Samsung Introduces 64-Layer V-NAND In Portable SSD T5

Samsung released its third generation Portable SSD series today with the new T5. The drives are the same size as the previous generation, cost about the same as before, and still top out at the same 2TB of storage capacity.

This is the first retail product to feature Samsung's fourth-generation V-NAND technology with 64-layers in a vertical stack. The flash allows Samsung to produce more NAND die per wafer, but don't expect a price reduction at your local brick and mortar store. Samsung plans to sell the series at or near the same price points as the previous generation products.

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ProductT5 250GBT5 500GBT5 1TBT5 2TB
InterfaceUSB Type - AUSB Type - CUSB Type - AUSB Type - CUSB Type - AUSB Type - CUSB Type - AUSB Type - C
ProtocolUSB 3.1 Gen 2USB 3.1 Gen 2USB 3.1 Gen 2USB 3.1 Gen 2
Sequential ReadUp To 540MBpsUp To 540MBpsUp To 540MBpsUp To 540MBps
Sequential WriteUp To 515MBpsUp To 515MBpsUp To 515MBpsUp To 515MBps
Warranty3 years3 years3 years3 years

The series starts out at just $130 for the 250GB model and escalates quickly to nearly $800 for the massive 2TB drive. Samsung includes USB Type-A and Type-C cables that allow the device to operate on the latest USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard as well as older USB standards. Inside the drives is a SATA 6Gbps SSD, so you'll see a slight performance increase via USB 3.1 Gen 2 over Gen 1, which operates at 5Gbps. You will not be able to take advantage of the full 10Gbps Gen 2 performance, though.

The T5 series ships with a standard 3-year warranty.

Other new features include a full aluminum chassis and some additional color for the Portable SSD T5 lineup. The 250GB and 500GB ship in what Samsung calls Alluring Blue, a color introduced in the company's phone. The 1TB and 2TB drives ship in Deep Black. We really like the Alluring Blue color and wish Samsung would release it in all capacity sizes.

We planned to have a review out this morning to sync with the NDA lift but ran into an issue with one of our drives. Samsung sent us a replacement that arrived today. You can expect a full review in the coming days.

Even though the Portable SSD T5 is very similar to the T3 series released last year, users will see a modest performance increase with the newest product. The increase comes from the new 64-layer flash and the faster USB bus. We measured right around a 50MBps increase in queue depth 1 writing 128KB sequential data. That doesn't give existing T3 owners much of a reason to upgrade, but it allows new shoppers to gain a little more speed for the same dollar amount by using the latest technology.


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Chris Ramseyer
Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.
  • Kridian
    A choice between an $800 external SSD or a new top-tier graphics card? I know which one I'd pick.
  • zippyzion
    I absolutely know which one I would pick. A 2TB external SSD would make my life a heck of a lot easier. I could run the same install of an OS on all 3 computers I use and not have to transfer files over the network or sneaker net USB drives from room to room to work. That would be amazing, and being an SSD would be worlds faster than my current 2TB mechanical solution. So, had I the $800 that 2TB one would be mine... as it is I'm probably picking up the 500GB and using local drives in each system for storage... oh to be rich.
  • TomHaX
    Do not repeat the same over different contiguous table cells!
  • TomHaX
    What about full benchmarks with sequential read/write and random rad/write (IOPS)?