TRIM Performance:

While SSDs offer many benefits, there are some downsides to using flash memory. One of the biggest issues people run into is performance degradation. Over time, an SSD will run out of fresh blocks and will have to write over data the file system has marked as deleted. This procedure is very complicated and can slow an SSD's write speeds considerably.

To address this problem, most manufacturers have added TRIM support to their SSDs. The TRIM command allows an operating system, such as Windows 7, to tell an SSD which data blocks are no longer in use. Using this information, the drive pro-actively erases these blocks and adds them to the free block pool.

To test the T5's TRIM and garbage collection functions, I first put the drive in a "dirty" state. I used Iometer to fill the entire drive and then ran a random write test for 30 minutes. This had little impact on the T5's read speed. However, its average writing speed dropped to 84.3 MB/s.


Samsung T5 - Dirty

To see how well the T5 could recover, I let the computer sit for about 30 minutes and then reran the test. Looking at the screenshot below, you can see that the drive's average writing speed jumped back up to 311.2 MB/s.


Samsung T5 - After Trim

Lastly, I used Parted Magic to perform a secure erase of the T5. With the drive wiped clean, it had average read and write speeds of 321.8 MB/s and 315.7 MB/s, respectively.


Samsung T5 - Secure Erase

Final Thoughts:

Samsung's T5 portable SSD is a great addition to the company's already impressive line of flash-based storage products. Designed for professionals as well as mainstream consumers, this lightweight, pocket-sized drive not only looks great, but is also durable enough for day to day use. The T5 is also powered by the same 2-core MGX controller found in the 850 EVO and is available with up to 2TB of Samsung's latest 64-layer V-NAND flash. Combine this with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface and you have a portable SSD that's capable of some pretty impressive performance. In our sequential read and write tests, the T5 was able to read at speeds as high as 560 MB/s and write at speeds in excess of 502 MB/s. It also performed fairly well when doing random reads, but lagged behind many of the internal SSDs in our random write tests, producing less than 33,000 IOPS.

The Samsung T5 is available now in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. Prices on Amazon.com currently range from $120 up to $740, with the 500GB version reviewed here retailing for about $160.

Highs:

  • Available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities
  • Built with 64-layer V-NAND technology
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface
  • Excellent sequential read and write speeds
  • Compact and durable design with shock resistant internal frame
  • Supports TRIM
  • Password protection with AES 256-bit hardware encryption
  • Includes Samsung's Portable SSD Software for Windows, Mac and Android
  • Reasonably priced
  • 3 year warranty

Lows:

  • Lackluster random write performance

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