We've reviewed this guide and updated prices throughout, and we still stand by our picks.
July 7, 2021
If you regularly need to move large files between computers or want a travel backup for your laptop, you should get a speedy portable SSD. They’re more expensive than portable hard drives, but because they have no moving parts, they’re inherently faster and more durable. After researching 17 new portable SSDs and testing the seven most promising candidates, we found that the updated 1 TB Western Digital My Passport SSD offers the best mix of affordability, speed, and lengthy warranty for most people.
Our pick among portable SSDs, the Western Digital My Passport SSD (1 TB) is priced right in the middle of our latest pack of solid-state drive candidates, and it’s compact enough to tuck in almost any pocket on a laptop bag or briefcase or even to stash in a shallow drawer. Its USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port supports transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps and will max out the speed on most laptops’ USB ports, short of the fastest Thunderbolt 3 or 4 ports. It’s quick right out of the box, and the price includes software you can download to enable AES 256-bit hardware encryption—a good way to keep your data safe in case you lose the drive. It also has a lengthy five-year warranty, two years longer coverage than on most rivals.
If the Western Digital My Passport SSD is sold out or unavailable, or if prices shift to make the My Passport SSD significantly more expensive, we recommend the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2 (1 TB). Like the My Passport SSD, the Extreme Portable SSD supports some of the fastest USB transfer speeds (USB 3.1 Gen 2), and the two drives finished in a virtual dead heat in our tests. The SanDisk also comes with 256-bit AES hardware encryption, if you choose to use it. Compared with the My Passport SSD, the Extreme Portable SSD looks a bit more durable; it also has an IP55 dust- and water-resistance rating, and it should easily survive a drop onto a wet sidewalk or roadside. That extra brawn comes at a slightly higher price than what you pay for the My Passport SSD, but the SanDisk also has a lengthy, five-year warranty.
Everything we recommend
Why you should trust us
Wirecutter has been researching and recommending solid-state drives since 2013. As Wirecutter’s (and formerly PCMag’s) storage expert, I’ve evaluated a multitude of storage devices—from portable and desktop hard drives to SSDs to NAS devices to USB flash drives to microSD cards—to find the best options.
Who this is for
Portable SSDs are great for travelers and for people who frequently transfer large amounts of data between computers. Since SSDs have no moving parts, they can handle the bumps when you toss your travel bag on a couch, say, after a tiring trip or commute. If you need a drive just to back up your data at home and you aren’t worried about having the fastest transfer speeds, a portable hard drive is much less expensive, though it’s also slower, larger, less durable, and potentially less secure.
Portable SSDs are three to six times faster at transferring files than portable hard drives or desktop external drives. They’re also more secure and much more compact and durable, and they run cooler on less power. They are more expensive, however. Prices have come way down in the past year or so, but a 1 TB portable SSD still costs about $150, a price that would get you a 5 TB portable hard drive or an 8 TB desktop hard drive.
If you spend most of your time working at the same desk or you need more than 4 TB of storage, get an external desktop hard drive. A desktop hard drive is faster than a portable hard drive and much less expensive compared with a portable SSD for a similar amount of storage, but it’s bulky, so you shouldn’t plan to travel with it.
A 1 TB portable SSD costs about $150, a price that would get you a 5 TB portable hard drive or an 8 TB desktop hard drive.
Although you can build your own portable SSD by purchasing an internal SSD and an enclosure to put it in, we don’t recommend that unless you already have a spare SSD that you want to repurpose. Building one wouldn’t save you any money compared with the WD My Passport SSD, and the resulting drive would require more time and energy to set up.
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How we picked
Though a portable SSD looks like a relatively simple device, we took all of the following factors into account when we decided which model to recommend:
- Reliability and toughness: A portable SSD must keep your data safe. Since portable SSDs lack moving parts, they are less susceptible than mechanical drives to total failure when dropped, jostled, or subjected to changes in temperature or vibration. A portable SSD should also be sturdily built and not feel creaky or hollow.
- Endurance: Flash-memory cells can be written to only so many times before wearing out. You’d have to write hundreds of terabytes of data to even begin to wear out most SSDs, though, and few people approach that limit. But better endurance is a bonus, especially if you’re using the drive for high-intensity tasks such as 4K video editing. Since SSD manufacturers don’t report durability ratings for external drives (only for internal models), we keep an eye on customer reviews for reliability information. For example, we note when reviewers mention that their SSDs run hot; too much heat during operation can shorten drive life or indicate that the drive is defective.
