MacTakeAwayData Rank – 9 stars out of 10
When you’re looking for a classy looking, lightening fast SSD drive for your Mac.
You might find the Samsung T5 is for you.
And stop you wasting time waiting for your Mac’s drive.
Samsung T5 on Mac Pros
Samsung T5 on Mac Cons
*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. And at no extra cost to you this site earns a commissions through image links, Amazon button and text links should you buy.
Samsung T5 on Mac Verdict
When you’re thinking of buying a T5. Because your Mac’s bogged down with pretty intensive video editing. Then the T5 is bound to be on your list of SSD drives to look at.
Should you buy one for your Mac?
The verdict is yes, as long as you have a 2016 or later MacBook Pro. Or a 2017 or later iMac. As they can take advantage of the speed boost you’ll get from the T5.
And make you very happy about paying for this SSD portable on your Mac.
Samsung T5 YouTube Video
Want to take a sneak peak at the Samsung T5 SSD in action? This 20 second introductory video from Samsung gives you exactly that.
Take a look.
Introducing Samsung Portable SSD T5
Video Credit: Samsung
Your Samsung T5 on Mac Features Run Down
Great for when you’re doing disk heavy tasks like video editing. Or for you if you’re editing large photos in Photoshop.
And you want to bust those waiting times on your Mac.
Or you may be looking at a T5 to extend the life of your older Mac.
Read on to find out why you should review a Samsung T5 for your Mac.
Connecting up your Samsung T5 to your Mac
You’ll find the Samsung T5 is a USB bus powered external SSD drive.
What does that mean?
This compact solid state drive gets its power from your Mac. Though the USB cable you use to connect it up to your Mac.
The drive itself has a USB C port on it. And the Samsung T5 supports 3.1 Gen 2.
Sounds technical but this is what it means in the real world.
If your Mac is a:
- iMac Pro (2017) or
- iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) or
- iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017) or
- iMac (21.5-inch, 2017) or
- MacBook Pro (2016 and later)
You’ll have USB C Thunderbolt ports that support the speed that the T5 can go at.
You’ll be able to take the most advantage of this drive. But keep in mind that although the advertised speed of 3.1 Gen 2 is 10 Gbps. You won’t see anything like that kind of speed. You’ll find out later in this article what you should get.
Samsung puts in the box a USB C to USB C cable. Means there’s no need for you to go to the cost of buying a USB cable.
Perfect for your Macs with USB C ports.
But what if your Mac isn’t one of the Mac’s Listed Above?
Your MacBook 2015 or later will have USB C ports but they’ll be Gen 1.
Because of USB’s backwards compatibility.
Your Mac can throw your files out at your Samsung T5 pretty fast. But only as fast as your Mac is able to go.
You’ll be able to use the USB C to USB C cable in the box.
And you’ll like that this Samsung T5 portable breathes more life into your Mac.
What if your Mac is earlier than that?
Compatibility of the USB standard means that you can use your Samsung T5 with your older Mac. If your Mac has a USB A port you just need the right cable.
And it’s great that Samsung puts in the box two USB cables. You’ll find a USB C to USB A cable for your older Mac that has a type A port on it.
You might like to check out this article on the Apple website.
Once you’ve Plugging in the Samsung T5 into Your Mac
Your mac will see the T5 Samsung drive. And you’ll have its drive icon on your Mac’s desktop ready to use.
The Samsung T5 is formatted as ExFAT.
Not familiar with that?
Your Mac understands ExFAT. And you can use your T5 external SSD straight away for copying and pasting your documents from your Mac. Or dragging and dropping your documents as well.
And the great thing is that a Windows PC can also use an ExFAT drive.
So if you’re planning sharing your Samsung T5 between your Mac and a Windows PC. Then your T5 drive is already set up for you to do just that.
What do You need to do to Use the Samsung T5 on your Mac?
If you’re happy using ExFAT then nothing more. Just go ahead and use the T5 drive.
What about the Samsung T5 Software?
Your T5 external SSD comes with Samsung software loaded on it. And you could install this software on your Mac.
But there is really no need to.
Unless you’re having trouble with the drive and you want to check and down load new firmware. Then don’t use this software.
The software loads up code that runs all the time on your Mac.
Whether you have your T5 plugged in or not.
That seems a bit excessive.
And the T5 software is tricky to uninstall.
Who wants to go into the command line to uninstall software?
Plus there are quite a few reports from users out there on the web who are having trouble. They are having issues with the Samsung software. They removed it and their T5’s worked fine on their Macs.
And your Samsung T5 software will need your Mac to be running Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or higher.
What about using the Samsung T5 for a Time Machine Backup on your Mac?
Yes, you can. For those of you who want ultra fast back ups.
You’ll need to reformat the drive using Disk Utility to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system on your Mac.
It’s a pricey drive to use for your Time Machine back ups.
If it’s a backup drive you’re after. And speed is not an issue. Then you’d do just as well with a basic external hard drive.
What About the Samsung AES Hardware Encryption on your Mac?
To use this feature you’ll need to install the T5 software on your Mac.
