Samsung T9 Portable SSD Review

I have been reviewing Samsung’s line of portable SSDs since their original “T1” released way back in 2015. In my latest video, I take a look at the new Samsung T9 – their newest portable SSD.

I purchased the 2 TB version for my review which is the sweet spot when it comes to price per gigabyte. It currently sells for $179 (compensated affiliate link) but prices will vary depending on market conditions, promotions, and capacity.

The Samsung T9 supports the obscure USB 3.2 2×2 standard, promising speeds up to 2000 megabytes per second. However, this performance peak is only achievable if your computer supports the 2×2 standard, which, as I found, is rare. Most PCs, including Macs and Windows PCs with Thunderbolt and USB 4 support, do not support USB 3.2×2, resulting in halved performance for the majority of users. This limitation isn’t unique to Samsung; other brands like Seagate, SanDisk, WD, and Crucial all made the choice to support this format.

In my tests using a MacBook Air M2 and a gaming PC, the T9’s performance was good but not exceptional. It excelled in sequential read and write tests but fell short in random reads and writes compared to competitors. This might affect users engaged in gaming or operating system boot-ups, where random read and write speeds are important. But these speed disparities will likely not be noticeable by most consumers.

Samsung’s Magician software works with the T9 (along with their other SSDs) which is a useful tool for monitoring the drive’s health and updating firmware. The drive also features hardware encryption capabilities, requiring a password for access, which works on Windows, Mac, and Android, but not on Linux or iOS devices.

Compatibility-wise, the T9 worked well with various devices, including iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and gaming consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. However, it’s worth noting that newer AAA games on the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X require faster storage than what USB can provide.

Overall I found the Samsung T9 is a reliable choice for typical tasks like backups, data transfers, and video capturing. Its performance in these areas is solid, and Samsung’s reputation for reliable storage stands. However, when it comes to random read and write performance, it doesn’t quite match up to its competitors, especially considering its price point.

For those seeking a portable SSD, the T9 is a viable option, but it’s important to weigh its performance against its competitors, especially if your usage involves intensive random read and write operations.