Quick Look: ADATA EC700G RGB SATA/PCIe SSD EnclosureSource: Tech Power Up added 16th Sep 2021
I would like to thank ADATA for supplying the sample.
The ADATA EC700G RGB NVMe Enclosure offers dual compatibility, so you may use it with either a SATA or NVMe M.2 drive. Along with its 10 Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C interface, it checks off all the same boxes as most other enclosures out there. However, ADATA also includes accessories to keep your drive a little cooler and has managed to embed RGB lighting into the metal enclosure.
Packaging and A Closer Look
The unit ships in a full-color box with an image of the enclosure in action on front. The rear of the package goes into detail about what to expect from the unit in multiple languages. A plastic hook allows retail stores to hang these up on their shelves easily as well.
You will receive two sets of cables to connect to the host system, one with a USB-C and one with a USB-A end. On top of that, ADATA includes a metal heatspreader and thermal pad so that the drive does not end up overheating within the EC700G. A simple manual goes through the process of assembling your external drive for use.
The ADATA EC700G RGB Enclosure is mostly made out of solid metal and feels quite hefty because of it. The top sports the ADATA logo, while the backside has a textured element for grip to slide the cover off easily. This is also where you will find all the various certification and safety labels printed onto the enclosure. It is nice to see ADATA opt for this route instead of unsightly stickers.
The USB-C connection is centered on one end of the enclosure, with a tiny blue LED next to it to denote power and data activity once the unit is in use. The other end is completely solid but holds part of the semi-transparent strip through which you will see the LEDs. If you look closely, you will notice that the enclosure is engineered out of a single piece, with the cover the only other separate part.
The flat side of the ADATA EC700G comes with a small push pin that is part of the sliding cover. It keeps it in place securely and needs to be pushed down before you are able to slide the enclosure open. On the opposite side is the continuation of the illumination strip across the entire length of the unit.
Clocking in at 88 grams without the heatspreader, the ADATA EC700G RGB Enclosure is quite heavy in the best possible way.
To access the interior, you will not need any screwdrivers or other tools. Simply press down on the side button and slide the bottom cover off the case. Inside, you will find a white PCB, which is a nice little surprise as well. As you can see, the latching mechanism for the cover is spring-loaded, so you won’t have to worry about it loosing its locking power over time. Nine outward-facing RGB LEDs have been placed in an L-shape around the edge of the PCB.
A small thumb screw has been pre-installed, which you need to remove before installing the drive of your choice. There is no reason to disassemble the unit any further for normal use, but we pulled the PCB out of the case, which proved to be a bit trickier than expected as ADATA utilizes double-sided tape to hold it in place. With the exception of the RGB LEDs, all the electrical components are on the underside of the PCB. Its device-specific label shows that ADATA designed the PCB themselves vs. taking an off-the-shelf OEM component. To achieve the compatibility with both SATA and NVMe M.2 drives and its 10 Gbps connectivity to the host system, ADATA employed a Realtek RTL9210B controller, which is actually pretty common among enclosures of this type.
Assembly and Performance
Kioxia was kind enough to provide us with two of their SSDs: the ultra-compact BG4 and standard-length XG6, both in 1 TB capacity. For the SATA capability of the ADATA EC700G, we will be using a Kingston A400 M.2 drive with 240 GB.
Adding an SSD does not require any screws, either. Simply slide the drive in, push it down, and use the thumb screw to secure it. As ADATA provides a metal heatspreader, you should remove the sticker for best performance if you are able to do so without voiding your drive’s warranty. Naturally, Installing the SATA M.2 variant is no different and also uses the small thumb screw.
Once void of a sticker, you may place the heatspreader on the drive. ADATA has put holes in it, so you can install the unit no matter the SSD format. Lastly, thanks to the three different screw mounting locations, adding something as short as the Kioxia BG4 is no problem, either. While there are very few NVMe SSDs of that format out there, odds are much higher when it comes to the SATA M.2 variants.
As you may notice in the images above, the edge of the enclosure has a few blemishes which are by no mean ADATA’s fault. We managed to induce these when attempting to pull out the PCB for additional pictures, which you should obviously not do!
As soon as you connect the drive to your host system, the RGB element lights up in a rainbow animation. This looks really cool, and the RGBs are vivid with the semi-translucent strip doing a great job at diffusing them. You cannot change the mode of these unfortunately, nor is there a way to turn them off. It would have been absolutely sufficient had ADATA included a small button on the PCB to at least toggle them on/off should they be too distracting in some situations. That said, if you are going for this unit, odds are the embedded lighting plays a major part in your purchasing decision. Next to the connector is the aforementioned blue power and activity LED as well. Below is a video of the RGB animation in action.
As the ADATA EC700G RGB is a 10 Gbps enclosure, the rule of thumb is that you can expect around 1 GB/s read and write speeds if your drive supports it. Naturally, with modern drives easily going beyond 2 or even 3 GB/s, saturating the enclosure’s interface should not be an issue, as seen in the benchmarking results. As expected, the SATA drive can provide its full potential as well, with results around the 500 MB/s mark.
During testing, we wrote 10 GB of data to the NVMe drive repeatedly over 100 times to heat up the SSD and see how it fares within the enclosure. While this may not be the maximum one could put this unit through, it does come pretty close. In addition to this, during out test, a K-type thermal sensor was attached to the exterior of the enclosure to gauge how well the heat was transferred. During the benchmark, the SSD maxed out at 63°C while the enclosure’s sensor read 51.9°C. This means heat transfer worked quite well already owing to the massive metal material used, though no direct contact was present. The internal heatspreader also worked well, keeping the drive cool enough not to worry about thermal throttling when using the ADATA EC700G.
Value and Conclusion
The ADATA EC700G RGB enclosure differentiates itself clearly through its build quality and embedded RGB element. While it does not go as far as to allow you to control the lighting element, the overall look and feel make it a really enticing choice regardless. That could be an issue for some, with the short, bundled cables being another. For a price tag of $49.99, the ADATA EC700G RGB SSD Enclosure does demand a premium over the slew of generic 10 Gbps variants out there that usually cost $15–20. For the price premium, you get adequate cooling, an extremely solid and cool-looking enclosure, and cool RGB elements.
media: Tech Power Up