5 Best Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe Enclosures in 2020

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Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosures have helped me to scale my business since I can do more work in less time with the super-fast speed it offers. However, laying my hands on the perfect one was a little difficult for me, and I guess it’s the same for you.

The best Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosures are portable, budget-friendly, offer high speed, maintain speed levels for a long time even under heavy work, dissipate heat efficiently, are compatible with a wide range of OS, and can help you get your job done quickly and correctly.

Do you want to get your work done faster using a thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosure but don’t know how to find the best one? In this article, I will show you the top 5 TB 3 NVMe enclosures that are budget-friendly and can help you to achieve your business goals seamlessly.

Below is a table that summarizes the top 5 Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosures:

A Quick Overview: Top 5 Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe Enclosure

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

S/NProductProperties
1.Plugable NVMe SSD external enclosureUSB-A 3.0, USB-C Gen 2, Thunderbolt 3 up to 10Gbps; Compatible with M.2 NVMe SSDs; More than 800Mbps read/write speed; Compatibility with Windows, Mac, and Linux; tool-free design; fast and easy installation of an M.2 NVMe SSD; Around $50
2.VisionTek 1TB Thunderbolt 3 Portable External SSD Enclosure  Thunderbolt 3 cable; Intel certified; Compatible with Windows 10 and macOS X; More 1300 MB/s read speed and 1200 MB/s write speed; Low power consumption; bus-powered; $180-$200.
3.TREBLEET Thunderbolt 3 SSD Enclosure  USB-C Gen 2 up to 40Gbps; Thunderbolt 3 bus-powered interface; More than 2600 MB/s read speed; Compatible with Windows 7 and above, Mac OS 10.13 and above; Around $130.
4.Fledging Shell Thunder SSD EnclosureThunderbolt 3 cable; Whisper-quiet active cooling system; Compatible only with M.2 PCIe NVMe 2260 and 2280 Drives; Over 2000Mbps write speed; Not compatible with Apple SSDs; $125-$473.
5.Yottamaster Thunderbolt 3 SSD EnclosureThunderbolt 3 cable; 40GB/s; Over 2700Mbps read speed and 1300Mbps write speed; palm-size; pocket-friendly; Compatible only with 2280 PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD; Around $170.

1. Plugable NVMe SSD external enclosure

I was amazed when I saw that Plugable NVMe enclosure was a Thunderbolt 3-enabled M.2 NVMe enclosure that is priced like any conventional SSD. This is what attracted me to this product since comparable enclosures from other vendors are currently priced at several hundreds of dollars.

I am pleased to report that the product was worth a trial. Behind its sleek black anodized aluminum lies JMicron JMS583 USB 3.1 Gen 2 to PCIe Bridge Controller. The enclosure is also fitted with fins to aid heat dissipation.

The most significant part of it is that Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosure is super-fast for video editing. I couldn’t have felt happier about a product this good and useful for my work as a video producer, yet cheap.

Also, unlike most thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosures, the design is entirely tool-free. It required little technical know-how to set it up.

Though the speed is not so high for a Thunderbolt 3-enabled enclosure, the low price is worth considering. It writes to and from the external drive with a rate of about 800 Mbps; this is twice as fast as the Samsung T5 external SSD I used before now.

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2. VisionTek 1TB Thunderbolt 3 Portable External SSD Enclosure

The first thing that got my attention when I saw VisionTek thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosure is its compactness. It also appears to be built with substantial fins for cooling, which was the first feature I tested because of my experience with previous products.

Even with heavy load, the enclosure only had a warm feeling and not a burning sensation like the thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosures I used in the past, and this further proves the effectiveness of the well-structured fins.

Also, I carried out a speed test, and the results came back promising with 1300+ Mbps read speed and 1200+ Mbps write speed. This is 100 times greater data reliability than a costly enterprise-class hard drive.

Access time is also up to 15x faster than a conventional hard drive. This blazing speed can be attributed to its 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 Interface and thus making it a wise choice for gamers.

Furthermore, I found out that when heavy, high-resolution videos, MP3s, graphics files, and zip files are being compressed, the SSD controller doesn’t slow down while processing them as some other controllers do.

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3. TREBLEET Thunderbolt 3 SSD Enclosure

I found this sleek, CNC-milled aluminum, space-grey thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosure very attractive when I saw a colleague using it. Its incredibly lightweight makes it very handy too. Now to the interesting part: this Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe Enclosure has over 2500Mbps read speed and over 2200Mbps write speed.

Also, it passively cools the SSD drive with its metal housing and integrated fins. At first, I was disappointed at this cooling mechanism when I accidentally touched the enclosure while it was in operation – a stinging burning sensation made me withdraw my hands immediately.

However, I found out that I could have avoided that accident if I had affixed the heat dissipation pads on both sides of the casing – I did this and it worked. It is also incredibly cheap when compared with the service it provides.

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4. Fledging Shell Thunder SSD Enclosure

Fledging Shell is one of the best thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosure that I’ve used. After reading a review on a tech site about its active cooling system, I decided to give it a try. This unique feature came as a breakthrough to the problems I experienced while working with some other conventional SSD enclosures.

Other enclosures tend to reduce so much in speed and sometimes stall due to the overheating of the enclosure which is caused by the SSD. This thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosure prevents excessive heat using this cooling system and thus makes it possible to work and enjoy high speed of over 2200Mbps read/write speed.

However, there’s a downside to it: the noise produced by the 4000-rpm cooling fan is not as minimal as the manufacturers claimed. It will make better sense if the manufacturers consider this in subsequent designs.

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5. Yottamaster Thunderbolt 3 SSD Enclosure

Yottamaster is, no doubt, the best choice for gamers who love gaming at a high level of speeds and graphics. With 40Gbps unstoppable performance, even the most challenging in-game moments become more exciting with the Yottamaster Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosure.

I ran some speed tests on this enclosure, and guess what? The results came back with over 2700Mbps read speed and 1300Mbps write speed. As if that’s not enough, the powerful thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe enclosure also comes with a protective aluminum enclosure, a thermal copper foil, and an inner Silicone thermal pad for more efficient heat dissipation.

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