With USB 3.1 solutions now being introduced into the market, Akitio went to work to create a unique solution allowing users to dock their existing 2.5" drives for use with this new technology. In having a tremendous amount of experience with high performance technologies such as Thunderbolt, Akitio aims to bring their knowledge into the USB 3.1 market with the Neutrino Bridge.
The Akitio Neutrino Bridge features the latest ASMedia 1351 USB 3.1 to SATA III Bridge. With this latest solution from ASMedia, the Neutrino has the flexibility to allow users to connect their existing 2.5" SSDs and hard drives and uses them with USB 3.0 and for users that have already made the move, USB 3.1 as well.
In addition to the USB 3.1 interface, the Neutrino Bridge is a two in one solution featuring an external SATA III pass-through connection, so you can move from an internal docked position to an external solution that is bus powered. Compatibility of the Neutrino Bridge extends to both Windows and Mac platforms with USB 3.1 requiring OS X 10.10.2 or Windows 7+.
MSRP of the Akitio Neutrino Bridge is listed at $39.99 with a one-year warranty.
Packaging for the Neutrino Bridge lists features of the adapter to the left with a small schematic of the enclosure to the right.
Scope of delivery includes the drive adapter, along with a user manual and drive screws.
To test the Neutrino Bridge, we installed our Intel 730 SSD in the Bridge. As you can see, the Neutrino Bridge carries a 3.5" form factor while housing 2.5" drives. The right side of the enclosure houses both a SATA connection and USB micro b connection.
Looking at the connection end of the Neutrino Bridge, we get a closer look at the USB and SATA connections. Worth noting here is the SATA connection is setup so you could slide in into any drive tray or rack mount enclosure, while the USB 3.1 connection uses the old micro b connection from USB 3.0.
In testing, we used CrystalDiskMark to get a quick and dirty assessment of the Neutrino's performance over USB 3.1. Seen above, we achieved pretty good read performance from sequential at 449 MB/s through large block random at 378 MB/s. 4K random came in at 32 MB/s while adding queue depth of 32 added a pinch. Write performance was low for sequential at 297 MB/s, while large block random touched 460 MB/s. However, we see command queuing active at QD32 with 100 MB/s.
The Akitio Neutrino Bridge is certainly a unique storage solution. With that said, this solution carries a good amount of durability with the aluminium structure around the device. The PCB, while not being protected, shouldn't take too much abuse, but does appear to be at least a five layer composite. Build quality is good with top end components found on board and within testing we experience no issues with the device.
Performance of the Bridge was on par with expectations, with sequential numbers at 449 MB/s read and random taking advantage of command queuing. Write performance was a bit disappointing with sequential testing, but quickly bounced back with both large block and 4K random testing.
Overall, if you are in the market for a solution that can be mounted internally and then slid out and accessed through one of the latest technologies in USB 3.1, then the Neutrino Bridge is certainly one of kind in today's market.
|Quality including Design and Build||89%|
|Bundle and Packaging||78%|
|Value for Money||89%|
The Bottom Line: The Neutrino Bridge is both a unique and well thought out storage solution. For those in the market for a budget friendly introduction to USB 3.1, this may be the device for you.
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