- Drive speed: SSDs provide dramatically faster transfer speeds (less waiting for files to copy) than mechanical drives, and we tested both sequential and random speeds. Although fast sequential speeds are important for transferring and backing up large blocks of data to your drive, quick random speeds are essential if you must run programs or games directly off the portable SSD. (Note that we don’t recommend the latter; an internal solid-state drive is faster than an external drive, and with an internal drive you don’t have to worry about corruption from a cable getting disconnected.)
- Connection type: For this review we primarily considered portable SSDs with USB Type-C (USB-C) connectors that were rated for USB 3.2 Gen 2 transfer speeds.1USB-C connectors (video), which are replacing older, slower USB Type-A connectors on thinner laptops, ensure that you get the speed you’re paying for.2 But all the drives come with either a Type-A adapter or a separate cable to ensure compatibility with the desktop PCs, laptops, gaming consoles, and tablets around your home. As a result, you’ll still get the best speeds your computer can handle, and your drive will be able to keep up with newer devices in the future.
- Price: More expensive portable SSDs can offer faster speeds, but you shouldn’t overpay to get extra speed or other features you may not notice. For instance, Samsung claims the Portable SSD X5 has read and write speeds of 2,800 MB/s and 2,100 MB/s, respectively—more than twice as fast as those of the Samsung T7. But for most people, paying two to three times more than the price of our pick for that speed isn’t necessary.
- Capacity: Currently, an SSD with a capacity around 1 TB and a price tag around $150 represents the best mix of affordability, space, and speed. Drives with capacities of 2 TB tend to be about as cost-effective at about $300. Drives with 250 GB to 500 GB of space are too small for many people; they’re becoming less widely available and typically more expensive per gigabyte. Our picks for the best laptops have 128 GB to 512 GB of drive space, so a 1 TB portable SSD will allow you to back up such laptops with room to spare.
- Size and weight: A portable SSD should be light and compact—many are roughly the size of a stack of sticky notes or even smaller.
- Encryption: Portable SSDs that support the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), can more reliably protect your sensitive information. External solid-state drives with AES don’t require software to set it up, although they should include password-protection software to enable encryption to keep your data safe from unauthorized access even if someone removes the drive from its housing. Not all portable SSDs offer this feature, and we’ve seen technical issues crop up, particularly during upgrades of operating systems such as macOS.
- Software: Backup software is a nice addition to a portable SSD, but it’s not essential. You can find plenty of backup service alternatives online.
- Indicator light: Some drives feature an LED indicator that lights up when the drive is connected to your device, and although it’s not a requirement, we found this indicator to be very useful.
- Warranty and customer service: Three-year warranties are standard among portable solid-state drives, though a few come with five-year warranties. Strong customer service is also valuable when something goes wrong.
To find worthy contenders, we investigated the most popular portable solid-state drives on Amazon, and we checked online reviews on tech sites like AnandTech, Dong Knows Tech, and PCMag. We also scoured the websites of well-known external-SSD manufacturers such as LaCie, Samsung, SanDisk, and Western Digital. We came up with seven finalists:
- Adata SE800
- Crucial X8
- Samsung Portable SSD T7
- Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch
- SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
- Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD
- Western Digital My Passport SSD
How we tested
We used CrystalDiskMark, Anvils Storage Utilities, and ATTO Disk Benchmark to test each drive’s sequential and random speeds. These tests, respectively, measure a drive’s ability to move large files like database sets or HD movies versus multiple small files such as when you run a program or game. (We show our CrystalDiskMark results as points of comparison, but the more-thorough Anvils and ATTO tests were in line with that data.) We ran all of our tests on a Dell G7 15 Gaming laptop; its NVMe PCIe solid-state drive and Thunderbolt 3 port were fast enough to avoid bottlenecking the drives we tested. We also explored each drive’s included software, if it had any, and we checked build quality to make sure there were no obvious red flags.
Our pick: Western Digital MyPassport SSD (1 TB)
|Capacity:||1 TB||Physical size:||4.0 by 2.2 by 0.4 inches|
|USB interface:||USB 3.2 Gen 2||Warranty:||Five years|
The Western Digital My Passport SSD (1 TB) is the best portable solid-state drive for most people because it’s reliable, fast, and reasonably priced, and like most of the portable SSDs we tested, it’s compact enough to almost hide under a stack of sticky notes. As of this writing, it’s neither the most economical nor the most expensive 1 TB SSD we tested, though the race was tight. The My Passport SSD has a single USB-C port that supports transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps, and it includes a short cable with a USB-C–to–A adapter, which lets you connect the drive to most desktops, laptops, and game consoles. It also comes with easy-to-use software and AES 256-bit hardware encryption to protect your data. Plus, it has a sturdy metal case and a lengthy five-year warranty, in contrast to the three-year warranty of its competitors.
