Samsung T5 Portable SSD review

Memory (DDR4/DDR5) and Storage (SSD/NVMe) 370 Page 12 of 12 Published by


Final Words & Conclusion

Final Words & Conclusion

While testing this unit, you'd almost forget that it is a USB flash storage device :) And for USB 3.1 it is fast, but perhaps could have been faster? I mean this is USB 3.1 Gen 2, we've seen USB 3.0 and 3.1 Gen 1 at this performance level for two years now. It would have been nice to have seen numbers in the say 750 MBps ranges. Ah well, perhaps wishful thinking. The Samsung is an exciting product though. The overall performance is as advertised at the maximum levels the SSD can handle, up-to say 500 MB/sec if it has the right circumstances, and that right circumstances of course is your motherboard with a proper 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) connector. Regular 5 Gbps USB 3.0 (or 3.1 gen 1 as it is called now) works lovely as well, but you'd sit in the say 450 MB/sec ranges (not bad either).  


On long and MASSIVE duration writes, performance does drop. At roughly 300 to 400 Mb/sec for reads and writes, there's nothing wrong with that but it did surprise me a little. Likely the 500GB model has merely one or two NAND chips, that limits data-channels to the controller and that results in lower sustained writes. Factor in that the USB port obviously adds a little latency so in that sense it is not entirely fair to compare the product with an SSD. But it is rather close these days. This is also the main reason that you see great sustained and linear performance, while IOPS performance is lower. But with values in the 50K IOPS 4K overall, that again is impressive for any USB 3.1 storage unit. What is however key to this release are three things; the aesthetics, an added security level and of course performance.


And on all three key factors the T5 manages to do a really nice job. The storage unit is simply ultra thin, light-weight and very easy to carry around. Armed with its sexy dark design looks the Samsung T5 simply has nice aesthetics while easy to carry around. The weight as well, I mean 50grams. And the best thing yet, you don't need to power is externally. Simply plug it into a USB 3.0/3.1 connector with preferably Windows 10 and it will feed of the host controller as incredible speeds. 


For those that need a layer of protection, you can secure the unit with a 256-bit AES encryption through a username and password. Where you need fast read performance, the T5 will do its job nicely. Copying many small MP3 files resulted at 200MB/sec, which we find to low for a USB 3.1 device like this. Once you move on-wards to big sized files and content speed will picks up real fast. When we fire off synthetic tests at the storage unit we see it max out at roughly anywhere from to 400 MB/sec if you give it the perfect conditions. That is just really nice.  Each and every test we performed confirms these findings.


The Samsung T5 matches its advertised read speed and writes thanks to that fast fourth generation 64-layer 3-bit MLC V-NAND, but as stated it was a bit slower with heavy massive continuous write loads. Other then that in terms of IOPS and overall performance you are looking at seriously good numbers for something connected towards a USB port. We do feel that anno 2017 we should be passing that 500 MBps barrier and pursue numbers in the 700~800 MBps ranges though. This performance level we now have seen for a couple of years already. Samsung is going large with these units and will be offering up-to 1TB  and even 2TB units in a Deep Black color, with the 500GB/250GB models as shown today in the blue color. Keep in mind if you can’t find a USB 3.0/3.1 port, it will work just fine at USB 2.0 port with speeds 10x slower, but still in the 30 MB/sec range. The T5 is once again is a very fast device, as good as what it needs to be, easy to carry around and you get a 3 year warranty. The 500GB model as tested today will sell for roughly 180 EUR, we think that is a lot of money, but please do keep in mind that was already half the amount of money compared to when the T1 was released. We had no problems whatsoever with it and it is just the coolest looking easy to carry around portable storage unit. As such we can recommend it if you have the budget for it as it is an amazing USB 3.1 storage solution. But remember, you'll need a USB 3.1 Gen 1 host port in order to fully benefit from the fast speeds.

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