Sabrent Rocket Thunderbolt external SSD Review

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The Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 4TB is an excessive-overall performance external SSD drive like-minded with both Thunderbolt 3 and USB protocols. I begin with this because many users are shocked to learn that many Thunderbolt external hard drives aren’t like-minded with the USB protocol, despite connecting via a USB-C cable.

That’s because people count on having a USB-C bodily connector that makes a device USB-compatible. That’s sadly no longer the case. The Thunderbolt + USB (as much as USB 3.2) compatibility approach that the Rocket XTRM-Q can paintings with any USB device or platform, including older computers and Mobile devices.

This drive is powered by way of the USB cable best, and there’s no need for any additional strength resources: that’s fantastic convenient as it’s one less energy brick to hold throughout the tour.

The chassis is the product of aluminum and appears fairly sturdy. I’m now not going to strive to break it, however, it appears most unlikely that physical harm could affect the SSD drive inside (additionally from Sabrent) in case of a drop, even from a couple of testimonies excessive.

Sabrent additionally has a silicone cover called Shockproof Protector that gives even extra safety if you want to take no possibilities in any respect. In my opinion, the smooth shell avoids feasible hard contact (in your backpack) with other surfaces, consisting of your pricey anybody aluminum laptop.

The aluminum acts as a warmness dissipater which is why products like these frequently use this fabric. The SSD can get warm throughout the high workload, possibly in the 60C/140F, depending on your ambient temperature. In any case, it’s hot sufficient that you could no longer need to touch it for extended periods.

I could reach these varieties of temperatures for the duration of heavy benchmarking, along with the PCMark 10 benchmark that lasts 45-90mn. That’s not an unrealistic state of affairs for individuals who do video enhancing or offline 3-D rendering.

Is Sabrent Rocket Good?

The Sabrent Rocket 4’s real world overall performance is exceptionally good, even if as compared to the top drives. If you are looking for a inexpensive PCIe 4 choice, or an SSD that would pair properly along with your PlayStation 5, this is probably a great choice. This evaluation is a part of our ongoing roundup of the quality SSDs.

Do you need Thunderbolt for external SSD?

All SSDs will cap out on USB 3.0 and require a quicker connection interface to reap top overall performance, so in this example you want Thunderbolt or USB3.1 to get the most out of that specific SSD.

Sabrent Rocket by

Can I use a USB-C cable for Thunderbolt 3? 

Thunderbolt 3 has adopted the USB-C format, so all Thunderbolt 3 ports are capable of using ordinary USB-C cables. Thunderbolt 3 has better overall performance requirements than USB-C, so not all USB-C cables are sufficiently high and excellent to work at Thunderbolt speeds.

Huge Dynamic Cache:

One of the vastest performance advantages of the Rocket XTRM-Q 4TB indicates up in benchmarks: it robotically allocates 25% of the available drive capability to the secondary write-cache layer, as much as 1TB for this 4TB version. That’s massive.

When you reproduce a big record, the writing pace would drop substantially if your report exceeds the cache length. The large the cache is, the much less possibly overall performance will lower.

It’s crucial to apprehend that this power makes use of QLC cells, which might be the maximum efficiency for SSD storage fees, even though it is not the fastest. But there are notable mitigation techniques.

Sabrent has included 8GB of DRAM because the first cache layer within the 4TB version is to receive data as rapidly as possible from the PC. Then, 25% of the to be had QLC storage potential cells are utilized in TLC mode, so SSD writes are quicker. Finally, the TLC transient storage may be moved inside the heritage to QLC cells for the very last storage.

TLC is higher for write-extensive workloads, so it’s very suitable to apply it in a cache layer. On the alternative hand, QLC is terrific for storage ability and study-extensive duties, so Sabrent efficiently makes use of a green and balanced approach.

The most effective drawback to that is that, as you fill the power-up, the 25% caching length additionally reduces because it’s miles proportional to the closing available storage. You could be hard-pressed to find a higher opportunity; however, this is something to keep in mind in case you plan to use the pressure at near-potential.

Performance: as fast as Thunderbolt can go

Our check unit is a Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 4TB, and that’s important due to the fact some performance elements tend to be higher on larger SSD drives, along with the Random 4K IOPS.

In a synthetic benchmark like Crystal disk Mark, the pressure receives amazing sequential examine and write performance (for an external drive) with 2967.79 MB/s and 982.73MB/s.

Remember that once connected through USB protocol, the overall performance will become limited with the aid of the connection and reach a ceiling near 1000 MB/s.

In the PC Mark 10 full force device power benchmark, this model gives you 129.6 MB/s and a median get right of entry to time of 206 μs. These numbers are nicely within the competitive panorama for those external devices as connectivity is the number one limiting issue right here (not the drive), regardless of Thunderbolt 3 or 4.

In the real international, the overall performance is exactly what we anticipate from a drive like this. If your personal is an older pc with a rotational hard force, you would possibly even experience huge gains via booting on an external SSD along with this one. I’ve heard of many Mac users who have performed it due to the fact Mac OS makes it excellent easy as well on an external drive.


The Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q series is wonderful, and the multi-TB ability is tremendous. Although our test unit is 4TB, you could now find a fantastic 16TB model based totally on similar technology. If you don’t forget the speed, capability, the Thunderbolt three + USB compatibility, the Rocket XTRM-Q 4TB is an excellent preference for an excessive-potential SSD. 

If you need something even greater compact, the Samsung T7 2TB or the Sandisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSD ought to healthy the bill, however they max out at 2TB and 1000MBps: that’s oftentimes decreased than the Rocket XTRM-Q’s maximum ability and pace.

Hardware encryption and water resistance aren’t featured in this product, so there’s room for the competition to distinguish itself. These are valid use cases that might be more specialized than this Sabrent SSD gives.

Based on my time with this storage device, I highly advocate this product. 

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