You spend more for speed on an SSD, and the WD My Passport SSD is quick, more than enough to justify the expense. Using the Dell laptop’s Thunderbolt 3 port, the My Passport SSD gave us sequential read and write speeds (transferring largish files one after another, similar to when you’re backing up your laptop’s main drive) of 913.6 MB/s and 949.6 MB/s, respectively. That’s very close to the drive’s claimed 1,050 MB/s max write speed. The My Passport SSD and SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2 (which had average speeds of 914.7 MB/s read and 950.5 MB/s write) were our class leaders during the sequential tests, in a statistical dead heat. The other drives, aside from the underperforming Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD, weren’t too far behind, with most finishing above 900 MB/s on the read test and above 861 MB/s on the write test. Accepting a little drag from the USB interfaces, we found that these results matched the SSD makers’ claims of up to 1,000 MB/s or 1,050 MB/s during data transfers.
The random read and write tests are designed to simulate the demands of tasks such as transferring multiple small files or running programs off the external SSD. In these tests, the My Passport SSD had random read and write speeds near the top of the range, 23.5 MB/s and 40.3 MB/s, respectively, whereas the other drives’ results were distributed evenly in a narrow range of 18 to 25 MB/s read and 38 to 40 MB/s write, differences you’re unlikely to notice. In general, speeds in these kinds of tests don’t give you a reason to choose one drive over another.
Left to right: a smartphone (for comparison), the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2, and the Western Digital My Passport SSD. Photo: Sarah Kobos
The My Passport SSD has a relatively short USB-C cable. Photo: Sarah Kobos
The WD My Passport SSD’s USB-C port. Photo: Sarah Kobos
The My Passport SSD is slightly larger than some of the other models here, and it’s measurably larger than the Adata SE800, but all of the drives we tested could fit easily into the coin pocket of a pair of men’s jeans, and they certainly will fit in an accessory pocket on a laptop backpack.
Like most of the drives we tested, the WD My Passport SSD comes with a utility installer for Windows and Macs, though you don’t have to install those programs to use the drive. The Western Digital Dashboard software lets you check on the drive’s health and upload firmware updates to the SSD, if necessary. It’s simple and easy to use, but if you’re familiar with Windows 10’s erase-drive commands or macOS’s Disk Utility, you can skip it. You can also install an encryption password program to lock the drive’s 256-bit AES hardware encryption. But if you use a Mac, we recommend using the FileVault encryption built into macOS instead, or checking online to make sure you have the latest version of the WD Drive Security app. We’ve heard reports of people having third-party encryption-utility problems on Macs after updating to newer versions of the operating system (for instance, from macOS Mojave to Catalina).
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The USB-C cable that Western Digital includes with the My Passport SSD is somewhat short, measuring about 6 inches including both connectors. Although that length is fine for use with a laptop, if you plug the drive into the front panel of a desktop PC, the drive may end up hanging by its cable instead of resting on your table or desk; in this situation, gravity could compromise connectivity and may stress the cable and plugs. The drive also comes with a Type-C–to–Type-A adapter, which some buyer reviews on the PCMag and Amazon sites complain is easy to lose. (The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2 has the same short cable and Type-A adapter.) In addition, the WD My Passport SSD lacks an activity light, and though that feature isn’t a must-have, an activity light serves as a good reminder that you should always use your PC or Mac’s eject-drive command to safeguard your data.
During our testing, the My Passport SSD stayed around room temperature, but online reviews have mentioned that the drive gets warm to the touch during long backup sessions.
Runner-up: SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2 (1 TB)
|Capacity:||1 TB||Physical size:||4.0 by 2.1 by 0.4 inches|
|USB interface:||USB 3.2 Gen 2||Warranty:||Five years|
If you can find this model for significantly less than the WD My Passport SSD, or if the My Passport SSD is unavailable, we recommend the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2 (1 TB). The Extreme Portable SSD is about as fast and typically priced about the same, and like the My Passport SSD, it has a USB-C port that supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 (with transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps). The SanDisk is also a bit more rugged, in case you foresee extended travel or a rough commute in your future.
The second version of the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD has a USB-C port, and it comes with a USB-C–to–USB-C cable. The package also includes a tiny USB-C–to–USB-A adapter for older systems that’s easy to pop on and off, but like any tiny adapter, it’s potentially easy to lose.
