Inateck UASP USB3 Enclosure Review

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by SaSaSushi, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. SaSaSushi, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #1
    I recently bought a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD and have been using it with a Delock 42490 Thunderbolt enclosure.

    I also got my hands on the Inateck UASP USB3 FEU3NS-1E Enclosure and wanted to post my results with the SSD in that as well. The Inateck is a pretty amazing little enclosure at only $18. That's about 5 times less than I paid for the Delock 42490 Thunderbolt enclosure. Combining it with an SSD makes a very intriguing option for Macs with USB 3.

    I'm not going to attempt to get into a technical explanation on the advantages of the UASP protocol. If you want a really good technical explanation and benchmarks, check out this article at Tom's hardware.

    Rest assured, the Inateck FEU3NS-1E has full OS X boot support so you will have no problems there. The enclosure itself is lightweight, bus-powered and well-constructed. There is an on-off switch and a blue LED indicator lamp for I/O activity. It comes with a rubber sleeve with an adhesive to improve the fit, depending on the physical width of your SSD. Basically though, you just plug in the SSD and close the enclosure. It has no screws and requires no tools.

    In terms of performance, the Inateck beat the Thunderbolt enclosure in both read and write in BlackMagic as follows:

    Delock 42490 Thunderbolt Enclosure:

    [​IMG]

    Inateck FEU3NS-1E Enclosure:

    [​IMG]

    There are some advantages of each enclosure. The Inateck has a performance edge and is far less expensive but due to limitations of USB, the device is not recognized as SATA and therefore you cannot enable TRIM nor run SSD firmware updates. I don't believe you would be able to boot a BootCamp partition from the Inateck either, although I haven't actually tested that yet. I will try it and post an update. *** Confirmed BootCamp cannot boot from USB. I attempted to boot to a BootCamp partition on the SSD but got a BSOD *** There are no issues with BootCamp on Thunderbolt-attached devices.

    Overall, I think the Inateck is an excellent option for a really great price for those with late model Macs (specifically those with UASP support). In terms of pure performance, it beats Thunderbolt.

    *** NOTE: Please be sure to look for the UASP version of this enclosure. It is so popular that it goes out of stock really quickly on Amazon (seems to be out of stock on Amazon.com right now) so be careful not to mistakenly buy the standard USB3 version for $15 if you're after the UASP speeds. The UASP model has the Inateck logo in blue letters as opposed to white and is $18 or the equivalent in your local currency. Don't expect to get the results above with the standard USB3 version of this enclosure. ***

    *** Also keep in mind that the UASP speed advantages will only be applicable for Macs with hardware support for the UASP protocol. See this article for a quick way to check if your Mac has UASP support. ***
     
  2. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    #2
    Thanks for the test. I looked at the Inateck enclosure recently & your results are right in the ballpark.

    Not as elegant or durable as something you'd buy to travel with, but at that price, who could complain. Buy 2 ;)
     
  3. SaSaSushi, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014

    SaSaSushi thread starter macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #3
    No, not elegant but despite being all plastic it's well-constructed and very light. In a matchup of build quality and construction, the aluminum Delock wins hands-down. The Inateck enclosure does have an advantage for travel though, in that it is bus powered and doesn't need the AC adapter. Travelers who want a Thunderbolt solution might go with the Seagate sleds, although those don't seem very secure for holding SSDs to me. And, as you mentioned, at the price the Inateck is being sold who can really complain about build quality anyway?

    The Inateck, when snapped together with the SSD on board is actually a surprisingly light and sturdy little device.
     
  4. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    #4
    One thing I didn't mention is the A connector on the Inateck. You almost never see that on a 2.5 enclosure.
     
  5. toomanyipods macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    #5
    Great review

    After searching half the day, I came upon SaSaSushi's posts and reviews. Thank you very much for the detailed analysis. Just what I needed to know in terms of speed, enclosure quality, and self-powered vs. external powered. I'd forgotten about trim!

    Hope to make it to Takamatsu someday. Was as close as Okayama this past summer, but couldn't fit Takamatsu into the tour.
     
