SanDisk vs Samsung SSD: Which is Better for Your Needs?

Solid state drives (SSDs) have become immensely popular among consumer and professional audiences alike for their vast improvements over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). With no moving parts, SSDs provide better performance, durability and efficiency. Two brands that stand out in the SSD arena for quality and innovation are SanDisk and Samsung. But how exactly do they compare, and which is better for your needs? This comprehensive guide examines the differences.

A Primer on SSDs

Before diving into the SanDisk vs Samsung duel, let‘s quickly go over what exactly SSDs are and what sets them apart from old-school HDDs.

SSDs utilize NAND flash memory chips to store data instead of magnetic platters like in HDDs. This solid state design allows for much faster read/write speeds, lower latency, better reliability with shock/vibration resistance, smaller form factors and silent operation.

Compared to HDD benchmarks, SSDs can achieve:

  • Sequential read speeds – over 500MB/s for SATA drives and up to 7000MB/s for cutting-edge PCIe 4.0 models
  • Sequential write speeds – maxing out above 2500MB/s
  • 4K random read/write – queue depth 1 speeds exceeding 60,000 IOPS

Besides raw throughput, SSDs also win out with much lower access times of under 0.1 ms versus HDDs‘ 1-10+ ms. This directly improves workflow productivity and the snappiness of everything from booting your OS to loading games.

Ruggedness is another strong suit thanks to no moving parts. SSDs can better withstand accidental drops, shocks, vibrations, extreme temperatures and other abuses in mobile environments.

Lighter and operating silently, SSDs have firmly taken over HDD territory in notebooks, high-performance desktops and mission-critical data center/NAS applications. The advantages like speed, responsiveness and reliability are too substantial to ignore for most use cases today.

SanDisk SSDs – Legendary Quality with Cutting-Edge Tech

SanDisk made its name with best-in-class flash-based storage solutions starting from humble beginnings in the 80‘s. After being acquired by hard drive giant Western Digital (WD) in 2016, SanDisk leveraged mighty R&D resources taking SSDs to the next level.

Helmed by a highly experienced engineering team, SanDisk SSDs lead the market pushing boundaries today with:

  • Proprietary nCache 3.0 tech supercharging random writes
  • Power Loss Immunity preserving unwritten data during sudden power loss
  • Tiered caching algorithms dynamically allocating cache capacity to hot data
  • Machine learning-based predictive analytics for maintaining peak performance
  • Advanced global wear leveling extending drive lifespans

Top-shelf components like SanDisk‘s cutting-edge 96L TLC and 64L QLC 3D NAND flash chips ensure excellent endurance ratings of up to 1700TBW (terabytes written) for intensive workloads. Combined with optimized firmware, these deliver substantial gains over previous generations while running remarkably cool.

For added reliability, SanDisk SSDs feature redundant Array of Independent NAND (RAIN) which protects data at chip levels along with low-density parity check (LDPC) error correcting code. Together, they guarantee data integrity and detection of issues before corruption happens.

Data security is also a high point with AES-256 encryption, TCG Opal and IEEE-1667 compliance offered across SanDisk‘s SSD families. Ruggedness is backed by up to 3000G vibration resistance and 1500G shock tolerance ratings too depending on models.

For everyday computing and next-gen platforms, SanDisk SSDs check all the boxes. Let‘s examine some of their most popular SSDs.

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

Key Specs:

  • Sequential read – 1050MB/s
  • IP55 rating – dust/water resistant
  • Up to 2 meter drop protection
  • 256‐AES encryption
  • Reads/writes on USB 3.2, USB 3.1, USB‐A and USB-C
  • Capacities – 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

This rugged, pocketable powerhouse is designed for content creators and mobile power users. Blazing fast reads/writes up to 1050/1000 MB/s ensure smooth 4K video editing, graphics work and managing large photos/projects on the move.

It tackles everyday abuse thanks to the durable silicone shell and internal SSD protected by custom endcaps. IP55 ingress covering water, dust, dirt and more plus 2m drop resistance give you flexibility to work in rough environments worry-free.

All capacities support 256‐AES hardware encryption to guard sensitive data. Handy usability perks like the carabiner loop and Type-C cable round off an extremely versatile package ready for adventures.

SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD

SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD

Key Specs:

  • Up to 2000MB/s sequential read/writes
  • Forged aluminum chassis with silicone shell
  • APFS, exFAT, NTFS, HFS+ compatible
  • Hardware encrypted password protection
  • Up to 4TB capacity
  • IP55 rating for dust/water resistance
  • Read/write on USB 3.2 Gen 2×2

If the regular Extreme isn‘t enough, the Extreme PRO takes things further with ridiculously fast 2000MB/s speeds rivaling internal PCIe 4.0 SSDs! It achieves this leveraging a high-speed USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 interface.

The forged aluminum alloy frame surrounded by a protective silicone/TPE shell equips it for harsh environments. Military-grade drop resistance plus IP55 ingress shields it from moisture, dust and dirt. This makes it perfect for 4K+ video editing, immersive graphics work, rapid mass file transfers anywhere.

Password protection powered by AES 256‐bit hardware encryption keeps sensitive projects, customer data and personal media safe without performance hits. Generous capacity options scale all the way to 4TB letting you carry enormous libraries wherever required.

If portability with uncompromising speed and security is critical, the Extreme PRO SSD delivers.

Samsung SSDs – Pushing The Envelope With Outstanding NAND & Smart Software

As a world leader in cutting-edge NAND flash since inventing 64Gbit QLC V-NAND in 2016, Samsung holds a commanding position crafting state-of-the-art SSD tech. Their continued massive investments in semiconductor R&D stretch Moore‘s Law to mass produce:

  • Fifth-gen V-NAND innovations like 176-layer Triple Level Cell (TLC) and 160-layer QLC enabling responsive terabyte-scale capacities
  • Zoned Namespace (ZNS) and Key-Value SSDs accelerating big data analytics
  • Compute Express Link (CXL) interfacing in smarter enterprise SSDs

These breakthroughs translate into mighty consumer and enterprise SSD lineups. Samsung was also the first introducing game-changing PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs to the desktop PC market in early 2020.

But it‘s not just potent hardware that differentiates their SSD offerings. Samsung has built an entire ecosystem around them via intuitive software like:

  • Samsung Magician – Enables convenient management of most features using an intuitive GUI dashboard
  • Rapid Mode – Accelerates performance via allotted system RAM caching
  • Over Provisioning – Extends endurance by optimizing capacity not visible to users
  • Encrypted Self Encrypting Drives (SEDs) – Secure AES-256 compliant data protection

This combo of exceptional NAND execution and savvy software gives Samsung SSDs a leg up. Now let‘s examine two of their most popular models.

Samsung T7 Portable SSD

Samsung T7 Portable SSD

Key Specs:

  • Sequential reads up to 1050 MB/s
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface
  • AES 256-bit hardware encryption
  • Dynamic thermal guard
  • Withstands drops from 6ft
  • Password protection

The sleek and compact T7 SSD defines premium portability. Sequential read/write speeds up to 1050/1000 MB/s over USB 3.2 Gen 2 deliver snappy transfers ideal for photos, videos, paperwork and large projects.

It stays reliably quick courtesy of Dynamic Thermal Guard limiting excessive heat buildup. Password enabled AES-256 encryption keeps personal media and work files secured without taxing performance.

The refined metal (aluminum) shell absorbs shock besides dispersing heat efficiently. Both capacities withstand accidental drops up to 6 feet making them extremely travel-friendly.

For those prioritizing secure portability, durability with zippy interface speeds, the T7 checks all boxes.

Samsung 870 EVO SATA SSD

Key Specs:

  • Sequential read speeds up to 560MB/s
  • Latest 6th gen Samsung V-NAND
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • 150 TBW endurance
  • Samsung Magician management software
  • AES 256-bit full disk encryption

The 870 EVO demonstrates Samsung‘s expertise crafting well-rounded SSDs balancing performance, endurance and value. As a SATA drive, sequentials max out around 560MB/s but 4K random I/O handling bests most PCIe 3.0 models.

Samsung‘s latest denser 6th gen V-NAND TLC and refined controller lift responsiveness beyond preceding EVO generations. This shows through snappier loading/multitasking despite saturating 6Gbps SATA interface limits in seq. reads.