The Extreme Portable SSD costs a bit more than the My Passport SSD. Prices can fluctuate $10 to $30 overall over the course of a few months, so there may be a time when their prices match or are reversed.
Photo: Sarah Kobos
Western Digital’s My Passport SSD and SanDisk’s Extreme Portable SSD connect to older devices with a small USB-A adapter that could easily disappear. Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald
The SSDs we tested were all pocket-sized, and the SanDisk is about as compact as the Western Digital. The SanDisk adds the advantage of an IP55 (dust and water resistance) rating, and its soft-touch exterior and carabiner loop make it look like it’s ready for travel, in contrast to the sculpted metal on the Western Digital, which suggests that model is more meant for an office.
The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2 comes with Windows and Mac versions of SanDisk’s SecureAccess software, which allows AES 256-bit hardware encryption unlocked via password. As with the WD My Passport SSD, if you have a Mac, we recommend using macOS’s built-in FileVault encryption software or downloading the latest version of SecureAccess before upgrading your Mac from Mojave to Catalina or Big Sur.
The Extreme Portable SSD V2 also lacks an activity indicator light. In contrast, the Adata SE800 and Samsung T7 both include this useful feature, but they fail to match the SanDisk’s lengthy, five-year warranty.
Other good portable SSDs
The following portable SSDs were just as fast as our top picks in our tests, but they both have at least one flaw—such as a shorter warranty or a higher price—that caused them to place behind our top picks in our rankings. They’re still good options that may meet your particular needs, especially if they happen to be on sale. (And both have a three-year warranty.)
The Adata SE800 was an odd duck in one regard: By default, it’s formatted as NTFS (Windows format) instead of exFAT, so if you want to use it with a Mac or a gaming console, you’ll have to reformat the drive. It performed just as well as our picks, and it’s a bit less expensive than the other drives here (typically by about $20 to $40), so it’s a decent choice if you want to save some money. But it has a shorter warranty than the SanDisk and Western Digital drives, falling short of their five years of coverage by two years.
Samsung’s Portable SSD T7 is the company’s follow-up to the T5, our previous portable SSD pick. It looks like the T5, but it’s slightly thinner and quite a bit faster on sequential reads and writes. Like the Adata SE800, the T7 has a three-year warranty. It’s a good alternative if you find it for significantly less than the Western Digital or SanDisk.
What to look forward to
Our pick and runner-up are now available in 4 TB capacities. Although this is a milestone, we think these particularly roomy models are too expensive at the moment, with a list price over $650. If you need to store that much data or keep archived backups over multiple years, a portable hard drive is much more economical (though slower, larger, and less durable) at about $100 for 4 TB.
The USB-IF has certified USB 4.0, which will continue to use the USB-C physical interface but will incorporate Thunderbolt 3 specs. As a result, a fully compliant USB 4 drive will be able to transmit up to 40 gigabits per second.
What does that mean? Although all future portable hard drives and SSDs will have physically compatible USB-C interfaces (and cables), you’ll still have to check the specs to determine the speed of your drive. For the time being, USB 3.2 Gen 2 sits in the sweet spot between price and speed.
Samsung’s Portable SSD T7 Touch is about $20 to $40 more expensive than our picks, a price tag justified by a touch sensor that allows you to unlock the drive using a recognized fingerprint. Otherwise this SSD was about as speedy as the other models we tested. The fingerprint reader can help you get into the habit of locking your data securely, but we don’t think it’s a must-have feature.
The Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD was significantly slower than the rest of the pack on sequential read and write operations, though it produced performance similar to what we saw from the other models on random reads and writes. That’s not surprising, considering that Seagate claims speeds of “up to 540 MB/sec” versus 1,000 to 1,050 MB/sec, and our testing confirmed that it was slower than the other drives here. It’s typically priced about the same as its competitors.
The Crucial X8 SSD is built into an attractive metal chassis and has an attractive price (13¢ per gigabyte at this writing). It also has the most comprehensive list of compatible devices (iPad Pro, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, and Windows), though all the drives we tested should work with most computers and gaming consoles. However, it was the only SSD that became noticeably warm during our recent tests. It wasn’t hot enough to burn, but it was cause for concern, as none of the other drives warmed up beyond room temperature. Our scans of Amazon reviews revealed that various owners had also observed the X8 heating up uncomfortably, and the issue was an apparent point of failure for one unfortunate Mac user.
