Best External Hard Drive Write Speed

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Best External Hard Drive Write Speed

Whether you are a gamer, video editor, photographer, music producer, or just a movie enthusiast, you will most probably own an external drive or two. There are a couple of different ways to measure and compare drives, depending on what is important for the specific user. A New York stockbroker or a London banker might require a really safe but very sleek-looking device to suit their lifestyle. An Australian hiker, on the other hand, wouldn’t give a second of thought about how sleek the device is if it can’t handle water, dust, or drops. All people have different styles and preferences when it comes to all products, and the same can be said about external drives. However, there is one aspect that is important to every single buyer, at least to a moderate extent: speed. Even for the movie enthusiast who could just calmly wait out the 30 minutes until the 500 GB movie folder is moved onto a drive or vice-versa, a faster drive always seems more attractive, let alone for a video editor. 

What is important to mention is that we will be talking about writing speed in this article. Read speed is the speed with which your computer can read information off the device (open a picture from the device for example), while our area of investigation now is the write speed. That is the speed with which data can be written onto the device itself. In this article, we plan on diving into the topic of external drive write speeds and we will also choose a winner in a couple of different categories in order to find the best device for different people with different needs. Read on to find out what are the best external hard drives when it comes to writing speed!

Best External Hard Drive Writing Speed – Overall

First, we would like to discuss how we came to our conclusions and what overall means in these terms in a couple of sentences, since tech review can be mostly subjective to one’s financial status or perhaps work requirements. Here, in the Overall division, we tried to look at the best device if we average out all spec groups. This means that the device we will mention here will probably not have anything outstanding about it, rather than the fact that it delivers in all areas. In the other divisions, we prioritized other features, this way you can find the best product for you. So, here we go with the best external hard drive for writing speed – overall. 

The one we have chosen for the best speed winner overall is the Samsung T5 Portable SSD 1TB external drive. The company itself doesn’t really need an introduction, but it does add to the well-deserved image if we mention the fact that it is the number two tech company in the world for revenue as of 2019 and also one of the most popular around the world. They are well-known for producing high-end electronic devices, from phones and storage devices to fridges and air-conditioning systems. A Samsung logo on any device will radiate reliability and build quality, so it is no surprise that the Samsung T5 Portable can also be assigned these qualities. 

The device itself is quite a sleek-looking thing. It has a minimalistic look, with a typical Samsung matte finish which makes it look like a slab of good quality as it is laying next to a laptop or PC. Nothing fancy, no gamer-ish design, no plastic, just Samsung-like simplicity. The device is also very compact; one of the smallest SSD-s of this capacity available. It is very easy to slide it in a pocket and carry it around due to its small size and lightweight design. The product comes with USB C to A and USB C to C cables for a seamless and easy connection to any sort of device and also has a 3-year limited warranty on it. 

So, since this set of reviews is set mostly around writing speed, we will write down some of the numbers we got when testing the device for ourselves. According to Samsung, the T5 can perform at speeds of around 540 Mb/s, but we wanted to test that out in order to be able to write a review that is reliable. We ran the CrystalDiskMark program, which is the most widely used program for testing drive speeds and functions. We ran the program and it came back with satisfying results: 560 Mb/s read speed and 530 Mb/s write speed. That makes this product one of the best we have tested, suitable even for real-time video editing off of the device. Not the most high-quality videos, though, because 4k would already cause quite some trouble to the T5 and isn’t recommended, but some more basic video editing could also work. The write speed is impressive also since it is barely slower than reading speed which is quite a feat. With this writing speed, transferring a movie wouldn’t take you more than about 2 seconds, which is easily fast enough for any everyday user or even above. The only scenario in which we don’t recommend this is if you are really looking for something heavy-duty with which you can real-time edit 8k video and write one terabyte onto the disk in 7 minutes. For anyone else, this is really one of the best devices you can buy. Well rounded, reliable, good-looking, and fast. Check it out on Amazon.

Best External Hard Drive Writing Speed – Budget Pick

When looking at budget options, one cannot expect the speeds they could with non-budget options, that is clear, but it doesn’t mean that someone on a budget can not find a suitable external drive for their needs with decent speed. That is, in fact, what we tried to choose: a device suitable for everyday usage at a decent speed. The winner in this category is the WD 2TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive, which costs a surprisingly low 65 USD (at the time of writing this article) on Amazon. For 65 dollars, first of all, you get 2 TB of space, which already seems like a good deal. However, the speed of this device is actually somewhat higher than other budget devices, which is the reason why we think of this product as the best in this category. 

The Western Digital company is one of the more famous names in the external and internal drive business. They own SanDisk and G-Technology as well, so their products range from small, budget HDD-s to super high-end RAID systems of 140 TB and up. WD is considered to be one of the most reliable companies when it comes to external and internal drive production, and it does claim its placement in the top 3 external drive manufacturers next to Seagate and Toshiba. It is definitely a company one can trust. 

