4TB SSD Roundup: All 4 TB+ Solid State Drives

Looking for a place to store your entire Steam library without compromising on performance? For now, 4 TB is the largest amount of SSD storage space you can get your hands on today in a single drive on the consumer market. And even then, availability is very limited. Here we’ve collected every single 4TB SSD we could find as of late 2019.

It’s fully possible to build high-capacity SSDs – at least in the 2.5″ and Add-in Card form factors – so the major stopping block is a high cost for the end-user. However, the cost of Flash memory has been dropping for some time. And thanks to the arrival of cheaper chips in the form of TLC (triple-level cell) and lately QLC (quad-level cell) NAND, prices should keep falling.

As of now, however, only a limited few manufacturers build 4TB drives. The number of M.2 SSDs with this capacity is zero so far. You’ll be limited to the 2.5-inch SATA, Add-in Card and external form factors.

4TB 2.5″ SATA SSDs

If you are looking for lots of fast internal storage space at a cost that isn’t too exorbitant, a 2.5-inch SATA drive is pretty much your only choice today. You are also limited to just one manufacturer, namely Samsung.

Product
Price
Samsung 860 QVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD, Gray - MZ-76Q4T0B/AM
Value
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E4T0B/AM)
Performance
Samsung 860 PRO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76P4T0BW)
Image
Samsung 860 QVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD, Gray - MZ-76Q4T0B/AM
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E4T0B/AM)
Samsung 860 PRO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76P4T0BW)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
550 MB/s
550 MB/s
560 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
520 MB/s
520 MB/s
530 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
97,000 IOPS
98,000 IOPS
100,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
89,000 IOPS
90,000 IOPS
90,000 IOPS
Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
7,500 IOPS
10,000 IOPS
11,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
42,000 IOPS
42,000 IOPS
43,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
514 Reviews
6,459 Reviews
276 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
5 years
5 years
Endurance rating
1,440 TBW
2,400 TBW
4,800 TBW
Price
$499.99
$599.99
$899.95
Price
Product
Samsung 860 QVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD, Gray - MZ-76Q4T0B/AM
Image
Samsung 860 QVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD, Gray - MZ-76Q4T0B/AM
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
550 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
520 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
97,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
89,000 IOPS
Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
7,500 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
42,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
514 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
Endurance rating
1,440 TBW
Price
$499.99
Value
Product
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E4T0B/AM)
Image
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E4T0B/AM)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
550 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
520 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
98,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
90,000 IOPS
Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
10,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
42,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
6,459 Reviews
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
2,400 TBW
Price
$599.99
Performance
Product
Samsung 860 PRO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76P4T0BW)
Image
Samsung 860 PRO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76P4T0BW)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
560 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
530 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
100,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
90,000 IOPS
Random read IOPS (4K/QD1)
11,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD1)
43,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
276 Reviews
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
4,800 TBW
Price
$899.95

Last update on 2019-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Samsung 860 QVO, EVO or PRO?

For several years, many users made only one choice when buying an SSD, regardless of capacity: either the Samsung EVO or the PRO series. Fortunately, for anyone looking for a larger variety, Samsung recently added a more affordable 4TB SSD to the lineup along with the 860 QVO series.

What makes the QVO different – and more importantly cheaper – is the use of quad-level cell, or QLC NAND memory. QLC memory stores an additional bit per cell (compared to TLC), which means higher densities, a more efficient production process, and a lower total cost.

Needless to say, some significant drawbacks are also included in the more moderate price tag. Most importantly, performance and endurance are both reduced. One extra bit doubles the number of charge states in each transistor, making them more prone to voltage drift and other issues that need to be corrected for. Samsung also offers a shorter warranty with the QVO, which is arguably an argument in favor of the EVO.

Bigger Drive – Better Performance

On the other hand, Samsung seems to have the technology well in hand. The QVO series offers impressive performance, particularly in the largest 4 TB capacity.  The endurance issue is also compensated by the sheer size of a 4TB SSD. A vast majority of users will never come close to the 1,440 TB of the guaranteed writes ever – and even less so during the warranty period. Most likely, it won’t wear out before all other parts of the computer are already on the scrap heap. So the main drawbacks compared to the more expensive Samsungs would be lower performance and a 3-year warranty (instead of five).

If you’re not comfortable with the warranty terms and performance numbers for the 860 QVO, the 860 EVO might be a more attractive option. It comes with the usual 5-year warranty as well as tried-and-tested TLC memory that will last even longer. And in terms of performance, this SSD is only bested by the 860 PRO.

