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Samsung T5 EVO 8TB Portable SSD Review

The Samsung T5 EVO is the latest addition to Samsung’s portable SSD offerings and is the first update to the Samsung T5 family since 2017. The T5 EVO also ranks as the highest-capacity portable SSD offered by Samsung, with an impressive 8TB capacity. Additionally, the T5 EVO serves as Samsung’s first EVO-branded portable SSD.

The Samsung T5 EVO is the latest addition to Samsung’s portable SSD offerings and is the first update to the Samsung T5 family since 2017. The T5 EVO also ranks as the highest-capacity portable SSD offered by Samsung, with an impressive 8TB capacity. Additionally, the T5 EVO serves as Samsung’s first EVO-branded portable SSD. Typically, Samsung’s EVO branding focuses more on affordable storage than lightning-fast speeds, but it’s still a great option for uses where capacity and cost per TB outweighs the need for performance.

The T5 EVO uses QLC to achieve its impressive capacity at an affordable price point. Though QLC NAND is slower than TLC, it is still several times faster than a traditional hard drive and far smaller and more durable too. The T5 EVO also utilizes the USB 3.2 Gen1 interface and an internal SATA interface, which provides a performance profile of up to 460MB/s read and write. Of course Samsung offers many other portable SSDs in the T7 and T9 that take advantage of an NVMe interface and faster USB options.

Samsung Portable SSD T5 EVO Features

Like other Samsung portable drives, the T5 EVO is offered with the Samsung Magician SSD management suite. Magician Software was recently updated to version 8.0 with support for Windows, Mac, and Android. Samsung has also added the option to switch between dark and light modes for a better user experience. Magician includes a Genuine Authentication Feature to detect fake drives should you come across one. We don’t have an article on the 8.0 software yet, but the 7.0 software is similar and covered here.

Samsung Portable SSD T5 EVO Design and Build

Samsung decided to switch up the design of this drive from their other portable SSDs. This new drive is the first to deviate from the credit card shape of the other Samsung portables, with more of a stick-like form factor. Form-wise, the T5 EVO measures in at 40x95x17mm, making it highly portable. This drive does keep some of the build style of their other portables, with a silicone covering around the sturdy metal shell.

Samsung also added a metal loop on the end of the drive, allowing it to be mounted and carried in various ways. The loop is solid and attached directly to the metal body of the drive for added durability. The loop covers the width of the enclosure, leaving lots of extra room.

The T5 EVO is backed by a Three (3) Year Limited warranty from Samsung and sells for $189.99 (2TB), $349.99 (4TB), and $349.99 (8TB) on Samsung.com at the time of release. The drives aren’t in retail as we publish this but Better pricing will probably be found on Amazon (affiliate link). We will focus on the 8TB variant for this review.

Samsung Portable SSD T5 EVO Specifications

Interface USB 3.2 Gen1 (5Gbps)
Hardware Information Capacity 2TB 4TB 8TB
Dimensions 40x95x17mm (1.57×3.74×0.67 In)
Weight 102 grams (3.6 Oz)
Performance Sequential Read Up to 460MB/s
Sequential Write Up to 460MB/s
Durability Drop Resistant up to 2M (6.56 Ft)
Security Encryption AES 256-bit hardware encryption
Software Samsung Magician Software
Reliability

Temperature

Operating 0°C to 60°C (32°F to 140°F)
Non-Operating -40°C to 85°C (-220°F to 185°F)
Humidity 5% to 95% non-condensing
Shock Non-Operating 1,500G, Duration: 0.5s, 3 axis
Vibration Non-Operating 20~2,000, 20G
Certifications CE, BSMI, KC, VCCI, RCM, FCC, IC, UL, TUV, CB, EAC, UKCA, BIS
RoHS Compliance RoHS 2
Warranty Three (3) Year Limited Warranty

Samsung Portable SSD T5 EVO Performance

For our tests, we used a Lenovo ThinkStation P520 Workstation as the test platform.

