Review: SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
It`s the one thing we Photographers can`t never have enough. No, I am not talking about money. It`s all about storage. Fast Storage!
So let`s see what the Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD can do for us.
SanDisk released the Portable (SSDSDSSDE60-2T00) from their EXTREME series already a while ago, but I had no need so far, as I was always pleased with my Angelbird PKT SSD2GO. I will talk about this one separately.
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However, with Marvin, the Mavic 2 Pro* and 4k video I am as most of us always for the look of new, better and faster storage solutions. And I had the unusual idea to re-organize the whole content of my current Synology DS218+*. The NAS runs on two mirrored 2TB disks at the moment and is about 75% full. That`s why I decided to use a separate, external 2TB disk to backup the data and bring it back in a new structured way.
Don`t get me wrong, of course, I have multiple additional backups of my NAS. I run a nightly rsync to another NAS and do real-time sync into my 2TB Google Drive. That`s the basic of backups – three versions on three different locations!
But this shouldn`t be only a one-time shot. I mean, if I invest in a new portable drive, I want something useful — a keeper for following tasks, maybe even a replacement or addition to my Angelbird SSD*.
After some research, I ended up with the choice of the SanDisk or the Samsung T5. Both have about the same specifications, are at the same price range and have excellent customer reviews. Honestly, I ended up with the SanDisk because of the different and sporty design.
As the name already says, it is an SSD, a Solid State Drive. So it has no spinning or moving parts inside which makes it super robust and fast. By using a USB3.1 Type-C connection to your MAC or PC, this drive claims to reach up to 500MB/s read speed – more about this later!
It comes with a USB-C cable that includes an adapter from USB-C to USB-A.
It is also IP55 dust and water resistant and should survive up to a 2-meter drop.
And of, of course, it is small and light. Actually, it is a lot lighter than I expected, which is partly due to the plastic case that gives it light but also a very cheap feeling. Not comparable to the solid aluminum-block of an Angelbird – which also costs significantly (3x) more.
Here is a side-to-side size comparison between the SanDisk Portable SSD and a Compact Flash Card, an SD-Card and a Micro SD.
All available versions, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and my 2TB come in the same form-factor and with the same specs. In the world of SSD, sometimes more storage equals faster file-transfer rates due to parallelization, but not in this case.
The drive weights only 38,9g or 0.086lbs.
It can be operated between 0°C and 35°C (32°F to 95°F) and stored at -20°C to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F) what makes it a great companion for all adventures.
Read / Write Speed
If you do everything right than the drive keeps it promised speed and maybe even more under best conditions. But what does “everything right” mean?
Three golden rules:
- Use the super short and solid (massive screened) USB-cable that comes with the drive and connect it to a USB-C port.
- Use only the USB-A adapter, if you have to.
- Under no circumstances should you use any low-quality cable or extensions cord.
If you follow those rules, the disc provides enough speed for a truly “mobile” workflow and enables you to even live-edit pictures and videos from the disk.
I run several tests with different tools and different settings, but the above screenshots of CrystalDiskMark are easy to read and represent the overall outcome excellent.
The first picture shows a connection directly via USB-C with the short cable that comes with the drive. The Read speed slightly exceeds the promised 550MB/s. As the drive never mentions write speed, I am also positively surprised that this is just about 10% slower.
The middle picture shows the connection via the delivered adapter from USB-C to USB-A, connected to a USB 3.0 port. USB 3.0 can deliver up to 625 MB/s, so this shouldn’t be the limiting factor. However, the speed is still noticeable reduced and about 100MB/s slower than the drive proofed to be capable of.
The last picture is my worst nightmare scenario. I used a short USB-C extension cord to connect the drive because my native USB-C port is on the back of my desktop computer and hard to reach. I run the test several times and with different cables as I couldn`t believe the results. With this short extension, the drive delivers suddenly less than 10% of the promised speed and is even slower as an old USB2.0 connection. The odd thing is, old hard-drives (none SSD) can provide 50-100% more than the SSD in this setup.
There is not a lot bad to say about this drive. It looks nice and sporty, is small and robust enough for all kind of outdoor adventures and provides the promised speed if you take care of the connection. With available storage of 250GB and up to 2TB in a price range of $70 to $330 it is a solid, mobile storage extension.
Just the very cheap rubber haptic of the plastic makes me sometimes thinking about how nice and premium my Angelbird feels.