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Sabrent Rocket XTRM Portable Thunderbolt 3 SSD Review

Sabrent Rocket XTRM Portable Thunderbolt 3 SSD Review

Sabrent offers a high capacity external SSD option with the Rocket XTRM for those that take their portable storage seriously.

By Tyler Bernath on Feb 9, 2020 11:20 am CST
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: SabrentModel: SB-XTRM-4TB

Sabrent has quietly released some of the best Gen3 and 4 NVMe SSDs available today, and looking through their portfolio, they too have a large array of portable solutions that we had yet to get our hands-on. So, after a quick chat, Sabrent was kind enough to send over the 2TB and 4TB capacities of their top tier XTRM Thunderbolt 3 solution, and entry-level Nano, which we will review soon.

As for the Rocket XTRM, Sabrent has designed an all-aluminum small form factor drive that takes advantage of the 40Gb/s capabilities of Thunderbolt 3. Capacity options range from 500GB on the lowest end to 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB solutions at the top. With the use of Thunderbolt 3, marketing can go wild with 2400 MB/s read and 1800 MB/s writes for the 4TB model, while the other three get a bump to 2400/2400.

Compatibility includes both Windows 10 and macOS Sierra+ machines. The MSRP of the XTRM ranges from $249.99 and $399.99 for the 500GB and 1TB solutions, while you will find the 2TB model at $649.99 and $1299.99 for the 4TB model. Warranty is set at one-year but can be bumped to two-years if you register your product within 90 days of purchase.


The packaging is equally impressive as each drive comes in a metal container with a sleeve over it.


On the backside, you will find the capacity at the lower right and features listed to the left.


Unboxing, the drive is placed in dense foam. Accessories boxed up to the left.


The drive itself offers a small form factor design, all-aluminum with subtle branding along the bottom.


Standing the drive, you can see the Thunderbolt logo at the top and Sabrent branding at the bottom. Dimensions come in at 4.1" tall by 1.8" wide and 0.6" thick.


The bottom houses rubber pads to keep the drive from scratching your desk.


To start testing, we once again need to address that we used a Lenovo Yoga for Thunderbolt 3 testing. Unfortunately, it has a 20Gb/s interface instead of full-blown 40Gb/s. We will be updating our X570 to support full 40Gb/s testing soon.

To start things off, we have 1434 MB/s read and 1588 MB/s write. Typically, this drive would hit the 2400 MB/s mark pretty easy. That said, 4KQ1 looks rather decent too coming in at 43 MB/s read and 91 MB/s write.


ATTO shows the consistency of the drive's performance over different file sizes. As seen above, we reach peak performance around 128K with slight variance moving up higher towards 64M.


Price v Performance puts the 4TB XTRM at 91.3% and middle of the road in our charts.

We will have to definitely update the charts in the future when we are able to test the full Thunderbolt 3 performance of the XTRM, but as it sits, build quality is simply amazing. The full aluminum enclosure really secures the drive, and even in my attempts to open it up, all were thwarted by what I assume is some legit double-sided tape.

The Thunderbolt 3 interface has enabled pretty solid performance for the XTRM and in my testing was able to hit 1430 MB/s read by 1588 MB/s write. ATTO showed stable read performance 128K through 64M with write hesitating only once around 1M.

Pricing is quite extravagant and what's expected at this capacity. There aren't many 4TB portable SSDs running around at this point and with this form factor. For those curious, the only other option I could find was the Thunderblade from OWC that's now reached 8TB of capacity with the 4TB model coming in at $1379.99, $150 more expensive than the Rocket XTRM 4TB.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

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Overall Rating90%

The Bottom Line

If 4TB of Thunderbolt 3 storage is what you need and you have the bank, the XTRM from Sabrent is a legit solution built for you!

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Sabrent Rocket XTRM 4TB SSD

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* Prices last scanned on 2/19/2020 at 4:57 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click for latest
Tyler Bernath

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Tyler Bernath

Growing up in a small farm town in northern Ohio, technology was never around unless it was in a tractor. At the early age of nine years old, my parents brought home our very first PC and I was instantly hooked and quickly learned what it meant to format a hard drive, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95 as my parents slept. As I grew up, many things changed around me, but my love and enthusiast nature always kept my PC at my side. Eager to get deeper into technology, I started reviewing products.

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