Samsung announces blazing fast external NVMe Thunderbolt 3 X5 series SSDs

Posted 29 August 2018 15:33 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Samsung today announced its X5 series external SSDs that use the NVMe protocol and Thunderbolt 3 to connect to the computer. The X5 series SSDs will become available in capacities of 500GB, 1TB and 2TB.

The drive transfers data over Thunderbolt 3 which means it connects to laptops and desktops with a USB Type-C connector. It’s good to note that, despite the connector, the drive does not support the USB protocol.

With Thunderbolt 3, theoretical transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbit/s  (5,000 MB/s) are possible.  Other parts of the X5 series are now the bottleneck, as Samsung specifies maximum sequential reads and writes of 2,800 MB/s and 2,300 MB/s respectively.

Samsung has fitted its 64-layer TLC 3D-NAND with SLC cache in the  1.9 x 6.2 x 1.97 cm measuring case that weighs 150 grams. According to Samsung the X5 drives can survive a fall of up to 2 meters. Inside the drive there is also a heat sink that should make sure the device doesn’t become to hot during high-speed transfers.

The X5 series is relative pricey with MSRPs of $399, $699 and $1399 for 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, respectively. They should become available in September this year and come with a 3-year warranty.

The first reviews from AnandTech, Hothardware, The SSD Review and Macworld are in, and they all seem to agree the drive is very fast but at a premium price.


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