Samsung’s transportable SSD lineup has loved vital market success because the launch of the T1 again in 2015. Regardless of the discharge of the Thunderbolt-capable X5 PSSD in 2018, the corporate has been focusing totally on the mainstream market with its T collection drives.

The primary set of PSSDs from Samsung integrated a SATA SSD behind a USB 3.2 Gen 1 bridge chip. With the T5 in 2017, the corporate moved to a USB 3.2 Gen 2 bridge whereas retaining the SATA SSD. Within the T7 Touch launched in 2020, the SATA part was changed by a NVMe SSD and the USB 3.2 Gen 2 SATA bridge was changed by a NVMe one. The T7 collection was augmented with IP65-rated fashions (the T7 Shield) in 2022. Regardless of the identical T7 moniker, the Defend’s use of newer NAND enabled enhancements in each latency and energy consumption.

Samsung is introducing the two GBps-class Moveable SSD T9 at present. Outfitted with a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) interface, the PSSD advertises double the efficiency of the T7 Defend. The corporate despatched over the best capability model (4 TB) to place by means of our rigorous analysis routine for direct-attached storage gadgets. The assessment under presents an in-depth investigation into the design and efficiency profile of the Samsung Moveable SSD T9.

Introduction and Product Impressions

Exterior bus-powered storage gadgets have grown each in storage capability in addition to speeds over the past decade. Because of fast developments in flash expertise (together with the appearance of 3D NAND and NVMe) in addition to quicker host interfaces (resembling Thunderbolt and USB 3.x / USB4), we now have palm-sized flash-based storage gadgets able to delivering 3GBps+ speeds. Whereas these speeds may be achieved with Thunderbolt, mass-market gadgets should depend on USB. Throughout the USB ecosystem, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) is quick changing into the entry degree for thumb drives and transportable SSDs. USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) obtained off to a slow start, however latest computing platforms from each Intel and AMD have began to assist it on the host facet. The introduction of native USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 flash controllers such because the Phison U18 and Silicon Motion SM2320 has enabled PSSD distributors to convey low-cost power-efficient 20 Gbps exterior drives to the market.

Broadly talking, there are 5 distinct efficiency ranges on this market:

  • 2GBps+ drives with Thunderbolt 3 or USB4, utilizing NVMe SSDs
  • 2GBps drives with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, utilizing NVMe SSDs or direct USB flash drive (UFD) controllers
  • 1GBps drives with USB 3.2 Gen 2, utilizing NVMe SSDs or direct UFD controllers
  • 500MBps drives with USB 3.2 Gen 1 (or, Gen 2, in some circumstances), utilizing SATA SSDs
  • Sub-400MBps drives with USB 3.2 Gen 1, utilizing UFD controllers

Inside every of those ranges, there may be additional segmentation into entry-level, mid-range, and premium based mostly on the selection of inside parts. The Samsung Moveable SSD T9 4 TB we’re taking a look at at present belongs to the second class within the above checklist. The T9 bundle comes with the principle unit, an set up information, and two 45 cm USB cables. The Kind-C to Kind-C one helps 20 Gbps speeds, whereas the Kind-C to Kind-A is restricted to 10 Gbps speeds. The principle unit has a LED indicator and a Kind-C feminine port (USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 is supported solely with Kind-C ports).

The principle unit has a rubber sleeve, offering it with a little bit of ruggedness (withstanding drops, and many others.). Nonetheless, the T9 doesn’t have an IP ranking. Disassembling the unit is pretty trivial – after elimination of the sleeve, we are able to see 4 screws holding the 2 aluminum blocks collectively. Aside from these, there are 4 screws hidden behind the label on both finish as proven within the gallery under. The PSSD’s fundamental board is sandwiched between the 2 blocks.

This design is barely completely different from the sooner T collection drives. We see a extra thorough thermal resolution with loads of thermal pads unfold out throughout the board. The aluminum blocks even have raised profiles on the within as a way to guarantee good contact with the warmth producing parts of the board.

The board itself is similar to the T7 Defend we reviewed earlier this yr. The NVMe SSD controller is identical Pablo silicon, and the NAND bundle markings level to using the identical 128L / 136T 6th Gen. V-NAND. The NVMe phase is DRAM-less. In comparison with the 4 TB T7 Defend’s board, the one change is the alternative of the ASMedia ASM2362 by the ASMedia ASM2364 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 – PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe bridge chip.

This assessment compares the Samsung T9 towards a bunch of different USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 PSSDs reviewed earlier. A fast overview of the interior capabilities of theese PSSDs is given by CrystalDiskInfo. The Samsung PSSD T9 helps full S.M.A.R.T passthrough, together with TRIM to make sure constant efficiency for the drive over its lifetime.

