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Samsung T9 review: One tough and very speedy SSD

Our Rating :
£197.90 from
Price when reviewed : £123
(1TB) inc VAT

The tough, grippy exterior hides an impressively fast SSD, provided you have USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 connectivity to work with


  • Excellent sequential and random performance
  • Rugged and practical design
  • USB-A and USB-C cables included


  • Expensive compared to USB 3.2 Gen 2 drives
  • Only quick if your laptop/PC supports the relevant standard

With USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 support and speeds of up to 2,000MB/sec, the Samsung T9 takes its place as Samsung’s fastest external SSD – and one of the fastest available from any manufacturer.

Yet there’s more to this drive than just performance, with Samsung having put some thought into how we’re now using SSDs, and the kind of scenarios we might be using them in. This isn’t just a speedy drive, but a practical drive as well.

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Samsung T9 review: What do you get for the money?

The Samsung T9 is a compact and highly portable USB SSD in a rubberised plastic shell. At 60 x 88 x 14mm, it’s a little more chunky than some rival drives, but its thick jacket means it’s drop-proof for up to three metres, while Samsung claims its Dynamic Thermal Guard technology helps keep it cool and avoid slowing down.

It’s usable in temperatures between 0°C and 60°C, while your data should be safe between -40°C and 85°C. It’s not fully-ruggedised, but the T9 is tough, and – crucially – the texture and unusual sculpting of the jacket make the drive easier to grip. You might appreciate that if you’re using it in difficult conditions. For further peace of mind, it’s covered by a five-year limited warranty.

The Samsung T9 uses a USB-C port for connectivity, and for its highest speeds you’ll need a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port on your device. It’s surprising how few laptops or desktops support this, so check before you buy. To ensure compatibility with the widest range of devices, Samsung bundles both USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables, while its Samsung Magician drive management software comes pre-installed on the drive.

Samsung’s speedy portable comes in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities, with prices ranging from £115 to around £370. That puts it at the premium end of the market, against drives such as the SanDisk Extreme Pro; another USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 drive that can usually be found for a little less cash.

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Samsung T9 review: How does it perform?

The T9 lives up to its billing as a high-performance portable drive. I connected it to a laptop via USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, and it posted sequential read speeds in CrystalDiskMark exceeding 2GB/sec (2,017MB/sec to be exact) and write speeds of 1,988.4MB/sec.

Samsung T9 reviewOf all the drives I’ve tested, only the Seagate Firecuda Gaming can boast faster sequential read/write results, and either drive will transfer massive files in seconds. For instance, copying a 6.27GB 4K video file to the T9 took just 7.93 seconds, averaged across three runs, for a write speed of 791MB/sec. Copying it back was even faster, at 1,063.3MB/sec. Standard USB 3.2 Gen 2 drives don’t even come close.

Random 4K read/write speeds (important if you are running applications or games from the drive) are significantly slower, yet the T9 still hits read speeds of 268.9MB/sec in CrystalDiskMark’s random 4K tests and write speeds of 298.8MB/sec. To put that in perspective, the Firecuda Gaming scores 207.1MB/sec and 188.91/sec in the same tests.

In AS-SSD’s 4K read/write tests, the T9 scores 37.76MB/sec and 70.95MB/sec, against the Firecuda Gaming’s 40.95MB/sec and 61.79MB/sec, so it has the edge when it comes to app performance.

Samsung T9 review

Samsung T9 reviewOf course, all these results are dependent on having a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port to work with, and on USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 or USB-C Gen 2 connections you’re not going to see this drive at its best. Sequential read/write speeds drop to 1,070.18MB/sec and 1,001.76MB/sec, while random read write speeds fall to 231.62MB/sec and 195.68MB/sec.

At this point, you’re better off looking at a cheaper USB 3.2 Gen 2 drive like the Crucial X8, as you’re not really getting the full benefit of the T9’s extra speed. In fact, in the random read/write tests the Crucial X8 is generally faster.

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Samsung T9 review: Are there any useful extras?

Samsung’s Magician software benefits from slick presentation and a generous set of features, going beyond basic firmware updates and drive management to diagnostics, performance optimisation, built-in benchmarks and tools for securely removing all the data from the drive.

This is also where you’ll find options to set up password protection, enabling you to set a password to unlock access to the drive when it’s connected.

Samsung T9 review: Should you buy it?

This isn’t the cheapest USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 drive on the market, but it is one of the best, slugging it out with drives like the Kingston XS2000 and Seagate Firecuda Gaming on performance, while the robust and practical design should help the drive and your data survive life on the go. Factor in the bundled cables and software, not to mention strong compatibility across devices, and the T9 is worth paying extra for.

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