Review: Samsung T5 SSD

The product reviews at PEBMAC are intended to give you just the information you need, and none of what you don’t. Your time is valuable, and I don’t get paid by the word!

If you're in need of external storage, I strongly urge you to consider whether you might be able to use an SSD as opposed to a traditional hard drive. Here's why:

  • Speed. An SSD can be over 10 times faster than a traditional hard drive.

  • Size. The Samsung T5 is about 1/4 the size of a portable external hard drive.

  • Reliability. Some hard drives can have almost a 30% failure rate in one year. For what it's worth, I have yet to see a single SSD failure, although they can happen.

There are some downsides, however:

  • Cost. The price for an SSD is still dramatically higher than for a hard drive, especially if you get into multi-terabyte capacities.

  • Capacity. Even if you've got plenty of money to spend, you won't find the same high capacities as with hard drives (although that's changing fast).

  • Types of failure. When a hard drive starts to fail you often get some early warning, such as spinning beachballs. With an SSD, a failure can be catastrophic. The risk is low, but the results are more devastating.

The Samsung T5 has excellent reviews on Amazon, and if you've got the money to spend you can get them in up to 2 TB capacities (the best bang for your buck is 500 GB). It includes two cables, a traditional USB-A cable for use with older Macs, and a USB-C cable for use with the latest Macs (and with increased speed as well).

Samsung gives you the ability to use their own software to encrypt the drive, but you're much better off reformatting it as encrypted Mac format using Disk Utility (the software that comes with all storage drives is almost universally unnecessary garbage.)

The drive comes with a three-year warranty. Most of the complaints about the drive were user error, not hardware related.

PEBMAC final thoughts: If you need a portable drive that with lots of speed, such as for moving photos or other large files between devices, the Samsung T5 is a fantastic option. If you need higher capacities stick with traditional hard drives, but check on Amazon to see what the current sizes and prices are for the T5, as they're always improving.

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