The bottom line: There’s really no question that the 860 PRO is the fastest and most durable drive out of the three high-capacity SATA SSDs available. However, it’s no less obvious that the price tag on the 4TB 860 PRO is intimidating. In our opinion, the 4TB 860 EVO offers the best mix of value, performance and warranty terms at today’s price levels. The reason why we’d choose it over the 860 QVO is not that the QVO is bad, but that it has to drop further in price to compensate for the negative aspects of QLC NAND.

External 4TB SSDs

If you just want lots of really fast storage to go – in a compact form factor – you actually have more options. Unlike hard drives, solid state drives are not limited by the size of spinning platters, only on how the manufacturers decide to arrange the memory chips and layout of the PCB. Oddly enough, storage giants like SanDisk and Samsung don’t offer 4TB or larger drives in their well-known Extreme and T5 ranges. Instead, several smaller manufacturers have found a niche here.

One thing to keep in mind when shopping for an external SSD is rated performance. What you really need to avoid is ending up with a glorified thumb drive that’s barely faster than a mechanical hard drive. The best-performing drives use either the USB 3.1 Gen2 or Thunderbolt interfaces. Here are some of the leading models right now.

Product
Glyph Atom RAID SSD 4TB Silver (External USB-C, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3) AR4000SLV
VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
U32 Shadow 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
Glyph Atom RAID SSD 4TB Silver (External USB-C, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3) AR4000SLV
VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
U32 Shadow 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
Sequential performance (max., MB/s)
950 MB/s
450 MB/s
575 MB/s
Interface
USB 3.1 Gen2
USB 3.0
USB 3.1 Gen 2
Average rating
User reviews
10 Reviews
264 Reviews
44 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
3 years
3 years
Price
$749.95
$699.00
$699.00
Product
Glyph Atom RAID SSD 4TB Silver (External USB-C, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3) AR4000SLV
Glyph Atom RAID SSD 4TB Silver (External USB-C, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3) AR4000SLV
Sequential performance (max., MB/s)
950 MB/s
Interface
USB 3.1 Gen2
Average rating
User reviews
10 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
Price
$749.95
Product
VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
Sequential performance (max., MB/s)
450 MB/s
Interface
USB 3.0
Average rating
User reviews
264 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
Price
$699.00
Product
U32 Shadow 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
U32 Shadow 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
Sequential performance (max., MB/s)
575 MB/s
Interface
USB 3.1 Gen 2
Average rating
User reviews
44 Reviews
Warranty
3 years
Price
$699.00

Last update on 2019-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Out of these three best-selling 4TB external drives, it’s clear that the Glyph Atom RAID SSD is the best-performing option. It actually consists of two smaller M.2 drives in a RAID 0 array, which nearly doubles transfer rates compared to a single drive. It is also ‘Thunderbolt 3 compatible’, meaning that it should play well with recent MacBook Pros. However, it doesn’t use an actual, full-featured Thunderbolt 3 interface, and neither does Oyen Digital’s U32 Shadow. Both utilize the USB-C 3.1 Gen2 interface, which has a maximum bandwidth of 10 Gbps.  The VectoTech Rapid is bound by the limits of the USB 3.0 (or USB 3.1 Gen1) interface and it’s, therefore, slower than its competitors.

Additional High-Capacity Options

There are also a few other high-capacity alternatives on the external SSD market:

Oyen Digital U32 Shadow Dura – This is, unsurprisingly, a close relative to the previously mentioned U32 Shadow from Oyen Digital. The difference is that it comes in a more durable rubber-enclosed case, making it shockproof and somewhat water-resistant. At least according to the manufacturer (we could find no IP-rating though). Check price >>

Oyen Digital MiniPro Dura – The MiniPro Dura also shares many features with the U32 Shadow (Dura) from the same manufacturer. This drive, however, is a bit larger (oddly enough, considering the name) and complies with the military-grade test MIL-STD-810G 516.6. The warranty is only one year instead of three, perhaps reflecting that it’s supposed to be used in the field. Check price >>

MiniproV3 ssdOyen Digital SSD MiniPro RAID V3 – The MiniPro RAID is an enclosure that can be purchased separately or equipped with up to two 4TB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs. A total of 8 GB of fast storage space should be enough for most use cases. For the same reason, it’s much larger than most portable drives and requires external power. As the name implies, you can set up your drives in RAID for striping (performance) or mirroring (backup). There’s also a Dura version of this drive/enclosure. Check price >>

istorageiStorage diskAshur PRO2 – If you value security higher than any other aspect, then – and only then – this might be the drive for you. It comes with a code lock and all the military-grade security certifications you can imagine. You also get AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption. Performance is not nearly as impressive at 148 MB/s (read) and 140 MB/s (write). Check price >>

