The Bottom Line
- + Compatibility
- + Throughput
- + Professional grade
- - None
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Introduction & Drive Details
Western Digital is the parent company of SanDisk, one of the originators of solid state storage. Now that WD is one of the world's leading brands of flash-based storage products, they have taken the SanDisk brand and separated it from WD by making it a professional storage-focused entity. This is why SanDisk is now SanDisk Professional. So, what we've been getting from SanDisk as of late is all geared toward professional content creation. Everything is of the highest quality, portability, performance, and durability. In fact, we've not seen competing solutions of similar stature.
SanDisk's newest professional-grade portable storage device, the PRO-G40, is easily the highest quality and performing of its kind we've tested to date. Now, of course, quality of this nature brings with it a fairly premium price tag, in this case roughly 23 cents per GB, but it is well worth every penny and then some. This ultra-portable, ultra-durable SSD is also ultra-versatile in that it is a dual-interfaced device capable of delivering up to 3,000 MB/s throughput over Thunderbolt 3 or up to 1050 MB/s over USB 3.2 Gen2.
On the durability front, beginning with the in-hand feel of the device, its heft projects its inherent quality. The next thing you feel is confidence coming from the non-slip rubber coating that covers the sides and the back of the enclosure. You aren't going to drop this thing accidentally, and it's not going to slip from your pocket unnoticed. If, by chance, you do accidentally expose the device to potential damage, it's going to take an act of God to get to your valuable data. The PRO-G40 is IP68 dust and waterproof rated. Capable of withstanding up to 3-meter drops, and you can run it over with a 4,000-pound vehicle. This is professional-grade durability. Now let's take a close look at its performance.
$450 is a good chunk of change for a 2TB portable, but in this case, we believe it's worth every penny. Professional grade through and through.
CDI identifies the PRO-G40's internal SSD as a WD_Black SN750E PCIe Gen3 x4.
The packaging advertises the drive's Thunderbolt interfaced speeds as up to 2,700 MB/s read / 1,900 MB/s write. As high as these are, they are VERY conservative, as we will demonstrate. Please note we feel no need to demonstrate this SSDs USB performance as we feel anyone who is willing to pay the premium for this device is doing so for its Thunderbolt throughput. As we see it, USB versatility is just a bonus.
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, ATTO & Blackmagic
As mentioned, we find our test subjects advertised up to speeds to be quite conservative. How conservative? Up to 400 MB/s faster when serving data to the host and up to a whopping 700 MB/s faster when programming data. At 3,105 MB/s throughput, it's a new lab record for a Thunderbolt interfaced device. Impressive.
ATTO demonstrates our test subject hits full stride at 256KB transfers. We like the smooth pattern the drive is delivering. No hiccups along the way is always great to see.
Here the 2TB PRO-G40 demonstrates itself to be as competent as they come for a portable storage device pulling video duties which is its most likely use case scenario. If we dissect a bit further, we note the PRO-G40 is the best-performing non-RAIDed Thunderbolt interfaced device we've ever tested. Note, the MTQ-40G is a USB4 interfaced device.
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 3 traces, running 3 passes with each trace as follows:
- Copying 339 JPEG files, 2.37 GB in total,?into?the target drive (write test).
- Making a copy of the JPEG files (read-write test).
- Copying the JPEG files to another drive (read test).
A score of 2,252 clearly demonstrates the 2TB PRO-G40 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. Some gamers are professionals, and if employed as a portable gaming device, the PRO-G40 can deliver the goods magnificently.
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 good when programming data, exceptional when serving data to the host, where our 2TB test subject yet again delivers a new lab record for a Thunderbolt interfaced portable.
Now and then, we get a storage device that sets the bar for what it is, and we feel that SanDisk's PRO-G40 2TB is just such a device. Its versatility of being right at home on a Thunderbolt interface or a USB interface is certainly appealing, as is its record-breaking throughput. We love that to be sure.
However, even more than those attributes, we find its most appealing aspect to be its professional-grade construction. It's truly something that needs to be experienced firsthand. It's worth every penny. Editor's Choice.
Overall the best dual interfaced portable we've ever tested.