Synthetic Benchmarks

Various synthetic benchmarks are available to quickly evaluate the performance of direct-attached storage devices. Real-world performance testing often has to be a customized test. We present both varieties in this review, starting with the synthetic benchmarks in this section. All benchmarks were processed with the drive formatted in NTFS, even though the Plugable TBT3-NVME2TB comes pre-formatted in exFAT. Prior to covering the performance benchmarks, a quick note on our testbed - The Thunderbolt 3 host used for performance measurement across all considered devices today is enabled by the Alpine Ridge controller in the Hades Canyon NUC. The list of DAS units used for comparison purposes is provided below:

  • Plugable TBT3-NVME2TB 2TB
  • OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 2TB
  • DIY TEKQ Rapide - WD Black SN750 TB3 SSD 1TB (Win 10 1809)

ATTO and Crystal DiskMark

OWC claims reads of up to 2500 MBps, while Plugable claims read and write speeds of 2400 MBps+ and 1800 MBps+. The write speed is with write caching enabled in Windows, which we did not opt to test with. The read speed claims are backed up by the ATTO benchmarks provided below. Unfortunately, these access traces are not very common in real-life scenarios. That said, it is interesting to see that the WD Black in the TEKQ Rapide is able to sustain 2000 MBps+ on the writes despite the default disabling of write caching in the OS.

Drive Performance Benchmarks - ATTO

CrystalDiskMark, despite being a canned benchmark, provides a better estimate of the performance range with a selected set of numbers. As evident from the screenshot below, the performance can dip to as low as 6 - 10 MBps for high queue-depth 4K writes. Thankfully, those are not typical use-cases for external SSDs.

Drive Performance Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark

For relatively small writes and reads (within the SLC cache size, such as the 8GB access span for the CrystalDiskMark workloads above), the DIY SSD with the WD Black SN750 easily emerges as the top performer. Between the Plugable and the OWC drives, we see reads performing very similarly. The writes show a slight edge for the Plugable drive, probably due to the additional firmware tuning.

Introduction and Product Impressions Real-World Benchmarks and Performance Consistency
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  • James5mith - Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - link

    When will we finally see Titan Ridge based enclosures (Other than LaCie's offering)?

    Seems like a no brainer. Single TB3 controller than can fall back to USB3.
  • vk1231 - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    once time my Ssd locked and my important data like <a href="">aadha... card</a> and bank detail such all in this. so please don't do the same as me.
  • vk1231 - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link
  • tayedil - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    I have a 240GB SATA SSD, which I want to make into a portable drive.
  • BuddyRich - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    How does this compare to the Samsung X5 TB3 drives?

    I have a 1TB USB3.1 T5 and its fast enough for my needs but was curious how much faster the NVME based X5 was when I got it.

    These new drives are even cheaper, I wonder if the X5 will take a price cut and if there was any compromises being one of the first to market with an NVME TB3 portable compared to these.
  • nobita88 - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    I know there will be many difficulties and challenges but I am determined to do it. If it fails then it will also be a lesson for me. <a href="">driving directions</a>
  • lindawilson01 - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

    can you please tell me the price of OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3.
  • jackmy12 - Monday, November 18, 2019 - link

    Great work & great post. I am really inspired by it
  • Meggy123 - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Wow! another great product. I'm impressed. |

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