How fast is an external USB3 SSD disk?

The short answer: about as fast as an internal SSD disk.

But you probably want some numbers. I used the Blackmagic Disk Speed tool, ran some tests and averaged the results:

DISK READ WRITE
Internal SSD 600 MB/s 70 MB/s
External SSD*
Samsung T3
400 MB/s 320 MB/s
External SSD*
Samsung T1
400 MB/s 200 MB/s

For the external disks, I used both a Samsung T1 500GB and a Samsung T3 500GB, both through a StarTech USB 3.0 hub, on my MacBook Pro Retina 13″.

Yes, you read that correctly. While the external SSD disks are a bit slower in reading, they actually seem to be 3 to 4 times faster in writing to disk than the internal SSD disk!

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