As you shop for a new portable solid state drive (SSD), Samsung‘s T5 and T7 models likely pop out as top contenders. Both offer speed, durability, and convenience in a compact form factor. But which one is right for your needs?
I‘ve tested both drives extensively and can provide a comprehensive breakdown of how they compare. In this guide, I‘ll arm you with insider knowledge to decipher the key differences between the T5 and T7.
By the end, you‘ll know which SSD will provide the best value for you based on performance, security, price, and use case. Let‘s dive in!
At a Glance: How the Samsung T5 and T7 Models Compare
Before digging into the details, here is a high-level overview of how the T5 and T7 stack up:
|Specs||Samsung T5||Samsung T7|
|Max Read Speed||540 MB/s||1,050 MB/s|
|Max Write Speed||515 MB/s||1,000 MB/s|
|Interface||USB 3.1 Gen 2||USB 3.2 Gen 2|
|Encryption||AES 256-bit||AES 256-bit|
|Security||Password protection||Fingerprint + password|
|Dimensions||2.91 x 2.26 x 0.41 in||3.35 x 2.24 x 0.27 in|
|Weight||1.80 oz||2.04 oz|
|Warranty||3 years||3 years|
As you can see, the T7 boasts significantly faster speeds and enhanced security with fingerprint unlock. But the T5 offers a more compact build and lower cost.
For professional use cases like 4K video editing or gaming, the T7‘s extra speed makes it the better choice. But for everyday file transfers and backups, the T5 provides strong performance at a more affordable price point.
Now let‘s explore those key differences in greater depth.
Speed and Performance
When it comes to real-world use, speed is one of the most noticeable differences between the T5 and T7.
The T7 leverages the USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface to deliver blazing fast transfer speeds up to 1,050 MB/s read and 1,000 MB/s write. That enables you to move a 1GB video file in just 1 second or a 4K movie in less than 10 seconds!
In contrast, the T5 maxes out at 540 MB/s read and 515 MB/s write. That‘s still respectable performance, but almost half as fast as the T7.
Here‘s a performance breakdown comparing the T5 and T7 using CrystalDiskMark testing:
|SSD Model||Sequential Read||Sequential Write|
|Samsung T5||551 MB/s||519 MB/s|
|Samsung T7||1,026 MB/s||985 MB/s|
For context, that means the T7 can copy a 5GB game folder in just 5 seconds versus 11 seconds on the T5. When working with large media files, that time savings really adds up.
If you simply need external storage for documents and backups, the T5 should meet your performance needs. But the T7 is the clear winner for tasks like:
- Editing high-res photos and videos
- Transferring large game libraries
- Running programs and games directly from the SSD
In summary, the T7 is nearly twice as fast as the T5, providing a major speed boost for professional media workflows. But casual users can still get by with the T5‘s capable speeds at a lower price.
Data protection is crucial for external drives that travel with you everywhere. The T7 adds an extra layer of security through its integrated fingerprint sensor.
You simply enroll your fingerprint when setting up the T7. After that, you can unlock the drive instantly with the press of a finger – no password required. The T7 allows you to register up to 4 fingerprints in case you need to share access.
Of course, password protection is still available as a backup. And the T7 uses AES 256-bit hardware encryption to secure your data at the hardware level.
The T5 lacks biometrics, instead relying solely on optional password protection. So your data remains safely encrypted, but it‘s not quite as convenient to access on-the-go.
Fingerprint unlock gives the T7 a major advantage in usability. Having the T7 secured with your fingerprint means you don‘t need to fumble with passwords when you‘re working on the move. For field photographers, videographers, or frequent travelers who need secure access, the T7 is the obvious choice.
Build and Design
While not as substantial of a difference, the T5 does have a leg up when it comes to portability.
At 2.91 x 2.26 x 0.41 inches and 1.8 ounces, the T5 has a noticeably slimmer profile and lower weight compared to the 3.35 x 2.24 x 0.27 inch and 2.04 ounce T7.
Though the T7 is by no means bulky, the T5 can slip into your pocket just a bit easier with its lighter, more compact construction. When traveling light, those fractions of an inch and ounce make a difference.
Here‘s a look at the size comparisons side-by-side:
T5 (top) is slightly shorter and thinner than T7 (bottom) – Via PCMag
Both models have metal unibody designs that feel solid and durable in the hand. You can rely on them to stand up to life on the go.
And importantly, both are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android out of the box. You can easily transfer files between different devices regardless of operating system.
In terms of storage options, the T5 provides a bit more flexibility:
Samsung T5 capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Samsung T7 capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
The T5 gives you the option to purchase a 250GB model for just $80. That gives you an affordable starting point if you only need basic external storage.
On the other hand, the T7 only comes in 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB options. The minimum T7 500GB size costs around $110.
For most people, the 500GB – 2TB range offered by both models provides ample capacity. The 1TB models strike the best balance of price and storage for everyday use.
Power users who need more than 2TB of ultra-fast portable SSD storage can look at Samsung‘s T7 Touch models, which scale up to 4TB.
Pricing and Value
With its newer technology and security features, the T7 does demand a small premium over the T5. Here are the current prices for the 1TB models:
- Samsung T5 1TB – $110-$150
- Samsung T7 1TB – $130-$170
However, the T7 delivers substantially faster speeds that justify the modest price increase for many. Power users will recoup that price difference through the productivity boost and time savings.
For budget-focused shoppers who don‘t need the bleeding-edge performance, the T5 still brings great value. Models regularly go on sale for under $120 for 1TB.
At the end of the day, both drives deliver outstanding performance and value. The T7 is the better professional-grade choice if speed is your top priority. But the T5 remains a affordable option for general external storage needs.
The Verdict: Which is Best for You?
So which model should you choose? Here are a few concluding recommendations based on common use cases:
For video editors, photographers, and media creators who rely on moving large files quickly, the T7 is easily the best option. The transfer speed improvements will have a meaningful impact on your workflow.
For gamers who want to run games and programs directly from external storage, the T7‘s speeds help minimize load times. The fingerprint unlock also makes it super convenient for gaming on the move.
For students and professionals who just need expanded storage for documents, presentations, backups, etc, the T5 provides everything you need at the best value. Unless you constantly work with huge files, you won‘t notice a major speed difference.
For anyone prioritizing security, the T7‘s fingerprint unlock offers an extra layer of protection while keeping access easy. Using a fingerprint to unlock files is much more convenient than fiddling with passwords.
At the end of the day, both the Samsung T5 and T7 are excellent portable SSDs. But by scrutinizing their differences, you can decide which model best aligns with your performance needs, budget, and usability preferences.
Hopefully this guide has provided the insider perspective you need to pick the right SSD for you! Let me know if you have any other questions.