TechLife Australia

Super fast storage roundup



PRIOR TO SAMSUNG releasing its T1 external hard drive, portable solid state drives (SSDs) were a little expensive to be a particular­ly appealing alternativ­e to portable external hard disk drives (HDDs). But it’s been a few years since then and the portable SSD market has matured into an appealing category, attracting the efforts of big hard drive players like WD and LaCie, and even sporting a few secondor third-generation drives from SanDisk and Samsung, respective­ly.

The latest external SSDs benefit from some hardware innovation­s that give sequential read and write speeds of 400–500MB/s — some 100–200MB/s faster than the first generation fast flash drives. That’s an increase of roughly 25%!

While this isn’t quite enough to make RAIDed fast drives obsolete just yet, the traditiona­l, spinning-plate 250MB/s dual HDDs will only be around for another few years at most. What’s perhaps even better for consumers, though, is that this competitio­n is driving prices down, making fast storage something that anyone can have. Samsung T5 Portable SSD HIGH FIVE FOR SAMSUNG’S NEW SOLID STATE DRIVE. SAMSUNG’S T1 AND T3 drives were some of the first portable SSDs to get the company’s V NAND layering technology, pushing read and write speeds above the 200–300MB/s threshold of traditiona­l flash-based storage. While a lot of the market has now caught up and LaCie’s new Rugged SSD is actually even faster, the T5 is still well above average and isn’t as expensive as the top player.

While the 437 and 444MB/s sequential Q32T1 read and write speeds are still impressive, the T5 is also exceptiona­lly compact, lining up with the footprint of WD’s SSD offering. The card-sized unit actually manages to pass the 2m shockproof drop test, at least under controlled conditions in Samsung’s lab, competing with some of the durability features of LaCie’s rugged offering.

The T5 is barely 10% faster than the T3, so if you can buy the older model at a discount, do so. That said, Samsung’s latest SSD still leads the market when it comes to value, with the 500GB T5 model undercutti­ng WD’s 512GB SSD by about $20. WD My Passport SSD YOUR TICKET TO SPEEDIER STORAGE. WD HAS LONG since been a dominant player in the portable hard drive space. Although it’s late to the party with its My Passport SSD, this flash drive comes in strong to create genuine competitio­n at the top of the market. It isn’t quite as fast as Samsung’s T5 getting read and write speeds of 390.1 and 385.4 MB/s in the SSD-oriented sequential Q32T1 speed tests, but the My Passport is only about 10% slower, and is actually faster than the T5 in the older non-queued sequential speed tests.

In real-world use, the difference would be unnoticeab­le. The two are also about the same size; the My Passport is slightly narrower and longer than the T5 and weighs a mere 40g, sans cable. The My Passport SSD borrows the dual textured exterior of the larger My Passport range and offers both USB 3.1 Type A and C cables to connect to a range of modern devices. On average, street prices are $20 more for the WD My Passport SSD, but it’s as close a competitor to Samsung’s T5 as we’ve seen.

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