Putting the Samsung T5 EVO to the test
Posted on Nov 23, 2023
Adam Duckworth puts the Samsung T5 EVO through its paced in this latest test
Samsung’s portable SSD drives have spoiled us in recent times, as they just seem to get faster with each iteration. So when the specs of the new T5 EVO revealed a maximum read and write speed of 460MB/s, it didn’t really set the pulse racing. After all, the new Samsung T9 we tested last issue boasts speeds of 2000MB/s, double that of the T7 range, thanks to its new USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 interface and TurboWrite buffer size up to 180GB.
But the T5 is not the official flagship and is slower as it’s based on the older USB-C 3.0/ 3.1/ 3.1 Gen 1 interface. What it does provide is a huge capacity of 8TB at a reasonable price of £539/ $650 at launch. There are very, very few external SSDs offering 8TB and you’ll struggle to find one from any well-trusted that’s cheaper. And of course, you have to ask yourself just how much you need the super-fast speeds of the T7 and T9 range.
As always, we conduct our own real-world benchmark tests by moving a 50GB folder of video files onto the drive to see how long it takes to copy them, then we time how long it takes to transfer back to the computer. This is always limited by the connection used by the drive and computer.
On our Apple Mac Studio with an M1 Ultra chip, 64GB of memory and Thunderbolt 4 inputs, the fastest we have ever tested is the Samsung T9, with times of 7 seconds both ways. The T5 EVO is slower of course, at roughly 16 seconds both ways. That’s still incredibly fast and around 3.8 times faster than external HDDs, which is what you would normally be using if you needed 8TB capacity.
The T5 EVO is certainly speedy enough to use as a library drive to edit 4K video from without any glitches. Which is more than fast enough for most users and blows any HDD out of the water. And of course, you could always use it as a blazing-fast file storage device as it’s incredibly small and with no moving parts, should last far longer than any HDD. It’s also far more rugged, thanks to its rubberised coating and 2m/ 6.6ft drop resistance. You certainly wouldn’t want to try that with any conventional hard drive.
And of course, the T5 EVO is small, light and portable. It can be easily fastened to a bag thanks to its metal ring design, too. And of course, it means you can take a massive amount of data with you.
The T5 EVO is built to keep your files safe as it has Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard technology which safeguards against overheating and maintains optimal temperatures. And the portable SSD supports Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit hardware data encryption.
The drive works with a range of operating systems and devices, such as macOS, Windows, smartphones, and gaming consoles. It comes with Samsung Magician software, which provides real-time drive health check, genuine authentication check feature, performance benchmark and firmware updates.
The T5 EVO also comes in smaller capacities: £160/ $190 for the 2TB and £295/ $349 for the 4TB. But we reckon go for the big one if you can afford it – that’s its biggest selling point.
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