WD MyPassport SSD review (1 TB): Move over Samsung T5, there’s a new champ in town

The WD SSD doesn’t just exceed the T5 on the performance front, it’s also priced similarly to the T5, and it offers two additional years of warranty.


The Samsung T5 has been the de-facto external SSD for – in terms of electronics – generations. The T5 is small, slim, and more importantly, fast. 500 MBps read/write speeds over USB were incredible at launch, and they’re still exceptional today. The Rs 15,000 (for 1 TB) asking price is also quite reasonable.

It’s this combination of price and performance that made the T5 the default SSD for content creators and prosumer users alike. And it’s not like there isn’t any competition, it’s just that competing products came later and basically offered the same performance for the same price, give or take a few features. Inertia being what it is, there was no real reason to try something new, when what we already had was good enough.

 WD MyPassport SSD review (1 TB): Move over Samsung T5, there’s a new champ in town

I love the fact that the tiny WD SSD comes with a tiny USB-C cable. You’re more likely to be using this SSD with a laptop anyway, and not having to deal with kms of cable is nice. You also get a handy little USB-C to Type-A adapter in the box if you need it. Image: Anirudh Regidi

Now, finally, I think there’s some serious competition to the T5. Enter, the WD MyPassport SSD.

With a promise of 1,050 MBps read/write speeds in a similarly thin and light package, the WD drive was already on my radar. After putting it through its paces, I’m happy to report that it’s almost as good as WD says it is.

In real world tests, where you’re moving a large number of images and video (170 GB, in my case), the T5 offers an average read speed of 567 MBps, and a write speed of 514 MBps. The WD MyPassport SSD almost doubles read speeds by hitting 999 MBps, and offers 50 percent faster writes at 744 MBps.

The WD MyPassport SSD outclasses the venerable Samsung T5 on all fronts, and matches it in pricing.

The WD MyPassport SSD outclasses the venerable Samsung T5 on all fronts, and matches it in pricing.

When moving small files – a task that puts a bigger strain on an SSD – the T5’s 491/417 MBps read/write speeds were easily topped by the WD’s 809/656 MBps speeds. For someone who moves terabytes of data daily (I test laptops and PCs, so yes, I really do), this saves me several minutes per transfer.

1,000 MBps does sound nice, but it is fair to ask why anyone would need such speeds. For starters, most internal SSDs – unless they’re PCIe ones – tend to max out at around 500 MBps. Then there’s the fact that most USB interfaces are rated for 3.2 Gen 1 speeds or 5 Gbps (625 MBps).

To take full advantage of the WD drive, you’ll need USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) or Thunderbolt 3. And if you’re transferring files, your source and target drives need to be just as fast.

For a select audience, however (the kind that the T5 targets and serves) this speed matters.

I shoot videos in 10-bit 4k24 @ 200 Mbps and edit them on my 16" MacBook Pro. This footage is stored on the T5, and once converted to ProRes 422, easily maxes out the bandwidth of the T5. Throw in some multi-layered, multi-cam footage, and now I’m bandwidth-limited on the T5. And I’m an amateur shooting on a dinky little mirrorless camera. Given that the MacBook’s Thunderbolt 3 interface is rated at 40 Gbps, it’s not the interface that’s slowing me down.

Professionals – in particular those who shoot on proper cinema cameras – will run out of bandwidth very fast. As the BlackMagic Disk Speed test here shows, you need the WD’s additional bandwidth to edit 4K Cinema RAW and other similarly large video formats. The T5 can’t touch those formats.

If you’re wondering why you’d need a 1 GBps read/write speed, here’s why. Not everyone needs that speed, but those that do, can’t function without it.

If you’re wondering why you’d need a 1 GBps read/write speed, here’s why. Not everyone needs that speed, but those that do, can’t function without it.

When using the WD SSD for the same project, I found that editing my project was a lot smoother, especially when working with multi-layered tracks and effects.

There’s more. The WD SSD doesn’t just exceed the T5 on the performance front, it’s also priced similarly to the T5, and it offers two additional years of warranty (five years to Samsung’s three).

No matter how you look at it, the WD MyPassport SSD is simply the better deal.


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