSATA Mini Enclosure.


With the drive plugged into our Ultrabook for about half an hour we found the back of the casing where the ASMedia ASM1153E controller is located got up to 32.3C (90F).


After transferring the movie file over we found that the temperature jumped from 32.3 to 43.2 C in just 7.5 minutes. Having a 43.2C (110F) degree drive in your hand isn’t a burning hot sensation, but it is certainly warmer than you’d expect a portable drive to get. This is said to be well within specifications though, so it isn’t like the drive should fail prematurely.


We were able to move the 71GB file over in 7 minutes 30.3 seconds at an average transfer speed of 151 MB/s, which is very quick!