Review Index:
Feedback

Samsung Portable SSD T1 500GB Review - External EVO

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Samsung

Performance, Pricing and Conclusion

Performance:

We did some performance testing of the mSATA unit connected directly to our storage testbed. This testing verified performance nearly identical to that of a retail 850 EVO. This means the T1's ultimate performance is going to boil down to the efficiency of the ASMedia bridge chip chosen for this device. Lets see how it does:

Read:

View Full Size

Write:

View Full Size

Here's an ATTO run to get a feel for how the T1 handles random performance:

View Full Size

Finally, for those on Mac, here is a Blackmagic run:

View Full Size

Overall the T1 turned in the fastest USB 3.0 throughput seen in a portable SSD to date. The ASMedia bridge is proving to do very well considering all of the overhead involved in bridging a SATA SSD to a USB system over a SCSI protocol.

Pricing and Warranty:

The Portable SSD T1 ships with a 3 year warranty.

Conclusion:

Pros:

  • The fastest USB 3.0 device we have tested to date
  • Extremely good performance even with the Microsoft InBox driver (Windows 8.1)
  • Small, light, durable housing
  • Small and thin USB 3.0 cable included
  • AES-256 encryption saw no impact on performance and was easy to enable and use

Cons:

  • Sequential throughput may be limited by other bottlenecks in older systems
  • Getting full throughput may require using an Intel USB port and driver
  • Housing gets warm/hot during heavy continuous use
  • USB 3.0 may soon be dated in favor of USB 3.1c

View Full Size

The Samsung Portable SSD T1 turned out to be the fastest USB 3.0 device tested to date. The built in AES-256 encryption protects the entire drive and can be easily password protected, though a small software app must be installed to unlock the secure volume when connected. The VNAND equipped controller performs very well even when held back by the USB 3.0 link, which is more of a bottleneck when compared to SATA. Still, the T1 employs UASP and performed at high queue depths in our testing, easily reaching the 460 MB/sec maximum throughput of USB 3.0. With a portable SSD this fast, don't be surprised to find yourself limited by other parts of your system that might be too slow to keep up with it!

View Full Size


January 20, 2015 | 11:55 AM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

Since Samsung is using a mSata SSD, they could have made the casing a little smaller, otherwise its a niche product and nice to see Samsung releasing external SSDs.

January 20, 2015 | 02:04 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I'll take a slightly larger device in favor of the possibility of recovering the data myself if the USB port or other parts in the bridge PCB fail. It is still very small though.

January 20, 2015 | 01:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

UASP ability in windows 7, is another question with Intel controllers? My laptop has a Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller, but who Knows. And what about the drive on a regular laptop(Both USB 2.0, 3.0) would the data rate be the same, at least for the USB 3.0? this device will save time for those system image backups, which can be later transferred to a hard drive. USB 3.1c can not come soon enough, but it's too bad that the PCI-SIG external PICe cable standard has not seen wider adoption, I guess that would give users too much flexibility(cough, external PCI boxes, etc., at low cost). Something like Samsung's product, with an interchangeable interface, and support for Thunderbolt, USB 3.1, etc. Linux support is another question, my Probook is getting the optional SUSE OS that is available for this series of laptops.

January 20, 2015 | 02:02 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Intel's USB driver adds UASP support under 7.

January 20, 2015 | 02:26 PM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)

Allyn, What's your best guess about the next bottleneck
if Samsung offers this device with a USB 3.1 connector?

Isn't that mSATA connector limited to 6G / 10 = 600 MBps?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147317&Tpk=N82E...

cf. "Interface SATA III"

MRFS

January 20, 2015 | 03:18 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Yes, moving to 3.1c would immediately shift the bottleneck to the SATA device (in this implementation), getting you only an additional ~100 MB/sec.

A different style product with a USB 3.1 to PCIe bridge could be made with an M.2 device, which could more easily saturate a 10Gbit link.

January 22, 2015 | 09:42 PM - Posted by godrilla (not verified)

Yep im predicting 1 terabyte thumb drives with M.2 ssd at close to 1 gig per sec speeds for usb 3.1 eventually.

January 20, 2015 | 04:58 PM - Posted by razor512

Seems that they should make a model that allows you to use esata (would be a little faster).

Hopefully they will come out with a new SATA standard which will allow for better throughput, and a batter esata plug. While PCI express is great, for many systems, it is far more limited when you need multiple storage drives.

January 20, 2015 | 10:48 PM - Posted by btdog

I took a quick peek at Amazon: the 850 EVO 500GB & 1TB sell for around $0.46/GB...so that's a markup of about 30% for these new drives, and actually that's not too bad.

Still, the need-use case for one of these is fairly specific, so forget the average consumer. And while the markup is reasonable, you're still looking at $300 or $600 for 500GB or 1TB, respectively. I can buy a 2.5" 1TB portable HDD for $70. In fact, I just bought a 128GB flashdrive to supplement my laptop's 256GB and it cost me $40.

Nice review, Allyn. Please keep up the great work.

January 21, 2015 | 03:03 PM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

I wished they would stop using the EVO label. It's becoming confusing. I've come to associate it with their lower/bottom tier stuff. This is a Pro packaged for external use. They can put in a tweak (defective or not) and say it's EVOvled.

January 22, 2015 | 02:42 AM - Posted by MyBanana212 (not verified)

They should put one of these inside the inadequately-sized 16GB iPhone 6 Plus.

March 23, 2015 | 12:08 PM - Posted by TomLowe (not verified)

I was wondering if you could flash the firmware and make it work just like an EVO mSATA drive? I recently received one of these as a gift and would get better use of it by installing it in my mSATA port on my motherboard. Any help would be appreciated!

September 1, 2015 | 04:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does this work with Linux operating system?

September 9, 2015 | 02:50 PM - Posted by Jaypers (not verified)

I have tested the T1 on Ubuntu 15.04. Sadly it performs closer to a standard platter based HDD with speeds of 52MB/s when doing a dd between my SDD and the T1 from the Kubuntu live CD.

It appears the drive is optimised with a tweaked exFAT format proprietory to Samsung? Hopefully the source code gets leaked/reverse-engineered and adopted soon.

I get speeds closer to 250MB/s when doing an rsync using the exFAT driver in Linux but it sucks because I bought the drive for doing disk images and 52MB/s doesn't come close to the 450MB/s advertised.

I've tried tweaking the bs for dd but no luck :(

October 2, 2015 | 01:15 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

hi there, could you give some advise how to open the case?
i have some difficulty and wanted to put the msata into my notebook.
cheers!

October 13, 2016 | 06:12 PM - Posted by Random Guy (not verified)

Hello Love the write UP!
Do you know where to get the password and can this be used as a boot drive in a laptop?

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.