Today what I have is the Creative SXFI GC7, a desktop audio interface with Creative’s Super XFi baked right in. External audio solutions are growing in popularity due to ease of use as well as cross compatibility with platforms other than just PC. Join me to see what I find out about the Creative GC7.
Over the years we’ve observed great advancements in the form and function of USB-based removable storage devices. While we have seen the physical designs dressed up to look more attractive and user-friendly, the file transfer speed has always been one very big downside. Sabrent released the Rocket Pro removable storage device to solve that age-old speed problem and put a 1000MB/s transfer speed in the palm of your hand. Read on to find out how we got on with the Sabrent SB-2TB-PRO.
That’s right, the new Sabrent Rocket Pro series of removable storage devices offer more then just a sexy shell, they’re all about speed. They make use of two critical technologies to deliver speed rates which are twice as fast as a typical SSD. Firstly, the Rocket Pro portable storage devices utilize NVMe drive technology to uncork the hard-drive speed bottleneck. But that’s not the whole story, the next speed bottleneck is the M.2 connection interface, because it’s obviously not portable. To solve this problem, they built an M.2 NVMe enclosure around a USB 3.2 Type-C connector, which offers throughput ratings up to 10 Gbps.
If your external drive is twice as fast as your SSD, does this change anything about the future of computers and storage? One interesting factor we’d like to bring up is the new potential usage that this speed rating brings to the table. Simply put, you can carry your entire OS in your pocket now. In a basic example, you could setup dummy computer terminals at home and work, with no hard drive, then use the Rocket Pro as the primary boot drive for both.
So we know the Rocket Pro is super-fast, but they didn’t stop there. They designed an ultra slim aluminium alloy sandblasted enclose. The drive is available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB configurations. It’s small physical size, rugged aluminium exterior, and impressive speed ratings have us interested to say the least. Today we are reviewing the 2TB model, which is priced at $349.99 on Amazon
- SUPPORTS – Designed to work with both Windows and Mac OS, so you can transfer data between almost any computer in the world. Complies with trim, UASP, and firmware is upgradable.
- PLUG & PLAY – OS independent, and fully bus powered, No drivers required.
- SPEED – Ultra-fast 10Gbps throughput, low latency and power efficient. At up to 1000MB/s,
- DESIGN – Ultra slim aluminium alloy sandblasted shell. Sleek, Durable, and Convenient. Portable yet durable, ideal for traveling.
- USE – Perfect for a variety of uses including data transfer, high-speed storage, data backup, cloning an existing drive, running a mobile operating system, and more.
- SPEED – With USB 3.2 interface, the Rocket Pro provides speeds of up to 1000MB/s, thats 9x faster than traditional external HDDs. Transfer and backup large-sized data files and 4k videos within seconds. Backward compatible with USB 3.1 and USB 3.0 at respective speed limits.
- HEAT MANAGEMENT – Professional Aluminium Case. Designed for optimal heat Dissipation and reduced power consumption.
- Supports SMART and TRIM commands. Supports ONFi 2.3, ONFi 3.0, ONFi 3.2 and ONFi 4.0 interface.
- Advanced Wear Levelling, Bad Block Management, and Over-Provision.
Packaging and Product Overview
Over the years we’ve seen all types of packaging for SSDs. Typically, the package serves to protect the item during shipping, and nothing else. Most companies opt for minimalistic environmental-friendly packaging because they know it will most likely be thrown away once installed anyway. Sabrent decided to take things in a completely different direction from the conventional plastic blister pack.
Once opening the first layer, we find a cleaver metal box. Being greeted with a stylish metal presentation box was an unexpected surprise. The packaging gives the drive a premium feel and lets you know the product held within is high-quality. While the packaging is impressive, we have to wonder if the metal packaging is a bit overkill even if very nice.
A closer look
After unboxing we get a closer look at the drive itself. The overall drive dimensions are 7.5 x 5.2 x 0.69 inches, with a total weight of 14.9 ounces. For it’s size the weight is substantial. This tells us that the enclose is a thick aluminium construction because we know it utilizes an NVMe drive inside, so the relative storage weight is tiny in comparison to the enclosure. However we know that NVMe drives like to run fairly warm when under load, so having a bulky enclosure may very well serve in ensuring proper heat dissipation.
There are no buttons on the outside. The top of the unit has an indented logo, which may look like a button at first glance, but it’s not. On the underside, there are two rubber feet to protect fragile surfaces such as wood or glass.
In terms of connection ports, there’s only just a USB Type-C connector. This serves as the main power source and also the file transfer port as well. When plugged in, there’s a tiny blue LED next to the connector that lights up. In the pictures below you can see the tiny pinhole next to the connector for the blue LED.
The Sabrent Rocket Pro comes with two different cables. Included in the box is a USB 3.2 Type-C to C cable, and a USB 3.2 Type-C to A cable. The included cables are quite short. The C-C cable is 12″ long and the C-A cable is 24″ long.
While we didn’t find any special software bundled with the Rocket Pro external, we did however find a firmware update. We ran the firmware update software, and as you can see below, our drive came with the latest version already installed.
In order to get an idea of it’s actualized speeds, we are going to put the drive through the gamut of benchmark programs to evaluate the relative performance. In between each benchmark phase, the drive will be sanitized from the motherboard bios and formatted to NTFS with default settings under Windows 10. Unless otherwise stated, the drive will be used as it comes, with no additional cooling.
Crystal Disk Mark
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Anvil’s Storage Utilities
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Temperature and Throttling
Lastly, we’d like to bring up temperatures and drive throttling. To measure the drive heat we used a Fluke 51-2 thermometer and taped a K-Type thermal probe to the outside of the drive. The ambient temperature for our thermal testing was 23.7°C.
The hottest temperature we recorded on out Fluke meter was 36.2°C. The drive felt warm to the touch, it wasn’t too hot to hold in your hand. In terms of NVMe drive heat, it’s incredibly low. This shouldn’t be a surprise because the drive inside it running below it’s potential due to the USB interface limitation. There were no thermal related performance throttling observed throughout all of our testing, again this is likely aided by the bulky aluminium enclosure.
Result Analysis & Conclusion
The physical characters of the Sabrent Rocket Pro external drive are extraordinary. From the matte silver aluminium finish, to the overall weight and build quality, we basically loved everything about the drive. While it’s not a true ‘rugged’ drive covered in rubberized armor, we feel that it indeed quite rugged and able to withstand countless years of constant use.
As performance goes the results speak for themselves. We compared the drive against some of the very best drives that PCIe Gen 3.0 has to offer, and it performed admirably against those. The drive is marketed as having a 1000MB/s transfer speed, and looking at the Crystal Disk Mark results, we realized that speed for both read and write tests. Considering that it’s a removable drive, the speed is truly impressive.
Lastly we’d like to talk about pricing and value. It’s a premium product with outstanding speed ratings so we’d expect it to carry a premium price tag, which it does. The 2TB model we reviewed is priced at $349.99 on Amazon. Looking at the competition, where speed is not concerned, you can find 2TB external drives in the range of $60-$80 with USB 3.0 speeds of around 85MB/s. Given that the Rocket Pro is more than 10 times faster, we understand that the price point may be justified for buyers who have the need for a speedy external drive.
|Incredible performance for a USB based storage device.||Expensive|
|Excellent design with a premium look and feel to the materials.|
|It comes with two different cable options and backwards compatible USB.|
We want to express our thanks to Sabrent for providing us with this review sample and the opportunity to review it for our shared audience.
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