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4TB Samsung T7 Shield USB-C SSD, 8TB Samsung EVO USB SSD

BH Photo loaned MPG the about $299 4TB Samsung T7 Shield Portable SSD SAMUPE4T0SA for testing. Direct-connect to the 2022 MacBook Pro M2 Max via Thunderbolt/USB 4 port. Tests via diglloydTools DiskTester.

Consult with Lloyd to design a storage and/or backup system and/or high performance workflow.

Samsung T7 Shield USB-C SSD

The original Samsung T7 arrived around April 2020; it showed disappointing peformance due to the use of 2-tier flash memory.

But the 4TB Samsung T7 Shield Portable SSD offers a far higher performance level than that original 2TB offering. Of course, like all drives of this type, it is only a fraction of the speed of an Apple internal SSD.

Reliability

MPG Lloyd has used four 2TB Samsung T5 SSDs and two Samsung T7 SSDs for years now with zero reliability issues. It seems likely that the Samsung T7 Shield should be similarly reliable.

Description

The Samsung T7 Shield comes with both USB-A and USB-C cables, so it’s plug and play with a Mac or PC.

Note that Samsung uses MB = 1024 * 1024. Test results are in MiB (1024 * 1024), a factor of 1.048576X difference.

Samsung 4TB T7 Shield Portable SSD features a rubber protected exterior and an IP65 rating, providing content creators with both performance and durability. The rugged design and advanced outer elastomer protect it from drops while still being lightweight and portable.

The T7 Shield delivers a max read speed of 1,050 MB/s and a max write speed of 1,000 MB/s through its USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port. It is approximately twice as fast as its predecessor, the T5, and up to 9.5 times faster than a traditional external hard disk drive. The T7 Shield supports 256-bit AES hardware encryption to keep the data safe and secure, even if the T7 Shield is lost. Plus, it provides access to Samsung's Magician Software, which lets users conveniently manage the drive.

Real-world read performance

The trouble with testing SSDs is that brand-new performance can break down with usage, sometimes quickly. Hence real-world testing is instructive, and only time tells the true tale.

Real-world performance tests were performed after the benchmarks, that is, with the device having already been written in full for its full capacity and more.

Carbon Copy Cloner clone

Cloning is a write operation. Samsung T7 Shield performance is strong, but the SanDisk ExtremePRO V2 tested about 17% faster (988 MiB/sec).

Clone 355187 files totaling 1276GiB = 1370GB in 27:12 = 800 MiB/sec = 840 MB/sec.

Data verification — icj verify

Tested using IntegrityChecker Java on a 1273 GiB set of files. Samsung T7 Shield performance is outstanding at 908 MiB/sec = 952 MB/sec. This is considerably faster than the Crucial X6.

icj verify T7...
100%: 380625 files 1273.2 GiB @ 908 MiB/sec, 23:56 DONE

SSD Performance compared, cloning and data verification

Sustained performance

Tested using the fill-volume command of diglloydTools DiskTester.

Outstanding performance.

While the Samsung T7 Shield does not max-out the USB-C bus (see OWC Elektron), read speed stays at about 93% of maximum over the entire 4TB capacity, and write speed about 82% of maximum.

The sustained write speed is particularly impressive, since some SSDs quickly crumble under sustained writing. Samsung apparently used high-grade flash, not a mixture of fast/slow flash memory.

Write speed: 824 MiB/sec = 864 MB/sec
 Read speed: 932 MiB/sec = 977 MB/sec

Transfer size KiB =1024, speed in MiB = 1024 * 1024. Multiply by (1024/1000)^2 for MB/sec.

Samsung T7 2TB SSD 2TB: sustained performance across the 2TB capacity

Speed vs transfer size

Tested using the run-sequential-suite command of diglloydTools DiskTester.

Transfer size to IOPS: IOPS = 1024 * MiB/sec / transfer size KiB
eg 154 MiB/sec with 32KiB transfers = 4928 IOPS/sec.

Outstanding write performance; clearly some kind of high-speed caching is involved.

Read speeds are decent, but require very large transfers to get to top speed — 8MB or larger. Since few applications will use anything larger than 1MB transfers, effective speed for reads is much slower than one might hope for. Still, for all but demanding uses, it won’t matter.

Transfer size KiB =1024, speed in MiB = 1024 * 1024. Multiply by (1024/1000)^2 for MB/sec.

4TB Samsung T7 Shield: speed in MB/sec versus transfer size

Conclusions

BH Photo loaned MPG the about $299 4TB Samsung T7 Shield Portable SSD SAMUPE4T0SA for testing. Please buy it there to help support testing here at MPG.

The 4TB Samsung T7 Shield USB-C offers outstanding read and write performance across its entire 4TB capacity at an attractive price meaning an outstanding value. That it holds its performance consistently across its capacity is a huge plus vs some alternatives.

Of course, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 throttles potential SSD speed to much less than full Thunderbolt or USB 3.2 Gen2.2. Those looking for the very best performance should look at full Thunderbolt SSDs, such as the OWC Envoy Pro FX and the OWC Thunderblade. And for a higher price, you can get better performance even on USB-C, such as the OWC Elektron.

CLICK TO VIEW: OWC SSD

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