Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD Review: Ridiculously Fast External Storage

Samsung X5 NVMe TB3 SSD: Review Summary And Conclusion

Performance Summary: The Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD offers killer performance for an external storage solution. Versus Samsung's previous-generation external SSDs, there is no contest. Thanks to its NVMe-based internal drive and 40Gbs Thunderbolt 3 interface, the Samsung X5 offers performance the older SATA-based solutions simple can't match. The X5 excels with large, sequential transfers, but even 4K transfers at low queue depths were significantly better than the previous-gen drives.

samsung x5 bundle
Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD -- Find Them At Amazon

The Samsung X5 will be available globally starting on September 3. MSRPs for the three capacities in the line-up will range from $399 for the 500GB drive to a whopping $1,399 for the 2TB model. The 1TB Samsung X5 we showed you here will be priced at $699. At these prices, the Samsung X5 commands a significant premium over one of the company's similarly-spec'ed internal NVMe SSDs, like the 1TB 970 EVO, for example, which can be purchased for about $340 at the moment. There are also standalone NVMe Thunderbolt 3 enclosures available for about $160 - $200, but they don't offer the kind of thermal management or shock resistance as Samsung's solution on the X5, and we can't speak to their compatibility or performance. So perhaps the X5's premium can be somewhat justified.

Regardless, if you're a content creation professional in need of some compact, ultra fast portable storage, and have a Thunderbolt 3 enabled system, the Samsung X5 is a mighty attractive solution. It's fast, durable, compact, and comes in large enough capacities that it would even be handy for 4K video workflows. Just be prepared to shell out a few bucks for the privilege and performance of this little beast.

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  • Streamlined, Metal Enclosure
  • Excellent Performance
  • Thunderbolt 3 Bandwidth
  • Durable Chassis
  • Capacity Up To 2TB
  • Big Price Premium
  • Short Included Cable

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