Have you ever had a piece of computer equipment that was designed for a small form factor computer, such as an Ultrabook or laptop, and wished there was a way to install it and use it in your main PC? StarTech.com is a company that specialise in making this possible. In fact their slogan is "Hard to find made easy".
In this article I'm going to be taking a look at the StarTech.com SATA to mSATA enclosure. The SAT2MSAT25 is a 2.5 inch 8.9mm SSD enclosure designed to allow an mSATA SSD, to be easily installed in a desktop or laptop that doesn't have an mSATA connector already provided.
The enclosure, which is made from aluminium, is designed to fit in a 2.5 inch drive bay, and is 8.9mm thick. It is well constructed, and should provide good screening capabilities.
Inside the enclosure
Inside the enclosure we can see a printed circuit board (PCB), with the connection to the outside world, which is a standard SATA power and data connector. I can also see that the PCB does not contain many components. I can see what looks like a power regulator and its support components, and that's about it.
We can also see the mSATA power and data connector, and an isolator sheet to prevent any components in the mSATA SSD shorting on the metal case of the enclosure. Finally there are two screw fixings for securing the mSATA SSD. There is no bridging chipset, and this is a good thing in my opinion. Bridging chips usually slow performance down substantially, are operating system dependant, and require system drivers. The StarTech.com SAT2MSAT25 requires no system drivers and is therefore operating system independent.
In the above screenshot you can see that I have installed a Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000GB SSD in the StarTech.com SAT2MSAT25 enclosure. Fitting the mSATA SSD is simply a matter of removing four small screws to gain entry to the enclosure. You then simply insert the mSATA SSD into the mSATA slot, and secure the SSD with the two fixing screws which are provided. Once this is done, you just fix the lid back onto the enclosure with the four screws, and then the enclosure looks just like a normal 2.5 inch SSD. Connect the enclosure to your PC's SATA interface, and the enclosed mSATA SSD behaves just like a normal SSD.
Note: Samsung has not yet endorsed the StarTech.com SAT2MSAT25 enclosure, but I can state that the 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD worked when installed in this enclosure without any issues whatsoever.
So how does it perform?
In fact it performs just like a normal SATA SSD. It's compatible with SATA 3Gbps, and SATA 6Gbps controllers.
I have included a couple of benchmarks of the StarTech.com SAT2MSAT25 with the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD installed. If you wish to see a full range of tests using this enclosure, then please view the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD review which you can find here.
As you can see, the StarTech.com SAT2MSAT25 doesn't hold back performance in the slightest, with the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD able to reach nearly 557 MB/s reading speeds, and 535 MB/S writing speeds.
AS SSD benchmark
From the AS SSD benchmark result, you can also see that the StarTech.com SAT2MSAT25, also supports native command queuing (NCQ) and with that, queue depth scaling, which is a must for SSDs.
The StarTech.com SAT2MSAT25 enclosure is a low cost, simple device, which is well made, and does exactly what it's supposed to do with no fuss. The enclosure also comes with a two year warranty.
You should be able to find the StarTech.com SAT2MSAT25 in most good online retailers for around £22.50.
The parting sentence is:
“The StarTech.com SAT2MSAT25 enclosure is a low cost device which is well made, and does exactly what it's supposed to do”.
The editor rating is based on the following key factors.
- Stability (is the device stable?)
- Supplied accessories (what is included in the package)
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