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This disk is so good that I had to buy it after testing. Samsung X5 - review

Rarely after short tests I am so impressed with the equipment that I have to buy it. In this case it was different and I had an important reason for it.

In fact, not so much the reason as the mistake I made a little over 2 years ago, buying the cheapest version of iMac 27 in the promotion, equipped with completely unworthy of this equipment (and prices) Fusion Drive. Initially, its performance was relatively satisfactory, but with time - and with the increase in use intensity by me, among others Lightroom and Photoshop - satisfaction with the hybrid solution has dropped drastically.

And when I started looking for a solution, it came to me by chance to test Samsung X5, i.e. portable SSD with NVMe interface, connected via Thunderbolt. What did he promise? That for less money than the original payment to the smallest SSD in iMac, I will have an equally fast drive.

I set the system on it and quickly found out that it was what I was looking for.

I knew I had to have him.

The problem was only the price. As far as I remember, the X5 500 GB version cost 1500 PLN or more at the time of the premiere. However, I waited strategically for a while, until the price would go down to 1000 PLN and when this happened, I placed my order almost immediately.

And although it is still a lot for an SSD with such capacity, and even horribly expensive, I already explain why in my case it was definitely worth it.

Actually, the reason is one.

Speed. SPEED.

Let's start with what ceiling I started before connecting the Samsung X5 to my computer. It was, well, embarrassingly poor (test for a 1 GB file):

Such speeds are enough for most everyday tasks, but when one RAW file from your camera starts to have a volume of about 50 MB - it ceases to be fun.

I copied 1: 1 the whole system on Samsung X5, connected via Thunderbolt (this is the only option - if you do not have, you do not have to read any more) I started the same program to test performance with the same parameters. Effect?

You can have two observations based on these two simple images:

First of all, the difference in speed is colossal. The difference in the comfort of work is even bigger - especially with larger and more demanding files. But that was just obvious and that's what I expected - I will not write another story in the style of "I changed from HDD to SSD", because it is already a few years too late.

Second application? I have never achieved the declared speed from the specification.

And it does not depend on whether I tested X5 as a typical external disk with several loaded test files, or as the main (but still external) disk with the system. According to Samsung, the maximum recording should be up to 2300 MB / s, while the reading - up to 2800 MB / s.

I had this drive a few months ago for two weeks, I've been in private for over a month now, and I've never been able to test anything really close to those 2300/2800. Sometimes, you can exceed 1700 MB / s write or get closer to 2,400 MB / s read:

But this is still a bit not what is declared on the website and packaging. However, I will not complain about it - it is a gigantic speed jump in comparison to what I had before.

There is also a more beautiful side of this medal.

The reason for the limited speed is probably quite simple - it is a DTG (Dynamic Thermal Guard) system, which is supposed to ensure that the device maintains an optimal operating temperature . And that we're dealing with NVMe SSD, you can expect it to be hot.

And if we spend more than a dozen hours a day in front of the computer, and the X5 is our basic disk (as in my case), then let's not count on the fact that the disk body will be cool. On the contrary - it can get hot so that I would definitely prefer not to hold it on my lap or in my hand. On the other hand - I did not notice that it had an excessive impact on performance (compared to cool measurements).

The lowest results I registered (and this took place during the heat wave) are slightly below 1600 MB / s of recording and slightly below 2200 MB / s of reading. However, it does not change the fact that I would prefer that its housing would be cooler - although it would, to a large extent, reduce its portability.

Exactly - portability.

I suspect that the desktop application of the Samsung X5 is rather a niche (although on the other hand, it is not such a stupid idea, which I am proof of). X5 is mainly addressed to those who have to transfer large files or large files between computers for many days and want it to be done quickly and efficiently.

None of these tasks should be a problem for SSD Samsung. The speed is already (even if not the maximum declared). There is also a compact size (119 x 62 x 19.7 mm) and a low weight (about 150 g). We can easily fit the X5 eg in a photo bag or a laptop bag.

We do not have to worry about possible data damage in more difficult conditions - X5 has a solid casing made of magnesium alloy on one side, while on the other it is protected by a rubberised stand. The final effect is perhaps not the most beautiful (a more subdued color variation would be useful), but in exchange for the promise of resistance to falls from 2 m, you can survive.

Let's add to this full hardware encryption (AES 256 bit) and we have a pretty nice set of possibilities.

Is it worth it?

If you do not have a Thunderbolt 3 connector - of course not.

If you can easily expand the memory in your computer - also not.

If you just need a quick drive, but you do not need the dizzying speeds - neither do you.

If you are looking for a disk with the best capacity / price ratio - also a box. Even though the price reduction of about PLN 500-600 from the starter did a lot of good for the profitability of the X5 purchase.

If you made a mistake and bought a Mac with a not-too-fast internal drive - why not, although undoubtedly it can be cheaper (but not so unattended).

If, in turn, you are eg a photographer or a video creator and you do not want to keep, for example, the whole project on your computer disc or only on it - as much as possible. Hardly any external disk will provide such speeds, and hence - comfort of work. It's just that with the video, bigger capacities will probably come into play, and then those 1000 PLN will be only a fraction of how much you will have to pay for X5. 1 TB costs about 2100 PLN, while 2 TB - 4100 PLN ...

This disk is so good that I had to buy it after testing. Samsung X5 - review


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