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Addonics M.2 PCIe to SFF-8643 (U.2) Storage Adapter Review

Addonics M.2 PCIe to SFF-8643 (U.2) Storage Adapter Review
Looking for a M.2 PCIe to SFF-8643 (U.2) storage adapter for your motherboard? The Addonics ADM2SF8643 could do the trick.
By: Tyler Bernath | Accessories in Storage | Posted: Jun 9, 2016 1:40 am
TweakTown Rating: 86%Manufacturer: Addonics

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In the last few years, I have been testing and reviewing storage solutions, we have seen a number of devices come through from Addonics. Back when M.2 was just catching on, they released the PCIe to M.2 adapter that we reviewed and today we continue that tradition going from M.2 to SFF-8643 (or by its consumer-friendly name, U.2).

 

U.2 hasn't really gained much traction as of yet with ASUS being one of the only vendors I know of to integrate this connection on a motherboard. For most vendors, they supply an adapter to go from M.2 to U.2. The Addonics solution follows the same principle, converting a PCIe M.2 slot in a U.2 connection for those of you that prefer the 2.5" form factor.

 

Compatibility of this unit extends to any motherboard with an M.2 slot with NVMe OS requirements reaching out to Windows 7, 8, and 10. MSRP of the ADM2SF8643 adapter comes in at $15.99 with a one-year warranty.

 

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Packaging is similar to the PCIe to M.2 reviewed a few years back. Here we have a solid white box with a bit of marketing on the front.

 

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The Addonics adapter like many vendor specific solutions is a simple M.2 form factor PCB with a U.2 port on top.

 

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GO TO TOP OF THE NEXT COLUMN ^

 

The U.2 port seen in the previous photo.

 

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The backside doesn't have much going on other than some traces and solder points.

 

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To test this adapter, we will be throwing our Intel 750 400GB SSD on it and mounting it to our Z170 Premium from ASUS.

 

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Starting off testing, I ran the 750 through CDM to get a decent baseline of the peak performance of the adapter. As you can see, with a full four PCIe lanes, it was able to max out the Intel 750 at 2378 MB/s read and 995 MB/s write.

 

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Looking at Anvils with the same setup, we managed a score of 10,632 with excellent 4K write at 231K IOPS.

 

When I first received this adapter from Addonics in early April, I was setup with the original GIGABYTE Z170 UD5 test system. With this system, I had issues with both the USB C not supporting video out for adapters and the M.2 slots were apparently proprietary, as this adapter and any other adapter, apart from GIGABYTE's own, would not work on this board.

 

With that said, I recently switched over to an ASUS Z170 Premium that has all the bells and whistles includes USB C, Thunderbolt 3, M.2, and U.2 onboard. With this board, the Addonics ADM2SF8643 works flawlessly, so in all honesty, you may want to browse around on forums or contact Addonics before you purchase this to ensure compatibility.

 

Performance, as seen in testing, was able to reach 2378 MB/s read and 996 Mb/s write in CDM and with Anvils a peak of 231,000 random write IOPS. With those numbers in the book, I think it safe to say there is nothing holding back the Addonics solution and the performance with surely depends on the motherboard in use.

 

 

 

Tyler's Test System Specifications

 

Product Summary Breakdown

Performance95%
Quality including Design and Build85%
General Features85%
Bundle and Packaging85%
Value for Money80%
Overall TweakTown Rating86%

The Bottom Line: The Addonics ADM2SF8643 adapter offers no loss in performance going from a four lane PCIe slot to the U.2 connectivity, although you will want to check for motherboard compatibility before purchasing.

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