We compared other current drives but dismissed them for other reasons, including a high price (G-Technology G-Drive, SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD V2, Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD, Western Digital WD Black P50 Game Drive SSD), a slower claimed transfer speed (Adata SC685, Crucial X6), or an outdated USB 3.0 interface (Seagate Expansion SSD, Seagate One Touch SSD, Seagate Ultra Touch SSD).
For a previous version of this guide, we tested several older SSDs including the Adata SE730H Portable External SSD, the Samsung Portable SSD T5, the first iteration of the SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD, the Seagate Fast SSD, an older Western Digital My Passport SSD, and the Western Digital My Passport Go SSD. Although some of these models may still be available, we recommend buying any of the newer models reviewed above. Not only are the new models speedier, but they also have longer, five- or three-year warranties.
We also dismissed other models without testing in the previous version of this guide. All were aging or outdated models, and we don’t recommend them, even if you find them in stock online. This group includes the 480 GB Adata SD600Q, the Adata XPG SD700X, the Glyph Atom, the G-Technology Atomos Master Caddy 4K SSD, the G-Technology G-Drive ev RaW SSD and G-Technology G-Drive Slim, the 500 GB LaCie Mobile SSD and LaCie Portable SSD, the MyDigitalSSD BP5, the PNY Elite, the Samsung Portable SSD X5, the 480 GB SanDisk Extreme 510 Portable SSD, the Transcend StoreJet 500, the VectoTech Rapid Portable SSD, and the Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD.
Justin Krajeski contributed to previous versions of this guide.
Avram Piltch, USB 4: Everything We Know, Including Apple Support, Tom’s Hardware, November 13, 2020
Dong Ngo, This is how SSDs work and what you can do to make yours last longer, CNET, April 15, 2017
Dong Ngo, Dan Dziedzic, How to buy storage, CNET, April 3, 2017
Joel Santo Domingo, SSD vs. HDD: What’s the Difference?, PCMag UK, September 2, 2020
Geoff Gasior, The SSD Endurance Experiment: They’re all dead, The Tech Report, March 12, 2015
Cameron Faulkner, How to Choose the Right Portable SSD, The Verge, May 13, 2019
USB 3.2 Specification (PDF), USB Implementers Forum, October 3, 2018
Gordon Mah Ung, Best external drives for backup, storage, and portability, PCWorld, January 5, 2021
Ganesh T S, SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD v2 and WD My Passport (2020) Review, AnandTech, September 30, 2020
About your guide
Joel Santo Domingo is a senior staff writer covering networking and storage at Wirecutter. Previously he tested and reviewed more than a thousand PCs and tech devices for PCMag and other sites over 17 years. Joel became attracted to service journalism after answering many “What’s good?” questions while working as an IT manager and technician.
Leveraging a USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface, WD’s Blue SN550E SSD, and a now-iconic design, SanDisk’s Extreme v2 is a great performing portable SSD that’s built secure and to endure the elements. Reasonably priced, it compares well in today’s market and is easy to recommend.
With an already award-winning and durable design, SanDisk’s focus for the Extreme v2 was to improve on what works, rather than start from scratch. Most of the changes in the v2 are internal rather than external. The company kept the old shell, scaling it up a little to account for faster NVMe-supporting hardware, and upping the performance from 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps to enable rapid data backups or reading when on the move.
SanDisk also upgraded the security significantly. No longer will you have to await the slow transfer speeds associated with the company’s old 128-bit software encryption. The AES 256-bit hardware-accelerated encryption support enables simple to use password security, making the SSD a good fit for those who carry sensitive data around with them.
|Product||Extreme v2 500GB||Extreme v2 1TB||Extreme v2 2TB||Extreme v2 4TB|
|Capacity (User / Raw)||500GB / 512GB||1000GB / 1024GB||2000GB / 2048GB||2000GB / 2048GB|
|Interface / Protocol||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2|
|Included||USB Type-C cable and USB Type-A adapter||USB Type-C cable and USB Type-A adapter||USB Type-C cable and USB Type-A adapter||USB Type-C cable and USB Type-A adapter|
|Sequential Read||1,050 MBps||1,050 MBps||1,050 MBps||1,050 MBps|
|Sequential Write||1,000 MBps||1,000 MBps||1,000 MBps||1,000 MBps|
|Interface Controller||ASMedia ASM2362||ASMedia ASM2362||ASMedia ASM2362||ASMedia ASM2362|
|NAND Controller||WD Architecture||WD Architecture||WD Architecture||WD Architecture|
|Storage Media||WD 96L TLC||WD 96L TLC||WD 96L TLC||WD 96L TLC|
|Default File System||exFAT||exFAT||exFAT||exFAT|
|Endurance||"IP55 water-dust resistant; 2-meter drop protection"||"IP55 water-dust resistant; 2-meter drop protection"||"IP55 water-dust resistant; 2-meter drop protection"||"IP55 water-dust resistant; 2-meter drop protection"|
|Security||AES 256-bit hardware encryption||AES 256-bit hardware encryption||AES 256-bit hardware encryption||AES 256-bit hardware encryption|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||101 x 52 x 9 mm||101 x 52 x 9 mm||101 x 52 x 9 mm||101 x 52 x 9 mm|
|Weight||63 g||63 g||63 g||63 g|
SanDisk’s Extreme v2 comes in capacities of 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, with prices ranging from $0.15-$0.19 per GB. Rated for up to 1,050/1,000 MBps read/write, the SanDisk Extreme v2 can deliver some very responsive performance, but these are peak figures. Due to a small static SLC cache, the Extreme v2 will degrade to direct-to-TLC speeds quickly. The smallest capacity will suffer the most. However, while not bus saturating, sustained performance will remain reasonable with the 1TB and 2TB models.
