How to build an External M.2 SSD (USB 3.1 Gen2 with Wavlink Enclosure)


For the SSD:
For the Enclosure:

Building an External M.2 SSD with USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds (Through USB-C or Thunderbolt)

Hi, this is a quick video on how to setup and use an external M.2 SSD, here I am using the Wavlink External enclosure due to the fact that its metal and durable, and supports high speed USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity.

The wavlink came with a USB 3.0 Cable, USB 3.1 Cable, instructions, and a small screwdriver with two extra screws. Which is always really helpful to have.

For an SSD I am using the Crucial MX500 just due to the fact that is relatively cheap for good performance. Most SSDs will work, make sure you are buying a M.2 SSD with the correct connector.

Then all we need to do is unscrew the two small screws at the front of the enclosure. The front of the enclosure had a little bit of glue on it and was tough to remove, what I did was plug in a USB cable and just gently pulled on the cable until it came out.

Then you will see the actual PCB which looks gorgeous, so we can pause and admire that for a second.

We then remove the SSD hold-down screw.

We will then gently plug in our SSD, it’s normal for it to be at an angle. We then want to gently press down on the SSD and I used my index to hold the SSD in place while placing back the hold-down screw.

Then we can simply slide the SSD back into the enclosure and plug back the exterior, and rescrew it.

Tada! We are ready to benchmark. I am personally using this external SSD to run a persistent version of Ubuntu. But you can use it for anything you like.

In terms of performance, the SSD behaves very well, the cables are of okay quality but there is a little IOPS performance loss via USB3.1 cable, probably as good cables are incredibly expensive to manufacture. If you want to slightly increase your IOPS performance you can buy yourself a new cable and see if that helps.

In terms of throttling I have not had any issues even when benchmarking for 30mins+, but the enclosure does get quite hot to the touch. The SSD hovered around 70 degrees under heavy load. If you wanted to reduce that you could always machine and cut some holes for airflow, or put some thermal pads in contact with the aluminium exterior to see if that helps.

If you want to see more about this check out my website where I run more benchmarks.



  1. So I put the SSD into an enclosure and I want to use it as an external drive but it's not showing up as a drive.
    Do I have to initialize and format it first?

  2. I got 2 of these, they all work fine in the very beginning, but my computer didn't recongize it after some time, that's why I have 2…..I am pretty sure my SSD is healthy

  3. all that connected through a shitty usb conenctor for like 0,5 USD .. touch the cable and .. device disconnected, device connected every time … it´s time they replace/ban USB connectors for data storrages worldwide ..

  4. Might be I miss it. Is this a M.2 Sata or M.2 PCI-E? Also, it is not cover in the video but in the info. Should I concern the "SSD Hovered around 70 degrees under heavy load."

  5. I am using it for portable Windows 10 so that I don't need to manage multiple windows, one for laptop and one for the desktop PC.

  6. Hi i ordered those Wavlink Enclosure on E bay for US $21.82. It works fine, only it gets pretty warm to hot. I got a temperature warning, the temperature was higher than 60 degrees Celsius. 140 degrees Fahrenheit:

    The solution place something of metal under it a flat surface of aluminum or copper.

    If the SSD become to hot those can get defective.

  7. Thank you! I just bought a Samsung Evo pcie 970 ssd amd an enclosure for it. It was for my xbox one x. It does get really warm. It burns my fingers but I tend to unplug it when I'm done using it. Should I be worried of the heat!! Will it melt? Or will it slow down the speeds? Cause this thing is FAST! My load times are super short now! I love it

  8. please rename your video title…. It says "how to build" then first thing you hear when you open the video is "how to setup". Big difference between those two.

  9. This enclosure replaced my external thunderbolt drive. The only problem I had was it got extremely hot when cloning my 400gb, like too hot to touch. Transfer speeds drop when it gets too hot. Putting it on top a fan helped with the heat issues. Other than that, it's the perfect external drive for mobile DJs.

  10. This is great. Been looking for a solution to record video at write speeds of over 500 MB/s & have found m.2 external to be the best / only solution. Thanks for making this video man, literally changed my life!

  11. I am thinking of getting this ssd for it , do u think if it would work ?
    Its really hard for me to understand the compatibility.
    Samsung 970 EVO 500 GB V-NAND M.2 PCI Express Solid State Drive – Black


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