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Samsung X5 1TB Review

Rating: 8.0.

Samsung's latest external drive, the X5, is one of their fastest external products to date. It is an NVMe SSD which connects over the Thunderbolt 3 interface. Samsung's X5 drive comes in three capacities, 500GB, 1TB (the one that Samsung kindly supplied for review) and the flagship 2TB model. Although the Samsung spec sheet doesn't state which model of NVMe SSD is inside the X5, the fact that the drive supports the NVMe 1.3 standard and uses 3D TLC V-NAND makes it a variation of Samsung's SSD970 EVO drive.


The drive itself uses the latest Phoenix controller and it's combined in the X5 with an Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller. One thing to bear in mind is that thanks to the Alpine Ridge controller, the drive will only work with a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port.

Quoted Sequential performance for the drive is reads up to 2,800MB/s for all three drives with write speeds of up to 2,100MB/s for the 500GB drive and up to 2,300MB/s for both the 1TB and 2TB models.

The drive is larger and heavier than Samsung's T series of external drives with a new “pebble” like design that is constructed from magnesium, which helps keep the drive as cool as possible during heavy, sustained data transfer.

Samsung support the X5 with a three year warranty.

Physical Specifications:
Usable Capacities:  1TB.
NAND Components: Samsung TLC V-NAND.
Interface: Thunderbolt 3.
Form Factor:  external drive.
NAND Controller: Samsung.
Dimensions: 119 x 62 x 19.7mm.
Drive Weight: 150g.

Firmware Version: FW1P3QEXE7.

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