Thanks to phenomenal lifespan ratings (600TBW for 4TB capacity), the generous 5-year warranty gives peace of mind. Top-notch AES-256 encryption, intuitive software management via Magician and proven reliability cement it as a wise mainstream selection.

For a superb all-round SATA model from basic desktops to gaming rigs, the 870 EVO fits the bill nicely.

Face Off: SanDisk vs Samsung SSDs

With the contenders and their capabilities covered, let‘s compare Samsung and SanDisk SSDs across key metrics to declare a winner.

Performance & Speed

In peak sequential throughput, Samsung has showcased superiority in cutting-edge form factors like M.2 NVMe. But for external portable SSDs, SanDisk matches their 1050MB/s class reads plus pulls ahead in writes with the rugged Extreme PRO hitting 2000MB/s!

Both leverage speedy USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 interfaces so real-world transfers of large batches of photos, videos, project files should feel similar. 4K random I/O performance affecting responsiveness is also comparable between respective models.

For portable drives, SanDisk takes a slim lead for now in cumulatively higher benchmark numbers. But Samsung continues pushing boundaries innovating with solutions like USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 models reaching 1300MB/s writes closing this gap.

Software & Features

When it comes to refinement, Samsung‘s all-encompassing SSD software ecosystem gives their products an advantage. Magician lets you conveniently monitor drive health, optimize settings like over provisioning capacity and enable rapid mode caching.

SanDisk‘s Dashboard app while decent lacks capabilities for the level of customization in Samsung‘s suite. As SSD controllers and NAND scale up in complexity, robust tools add tangible value simplified via friendly UIs.

Security-wise both offer 256-bit AES hardware encryption meeting TCG Opal standards needed by businesses. And extreme ruggedness ratings for portability are similar as well.

This round goes to Samsung for better drive management, optimization and rapid mode which accelerates responsiveness.

Reliability & Endurance

Industry-leading 5 year warranties on multiple Samsung SSD families including the 870 EVO underline tremendous lifespans. Combining this robustness with refined NAND & controllers, they hit the sweet spot between value and production-grade longevity.

Extreme stress testing during development ensures most Samsung SSD issues manifest before reaching consumers too.

That said, SanDisk SSDs also deliver fantastic endurance thanks to proprietary nCache 3.0 technology enhancing write performance consistency over time. Supported by excellent TLC/QLC NAND chips and WD‘s vertical integration, they match Samsung‘s ratings easily.

For portable drives leaning towards intensive usage, SanDisk‘s ruggedized approach holds merit. But in the bigger picture, Samsung‘s quality targeting mass market maturity gives them an edge in overall reliability.

This one is close but Samsung squeaks by with better warranties backing up exceptional lifespans across user segments.

Pricing & Value

SSD pricing fluctuates often subject to NAND supply dynamics and seasonal promotions. However, SanDisk solutions consistently undercut comparable Samsung models.

For instance, the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 1TB costs around just $140 while the similar specced Samsung T7 1TB still hovers above $160+. Even the blazing fast 2000MB/s rated Extreme PRO 1TB manages lower than T7 pricing.

Now Samsung SSDs do offer slightly better optimized software & features to partly offset this price premium. Yet for matching real-world usage, SanDisk alternatives with discounted retail tag clearly deliver superior ROI.

Enthusiasts chasing extreme portable performance may consider Samsung‘s latest cutting-edge SSD incarnations. But value-focused buyers get more bang for buck with SanDisk costing measurably less per GB while not sacrificing much speed.

SanDisk sweeps this category making SSD technology accessible to wider budgets without cutting corners on essentials like responsiveness, security and durability.

The Verdict

Evaluating the two SSD giants shows tight competition with market leadership changing hands by specific metrics.

For external portable SSDs optimizing compact form factor performance, SanDisk wins out on superior speeds, better value per dollar and added ruggedness in a photo finish.

But expand focus to entire internal and external SSD families, consistent refinement across segments means Samsung claims the tight overall victory. Custom-built NAND & controllers combining with intelligent software optimization widen scope delivering SSD advancements benefiting average and professional users alike.

So choosing the ideal brand comes down to your specific needs and form factor. Other considerations like individual workload requirements, interface support and DRAM size also guide tailoring the best SSD solution for your purposes. Hopefully, the comprehensive comparison covered here steers you towards the right decision!

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