The WD 2TB My Passport is a sleek-looking, reliable device. It doesn’t look as elegant and high-end as the Samsung does, but it undeniably looks like a device of quality. It has a somewhat traditional shape and design, but it is available in different colors (black, red, and blue), so you can somewhat customize it to your taste. It is lightweight and easy to carry, though it isn’t as small as the Samsung, which comes as no surprise seeing as this is a budget HDD and not a middle-range SSD like that one. The speed of the WD is nothing compared to the Samsung, but SSD-s and HDD-s are two wholly different worlds, so we won’t compare the two. When put up against other budget HDD-s, however, it fares pretty well. Usually, an HDD of this price range will get you around 80-110 Mb/s, which is usable for the casual user but is quite low. The WD on the other hand extends that range up to 130 Mb/s and can keep speeds around that number quite consistently. We used the CrystalDiskMark program with this one as well in order to test it for ourselves. The advertised 130 Mb/s wasn’t hit in our tests, but a pretty decent and consistent 120 Mb/s was, which is still pretty good for this price. The write speed was around the same, about 10 Mb/s slower than the write speed, but also consistent. That means that the WD My Passport 2 TB has around 110 Mb/s of write speed, which, when added to the 2 TB space and cool design of the device, makes the best budget deal you can find. Here is a link to Amazon for those who are interested.

Other Best External Hard Drives Writing Speed

The Beast: G-Technology G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD

This machine is an absolute maniac when it comes to speed, and that is the sole and most important factor we took into consideration in this division; it can deliver up to 2800 Mb/s of transfer speed. There aren’t even many competitors to this product on the market, since the technology needed to deliver such speeds in a compact environment like an external drive is just too hard for some companies to make and sell at a reasonable price. Now, the reasonable price we are talking about here is around 200 dollars for the smallest version, which has 500 GB of space. That might seem expensive, which it is, but anyone who requires this type of machinery to complete their work or just for a hobby will probably have enough money to afford it or will find enough to get it anyway. A 1 TB version will set you back anywhere from 350 to 420 dollars, but what is not to be forgotten alongside this price, is that this device can actually transfer 1 TB of data in just 7 minutes. This is the monster machine we touched on earlier in the Samsung T5 review, which is able to handle real-time editing of 8k video from the external drive with ease. 

Though we had to think twice about buying and testing this device due to the price, we did manage to put our hands on a 2 TB one, which costs around 700 USD, and tested it with the CrystalDiskMark program. We got insane results, namely 2856.3 Mb/s on read speed and 2497.4 Mb/s on write speed. That is the absolute best we have tested, which is why we decided to include it in this review, regardless of the price-tag. If we are honest, the price tag is really nothing compared to the speed and performance this device provides compared to others. The value for money is insane; if you need this type of performance, that is. If you are interested in a portable device which will become your ultimate data-transferring powerhouse, do check out the G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD on Amazon.

The Active One: Adata SD700

This device is quite an impressive one in multiple domains. It is quite rare to find an SSD with good read and write speeds, a fresh and active look, military-grade shockproof testing, and a reasonable price all in one. This is the Adata SD700, and it is well worth the money. 

The Adata SD700 is a super-slim, ruggedized, compact piece of equipment that has been designed to withstand the harshest conditions. It is a drop-, shock-, water-, and dust-proof product that costs around 130 USD, which we think is a great deal, but the price range doesn’t classify it as a budget device. Otherwise, in a value for money category, it might just win. It delivers decent transfer speeds as well, with the company claiming that the product can go up to 440 Mb/s, which is not considered super fast in the modern world, but it is absolutely more than enough for any daily use or even large and heavy data transfers. 

We tested the Adata SD700 to find out whether the speed it is being advertised with is the reality of the product or not. With the CrystalDiskMark software, we received 453 Mb/s reading speed and 404 Mb/s writing speed, which is really good for a device whose primary function isn’t to be fast, but rather durable. We also tried drop-testing it and lightly throwing it against a wall as well, and there was no data loss or hardware damage whatsoever. The part that excelled the most through our experience with this device is the design and build of the product. The Adata SD700 is designed to be heavy-duty and to withstand relatively extreme conditions, and the look of it definitely radiates that vibe. We think it looks really nice, it truly looks like a connection between the office worker’s and the outdoorsman’s fusion. 

The Popular One: SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD

Everyone has heard of SanDisk, the company that has been around since the 1980-s and the name of which is almost synonymous with storage devices. It might not be as trendy as LaCie products, but it is definitely a product all people have seen who have spent any time on the internet. The SanDisk Extreme PRO is a really well-balanced product, with surprisingly high transfer rates. 

It is a somewhat more expensive product, though not one to break the bank; it costs around 190-200 USD. For that money, you get a good-looking, compact device made by a trusted manufacturer. Since this article is mostly centered around the writing speed of different external drives, we decided to analyze the speed of this drive as well, aside from commenting on its professional-looking design. 

According to SanDisk, the Extreme PRO can transfer data at a speed of up to 1050 Mb/s, which is about double that of a Samsung T5 or just any average SSD. We decided we will put this to the test so we can recommend this product with certainty. We tested the Extreme PRO with the CrystalDiskMark software just like all other disks we tested for this review, and we got back a 932 Mb/s read speed and an 850 Mb/s writing speed. Though somewhat below the company’s statement, it is still a really good speed which will allow you to write onto the external drive with a higher speed than other SSD-s. If you are interested in this reliable, durable, and very fast external drive, do check it out on Amazon.


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