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Samsung Portable SSD T3 Review

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AIDA64 Disk Benchmark

Many enthusiasts are familiar with the Finalwire AIDA64 benchmark suite, but very few are aware of the Disk Benchmark tool available inside the program. The AIDA64 Disk Benchmark performs linear read and write bandwidth tests on each drive, and can be configured to use file chunk sizes up to 1MB (which speeds up testing and minimizes jitter in the waveform). Because of the full sector-by-sector nature of linear testing, Benchmark Reviews endorses this method for testing SSD products, as detailed in our Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing article. One of the advantages SSDs have over traditional spinning-platter hard disks is much more consistent bandwidth: hard disk bandwidth drops off as the capacity draws linear read/write speed down into the inner-portion of the disk platter. AIDA64 Disk Benchmark does not require a partition to be present for testing, so all of our benchmarks are completed prior to drive formatting.

Linear disk benchmarks are superior bandwidth speed tools because they scan from the first physical sector to the last. A side affect of many linear write-performance test tools is that the data is erased as it writes to every sector on the drive. Normally this isn’t an issue, but it has been shown that partition table alignment will occasionally play a role in overall SSD performance (HDDs don’t suffer this problem).

Samsung-Portable-SSD-T3-500GB-Linear-Read

500GB Samsung Portable SSD Read Results

We run the AIDA64 linear read and write tests with a 1M block size. Charted above, read performance on the 500GB Samsung external SSD returned average speeds of 411.9MB/s. There is an odd bump in read performance up to about 427MB/s in the 20-50% range.

AIDA64 linear write-to tests were next…

Samsung-Portable-SSD-T3-500GB-Linear-Write

500GB Samsung Portable SSD Write Results

With an average linear write speed of 319MB/s across its capacity, the Samsung external T3 SSD falls somewhere between the performance of MLC and TLC NAND internal drives.

The chart below shows the average linear read and write bandwidth speeds for a cross-section of storage devices tested with AIDA64.

AIDA64-Disk-Benchmark_Results

Linear tests are an important tool for comparing bandwidth speed between storage products, serve to highlight the consistent-bandwidth advantages of SSDs, which don’t suffer the performance drop-off that HDDs do as the test proceeds away from the fast outer edge of the disk.

In the next section we use PCMark Vantage to test real-world performance…


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3 comments

  1. BeX

    Driver needed for Mac? See warning for previous model at
    Mac Owners Should Hold Off on New Samsung T1 Flash SSD
    http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/mac-owners-should-hold-off-on-new-samsung-t1-flash-ssd

    Can it be used to boot Mac and work from it all day long?

    RAID 0 inside as in SanDisk’s 1.92TB Extreme 900 Portable SSD? That is the best way to lose data (2x probability or more). One disk fails (or controller), all lost.

    1. David Ramsey

      The T3 drive comes with the necessary software to run it on a Mac, included the SAT driver mentioned in your link. I tried the drive on a Mac and had two minor issues: the first time I ran the installer, it installed the security software, but not the SAT driver, so the drive was inaccessible. Running the installer again brought up the option to install the SAT driver. Second, the “T3 Login Activator for Mac” utility you need to unlock an encrypted drive doesn’t “see” the T3 if it’s connected when you boot the Mac– you need to unplug the drive and then plug it in again.

      I copied over 200GB of video files to the drive (simply by dragging them over in the Finder) and saw a transfer rate of about 1GB every 7 seconds, or about 140MB/second.

      I don’t see any way to use the T3 as a boot drive for the Mac, since their installer will not install the security software and SAT driver on the T3 itself. You might be able to hack around this by manually transferring a preconfigured system folder, but I wouldn’t recommend it. In any case, an internal SSD would be much faster than a USB 3 SSD.

      1. BeX

        Thanks. I guess you mean when using the T3 security software. I guess, no problem when not using it.

        Sure an internal SSD could be faster, but booting from external Thunderbolt or SSD is very convenient as Mac to Go (like Windows to Go) to carry your stuff and boot from Mac at work and home.

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