Dell TB3 NVMe 512GB SSD - my impressions

vip007

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2006
24
6
A few weeks ago I purchased a new Dell Thunderbolt 3 NVMe SSD drive, SD1-T0500, for my 2017 iMac with 1TB fusion drive. The idea was to have a fast(er) boot drive from this external storage unit without having to open up my iMac and install a larger internal NVMe.

The SSD is supposed to be quite speedy, 2,800MB/s read and around 1,000MBs for write, according to some tests and specs. It is based on KXG50ZNV512G NVMe TOSHIBA 512GB. I formatted the drive as APFS and did a new OS install, High Sierra 10.13.6.

Here are my first observations:
  • Blackmagic 5TB speed test reports no more than 500MBs write and about 2350MBs read. So about half as fast as advertised write speeds. I tired different stress settings in Blackmagic and all result in similar performance. Is this reduced performance possibly related to APFS?
  • The drive is NOISY! It has an internal fan that comes on every few seconds and it is quite loud. One can easily hear it in a silent room. There does not seem to be any way to control the fan.
  • I experienced several kernel panics, presumably caused by this drive (NVMe-related). Eventually, I turned off hard disk sleep in Energy Saver settings and that seems to have fixed the problem.
Overall, I am fairly happy with the drive (it is amazingly small and fast), but the noise slightly annoys me.

I was wondering if anyone else has this drive and what your own experience may be?
 
Last edited:

vip007

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2006
24
6
Thanks for this pointer!

The cable I used is the one that came with the drive, so I presume it should be TB3. Firmware update is something to look into... once I have Windows installed.
 

StellarVixen

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2018
2,236
3,684
Earth
Blackmagic 5TB speed test reports no more than 500MBs write and about 2350MBs read. So about half as fast as advertised write speeds.
Well, in my humble opinion, that is disappointing, and false advertising. You do not get what you supposedly pay for.
 

Rockadile

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2012
454
183
Maybe some kind of external bandwidth / overhead limit.
If you use encryption, that will also lower speeds.
 
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