As small as a smartphone but big enough to store tons of pictures and videos. The Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD is a data storage powerhouse for your pocket!

Do you travel a lot? Do you like to record videos and then upload clips to the net? Then the Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD could be just the right portable hard drive for your needs. The red-black powerhouse offers more than enough space and power for video editing and other applications.

The Samsung X5 has been available since September 5, 2018, and is the first hard drive in the range based on the NVMe standard. The goal is maximum performance and reliability.

Costs and Versions

The SSD hard disk is currently available in three different versions with different memory sizes:

The Portable SSD X5 with 500GB for $400, the 1TB for $700 and for $1.400 you get the 2 TB model. Samsung offers a three-year warranty for its hard disks. At independent dealers, you can also get the devices at a much lower price.

The Scope of Delivery

Samsung delivers the X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD in a small cardboard box with a slipcase. At around 150 grams, the SSD is about as massive as an iPhone 8. The top of the device is made of shiny anthracite plastic and the underside of red vinyl. The design is based on a racing car. Included in the delivery are a short user manual and an approximately 50 cm long Thunderbolt USB-C cable.

Performance And Handling

At first glance, the hard disk gives a valuable overall impression – despite the lack of metal parts. According to Samsung, it can even withstand falls from a height of two meters thanks to the impact-resistant outer frame.

The weight, which is quite high compared to other portable SSD hard drives, is easily explained. Under the hood, in addition to the powerful NVMe SSD, there is a passive cooling unit that regulates the temperature. The Dynamic Thermal Guard technology and the heat sink ensure that no heat accumulation occurs.

The X5 offers optional password protection that activates AES 256-bit encryption. However, this option can also be changed or switched off using the pre-installed software.


As already indicated, Samsung relies on the Thunderbolt interface built into MacBooks for the X5. It means that the SSD does not work on a standard USB-C port. So those who hoped to hang the hard disk on their PC or even on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, will look into the tube.

The X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD only works on the specially built connection and nowhere else. The device does not require an external power supply but draws power directly from the laptop via the supplied cable.

If you have the appropriate hardware, you can look forward to a real performance explosion. Thanks to the Thunderbolt technology, the hard disk transfers data at a maximum speed of 40 Gbps, about four times faster than USB 3.1.

According to Samsung, the X5 achieves a reading speed of up to 2800 MB/s and a writing speed of up to 2300 MB/s. The X5 can also be used as a hard disk drive. It means, the hard disk did not quite reach these values, but presented itself with a read and write speed beyond 2000 MB/s at an enormously fast level.


But if you consistently put the SSD under full load, you’ll get to know the heat protection. From a temperature of 45 degrees, the SSD automatically reduces the speed.

Who Needs the Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD?

The performance of the X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable is undoubtedly impressive. High-resolution 4K movies with the GoPro 7 Black change place within seconds and even tidying up the photo folder is quicker than ever.

But who needs a bullet like the X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD? The straight answer is, all those who frequently handle large amounts of data such as graphics, films or photos. The speed of the hard disk is excellent.


The Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD is an imposing piece of hard drive hardware. The SSD effortlessly shovels large amounts of data back and forth in seconds.

It makes it particularly suitable for creators and hobby directors. Video editing requires such fast transfer rates. So if you want to cut the videos from your rafting trips or hiking tours as quickly as possible and share them with your friends on the go, the Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD is just the thing for you.


However, SSD also comes with many limitations. The 1TB version we reviewed makes a big hole in your wallet with a price of just $700. Also, there is a restriction to the Thunderbolt interface.

If you don’t own a MacBook Pro or one of the few gaming laptops with a Thunderbolt 3 interface, you have to look for USB 3.1 alternatives such as the Samsung Portable SSD T3.

Therefore, if you are fond of buying the Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD, check your hardware first. If you have the interface and the highest demands, then this SSD is a must-have piece of a technology!