SanDisk’s Extreme v2 comes with an IP55 rating, AES 256-bit hardware encryption support, and a long warranty to ease concerns when traveling with your storage. The Extreme v2 has been tested to withstand water flow at a rate of 30kPa for three minutes, and dust contact does not interfere with operation. On top of this, SanDisk backs the Extreme v2 with a longer five-year warranty over its predecessor’s three-year warranty.
Software and Accessories
The Extreme v2 comes with a short 6-inch USB Type-C cable and a 1-inch long Type-C to Type-A adapter. It also comes with encryption management software to quickly set up a password to secure your data.
A Closer Look
SanDisk’s Extreme v2 is a bit bigger than the original, measuring 101 x 52 x 9 mm and weighing in at under 63 grams. With a carabiner loop integrated and a durable silicone coating, the Extreme v2 features a functional, portable, and enduring design for those on the move in tough conditions. But unlike the Extreme Pro, the Extreme v2’s case and internal structure is made of plastic rather than rigid aluminum. This makes for a small and compact design that is also pretty light, but a little less resistant to twists and bending.
The company opted for an ASMedia ASM2362 USB 3.2 Gen 2 to PCIe 3.0 x2 bridge chip in the design, similar to the company’s WD My Passport SSD. Integration of a near full-length strip of thermal tape between the WD Blue SN550E drive and the front cover aids in maintaining cool operation. Both the SSD and the ASMedia ASM2362 support active-state power management and therefore will scale down power consumption when at idle and help reduce overall heat. It also supports thermal throttling, prioritizing data integrity over performance in high-temperature conditions.
WD’s Blue SN550E is the company’s external-optimized SN550 Blue variant. It leverages a 4-channel DRAMless NVMe 1.3-compliant SSD controller with a multi-gear Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) ECC. While this SSD lacks DRAM for caching the FTL mapping table, it leverages internal SRAM to help optimize metadata updates. The SSD’s hardware also supports Trim when formatted via a supported file system such as NTFS, helping aid performance consistency over the device’s lifespan.
The controller interfaces with sixteen dies of WD’s BiCS4 96L TLC flash. This NAND measures 512Gb in density and features a 2-plane architecture, half the plane count of most of Micron’s 96L TLC, and operates at speeds of up to 800 MTps. While it features half the plane count of the competition, WD implements advanced algorithms to optimize both SLC and direct-to-TLC performance.
MORE: Best SSDs
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Current page: Features and SpecificationsNext Page1TB Performance Results
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD - Up to 550 MB/s - USB-C, USB 3.1 - SDSSDE60-1T00-G25
Pros: - I use it as the root drive for my Raspberry Pi 4 media center. The system boots up noticeably faster than when I only used a microsd card. I'd say maybe 2x faster. - Small size so if I wanted to take the PI and SSD with me, I could probably do so using a regular coat pocket or purse. - Doesn't require a powered hub to use on PI 4 (though having a powered hub probably wouldn't hurt if attaching more than one drive)
Cons: - None I'm aware of.
Overall Review: The shipping was quick, the size is about that of a credit card. It doesn't seem to require a powered hub to work with a raspberry PI (at least PI 4 anyways). The PI4 also has a USB3.0 512GB flash drive attached to it to give you an idea of how little power this thing uses. Anyways, I might opt for the 1TB version at some point so I have much more drive space for the PI. Might use that to make a NAS. So yea, it's a good product, it got here on-time as well.
