Samsung Portable SSDs Get 64-Layer V-NAND Flash

Samsung today announced their newest Portable Solid State Drive (PSSD), the Samsung Portable SSD T5. This portable SSD uses the latest 64-layer V-NAND technology and USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface to get up to 540 MB/s sequential read and up to 515 MB/s sequential write speeds. The T5 comes in two distinct aluminum finishes - an alluring blue for 250 GB and 500 GB models, and a deep black for 1 TB and 2 TB models. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) starts at $129.99 for the 250GB model and goes all the way up to $799.99 for the large 2TB model. Samsung Portable SSD T5 Samsung Portable SSD T5 Features
Capacity 2TB/1TB (Deep Black), 500GB/250GB (Alluring Blue)
Interface USB 3.1 (Gen 2, 10Gbps) backwards compatibility
Dimensions (LxWxH) 74 x 57.3 x 10.5 mm (3.0 x 2.3 x 0.4 inches)
Weight 51 grams (1.8 oz)
Transfer Speed Up to 540 MB/s
UASP Mode Supported
Encryption AES 256-bit hardware data encryption
Security Samsung Portable SSD Software
Certifications CE, BSMI, KC, VCCI, C-tick, FCC, IC, UL, TUV, CB
RoHS Compliance RoHS2
Warranty Three  Year Limited Warranty
For this review we will be taking a closer look at the Samsung Portable SSD T5 500GB (part number MU-PA500B/AM) that runs $199.99 shipped and then the Portable SSD T5 2TB (part number MU-PA2T0B/AM) for $799.99 shipped. Both drives have the same rated speed and are backed by a 3-year warranty, so Samsung likely sent both to show the performance is the same. Samsung Portable T5 SSD We love the full metal construction of the Samsung Portable SSD T5 and the colors look great much better in person than in the picture below. Samsung says this drive can take a 2 meter drop and keep on ticking, so it should be pretty durable over the years you'll be using it. Samsung stuck with USB Type-C ports and we are glad that they did. Inside the retail packaging Samsung includes two USB 3.1 cables. One is a USB-A to Type-C cable and the other is a USB 3.1 Type-C to Type-C cable for use with the latest systems with a USB Type-C port. Samsung Portable SSD T5 When you first plug in the Samsung Portable T5 you'll find pretty much an empty drive that has the encryption disabled. If you want to enable the AES 256-bit hardware data encryption you can fire up the pre-loaded software and quickly enable that by adding a password to the portable SSD. [gallery ids="197141,197142,197143"] Let's take a look at some performance tests that we performed on Intel X99 powered desktop PC and wrap this up!

Samsung Portable SSD T5 Performance Benchmarks

CrystalDiskInfo is free benchmark that many people use to test storage drives with, but this test runs really quick and the results show the highest score of the five 'burst' tests for each performance metric tested. The problem is that the tests are so small and quick it rarely ever fills up a drives cache and is not a good look at real world performance on many external drives or SSDs that use TLC NAND Flash memory. We are including results for you to look at as you can use it at home to compare with to get an idea what the best case performance looks like on this drive. Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 500GB CrystalDiskMark:  Samsung T5 Portable SSD CrystalDiskMark Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 2TB CrystalDiskMark:  Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 2TB CrystalDiskMark When it comes to sequential read/write performance we topped out at 486/481 MB/s on the 500GB model and 481/480MB/s on the 2TB model. The scores improved to over 540 MB/s read and 510 MB/s write on both drives when a queue depth of 32 was tested! These scores are comparable to an internal SATA III SSD, so these are some wicked fast sequential file transfer speeds.  The Samsung Portable SSD T5 series uses USB 3.1 Gen 2 with UASP to reach these high data transfer speeds and if you use this drive on an older port you will get lower transfer speeds as a result. This is a best case scenario as we are testing on a desktop PC that has USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports! [caption id="attachment_197131" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Samsung Portable SSD T5 Performance By USB Interface Samsung Portable SSD T5 Performance By USB Interface. Provided by Samsung[/caption] The above chart from Samsung shows the performance one can expect from the Samsung Portable SSD T5 series and when we spot checked those numbers they appeared to be accurate. If your Samsung Portable SSD T5 drive is running slow it might just be due to the USB port that you are using, so keep an eye on that. Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 500GB ATTO:  Samsung T5 Portable SSD 500GB ATTO Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 2TB ATTO:  Samsung T5 Portable SSD 2TB ATTO ATTO Disk Benchmark showed that we were getting up to 561 MB/s read and 534 MB/s write speeds on the 500GB Samsung Portable SSD T5 and then 556 MB/s read and 532 MB/s write on the larger 2TB model! Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 500GB Anvil:  Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 2TB Anvil:  With the 100% incompressible preset in Anvil's Storage Utilities we found sequential speeds of up to 504 MB/s read and then just over 480 MB/s write. The overall score of each drive was around 3,560 points. Samsung Portable SSD T5 File Transfer Speeds We wanted to do some real world file transfers, so we copied over few MKV Full-HD movie that added up to almost 6GB. During the transfer we found that we were getting around 360 MB/s on average when the data was being written to both of the Samsung Portable SSD T5 series drives. It took just over 17 seconds to transfer the files over and is the fastest solution that we have testing that isn't using a RAID array. The Samsung SSD T3 2TB drive from took nearly 20 seconds to complete the same exact file transfer, so we are seeing nearly a 20% performance improvement on the T5's ever so important write speeds! Let's wrap this up!

Samsung Portable SSD T5 Conclusion

The Samsung Portable SSD T5 is essentially a refresh of last years Samsung Portable SSD T3 series and that is fine. The addition of Samsung's 64-layer V-NAND technology and new controller inside has allowed for higher data transfer speeds on the new T5 series. The Samsung Portable SSD T3 series topped out at 450 MB/s, but now we are able to reach 540 MB/s read and 515 MB/s write on the T5 series. An extra 90 MB/s read and 65 MB/s write isn't anything monumental, but you aren't really paying anything extra for it as Samsung has kept the Portable SSD T5 pricing the same on the  250GB, 500GB and 1TB models and actually lowered the price on the 2TB drive by $50! Samsung Portable SSD T5 Lineup:  Samsung Portable SSD T5 Drives At the end of the day the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is the fastest portable SSD that we have ever tested that doesn't rely on an internal RAID solution. We are seeing up to 20% faster speeds with file transfers over last years model. We were big fans of the Samsung Portable SSD T3 series last year and we've been using it for the past year without issue. We are hopeful that the Samsung Portable SSD T5 will be just a reliable and it will be our new go-to drive for around the lab and home. LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line: The Samsung Portable SSD T5 offers more performance than last years T3 series for the same price or lower!