Performance, Pricing and Conclusion
As with the T1, the T3 is a fully functional mSATA 850 EVO, and performs as such when directly connected via SATA (not that any consumer would do such a thing). It is a handy data point though, as it does enable data recovery from the bare SSD itself should some portion of the enclosure / connector / USB 3.0 controller chip fail. This works even if the drive was locked.
For speed testing, since the T3 uses the same ASMedia chip present in the T1, I figured I would test the T3 across a few different USB controllers and drivers to check for any differences. I used the Intel USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 ports of the Gigabyte Z170X-SOC Force used for our triple M.2 RAID testing, as well as an ASMedia USB 3.1 add-in card.
Intel USB 3.1 (Windows 10 Inbox driver)
Windows file copy speeds: 410 MB/s read, 322 MB/s write.
Intel USB 3.0 (Windows 10 Inbox driver)
Windows file copy speeds: 399 MB/s read, 330 MB/s write.
ASMedia USB 3.1 (Windows 10 Inbox driver)
Windows file copy speeds: 394 MB/s read, 350 MB/s write.
One note here regarding the ASMedia controller. We found a reduction in performance when using the most recent driver straight from ASUS:
That same driver also caused some file copy weirdness:
Note that for all other file copy tests in all other configurations, the copy resulted in a nearly perfect flat line. Lesson learned here – If using Windows 10, stick with the In-box drivers.
For those stuck on USB 2.0 (Intel USB 2.0 – Windows 10 Inbox driver):
Windows file copy speeds: 40.8 MB/s read, 40.8 MB/s write.
We also did a Blackmagic run on a recent MacBook:
Pricing and Warranty:
- 250GB: $130 ($0.52/GB)
- 500GB: $220 ($0.44/GB)
- 1TB: $429 ($0.429/GB)
- 2TB: $850 ($0.425/GB)
The Portable SSD T3 ships with a 3 year warranty.
- The fastest USB 3.0 device we have tested to date
- Extremely good performance with base Windows 10 drivers
- AES-256 encryption saw no impact on performance and was easy to enable and use
- Heavier and larger than the T1
- Some may prefer the shorter flat cable style of the T1
- Possible USB compatibility of older systems may result in reduced speeds.
The Samsung Portable USB T3 is largely just a refresh of their previous T1 model. Even though the internals consist of the same size parts, the new model comes in a bit wider, thicker, and heavier than its predecessor. 48-layer V-NAND enables an outstanding 2TB maximum capacity in what remains a very small package. Performance is just as good as the previous model, as one can only saturate USB 3.0 / 3.1 so far. Moving data around at 450+ MB/s comes in handy, and being able to do so with 2TB of portable encrypted storage has its merits for those with such a need. Pricing comes at competitive figures given the feature set and portability. While some may miss the lighter weight and shorter cable of the USB T1, the Samsung USB T3 is a worthy successor to enable very high capacity portable storage.