S.M.A.R.T Passthrough – CrystalDiskInfo

The desk under presents a comparative view of the specs of the completely different PSSDs offered on this assessment.

Comparative Direct-Connected Storage Units Configuration
Downstream Port 1x PCIe 3.0 x4 1x PCIe 3.0 x4 (M.2 NVMe)
Upstream Port USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C (Feminine) USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C
Bridge Chip ASMedia ASM2364 ASMedia ASM2364
Energy Bus Powered Bus Powered
Use Case 2GBps-class, sturdy palm-sized high-performance transportable SSD with a Kind-C interface Premium 2GBps-class, compact, and durable transportable SSD in a gumstick form-factor focusing on the gaming market
Bodily Dimensions 88 mm x 60 mm x 14 mm 118 mm x 62 mm x 14 mm
Weight 122 grams 115 grams (with out cable)
Cable 45 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C (male) to Kind-C (male)
45 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C (male) to Kind-A (male)
30 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C to Kind-C
30 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C to Kind-A
S.M.A.R.T Passthrough Sure Sure
UASP Assist Sure Sure
TRIM Passthrough Sure Sure
{Hardware} Encryption Sure Not Out there
Evaluated Storage Samsung 136L V-NAND (6th Gen.) Western Digital SN750E PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD
SanDisk / Toshiba BiCS 4 96L 3D TLC
Value $440 USD 210
Overview Hyperlink Samsung T9 Portable SSD 4TB Review WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD 1TB Review #1 (2020)
WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD 1TB Review #2 (2021)

Previous to trying on the benchmark numbers, energy consumption, and thermal resolution effectiveness, an outline of the testbed setup and analysis methodology is offered.

Testbed Setup and Analysis Methodology

Direct-attached storage gadgets (together with transportable SSDs) are evaluated utilizing the Quartz Canyon NUC (basically, the Xeon / ECC model of the Ghost Canyon NUC) configured with 2x 16GB DDR4-2667 ECC SODIMMs and a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD – the IM2P33E8 1TB from ADATA.

Essentially the most enticing facet of the Quartz Canyon NUC is the presence of two PCIe slots (electrically, x16 and x4) for add-in playing cards. Within the absence of a discrete GPU – for which there isn’t any want in a DAS testbed – each slots can be found. Actually, we additionally added a spare SanDisk Excessive PRO M.2 NVMe SSD to the CPU direct-attached M.2 22110 slot within the baseboard as a way to keep away from DMI bottlenecks when evaluating Thunderbolt 3 gadgets. This nonetheless permits for 2 add-in playing cards working at x8 (x16 electrical) and x4 (x4 electrical). Because the Quartz Canyon NUC would not have a local USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port, Silverstone’s SST-ECU06 add-in card was put in within the x4 slot. All non-Thunderbolt gadgets are examined utilizing the Kind-C port enabled by the SST-ECU06.

The specs of the testbed are summarized within the desk under:

The 2021 AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration
System Intel Quartz Canyon NUC9vXQNX
CPU Intel Xeon E-2286M
Reminiscence ADATA Industrial AD4B3200716G22
32 GB (2x 16GB)
DDR4-3200 ECC @ 22-22-22-52
OS Drive ADATA Industrial IM2P33E8 NVMe 1TB
Secondary Drive SanDisk Excessive PRO M.2 NVMe 3D SSD 1TB
Add-on Card SilverStone Tek SST-ECU06 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C Host
OS Home windows 10 Enterprise x64 (21H1)
Because of ADATA, Intel, and SilverStone Tek for the construct parts

The testbed {hardware} is just one phase of the analysis. Over the previous few years, the everyday direct-attached storage workloads for reminiscence playing cards have additionally advanced. Excessive bit-rate 4K movies at 60fps have grow to be fairly frequent, and 8K movies are beginning to make an look. Recreation set up sizes have additionally grown steadily even in transportable recreation consoles, due to excessive decision textures and art work. Holding these in thoughts, our analysis scheme for direct-attached storage gadgets entails a number of workloads that are described intimately within the corresponding sections.

  • Artificial workloads utilizing CrystalDiskMark and ATTO
  • Actual-world entry traces utilizing PCMark 10’s storage benchmark
  • Customized robocopy workloads reflective of typical DAS utilization
  • Sequential write stress take a look at

Within the subsequent part, we now have an outline of the efficiency of the Samsung Moveable SSD T9 in these benchmarks. Previous to offering concluding remarks, we now have some observations on the PSSD’s energy consumption numbers and thermal resolution additionally.


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