A High Performance Portable SSD For The Working Class
A portable SSD certainly sounds good, but the seriously fast speed the bring to the table comes with a relatively high retail price. Last week, we posted a review on the SanDisk Extreme 900 960GB Portable SSD and it cost $459.99 shipped
. Today we are looking at the MyDigitalSSD Boost USB 3.1 Portable SSD that comes either as a diskless enclosure for $49.99 shipped
or a populated 1TB model for $440.86 shipped
. The diskless version is a really interesting product as there aren't too many USB 3.1 Gen 2 enclosures on the market that allow you to run two mSATA III drives in RAID 0 for up to 830 MB/s sequential read and up to 730 MB/s sequential write speeds. That rated speed is dependent on the drives you use inside and of course the systems you are using it on. MyDigitalSSD also slaps a 3-year warranty on the Boost USB 3.1 SuperSpeed Plus (SSP) Portable SSD, so you get a fast drive that is backed by what we would consider a standard warranty.
MyDigitalSSD Boost USB 3.1 Portable SSD Features
- 50mm (Full) and 25mm (Half Size) mSATA SSD compatibility
- Durable matte black/red aluminum casing (98mm x 80mm x 17mm) with silver trim
- ASMedia ASM1352R Chipset
- USB3.1, USB3.0, USB2.0, and USB1.1 operation support
- Supports H/W RAID 0, RAID 1, SPAN, and JBOD modes
- Compliant with USB 3.1 specification revision 1.0
- Compliant with USB 2.0 specification revision 2.0
- Compliant with Serial ATA specification revision 3.2
- Windows, Linux, and Mac OS support
- TRIM/UNMAP support
- Plug and play
- Hot swappable
The model we'll be looking at for this review is the MyDigitalSSD 1TB Boost USB 3.1 SuperSpeed Plus UASP Portable SSD that is sold under part number MDMSR-BST-1TB-RD. You can also get this enclosure in black under a different part number for the same price. The red finish on the aluminum housing looks good and if you are a fan of all metal enclosures you'll like this one. The bundle includes two 18-inch USB 3.1 cables. One is a USB-A to Micro-B cable and the other is a USB 3.1 Type-C to Micro-B cable for use with the latest systems with a USB Type-C port.
The use of a USB Micro-B port on the device itself is disappointing as most external SSDs have USB Type-C ports now, but we do understand that adds to the cost and that MyDigitalSSD was trying to keep costs down.
Inside we discovered that MyDigitalSSD went with Samsung PM851 512GB mSATA SSDs that run $270.95 each on Amazon
. These drives use the Samsung 3-core MDX controller and are paired with 50nm TLC NAND Flash for up to 540 MB/s read and 380 MB/s write speeds. When paired together with the ASMedia ASM1352R Chipset you get speeds of up to 830 MB/s read and up to 730 MB/s write with this design.
If you wanted to buy the diskless MyDigitalSSD Boost USB 3.1 Portable SSD enclosure you could buy a pair of Samsung 850 EVO 500GB mSATA SSDs for $181.70 each
. That would give you a grand total of $413.39 for this enclosure and two of those drives. You can also buy any other brand mSATA SSD to put in here, so you can easily build a 512GB or smaller portable SSD with fast speeds for well under $400.
If you ever wanted to change the RAID mode on the MyDigigtalSSD Boost, you'll need to open up the enclosure by removing the Philips screws to gain access to the main PCB. On the middle of one side of the circuit board you'll see a few DIP switches that will allow you to change the mode of the drives. The back of the PCB has a drawing of what modes you an do.
It should be noted that we tested the MyDigitalSSD Boost USB 3.1 1TB portable SSD that we tested came with two Samsung PM851 mSATA with firmware EXT42M0Q.
Fresh out of the box the MyDigitalSSD Boost USB 3.1 Portable SSD drives come pre-formatted for NTFS and are ready for use on Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 systems. If you are wanting to use this on an Apple product you'll need to change the file system over to exFAT.
Let's take a look at some performance tests that we performed on Intel X99 powered desktop PC and wrap this up!
MyDigitalSSD Boost USB 3.1 1TB 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.
We topped out at an impressive 690 MB/s on the sequential read and 646 MB/s on the sequential write test! These scores put any single SATA III SSD to shame, so we are really impressed with these scores from this portable USB 3.1 SSD. The MyDigitalSSD Boost Series USB 3.1 with UASP utilizes two mSATA running together in RAID 0 to reach these high data transfer speeds
ATTO Disk Benchmark showed that we were getting up to 827 MB/s read and 717 MB/s write speeds! These are the highest read speeds that we have ever gotten through a USB 3.1 port and second only to the SanDisk Extreme 900 1TB portable drive for the write speeds.
With the applications preset in Anvil's Storage Utilities we found sequential speeds of up to 744 MB/s Read and 642 MB/s Write! These are most impressive performance results at both 100% and 46% compression.
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 475-478 MB/s on average when the data was being written to the MyDigitalSSD Boost USB 3.1 1TB portable SSD. It took just 13.55 seconds to transfer the files over. That is quicker than the SanDisk Extreme 900 960GB drive as it took that model 13.86 seconds to move over the same data. The WD My Passport SSD 1TB managed to complete this task in 20.43 seconds and the Samsung SSD T3 2TB drive that is our lab file transferring work horse took 34.38 seconds!
Let's wrap this up!
MyDigitalSSD Boost USB 3.1 Portable SSD Conclusion
The MyDigitalSSD Boost is one of the fastest 10 Gbps USB 3.1 external drives that you can buy right now. We love the fact that it is available without drives for $49.99 shipped
. You can purchase the empty housing and use your own drives. There are plenty of mSATA floating around, so if you have a little patience you can build a really sweet portable SSD without breaking the bank. Right now there are over 800 mSATA SSDs for sale on eBay alone and many are priced fair as the enthusiast market has moved onto M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs for storage. The mSATA SSDs might not be what you want to build your dream system around, but for portable storage they are a great solution.
The MyDigitalSSD Boost 1TB USB 3.1 Portable SSD that we looked at today runs $440.86 shipped
and is available from MyDigitalDiscount. It's a simple product with no included software, so you'll need to include your own data backup and management software.
MyDigitalSSD is a subbrand of MyDigitalDiscounts and has been around since 2007. The goal of the company is to provide consumers with variety of quality flash-based products that offer the performance and reliability of other bigger name brands without their big name price tag. The MyDigitalSSD Boost 1TB appears to be one of those products and it is backed by a 3-year warranty.
If you are wanting to build your own portable SSD that takes advantage of the USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface we highly recommend the MyDigitalSSD Boost diskless enclosure. The 1TB model that we looked at here today is nice, but not everyone wants a 1TB portable drive for $440. You can buy the empty enclosure and build the right capacity that fits your needs and budget for likely less than that.
Legit Bottom Line:
The MyDigitalSSD Boost External USB 3.1 Portable SSD RAID Enclosure is pretty sweet and the speeds you can get from it are ridiculous.