The portable SSD market has been steadily expanding thanks to the increasing digital footprint of consumers. Content creators find themselves capturing photos and videos at higher and higher resolutions and bit-rates, while gamers are encountering installation sizes running into 100s of GBs. And the backup requirements for the average consumer have also grown in tandem.
Meanwhile, technological advancements such as 3D NAND with high layer counts and the emergence of QLC have enabled SSD capacities to increase substantially over the last few years. With economies of scale kicking in, multiple vendors are finally able to offer consumer-focused flash-based storage devices in capacities up to 4TB. At the 2021 CES, Western Digital introduced 4TB variants of almost all drives in their portable SSD families, including their flagship SanDisk Extreme PRO v2 and the WD_BLACK P50 lines. In March, Crucial updated its affordable X6 lineup to include a 4TB version.
WD's flagships and Crucial's mainstream X6 offerings represent two ends of the pricing spectrum. At the same capacity point, they present an interesting view of the tradeoffs involved in achieving a particular price point - performance, consistency, BOM features, and value additions. This review looks at the features of the SanDisk Extreme PRO v2 4TB and the Crucial X6 4TB portable SSDs, along with an analysis of their performance numbers and value propositions.
Introduction and Product Impressions
External bus-powered storage devices have grown both in storage capacity as well as speeds over the last decade. While PCIe / NVMe has been the driver of SSD speeds, faster host interfaces (such as Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.x) have helped on the direct-attached storage (DAS) side. We now have palm-sized flash-based storage devices capable of delivering 3GBps+ speeds. While those speeds can be achieved with Thunderbolt 4, mass-market devices have to rely on USB. Within the USB ecosystem, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) is fast becoming the entry level for thumb drives and portable SSDs. Premium devices sporting the USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Gbps) interface have been making it to the market over the last 18 months or so, but have been held back by the lack of widespread host support in desktops and other computing platforms. In contrast, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) has gained widespread deployment in both Type-C and Type-A versions.
The SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD v2 4TB we are looking at in this review uses the same mainboard with the ASMedia ASM2364 brdige chip as the 2TB version reviewed in October 2020. The main update is in the capacity of the SN730E NVMe SSD used internally. Both capacities use the same 3D TLC NAND, with the increased capacities being enabled by flash packages on both sides of the M.2 SSD. It made sense for SanDisk to delay the launch of the 4TB version - waiting for the market demand to catch up, while also taking advantage of increased yields with the mature BiCS 4 fabrication process. In terms of package contents, IP rating, and the look and feel of the drive, there is no change from the version reviewed earlier.
Crucial has a long history of reusing product model names despite significant changes in the internals. The Crucial X6 Portable SSD 4TB also falls in the same category. We had reviewed the 2TB version last year with Crucial's QLC-based BX500 SATA SSD behind an ASMedia ASM235CM SATA-to-USB bridge chip. Crucial's X6 4TB is one of the first high-performance external SSDs to hit the market with a native USB flash controller. Essentially, it adopts a platform similar to the ones found on USB thumb drives. However, thanks to recent advancements, such controllers are now able to hit transfer rates up to 1.9GBps when configured with the appropriate NAND and upstream interface. The X6 4TB version uses Crucial's 96L 3D QLC with the Phison U17 controller. This combination enables Crucial to claim speeds of up to 800 MBps. Based on consumer reports, it appears likely that Crucial is replacing the SATA SSD / bridge chip configuration in the lower capacity X6 SKUs with the native flash controller based board.
A quick overview of the internal capabilities of the internal drives is given by CrystalDiskInfo.
|Internal Drive Information - CrystalDiskInfo|
Both drives support S.M.A.R.T passthrough. X6 does not indicate TRIM as an available feature. However, we were able to activate TRIM in Windows on NTFS volumes in both drives. Temperature monitoring and obtaining health status (in terms of TBW) are simple for both drives.
The table below presents a comparative view of the specifications of the two portable SSDs covered in this review.