  6. SaSaSushi thread starter macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Takamatsu, Japan
    #6
    Do yourself a favor and don't come in the summer. It's hot as hell and twice as humid. :( I recommend spring for the cherry blossoms.
     
  7. BeatCrazy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #7
    Hi all,

    I bought the Inateck FEU3NS-1E based on the comments in this thread. I had my old 2011 Mini 500GB boot drive as a spare, so I formatted it as exFAT via an Ineo dock, and put some movies on it. I installed the HDD in the Inateck and connected it to various BD players, and was able to access all the files, no problem.

    The problem is that OS X 10.9.2 won't recognize the drive in the Inateck enclosure, at all. It is formatted exFAT. I can take the drive out of the Inateck, and put it in my Ineo dock, and it can be recognized by OS X just fine.

    The Inateck is recognized by my Windows 7 PC, no problem.

    Any ideas?
     
  8. BeatCrazy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #8
    ^^^ Update on the above.

    I use a CalDigit Thunderbolt dock connected to my Mac mini. Turns out, if I plug the Inateck directly into the Mac mini (USB 2.0 only :( ), then OS X recognizes the drive.

    Dunno why, but the CalDigit is blocking the Inateck. Doesn't happen with any other USB 3.0 devices.
     
  9. firmansolutions macrumors member

    firmansolutions

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    #9
    Trouble recognising drive as bootable

    Hi SaSaSushi,

    Thanks for the post. I bought two of these and also the Samsung 840 Evo SSD.

    I damaged my MBA so it has to go in for repair. Fortunately it still runs so I bought the above to clone it and run from another Mac until the repair is done.

    I used Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) which I have used for a few years, successfully producing bootable clones of my systems.

    However, in this case using the Inateck, the drive is not recognised when I reboot pressing the alt key. I swapped the Samsung SSD to another USB 3 enclosure and it does recognise it.

    Any ideas. I was about to give up on the Inateck, thinking it was not able to support the boot drive function.

    Thanks
    Eric
     
  10. SaSaSushi, Apr 12, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014

    SaSaSushi thread starter macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #10
    Thanks for the update and I'm glad to hear you were able to get it working.

    I can say with total confidence that the Inateck supports booting OS X since I've done so. Are you using the UASP version (FEU3NS-1E) of the enclosure and not the standard USB 3 model?

    Are you plugging the Inateck directly into a USB port on your MBA or through a hub like BeatCrazy was doing? Apparently, that seems to make a difference in the case of some hubs like the CalDigit. I plugged directly into my iMac with no issues.
     
  11. BeatCrazy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #11
    Well, getting it "working" is a relative term. Since it only works on the Mini's 2.0 USB ports, the benefits of this enclosure's USB 3.0/UASP are totally useless. I may have to send it back, unless I can find some sort of workaround.

    I did send a message to CalDigit support in hopes that they can assist.
     
  12. SaSaSushi thread starter macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Aug 8, 2007
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    Takamatsu, Japan
    #12
    Ah, I see, sorry! I didn't realize that your Mac doesn't have USB 3 ports. I'm afraid to say that judging by this thread (including an email response directly from CalDigit) that if you're trying to boot the drive it looks like this is a limitation of the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station and applies to all USB drives, not just the Inateck. :(

    And no, getting it to work on USB 2 is not a solution at all...
     
  13. BeatCrazy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #13
    I saw that thread.. but I'm not trying to boot from the CalDigit/Inateck, I just want it to work as an external drive. And since CalDigit advertises UASP support, I made a real effort to find an enclosure with that functionality. But the Inateck is totally invisible when connected to the CalDigit. Doesn't even show up in Disc Utility. :mad:

    All other USB 3.0 thumb drives and 3.0 external drives work perfectly with the CalDigit. It's just this particular Inateck that is mis-behaving...
     
  14. SaSaSushi thread starter macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #14
    Not sure if this has any relevance at all, but are the other USB drives that you tried with the CalDigit AC-powered or bus-powered like the Inateck?

    Contacting CalDigit is a great idea and Inateck also has excellent customer support so it might be worth dropping them a line as well.
     