BUSLink driveBUSlink Disk-On-The-Go External Slim Portable – Last but not least, BUSlink offers external SSDs in sizes all the way up to 7.68 GB. In other words, they likely use enterprise SSDs from Samsung or Micron inside. The drive uses the USB 3.1 Gen2 interface, offering up to 10 Gbps of bandwidth. Unfortunately, BUSlink doesn’t provide any more detailed performance data. Check price >>

4TB+ Enterprise SSDs

If money is no object, it’s possible to buy SSDs in even higher capacities than 4TB, such as Samsung’s 30.72 TB PM1643. This monster will probably set you back around $12,000. Most enterprise drives are both very expensive and very durable, as they are intended for the server market. Endurance here is usually measured in DWPD (drive writes per day) or petabytes written (PBW) instead of terabytes written (TBW). Enterprise SSDs are a bit outside of the scope for this article, but we’ll take a brief look at a pair of interesting models.

Product
INTEL SSDPEDKE040T701 Solid State Drive 3.5"
Micron 5200 ECO | MTFDDAK7T6TDC-1AT1ZABYY | 7.68TB 2.5" SATA 6GB/S 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND | 3 Million Mttf | Industry Leading Solid State Drive SSD
Image
INTEL SSDPEDKE040T701 Solid State Drive 3.5"
Micron 5200 ECO | MTFDDAK7T6TDC-1AT1ZABYY | 7.68TB 2.5" SATA 6GB/S 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND | 3 Million Mttf | Industry Leading Solid State Drive SSD
Interface
PCIe NVMe 3.1 x4
SATA
Form factor
HHHL (CEM3.0)
2.5"
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
3200 MB/s
540 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
1900 MB/s
520 MB/s
Random read IOPS
617,500 IOPS
95,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS
225,000 IOPS
9,500 IOPS
Warranty
5 years
5 years
Endurance rating
23.23 PBW
8.4 PBW
Price
$2,802.49
$1,183.70
Product
INTEL SSDPEDKE040T701 Solid State Drive 3.5"
Image
INTEL SSDPEDKE040T701 Solid State Drive 3.5"
Interface
PCIe NVMe 3.1 x4
Form factor
HHHL (CEM3.0)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
3200 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
1900 MB/s
Random read IOPS
617,500 IOPS
Random write IOPS
225,000 IOPS
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
23.23 PBW
Price
$2,802.49
Product
Micron 5200 ECO | MTFDDAK7T6TDC-1AT1ZABYY | 7.68TB 2.5" SATA 6GB/S 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND | 3 Million Mttf | Industry Leading Solid State Drive SSD
Image
Micron 5200 ECO | MTFDDAK7T6TDC-1AT1ZABYY | 7.68TB 2.5" SATA 6GB/S 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND | 3 Million Mttf | Industry Leading Solid State Drive SSD
Interface
SATA
Form factor
2.5"
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
540 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
520 MB/s
Random read IOPS
95,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS
9,500 IOPS
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
8.4 PBW
Price
$1,183.70

Last update on 2019-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What makes these SSDs from a consumer/enthusiast perspective is that they can actually be used in a consumer machine. The Intel drive is a half-height PCI Express Add-in card, while the Micron 5200 ECO uses the common SATA interface (as opposed to SAS).

Moreover, both drives are built with mostly the same hardware as consumer models, most importantly 64-layer 3D TLC NAND. This keeps the prices in check versus extremely expensive alternatives such as eMLC. Drives that use SLC, or single-level cell memory, are almost impossible to find these days. The production cost has always been prohibitive. Current SSDs, however, often use an SLC-mode cache to speed up transfer rates.

Summary

SSD prices keep dropping at a steady pace. However, the cost per GB is still very high compared to mechanical hard drives. And for most users, combining a low-capacity but fast drive with one or more regular hard drives is still the best value combo.

On the other hand, there are some categories of users that can really take advantage of a 4TB or larger SSD. The fast transfer rates are an advantage for everyone working with large files, like photo- and video editors. The options are still few, but it’s practically certain that we’ll see more high-capacity SSDs in the near future. And at reasonable prices, thanks to the proliferation of QLC NAND.

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