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Sabrent Thunderbolt 3 / usb-c detection

I’ve got a question and I don’t know if it is hardware based or software based.

I’m looking to pick up a hard drive. The sabrent rocket xtrm thunderbolt 3/usb 3 external drives automatically detect usb-c or thunderbolt connections, so they’re usable with both types of port. The sabrent thunderbolt 3 M.2 tool free enclosure appears to only advertise thunderbolt 3 connectivity. I was wondering if the ability to auto-detect usb-c or thunderbolt 3 was hardware based or if it was software that they loaded onto the drives included in the XTRM drives, which obviously wouldn’t be included with a driveless enclosure. I’d prefer getting an enclosure so that I can choose whichever nvme drive I’d like and potentially upgrade it in the future, but I’d like usb-c support as well as thunderbolt 3 support. Do you guys have any idea what’s going on here and what my options are?

looks like it’s a hardware thing. The XTRM-q drives include both a thunderbolt chip and a usb chip on the card that the nvme plugs into. I’m going to write up an email and ask sabrent if they have any plans of using this card in their tool free enclosures at any point this year.

Those Hybrid Thunderbolt/USB drives are very Hardware-Based in that they include the Thunderbolt-Controller and an additional and separate USB-NVMe Controller, which takes over on non-Thunderbolt connections.

Maybe with USB4 that will change longterm, as the same manufacturers that have USB-NVMe Controllers may add PCIe-over-USB4 support, but as of now you are basically paying for an Intel Titan Ridge Controller + the second controller that is off while using thunderbolt.

I am only aware of 2 enclosures that have the needed additional USB-Controller: one from Yottamaster and one from Orico.

But what you need to consider is, that fast NVMe drives, the likes of which benefit from a Thunderbolt connection can suck up a lot of power (Samsung 970 is ~8W max + some power for the controllers). And plain USB-C connectors only guarantee 7.5W of power opposed to the 15W guaranteed by Thunderbolt ports.

I believe this to be the reason why there are more integrated SSDs than enclosure-only options out there. If they pick the SSD they can choose one or modify it to stay below 7.5W while running off of USB. Or even only 4.5W if you want it to run an a USB 3.0-A connection.

/Edit
Too slow

thanks for the info. I planned on getting the enclosure and a samsung 980 drive. Then I’d put the 980 in my computer and pull out the 960 for use in the enclosure, with the possibility of upgrading that eventually as well.

Similar here. I’d like to upgrade the 970 in my desktop and am thinking about getting one of those. But they are expensive as hell and the likelyhood of the drive working stable on someone elses computer is low and both my notebook and desktop already have Thunderbolt.

Its just that the lack of backward compatibility is bothering me…