The Bottom Line
- + Compatibility
- + Throughput
- + Stylish looks
- - Pricing
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Introduction & Drive Details
For some time now, we've been getting USB4 ports on our PCs, but until now, we've yet to see what this next-gen interface can do for the world of portable storage. Orico's Montage series has been around for some time and has accumulated its share of fans with an eye for the fashionable. The Montage series spans many capacities and USB revisions ranging from USB 3.2 Gen1 to what we have here today; a full-blown USB4 interfaced speedster.
The 40Gbps device we have in for testing today, like the others in the series, is vague on details, and we are not of a mind to rip it open to investigate what lies within its fashionista enclosure. From what we can glean, looking at its firmware revision, there appears to be a WD SN730 SSD taking up storage duties, but we can't be sure. The NVMe to USB Bridge chip is also unknown to us other than Orico, mentioning that it is UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) driven and offers TRIM support.
This somewhat oversized portable has a high-quality feel due to its Zinc Alloy + ABS construction. Additionally, and well worth noting, the device never seemed to heat up during our testing. We monitored temps with CDI, and it remained at 41c the entire time no matter what we did to it.
We are fairly certain that CDI was not able to accurately monitor temps on this device. However, we can say it remained at the most lukewarm to the touch, even during our 100GB transfer test. So going by touch, we would have to say this drive is the coolest running we've ever experienced. 3,100 MB/s and cool running; now that's something that defies all past experience. Impressive.
We had to do a double take when we saw the pricing on this fashion designer-themed portable SSD. $539? It looks like you can take up to 30% off that price through promotional and PRIME discounts, potentially getting the drive for a much more palatable $378. Still, that's a pretty hefty price to pay for a 2TB portable storage device.
CDI identifies the Montage's internal SSD as a YC3000-SSD-2048G which we speculate is really a WD SN730 based on its firmware nomenclature and the fact that the SN730's performance falls right in line Orico's up to throughput being quoted as 3,150 MB/s. Again, this is pure speculation on our part.
This portable is uniquely colorful and unlike anything we've seen before. Orico states: "The appearance is inspired by the famous Dutch Painter Mondrian's "Composition of Red, Yellow and Blue" in 1930 and that the combination of three primary colors, supplemented by thick black lines, builds the aesthetic art of flat space". Well, alright then, how does it perform? Let's dive in and find out.
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, ATTO & Blackmagic
We have no issue hitting the above-advertised sequential throughput. Excellent. Furthermore, the Montage's low queue depth random performance indicates it will deliver superior performance if employed for data drive or gaming duties.
BTW that's a new lab record for a portable device reading sequential data. Outstanding. Programming sequential data is similarly impressive and is actually another lab record for a non-RAIDed portable storage device. USB4, man, is it good.
ATTO demonstrates the 2TB Montage capable of delivering close to full performance at 128K transfers. Exactly what we like to see from any storage device. Additionally, our test subject again delivers another lab record for a non-raided portable storage device. Impressive.
Here the 2TB Montage demonstrates itself to be as competent as they come for a portable storage device pulling video duties by delivering two more lab records. Impressive.
Real-World Testing: PCMark 10, 3DMark SSD Gaming & Transfer Rates
PCMark 10 Data Drive Benchmark
The Data Drive Benchmark is designed to test drives that are used for storing files rather than applications. You can also use this test with NAS drives, USB sticks, memory cards, and other external storage devices.
The Data Drive Benchmark uses three traces, running three passes with each trace as follows:
- Copying 339 JPEG files, 2.37 GB in total,â€¯intoâ€¯the target drive (write test).
- Making a copy of the JPEG files (read-write test).
- Copying the JPEG files to another drive (read test).
Finally, we see our Thunderbolt contenders able to best the 2TB Montage at something. Nevertheless, this is still a banging result and clearly demonstrates the 2TB Montage is fully capable of pulling data drive duties at a very high level.
3DMark SSD Gaming Test
UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is in fact the same as running the actual game, just without the inconsistencies inherent to application testing.
In short, we believe that this is the world's best way to test an SSDs gaming prowess and accurately compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:
- Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
- Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
- Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
- Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
- Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
- Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
- Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
Gaming is a performance metric that matters to the majority of DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. We are now including gaming performance as a part of our external SSD reviews, as using portable storage for gaming duties is very popular among avid gamers. Perfect for gaming and imminently compatible with modern consoles.
DiskBench - Transfer Rates
We brutalize our test subjects with our extremely hard-to-swallow 100GB data block. This data block is the same one we use for our internal SSD testing and is composed of more than 62K files.
This is where the rubber meets the road for a portable SSD. Real-world transfer performance is stellar, especially when serving data to the host, where the 2TB Montage yet again delivers a new lab record.
USB4, all we can say is WOW, we love it!
We are blown away by this portable SSDs massive read throughput, as it is the best we've experienced. Additionally, we are astounded by how cool the drive remains to the touch when cranking through massive transfers.
Stylish, fast as hell, and cool under pressure have earned Orico's Montage 2TB USB4 portable SSD one of our highest awards. Outstanding.