Samsung will soon launch the brand's new T9 portable SSD, competing with the best external SSDs on the market. The Samsung T9 represents a substantial upgrade over the existing Samsung T7, flaunting up to double the performance.
The Samsung T7 launched in 2020 has finally received a much-deserved upgrade. Although Samsung subsequently released different variants of the T7, including the T7 Touch and T7 Shield, the performance remained stagnant. The upcoming T9 will blow the T7 out of the water. According to a leaked page from the T9 user manual posted by a user on the Computerbase forums, Samsung has equipped the T9 with the newer USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 interface capable of 20 Gbps, twice as fast as the USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface at 10 Gbps on the current T7.
As a result of the faster interface, the T9 delivers sequential read and write speeds up to 2,000 MB/s, double that of the T7. Given the high read and write speeds, there was speculation that the T9 may feature a Thunderbolt interface of some kind. However, Samsung probably went with USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 to provide better backward compatibility with older USB interfaces. Samsung also has the X-series of portable SSDs with Thunderbolt that are significantly more expensive than their T-series counterparts. Samsung was unlikely to release a T-series drive with Thunderbolt, leading to cannibalization.
The T9 offers reasonable performance by today's standards. For example, the Thunderbolt 3-powered Samsung X5, which has been discontinued, has 40% and 15% higher sequential read and write speeds, respectively. The drives are no longer available, but they used to cost $199.99 and $599.99. As it happens, the five-year-old Samsung X5 never had a successor, so Samsung is likely following up with a new model that could arrive very soon.
Samsung T9 Portable SSD Specifications
|Model||Sequential Read (MB/s)||Sequential Write (MB/s)||Interface||Capacity||Dimension (Inches)||Weight (Ounces)||Warranty|
|X5||2,800||2,300||Thunderbolt 3||500GB, 1TB, 2TB||4.7 x 2.4 x 0.8||5.3||3 Years|
|T9||2,000||2,000||USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Gbps)||1TB, 2TB, 4TB||3.4 x 2.3 x 0.5||4.3||5 Years|
|T7 Shield||1,050||1,000||USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)||1TB, 2TB, 4TB||3.4 x 2.3 x 0.5||3.4||3 Years|
|T7 Touch||1,050||1,000||USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)||500GB, 1TB, 2TB||3.3 x 2.2 x 0.3||2.0||3 Years|
|T7||1,050||1,000||USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)||500GB, 1TB, 2TB||3.3 x 2.2 x 0.3||2.0||3 Years|
Regarding capacity, the Samsung T9 will launch with 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB variants. This is the same density that Samsung offers with the T7 Shield. The original T7 and T7 Touch debuted at 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. It's great seeing the T9 go up to 4TB at launch.
Rationally, Samsung has a new design for the T9, so it looks different to the T7. The company seemingly retained the T7's dimensions (3.4 x 2.3 x 0.5 inches) on the new T9. However, the T9 weighs around 26% more than the T7, which many think is because of an enhanced heatsink to keep the T9 since it delivers twice the performance of the T7. At any rate, the T9 is still smaller and less heavy than the X5.
Samsung has improved the warranty period on the T9, extending it up to five years. This is an essential change since Samsung portable SSDs going back to the T1, and even the pricier X5, only came with three-year warranties. This is the first time a Samsung portable SSD has a five-year warranty, putting it on equal status as its more recent mainstream M.2 and SATA SSDs. It took Samsung long enough to finally expand the warranty period to five years since some of the company's competitors, such as SanDisk or Sabrent, already offered five-year warranties on their external SSDs.
The T9 1TB (MU-PG1T0B) and 2TB (MU-PG2T0B) are listed for $133 and $226, respectively, at a French retailer PC21. The store didn't list the 4TB model. For comparison, the PC21 sells the T7 1TB and 2TB for $101 and $159, respectively. If the pricing is accurate, we're looking at a price increase between 31% and 42% on the T9 for double the performance. We'll have to wait for the official launch to see the U.S. MSRP for the T9. Samsung is already preparing the product pages for the T9, so the launch should be right around the corner.
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Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.