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Samsung's sleek 'n' sporty X5 SSD pledges blazing transfer speeds

Portable drive harnesses NVMe and Thunderbolt 3

Samsung has teased its X5 2TB portable SSD, which can transfer data at 40Gbit/s, four times faster than USB 3.1's 10Gbit/s.

The drive is an update on the Korean firm's T5 SATA portable SSD, which also has a 2TB capacity. It connects to its host with a cable plugged into a Thunderbolt 3 port, and only a Thunderbolt 3 port.

Sammy said: "Thunderbolt 3 delivers 40Gbit/s for blazing fast data transfer."

The drive uses NVMe flash across Thunderbolt 3, we understand, to get from that interface's 40Gbit/s to the device's claimed 2.8/2.3GB/s read and write speeds.

According to Samsung: "The X5's read/write speeds of 2,800/2,300 MB/s are 5.2x/4.5x faster than a Portable SSD [Samsung's own T5] with SATA interface and 25.5x/20.9x faster than an external HDD. You can transfer a 20GB 4K UHD video from your PC to the X5 in as little as 12 seconds."


Exploded view of Samsung T5 portable SSD

The drive weighs 150g, is shock-resistant, has an internal heat sink, and a ridged orange under-surface to reduce desktop slippage and make it more secure when held. There is optional password protection with AES 256-bit encryption, and a three-year warranty.

Host software compatibility is with macOS 10.12 or higher and Windows 10 Creators Update (64-bit) or higher.

This X5 is a challenge to Seagate and Western Digital's own portable SSDs, now relegated to the slow lane. Expect me-toos to appear rapidly.

There is a 500GB X5 version, which writes data at up to 2.1GB/sec, and costs around $400. A 1TB version costs about $700 and the top-of-range 2TB version is priced at a cool $1,400 or so, 70 cents a gig.

The drive will be available in the US from 3 September. ®

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