Asus ROG Arion | Review

Asus ROG Arion | Review
The memory market is changing: thanks above all to the announcement of the NVMe standard in the first 10 years and its success in the consumer sector throughout the second half of the last decade, with the birth of increasingly compact, fast and performing.

We saw the latest evolutionary step in 2019 with the arrival of the new PCI-E 4.0 standard and related Gen 4 SSDs.

Gradually the presence of these ultra- fast on the market is increasing, becoming more and more a "standard". Thanks also to the continuous renewal of the transfer interfaces, we are also seeing the portable use of these memory units spread more and more.

Nothing new, we have gone through it with all great storage methods, from the first dedicated boxes to mechanical disks (large, slow, not at all transportable and with the need to be powered), to then move on to more compact enclosures and Plug & Play for SSDs.

In short, for some years now we have been learning about products of this genre dedicated to our NVMe super-disks and, as often happens, the market is literally flooded with models of the most various shapes and sizes.

Asus ROG Arion

Among similar sticks, single- bay, dual-bay and so on and so forth, Asus also has its solution dedicated to NVMe drives: Asus ROG Arion.

Being a Republic of Gamers product, a futuristic design could not be missing and captivating. The structure measures about twice the width of the M.2 disk it can contain, and is made almost entirely of aluminum, except only for the transparent plastic inserts in correspondence with the LEDs (yes, there are also RGB).

To interrupt the design we find only the USB 3.2 Gen2 type C port, the small hole to unlock the disc compartment and the two slots on the short sides, one of which is designed for a hook (present in the package) which makes it even more practical to carry and attach, for example, to a backpack.

Using a simple paper clip, such as those used for the SIM compartment of smartphones, we can unlock a small panel that gives access to the inside of the case. The compatibility with M.2 disks covers the main standard lengths, from 2230 to 2280, and the entire chassis is designed to act as a dissipating body and keep under control the temperatures of the SSD that we will mount inside it.

All this also thanks to the thermal pads present along the surface of the removable panel, which will go directly into contact with the disc and with the circuitry inside.

One of the most interesting peculiarities of Arion is the simplicity of assembly and disc replacement, for which a screwdriver and a small paper clip are enough: open the case we will have to screw the SSD to the pin, close everything and that's it.

Asus ROG Arion costs about 65 Euros, a price definitely higher than the average which certainly takes into account the aesthetic and functional study of the design, as well as the mere technical specifications.

In the package there are also two cables (Type-C to Type-C and Type-A to Type-C), a bumper of protection for the case, a small hook and the paperclip for opening the panel.

Finally, the most important feature of all and that increases the performance of the disks mounted inside the Asus ROG by a good 50% Arion… RGB LEDs!

Seriously, the already very attractive design of this case also includes the Asus Aura Sync lighting effects in correspondence with the ROG logo and the plastic insert in the slot opposite to the side of the USB-C port.

It goes without saying that the inclusion of the LEDs makes this Arion extremely recognizable and unique in its kind (a feature that, we are sure, will appeal to many), while increasing the price compared to the competition (a feature that, we are sure, will not please many).

Performance

Speaking of performance, through the USB 3.2 Gen2 interface you can reach transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps (although the fundamental variable is clear the speed of the disk we will install in our Arion).

Below you can see some tests performed using a 500 GB Samsung 960 EVO (PCIe Gen 3), a 500 GB Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0 (Gen 4) and a 250GB Samsung 970 EVO Plus. To make them I used Crystal Mark and two enclosures, on one side our ROG Arion and, as an alternative, one of the same level cases that I usually use.

As you can see, all disks suffer from the limit imposed by the standard USB, especially the Sabrent SSD. There is not much difference in performance between the two cases tested in the Crystal Disk Mark test, what clearly changes is the management of temperatures. When we transfer large amounts of data for an extended time, M.2 disks tend to heat up much faster than a classic SATA, which is why dissipation is important to make the most of them.

Here the Arion performs much better than other products, avoiding running into slowdowns due to throttling.

Conclusions

I often need to move game backups or large video files, perform cloning of entire operating systems between NVMe disks or simply bring me back and forth material / programs necessary for photo / video editing. By now I have my own collection of M.2 disks and having a comfortable and fast system like this has become essential for me.

Asus ROG Arion is not the first NVMe SSD case that I have been able to try in recent years and still use it in conjunction with a couple of other enclosures, but it is certainly on a completely different level than these.

I'm not just referring to the peculiar design or the transfer speed that, like you have seen, it is not a problem even on other similar products, but also and above all the build quality of the body and the pre-applied thermal pads, in addition to the ease of assembly of the discs. By managing the temperatures much better, it does not create problems for me in longer transfers (such as those I mentioned earlier), saving me a lot of time in these situations.

The rule of “even the eye wants its part ”applied to an M.2 disk case personally I find it quite futile, although I must admit that it is certainly the best case of this type in terms of aesthetics (not that there is much competition from that point of view). br>
Finally, let's talk about the price, the only real drawback of this product. Surely 65 Euros for an M.2 adapter (disk not included), although nice and fresh, is not short. Most users interested in these solutions will probably not even consider it and opt for cheaper solutions, but those looking for the best and not wanting to risk thermal throttling problems will find the Arion the ideal companion.

In this case I can only give you my personal experience by saying that, for specific uses such as those mentioned throughout the article, the best management of temperatures can certainly make a difference. For anyone who simply wants to equip themselves with a "very very fast key", probably the best solution is to focus on cheaper models.

In closing, we also point out that a bundle is available on Drako.it with a Corsair MP510 drive from 480 GB to 139.9 Euro, you can take a look below.


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