It’s worth understanding how the Samsung T5 encryption works.
The encryption software puts code on your Mac. That code needs to be there before you can access your encrypted Samsung T5 external SSD drive.
And you’ll need the software loaded on any Mac you want to attach your T5 to.
But what if you were unfortunate enough to need to rebuild your Mac.
And couldn’t get to the encryption code because your Mac was out of action.
Then you won’t be able to use the files on your T5 drive.
And whatever you do don’t loose your password.
Because there is no file recovery after that.
Loose your password and your only option is to contact Samsung direct for a reset of your T5. And wave goodbye to all your data.
You have been warned.
Your alternative is to reformat your Samsung T5. And use your Mac’s software encryption and password protection. Yes you’ll still need to take care to remember your password.
But should the worst happen to your Mac and you need to rebuild it. Mac OS always understands the security protections put there by Mac OS.
Samsung T5 Review of its Looks on Mac
Your Samsung T5 SSD credit card sized package sports a metallic Aluminum finish.
You’ll find the drive available in different colors.
Blue, Black, Red and Gold.
The difference colors points your Samsung SSD’s storage capacity.
The Blue colored cases have 250GB or 500GB SSD drives in them.
The Red and Gold colored cases have 500GB or 1TB SSD drives inside.
The Black T5 has 1TB or 2TB SSD’s in.
An interesting twist.
You’ve an LED on your T5 SSD external drive that tells you what your drive is up to. When you see a solid blue light then your drive is plugged in and not doing anything.
A blinking blue light tells you your Mac is reading from. Or writing something to your T5 external drive.
A blinking red light tells you your computer is in sleep mode. Or that you have ejected your T5 from your Mac. And now you can plug the USB cable out from your Mac.
Always eject your Samsung T5 portable SSD drive. Or risk messing up the files you’ve put on the drive.
Review of the Samsung T5 Dimensions
You’ll find your Samsung T5 lovely and compact. With its length and width not much larger than a credit card.
Here are the Samsung T5’s actual dimensions: 2.26 inches wide by 2.91 inches long by 0.41 inches thick.
Pretty easy to put in your purse. Or in your back pack along side your MacBook Pro.
And its weight?
You can think of it being about 1/3 of the weight of your iPhone.
T5 Hefty Claims on Dropping Your Samsung
One of the beauties of using a solid state drive is not only the speed.
But because these drives have no moving parts they’re able to cope with rougher handling.
Samsung advertises that the T5 can handle drops of up to 2 meters.
But read further in the small print. And you’ll find that these tests were carried out in ‘controlled’ conditions.
Read even further in the manual and it says to avoid shocks or vibrations on your T5 … How interesting.
How does that align with the T5 being able to handle 2 meter drops?
The takeaway here is that yes this T5 drive is more robust than external hard drives.
Drives with mechanical moving parts.
But don’t abuse your T5. Your T5 is pricey to have to replace.
So when you’re carrying one around with your Mac think about protecting your T5 with a case.
You should find one of these will do a good job for you. (Commissions Earned)
What do Mac users think of using the Samsung T5?
The feedback is positive. Particularly with those who are looking for a speedy drive.
And you get that with the T5. Especially if you have a Mac that take advantage of this speed because it’s new and has 3.1 Gen 2 ports.
You can use this button link to have a look at the Amazon sales page. (Commissions Earned)
Scroll down to the bottom. Choose the latest reviews.
And check out the reviews left by Mac users.
Samsung T5 SSD Speed on Mac
As you’d expect this SSD T5 drive is fast. But how fast on a Mac?
For you to get the total speed your T5 is capable of you’ll need a Mac with a Gen 2 port.
This means you’ll need to have a MacBook 2016 or later. Or a 2017 or later iMac.
Assuming you have one of those then you can expect between:-
- 440 Mb/s to 484 Mb/s when your Mac is writing your files to your T5.
- And 506 Mb/s to 511 Mb/s when your Mac is reading your files from your T5 drive.
Yes it’ll be fast for you.
When you’re using your T5 SSD on your older Mac. Those that are non Gen 2 or USB C then your Mac will transfer your files as fast as it can go.
Which means you won’t be driving this drive to its capacity.
But you’ll get as fast a performance as your Mac is capable of.
You’ll need to weigh up in your own mind if paying for an SSD on your older Mac is worth it.
Review of the Warranty on the Samsung T5
Your Samsung T5 comes with a 3 year limited warranty. Which isn’t bad for a consumer SSD drive.
Last Words In this Samsung T5 Review for Mac
Use your Samsung T5 to get your compute intensive tasks done super quick.
And not spend time hanging around waiting for your external drive to catch up with your Mac.
That’s what you’re buying when you invest in one of these T5’s for your Mac.
About Simon Irons
As an admin I spend my day helping folks with their Mac issues. From the guy at work, through to unofficial 911 support for family and friends. I swear they have me on speed dial.
For fun I like testing out and playing with new stuff. I think Apple make the best products on the planet.
In my spare time I like to fish and play around with boats.