The portable solid-state drive (SSD) market has seen tremendous growth in recent years, with major flash vendors like Samsung, Western Digital/SanDisk, Micron/Crucial, and SK hynix all entering the fray. Samsung, a leading player in the industry, first introduced its T1 Portable SSD in 2015 and has since expanded its lineup to include new models in the T series, as well as Thunderbolt-compliant options like the X5.
Samsung’s latest offering in the portable SSD market is the T5 EVO, which aims to provide high-capacity flash storage at entry-level speeds. The T5 EVO is available in capacities ranging from 2TB to a whopping 8TB, targeting users who require significant amounts of storage space. The use of QLC flash technology helps keep the pricing reasonable, allowing more consumers to access larger storage capacities.
While Samsung is not the first to incorporate QLC flash into their portable SSDs, their approach differs from competitors like Sabrent, whose drives failed to meet user expectations in terms of performance. Samsung aims to deliver a better user experience by limiting the interface speeds for their QLC-based portable SSDs.
In terms of design, the T5 EVO boasts a solid metal construction with a rubber sleeve for added durability. It also features a blue LED power indicator and comes equipped with a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C connector. Security-conscious users will appreciate the device’s support for hardware encryption.
Internally, the T5 EVO shares similarities with Samsung’s 870 QVO SATA SSD, including the use of four flash packages, the same SATA controller, and 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM for flash translation layer usage. The bridge chip employed is the ASMedia ASM235CM. Additional features include S.M.A.R.T passthrough, TRIM support, and NCQ support.
To assess the performance of the T5 EVO, various synthetic benchmarks such as CrystalDiskMark and ATTO are used, along with real-world access traces utilizing PCMark 10’s storage benchmark and custom robocopy workloads. The evaluation also examines power consumption and thermal solutions.
In summary, the T5 EVO by Samsung offers high-capacity flash storage at entry-level speeds, presenting a cost-effective solution for users in need of vast amounts of storage space. By leveraging QLC flash technology and limiting interface speeds, Samsung aims to deliver superior performance and user experience compared to other QLC-based portable SSDs on the market.