  15. BeatCrazy macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 20, 2011
    #15
    You sir, are awesome! You got me thinking about AC-powered vs. bus-powered. A short while ago, CalDigit released a driver update for OS X, which allowed for 1A charging for iOS devices, as well as support for USB-powered Apple SuperDrive/keyboard. Now I had already applied this update when it first was released. BUT.. I just reapplied it again, and now my Inateck is recognized! I could not be more happy!! Thanks for getting my brain thinking about how to fix this problem :) :) :)
     
  16. SaSaSushi thread starter macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Takamatsu, Japan
    #16
    Well, I'm glad to hear you got it working for real this time. :)
     
  17. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #17
    Hmm - Just picked one up and tried it with a 500gb EVO 840
    I get write speed of 338MB/s and read of 355MB/s so not quite as "hot"
    as your results :-(

    Pretty decent, this was via Inateck kt4004 through Inateck 4plus1 port USB3.0
    powered Hub.

    Did I set it up correctly, 1 GUID Partition Mac Extended/Journaled ?

    M.
     
  18. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #18
    Just tried direct to the kt4004 card, same result so the Hub is not slowing down
    the connection - as I knew it wouldn't.
    M.
     
  19. SaSaSushi, Apr 15, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014

    SaSaSushi thread starter macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #19
    I am editing this post because I now realize what the problem is.

    The Mac Pro you are using does not support UASP and so you're not going to get the max speeds out of the Inateck. The nMP is the first Mac Pro with UASP support.

    I should have added that disclaimer at the beginning of this review, but of course with a UASP enclosure there needs to be UASP support on the machine you're connecting it to as well.

    For others who are interested in finding out if their Mac supports UASP, see this article for an easy method to check.

    All Haswell-based Macs support UASP and I believe the 2012 iMacs do as well.

    Incidentally, in that article, the author notes that by plugging into some USB hubs it drops down into BOT mode from UASP so it can be a factor as well. :(
     
  20. Marty62 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #20
    OK - My bad, I didn't realize that it was unsupported in 2012 MP !
    But interestingly, it's still faster read/write than a plain IcyBox enclosure by
    around 25% !!
    Controller must be very good ... perhaps the "full size" USB cable moves the
    electrons along quicker !:D
    M.
     
  21. SaSaSushi thread starter macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #21
    Absolutely! See the last post in this thread from a fellow 2012 Mac Pro user (he writes 2013, but that would be the nMP) who reported similar results to yours.

    It's definitely a great little enclosure and as mentioned one can't beat the price. :)
     
  22. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #22
    With the Inateck attached - direct to USB3.0 card I get the IOUSBAttachedSCSI.kext
    appearing in "about this mac" as described in that thread.
    This is part of 10.8.x but on the cMP, it's not taking full advantage or what ??
    ( is it to do with non native USB3.0 with this model? )

    M.
     
  23. SaSaSushi, Apr 16, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014

    SaSaSushi thread starter macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #23
    Thank you for pointing this out. I checked and indeed the KT4004 does support UASP.

    - Support UASP: 70% Faster than traditional USB 3.0, with UASP Transfer Protocol; The UASP Transfer Protocol only can accelerate read and write speed of SSD hard disk

    So I imagine the slightly slower speeds are just down to it being connected via a PCIe card and not natively. The speed difference is really quite minor. :)

    Thank you again for correcting me.
     
  24. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #24
    Not correcting - I know almost nothing about UASP until now :)
    real world access and copying data is REALLY fast so I'm pleased !
    regards,
    M.
     
  25. drsox, Apr 23, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014

    drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #25
    I can also verify this as a super device ! With a 256GB Evo I can get 400+MBps Read and Write.
    Strangely, the first BlackMagic run scores 400+ on Write, repeats (w/o restarting the app) scores 250+ on Write. No changes to the 400+ on Read. Any one else see this ? This on a 2012 Mini.

    Just for comparison I changed the format to NTFS and tested it on my Win7 box. Using Samsung Magician(!) I found consistent Write rates of 800MBps and Read rates of 900MBps. Clearly some difference between test methods - maybe a bit of Samsung PR also at work here.
     

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