Hands-on: Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD

The Samsung X5 provides speeds up to 2800 MB/s read and 2100 MB/s write (500GB version) or 2300 MB/s write (1TB or 2TB version.) Amazon:

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28 Comments on Hands-on: Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD

  1. If one is on location and drops the drive at least that red backing should help one find it. I would almost bet that the thing is weighted in such a way as to cause it to land with its back up more often than not. Just a thought​…

  2. It is okay when you use external SSD for saving an application or running application from external SSD? Like running unity or something else?

    • Like stated in the video, that’s build-to-order SSD prices right there. Not worth it for supplementing built-in storage. You’d be better off simply upgrading during build-to-order. But may be worth it if you need the flexibility of an external drive.

    • that’s a way slower drive though. I admit that instances where that matters are rare but they exist. I mean drive speeds are why RAM drive software exists and they do have their use cases …

  3. I want Thunderbolt 3 to succeed.

    I can also see the writing on the wall, and the hard lesson of Firewire has been lost. Firewire was a superior technology in its day, but it was implemented so poorly that it stayed a curiosity for most of its service life. Taking MiniDV from tape to hard disc cannot be accomplished any other way, so it was a hard lesson to learn.

    There are so many parallels to Thunderbolt 3 that I seriously worry, because I believe in it – this drive is no exception. While you gaze at the amazing throughput speed, you gave absolutely no criticism of the lack of a passthrough port for a technology that relies upon daisychaining. For all of your dock and dongle reviews, you give a pass to devices that occupy the often sole USB-C or T3 port and don’t offer any more than one port of the same type – and that’s if you’re lucky!

    Jeff, you should be more critical.

    • USB-A was successful in many ways because it was not part of a system – it was understood from the beginning to a way to connect one thing to another one thing. That’s what all of the tangle of cables had been doing – and still do – behind a computer.

      Firewire and Thunderbolt were conceived as systems. They had better throughput than USB and a central feature was the need for only one port on the computer. The problem was that it lived in a USB world, and from day 1 few peripherals offered a second port. I had to ask myself if I wanted to use my hard drive OR use my camera, which is a curious question to ask when I invested a lot in supposedly superior products that failed the most basic test.

      It’s clear that Apple predicted this problem and included multiple Thunderbolt ports on computers, and in the case of the MBP, 4 ports. They knew that people would be using them like USB, and they do. So why not just use USB?

      Seeing all of these dongles take T3 or USB-C and convert it to USB-A with no additional T3 or USB-C ports is like watching the Titanic sink in slow motion. The end will come, and USB-A will win if you don’t call a spade a spade.

    • A lot has changed since the FireWire days. Everything is so much faster, but a lot of people are still buying rotating hard drives and those drives don’t really need Thunderbolt. In an alternate future, Apple built a professional machine with an assortment of m.2 and 2.5″ SSD slots that you could load up with as many drives as you could ever need. But today’s Apple is dongles and external drives everywhere. Makes me kinda nostalgic.

    • Kino Zomby As he said in the video, when comparing price, it’s probably worth just upgrading the internal SSD when ordering the MacBook Pro when you know you’re going to need a lot of fast storage for video editing and stuff. On top of that’ the internal MacBook Pro SSDs are even faster. You buy this SSD if you need the flexibility of fast external storage or for some other reason want your video projects to be external, which some might prefer.

      Also, considering that MacBook Pros have the fastest SSDs of any notebook in its standard configuration, there probably are some notebooks that feature Thunderbolt 3 and don’t have an internal SSD as fast as this external SSD, so they might even take advantage in performance by using this drive. But not so sure about that.

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