|Comparative Portable SSDs Configuration|
|Downstream Port||1x PCIe 3.0 x4 (M.2 NVMe)||Native Flash|
|Upstream Port||USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C||USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C|
|Bridge Chip||ASMedia ASM2364||Phison U17|
|Power||Bus Powered||Bus Powered|
|Use Case||Premium IP55-rated 2GBps-class, compact, and sturdy portable SSD in a gumstick form-factor||Affordable 800MBps, compact, and durable portable SSD in a pocketable form-factor|
|Physical Dimensions||110.26 mm x 57.34 mm x 10.22 mm||69 mm x 64 mm x 11 mm|
|Weight||90 grams (without cable)||41 grams (without cable)|
|Cable||30 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C to Type-C|
30 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C to Type-A
|24 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C to Type-C|
Type-C to Type-A adapter sold separately
|Hardware Encryption||Yes (256-bit AES, only via SanDisk Secure App)||Not Available|
|Evaluated Storage||Western Digital SN730E PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD|
SanDisk / Toshiba BiCS 4 96L 3D TLC
|Micron 96L 3D QLC|
|Price||USD 900||USD 481|
|Review Link||SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD v2 4TB Review||Crucial X6 Portable SSD 4TB Review|
Prior to looking at the benchmark numbers, power consumption, and thermal solution effectiveness, a description of the testbed setup and evaluation methodology is provided.
Testbed Setup and Evaluation Methodology
The evaluation routine for direct-attached storage devices – portable SSDs, storage bridges (including RAID enclosures), and memory cards – all utilize the same testbed and have similar workloads with slight tweaks based on the end market for the product. Our testbeds have kept pace with the introduction of new external interfaces - Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt 3, and USB 3.2 Gen 2 via Type-C. In mid-2014, we prepared a custom desktop based on Haswell, which was then upgraded to Skylake in early 2016. A botched Thunderbolt 3 firmware upgrade on the Skylake machine meant that we had to shift to the Hades Canyon NUC starting in early 2019. This year, we have adopted the Quartz Canyon NUC (essentially, the Xeon / ECC version of the Ghost Canyon NUC) along with build components from ADATA Industrial - 2x 16GB DDR4-3200 ECC SODIMMs and a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD - the IM2P33E8 1TB.
The most attractive aspect of the Quartz Canyon NUC is the presence of two PCIe slots (electrically, x16 and x4) for add-in cards. In the absence of a discrete GPU - for which there is no need in a DAS testbed - both slots are available. In fact, we also added a spare SanDisk Extreme PRO M.2 NVMe SSD to the CPU direct-attached M.2 22110 slot in the baseboard in order to avoid DMI bottlenecks when evaluating Thunderbolt 3 devices. This still allows for two add-in cards operating at x8 (x16 electrical) and x4 (x4 electrical). SilverStone's SST-ECU06 USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Gbps) add-in card (based on the ASMedia ASM3242 host controller) was installed in the x4 slot. The Type-C port from this add-in card is used to evaluate all storage devices with a USB 3.x interface.
The specifications of the testbed are summarized in the table below:
|AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration|
|System||Intel Quartz Canyon NUC9vXQNX|
|CPU||Intel Xeon E-2286M|
|Memory||ADATA Industrial AD4B3200716G22|
32 GB (2x 16GB)
DDR4-3200 ECC @ 22-22-22-52
|OS Drive||ADATA Industrial IM2P33E8 NVMe 1TB|
|Secondary Drive||SanDisk Extreme PRO M.2 NVMe 3D SSD 1TB|
|Add-on Card||SilverStone SST-ECU06 USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C Host|
|OS||Windows 10 Enterprise x64 (21H1)|
|Thanks to ADATA, Intel, and SilverStone for the build components|
The evaluation scheme for DAS units involves multiple workloads which are described in detail in the corresponding sections.
- Synthetic workloads using CrystalDiskMark and ATTO
- Real-world access traces using PCMark 10's storage benchmark
- Custom robocopy workloads reflective of typical DAS usage
- Sequential write stress test
While most DAS units targeting a particular market segment advertise similar performance numbers and also meet them for common workloads, the real differentiation is brought out on the technical side by the performance consistency metric and the effectiveness of the thermal solution. Industrial design and value-added features may also be important for certain users. The remaining sections in this review tackle all of these aspects.
End of the first part To be continued - Another pleasant story happened to me at the resort. I returned to my room, went into the elevator, and two men came after me, I was returning from the pool. I was wearing a blue swimsuit, a small bra and tight panties, and a short robe over it. And when we went to the second floor, the elevator got stuck.Sandisk Portable SSD 2021 Version - Review After Two Months of Use
Well, under the audience's approval, we happily greeted them. Without saying a word at all, they immediately proceeded to kissing, caressing, fucking. So we both wanted to do everything so that the sexual act itself was clearly. Visible through binoculars (and possibly a camera).
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But the fabric of my panties began to interfere and annoy me. I took my fingers out of the vagina and began to pull off the girl's panties. She readily lifted her butt and with the hand that had just captured my palm helped to get rid of the remnants of her. Clothes. She left Ellochka's legs bent at the knees, but spread them apart as far as the width of the carriage shelf allowed.