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16TB Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q SSD Review: Twice the Storage, Twice the Price

Extreme storage for those who need lots and lots of space

Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 16TB TB3 SSD
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Sabrent’s 16TB Rocket XTRM-Q provides responsive performance in most workloads, but it isn’t quite the fastest Thunderbolt 3 SSD to have passed through our lab. While the SLC write cache is absolutely massive, sustained write performance can be quite disappointing depending on how full the device is. However, it is the highest-capacity external flash-based SSD we’ve tested, making it a great option for the modern data hoarder and prosumers alike. 

Not only would it make for a solid, high-capacity workspace, it is also potentially great for those looking to tack on more storage to their SFF build, or even for mini-NAS applications. As a matter of fact, that falls into my exact use case. I have connected the drive to an Intel NUC 11 Pro, and together these devices shrink my active NAS down from a large and power-hungry 24-bay 4U chassis to a compact, low-power, and easily hidden combo that is perfect for storing all my media and testing data.  

We would have liked to see the drive come with USB support, but those purchasing this unit are more likely to have Thunderbolt 3 support than not. Given the eye-watering price, we also would have liked to see it with a five-year warranty instead of three years.

The 16TB Rocket XTRM-Q is priced very high with most of the cost incurred by the flash media itself, which leaves it out of the price range of your average gamer or storage enthusiast.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

With an Intel Optane-like cost of $2,899.99, the massive 16TB Rocket XTRM-Q is not just one of the highest-capacity storage devices we have tested, but also one of the most expensive. At this price, nothing else compares to the sheer capacity and performance that it provides. 

If you’re looking for something more portable, cheaper, but still fairly high capacity, the 8TB Rocket XTRM-Q is a solid alternative at roughly half the cost. If you don’t need quite as much storage but still want lightning-fast Thunderbolt 3 performance can’t go wrong with something like Samsung’s X5 or LaCie’s Rugged RAID Pro. And if you just want something high-capacity and at a lower cost, Lacie’s 2big RAID may be up your alley instead, though it can’t come close to matching the speed of the Sabrent 16TB Rocket XTRM-Q. 

MORE: Best SSDs

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  • kyzarvs
    Does the warranty become longer if you register the device on Sabrent's website? I've done that with both of my Rockets to change the warranty from one to five years (I think, been a few months since I did it).
    Reply
  • PicoPete
    Thunderbolt or not, almost $3,000 for a plain-old-hard-drive is outrageous, regardless of its capacity. If you need or want something that large you can spend less than 1/5 the Sabrent price with the Western Digital...
    WD 18TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive, USB 3.0 - WDBBGB0180HBK-NESN which has 2 TB's more capacity to boot (no pun intended) than the Sabrent, available on Amazon for $ 507.73 with a similar 3-year warranty. But it's your money, so spend it how you like!
    Reply
  • Mandark
    It’s not targeted at users like you
    Reply
  • PicoPete
    To whom are you referring to?
    Reply
  • seanwebster
    kyzarvs said:
    Does the warranty become longer if you register the device on Sabrent's website? I've done that with both of my Rockets to change the warranty from one to five years (I think, been a few months since I did it).
    No, unfortunately I was told that this product only gets a flat 3-yr warranty.

    PicoPete said:
    Thunderbolt or not, almost $3,000 for a plain-old-hard-drive is outrageous, regardless of its capacity. If you need or want something that large you can spend less than 1/5 the Sabrent price with the Western Digital...
    WD 18TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive, USB 3.0 - WDBBGB0180HBK-NESN which has 2 TB's more capacity to boot (no pun intended) than the Sabrent, available on Amazon for $ 507.73 with a similar 3-year warranty. But it's your money, so spend it how you like!
    Yes, that is entirely true, but it also performs at 1/10-1/20th the speed. This SSD is not meant for those who can deal with ultra-slow HDD speeds.
    Reply
  • PicoPete
    Mandark said:
    It’s not targeted at users like you
    And just what are "users like you" please?
    Reply
  • PicoPete
    seanwebster said:
    No, unfortunately I was told that this product only gets a flat 3-yr warranty.


    Thanks for your comment: Yes, that is entirely true, but it also performs at 1/10-1/20th the speed. This SSD is not meant for those who can deal with ultra-slow HDD speeds.
    Yes, I understand that. For certain users that require the speed, Thunderbolt is of course one option (especially in the closed ecosystem of Apple). My point is this: For the price of the Sabrent 16 TB drive I can put together a NAS with both an Ethernet and a USB option and top the 16 TB and also the speed. I myself have 3 NAS systems I've designed and one of them (the smallest) with 36 TB (Raid 5) with fiber-channel (10 GB/s bandwidth) connectivity that cost me approximately a couple hundred dollars less (as of 5 years ago) than the single-disk Sabrent 16TB offering. So my point is that it's a poor price/performance option for its capacity IMO, especially if it's used for long-term storage. I can see it used for for real-time video editing of 4K or 8K but even for that most editing is done in-memory on workstations with at least 64G RAM. But I can see the attraction for certain users that have deep pockets and want to spend the money, but it's still overpriced IMO.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    PicoPete said:
    Yes, I understand that. For certain users that require the speed, Thunderbolt is of course one option (especially in the closed ecosystem of Apple). My point it this: For the price of the Sabrent 16 TB drive I can put together a NAS with both an Ethernet and a USB option and top the 16 TB and also the speed. I myself have 3 NAS systems I've designed and one of them (the smallest) with 36 TB (Raid 5) with fiber-channel (10 GB/s bandwidth) connectivity that cost me approximately a couple hundred dollars less (as of 5 years ago) than the single-disk Sabrent 16TB offering. So my point is not that it's a poor price/performance option for its capacity IMO, especially if it's used for long-term storage. I can see it used for for real-time video editing of 4K or 8K but even for that most editing is done in-memory on workstations with at least 64G RAM. But I can see the attraction for certain users that hace deep pockets and want to spend the money, but it's still overpriced IMO.
    It's not "overpriced" if you need that performance right now.

    SSD prices were over $1/GB not that long ago.
    They did, and will continue to, drop.
    And size will continue to increase.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    PicoPete said:
    And just what are "users like you" please?
    It was targeted at people who need extremely high speeds and work with very large files hence the thunderbolt three and hence the reason I say it’s not made for you because you’re complaining about the price. If you need it for business you wouldn’t be complaining

    Is everything supposed to be free because you don’t like paying high prices?? Get real
    Reply