Does an external SSD read/write as fast as an internal SSD?

by Paul | Last Updated: July 23, 2021

External SSDs and Internal SSDs might have slight differences when it comes to speed, but in the end, they are both very functional and there are a lot of factors that could be put in place to determine how fast they are.

Does an external SSD read/write as fast as an internal SSD?

Yes, an external SSD can read and write as fast as an internal SSD, but also, this depends highly on a variety of factors. There are certain factors that come into play when checking the speed of an external SSD against the speed of an internal SSD.  One major determinant could be the connection, on one hand, you have different types of internal SATA technology, and then there’s the fact that an external SATA drive usually connects to your computer via USB.

In some cases, it is said that the external SSD would still have to run through the USB interface which will slow things down dramatically as opposed to having the SSD installed in the machine.

This theory has been squashed in recent days because of USB 3.0 drives, with a USB connection, you can still get almost the same speed that an internal SATA will give, it may not be faster than the internal SSD, but it comes extremely close.

If taken from a point of view where a user makes use of the fastest USB technology and then tries the fastest Internal SATA technology, there are so many chances that the internal SATA would be faster than the external SSD.

There are a lot of ways to determine whether or not using an external SSD will read/write as fast as an internal SSD, but the bottom line is that it is possible for the former to be as fast as the latter, it may just depend on a few factors.

The best way to figure out if the read and write speed of the external SSD is as fast as the internal SSD is to take all the versions of both of them and analyze. That way you have the fastest external SSD against the fastest internal SSD, and in that case, the internal SSD will be tagged as the faster one.

Another scenario is that the fastest external SSD is definitely faster than the slowest internal SSD, but in the end, the best comparison is the SATA interface SSD and the external SSD connected through a USB 3 port. Ideally in this situation, you can without a doubt say that it could be as fast.

External SSD vs Internal SSD

The one thing to keep in mind in this is that the external SSD is still pretty good, whether or not the internal ssd is faster than it is, external SSDs do a great job when it comes to data transfer speed, and in some cases, it is only inevitable that the internal SSD would be faster, but the speed of the external SSD does come extremely close to that of the Internal.

Internal drives have the upper hand when it comes to the read/write speed, this is because they have been designed to be fast, especially if they’re interfacing with your computer using an interface that has specifically been designed for data transfer.

So the internal SSD is already doing great in terms of connections with your computer, there will be no interruptions to the speed or any roadblocks at all, while the speed of the external drive may be affected a little bit because of the interface and connection with the computer.

External SSDs usually interface with computers over USB connections, there is the USB type A and there’s even a type C. This interface means that the external may not be faster than the internal drive, but it also means that the external drive has possibilities of being just as fast as the internal because of the growth of USB connections and other well known interfaces.

The truth of the matter is that, if you’re looking at a 3.5-inch SATA internal SSD,  it will definitely be really fast, and it will improve your computer’s performance as well, and this is because of the fact that they are they’re communicating with your PC through a port specifically designed for that purpose.

Factors For External SSD To Be As Fast As Internal SSD

One major factor here is the transfer interface system, there’s no doubt that these two drives operate on completely separate transfer interface system. The external SSD could run on a thunderbolt3 interface or even a USB 3.1 interface and you will definitely get the read/write that is as fast as that of the internal SSD.

With this, you can surely expect that your external SSD will give you what you’re looking for. The exact reason why is because modern systems these days, with the help of USB3 can give you the same fast speed of the internal SATA.

Is An External SSD Worth It?

Despite the fact that a lot of reviews might have the internal SSDs as the better option, there are so many ways in which the external SSD has proven to be just as reliable and fast as well,  this is why the external drive is still worth using.

The most recent external SSDs have USB-C which just makes everything faster, this is why a user could say with all the confidence in the world that the external SSD is as fast as the internal SSD.

The fact is that external SSDs are also known to be super fast,  they are so fast because they have no moving parts, this also means that they are super quiet as well. There are so many benefits that come with making use of an external SSD.

One main benefit is the fact that you could use the external SSD for a lot of purposes, you could make use of it for your video editing tasks, it is also extremely good when it comes to gaming, and you could also back up your entire computer.