Jekyl September 11, 2017
A little while ago a buddy of mine bought a 2TB Seagate external hard drive for his Xbox One and told me about how much faster he loads into games now. He plays Battlefield and Destiny and says he’s the first to load into maps nearly every time. If you’ve played Destiny, then you know the load times suck going to/from orbit pretty much anywhere, and Battlefield maps can take a while some times, so having an external hard drive shave that time down by any amount is much appreciated.
I bought this SSD with Destiny 2 in mind, certain that Bungie would still plague us with long load times. Fortunately, they aren’t as bad as Destiny 1, but here is the rough breakdown of load times which, understandably can vary due to network-related issues (internet, Xbox Live, Bungie servers, or all), but these are the results when we timed ourselves in various situations (ALL on wireless internet connections):
With Destiny 2 completely closed out, from Xbox Home screen to Destiny 2 main menu (exactly when the “Press A to Start” appears):
– 12 seconds with the Samsung T5
– 15 seconds with friend’s 2TB Seagate hard drive
– 17 seconds with default Xbox One
Overall, not much difference but there really isn’t much to load just getting to that screen anyway.
Within Destiny 2, from Orbit to The Farm (excluding that “3, 2, 1” launch countdown):
– 32 seconds with Samsung T5
– 44 seconds with friend’s 2TB Seagate hard drive
– 46 seconds with default Xbox One
Within Destiny 2, loading from EDZ to Titan:
– 30 seconds with Samsung T5
– 49 seconds with friend’s 2TB Seagate hard drive!
Our 3rd tester with the default Xbox wasn’t present for this one but when I loaded into the mission I was stunned at how long I was waiting for my friend to load in after me – almost 20 seconds later!
Now, these aren’t scientific, definitive results in any way. We only timed ourselves once so they are not averages, and that last test with my friend being almost 20 seconds behind me doesn’t appear to be normal, as once we stopped timing things and continued playing on, we never had a load-time difference that seemed as bad as that again (most likely network related delay). Just last night actually, he loaded into a map before me for the first time ever in the past few days – so while I think it’s safe to say the Samsung T5 is generally going to be the faster drive, network conditions can hold it, and anyone, back from time to time.
Overall, I’m very satisfied with this little unit. 250GB is plenty of space to load your most important 3-4, load-screen-heavy games onto, and if for some reason you’re the type that’s playing more than that many games at any time, copying game files to/from this drive is super quick as well. You won’t be disappointed!
Samsung’s new portable SSD brings some new technology but similar performance to their prior (and excellent) T3 drive. The T5 is one of the first consumer products with a new 3D NAND technology where the chip is constructed vertically to allow for more storage density in small form factors. It also has a faster USB interface versus the prior edition drive.
What does this mean for the average user? Not much. The reality of this drive is that it performs close to where last year’s drive performed. That’s not a bad thing given how well the T3 performed for a portable SSD drive. Super fast, super rugged, and in my experience super reliable too.
The T5 excels in its sequential read speeds, achieving the fastest I’ve seen out of a portable SSD at around 505 megabytes per second. It falls behind the T3 in its sequential write performance, however, typically getting around 300-325 megabytes per second sustained over long periods of time after a short burst in the mid 400’s. I found the T3 to do a little better over a long period of sequential writes vs. this drive.
UPDATE: I found the 500GB edition does better with long duration sequential writes vs. the 250GB model. If you are planning to do video capture I recommend the 500 vs. the 250. I’ll have a second review up shortly of the 500.
Random reads and writes are consistent with the prior model (about 25 megs/sec in reads and 36 megs/sec in writes).
Why does it lose a star? The software on the Mac. The Mac software installs a memory resident “monitor” app that runs in the background all the time and is very difficult for an end-user to uninstall. Removing the software requires going into the terminal window and running a bash script. This is far from consumer friendly and very poor on Samsung’s part to do this. Software is not required to use the drive and I strongly suggest not installing it.