Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Samsung T7 Review

Lloyd Chambers:

MPG reviewed the Samsung T5 back in 2017 and found a lot to like. Great performance, and prices came way down by 2020—an excellent value.


That is, the Samsung T7 can deliver speeds slightly exceeding 1000 MB/sec for reads and writes. But as the tests show:

Under sustained writing, the Samsung T7 speed falls off a cliff.

And even worse, sustained read speeds are mediocre.


While the T5 does not offer the same peak speeds, it also sustains considerably higher write and read speeds. At least for my uses, this is far preferable.

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The Samsung Portable SSD T5 is the best external drive, hands down. Hopefully, Samsung will release higher capacities soon (4, 8 & 16 TB are technologically possible). With TLC (not QLC), please!

I purchased a SSD T5 and returned it because it doesn't work on a Mac without installing a driver - making it useless as a bootable backup drive. So how good it is depends on your use case. For me it was a terrible drive - I have no use for a drive that can't be written to without installing proprietary drivers first.

Since when? I've used T5s as bootable drives in years past.

@chris - Samsung 2TB T5 Portable Solid-State Drive (Black) ordered Dec 18. Couldn't be written to from my Mac - looked like I had formatted it, but when I unplugged it and plugged it back in it was back to exactly how it arrived. Maybe mine was a bad one, but when I searched for information there is a driver to download that is apparently what you need to make it work.

I don't do a 3-strikes with odd-ball disks :-) 1 strike and it's out :-)

Cheers, Liam

@chris - A Samsung 2TB T5 Portable Solid-State Drive (Black) purchased on Dec 18, 2020. When I formatted it it acted like it formatted, but when plugged and re-plugged it in it was back to it's arrival state. I did some research and it all indicated I need to install Samsung software to get actual functionality. The manual hints at this if you look:

Only Mac OS, “Samsung Portable SSD” driver is required for the security functionality. If the kernel extension is not installed, complete the installation by following the sequence on the package installation. Once installed, disconnect and reconnect T5 to confirm that the installation was successful.
* Only Mac OS, “Samsung Portable SSD” driver and some of 3rd party drivers, including SATSMARTDriver are mutually exclusive. If you wish to work with SATSMARTDriver, please remove Samsung Portable SSD driver and install SATSMARTDriver as following instruction.

Odd-ball disks don't get 3-strikes - they are out on strike 1. I like vanilla, works out of the box on clean installs of Linus, MacOS and Windows disks. No surprises, no challenges, no add-on software :-)

Cheers, Liam

Apologies for the partially finished posting/duplicate - browser glitched and page reloaded before I finished.

@ Liam: my guess is what they're saying is you need their driver for their encryption to work. If you instead use no encryption, or FileVault 2 (I think you can do that?), you shouldn't need a third-party driver.

No need to install any drive in the Samsung Portable SSD T5. Without that, it works great. With any driver of 3rd party on Mac disks, problems are likely to arise with any manufacturer.

@Liam I use T5 drives since many months without any additional driver software, just formatted on the Mac. Of course I can boot from them.

Just for the record, I use 500GB Samsung T5s as boot drives on 4 different Macs: two 21.5" iMacs (2015), a MacBook Pro (late 2016 w/Retina & Touch Bar), and a 27" iMac (2019). I have never had to install anything other than MacOS on the drives (i.e. no drivers or any of the other nonsense stated here).

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