Blackmagic Disk Speed Test

Our first test on the Samsung T5 EVO was the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. This drive achieved 369.2 MB/s write and 419.6 MB/s read, which may not be the fastest compared to other SSDs. These speeds may not hold up compared to the T9 but are still a little over 3x the speed of a conventional HDD.

For comparison, the T7 Shield and T9 comparison data shows the breadth of the Samsung portable SSD family.

IOMeter Performance

The next test is IOMeter on a Windows rig. Here, we looked at 2MB sequential read/write, 2MB random read/write, and 4K random read/write. These tests gauge its performance in tasks ranging from large file transfers to everyday computing activities.

We will compare the T5 EVO to the old T5, the T7 Shield, and the T9 drives in these benchmarks. The selection here covers the last generation and other tier drives to illustrate the performance differences within the family.

1 Thread Workload

Overall, the T5 EVO performed slower than the other drives, but it was expected as it is oriented more towards capacity rather than speed. Surprisingly, though, it fell behind the previous T5, released over six years ago.

IOMeter (1 Thread) Samsung Portable SSD T5 EVO USB 3.2 Gen1 Samsung Portable SSD T5 USB 3.1 Gen2 Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield USB 3.2 Gen2 Samsung Portable SSD T9 USB 3.2 Gen2x2
Seq 2MB Write 405.24MB/s 406.39MB/s 804.4MB/s 1,284MB/s
Seq 2MB Read 384.38MB/s 426.62MB/s 765.6MB/s 1,355MB/s
Random 2MB Write 380.80MB/s 400.26MB/s 805.2MB/s 1,278MB/s
Random 2MB Read 392.93MB/s 404.26MB/s 757.81MB/s 1,117MB/s
Random 4K Write 12,898.49 IOPS N/A 13,610 IOPS 16,643 IOPS
Random 4K Read 4,781.45 IOPS N/A 3,791 IOPS 4,441 IOPS

4 Thread Workload

The second portion of this test is a 4-thread workload, but we do not have results for the original T5. Again, the T5 EVO shows the performance split between the different models within the family of portable SSDs.

Here is a rundown of the results:

IOMeter (4 Threads) Samsung T5 EVO USB 3.2 Gen1 Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield USB 3.2 Gen2 Samsung Portable SSD T9 USB 3.2 Gen2x2
Seq 2MB Write 445.83MB/s 1,017.6MB/s 1,766MB/s
Seq 2MB Read 446.96MB/s 1,041.5MB/s 1,944MB/s
Random 2MB Write 417.70MB/s 999.88MB/s 1,493MB/s
Random 2MB Read 446.97MB/s 1,019MB/s 1,468MB/s
Random 4K Write 37,380 IOPS 17,909 IOPS 32,358 IOPS
Random 4K Read 20,240 IOPS 15,347 IOPS 18,925 IOPS

Thermals

A significant concern with some external drives, especially as they are getting smaller, is how hot they get while in use. This may not seem like an issue,  but extreme temperatures can harm the drives’ overall health, not to mention whoever is holding the drive. Using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, we put the T5 EVO under a continuous load for over 24 hours. Pictured below is the resulting Crystal Disk Info data.

As you can see, we did 12TB of continuous writes to this drive, knocking the drive health down a single percentage point. Another point of note is this drive stayed remarkably cool throughout the testing. The T5 EVO finished at 42C (107.6F), leaving it barely warm to the touch through the silicone cover. We don’t have any concerns about heat dissipation with this drive.

Conclusion

The T5 EVO is impressively small for its 8TB capacity, and it’s constructed very well. Visually, the drive carries a sleek appearance and the silicone coating resists scratches and dings, adding durability to the drive. Further, Samsung’s Magician app offers a nice value-add for long term management of the drive.

While this drive may perform slower than others in the Samsung family, it is still perfectly fine for plenty of use cases that value capacity and cost over speed. Professionals should find the T5 EVO to be a great backpack companion that will consolidate the need for several small portable drives. Overall the T5 EVO gets our recommendation for capacious portable storage.

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Dylan Bryan

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