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Samsung M3 and P3 4TB Portable Drive – The Thinnest 4TB Portable Drives

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    With the coming of big data era, demands for large-capacity hard disks are increasing obviously, and we can find a lot of such disks from the internet. However, most of these disks are attainable in desktop only, which means they are internal and bulky, and portable large-capacity hard drives are still rare. Under this situation, if there is a manufacturer who releases large (in capacity) but lightweight portable hard disks, he would get a lot of attention soon. Recently, Samsung HDD announces the thinnest and lightest weight 4TB external hard drives in the world, including the Samsung M3 4TB Portable drive and the Samsung P3 4TB Portable drive. Next, let’s have a look at these 2 hard drives.

    Tip: Seagate Technology has acquired Samsung’s hard drive business, so you may get the news that Seagate rather than Samsung released the thinnest and lightest 4TB portable drive.

    Overview of Samsung M3 and P3 4TB Portable Drive

    Samsung M3 and P3 are the first 4TB external hard drives residing in 2.5 inch shells, and they are only a 1/10 of an inch thicker than the Samsung 2TB potable drive though they are in 4TB capacity. Why small hard drive enjoys large capacity? As we know, most 4TB hard drives on the market are using RAID 0 or 1 setups (2 or more hard disks are needed) to increase capacity, which means they are bulky, but Samsung 4TB portable drives use the innovative Spinpoint M10P 2.5 inch drive, which includes five 800 GB platters with the highest areal density. And all these explain why Samsung M3 and P3 4TB portable drive are the thinnest and lightest 4TB portable hard drives all over the world. In addition, both drives are USB powered. That is to say they don't need any external power supplies. And Samsung HDD also announces M3 and P3 4TB portable drive are the first USB powered single drive solutions inserted in 2.5 inch cases. It features a USB 3.0 interface with up to 5 GB/s peak bandwidth. They share nearly the same specifications, and the largest difference may be that the M3 uses a more rugged design with a patterned surface while the P3 is more stylized with a shiny gray coating:

    samsung m3 4tb portable drive M3 samsung p3 4tb portable drive P3

    Then, let’s see detailed specifications of these 2 hard drives.


    Samsung M3 4TB Portable Hard Drive Specifications

    • Capacity: 4TB
    • Color: durable black design
    • Rotational Speed: 5400rmp
    • Interface: USB 3.0 (backward compatibility with USB 2.0)
    • Indicator light: yes
    • Encryption: support
    • Dimension (size): 82mm W * 118.2mm L * 19.85mm H (Max) (0.78 inches)
    • Weight: 236g (8.3 ounces )
    • Supported operating systems: Windows 8/7/Vista and Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
    • Data transfer rate (SuperSpeed USB 3.0): 4.8Gb/s
    • Environmental specification: Temperature (operating): 5° to 40°C (41° to 104°F)
    • Temperature (nonoperating): –20° to 65°C (–4° to 149°F)
    • Preloaded software: AutoBackup backup personal data
    • Secure Drive for worry-free data security
      SecretZoneTM can encrypt data on the device
    • Warranty:  3-year limited warranty

    Samsung P3 4TB Portable Hard Drive Specifications

     Samsung P3 4TB portable drive enjoys the same specifications as those of M3 except the following 2 aspects:
    • Color: smart grey
    • Data transfer rate (SuperSpeed USB 3.0): 5.0Gb/s
    Some users may think specifications are not that important and they would like to pay most attention to the read and write performance of the two drives. Therefore, we made a performance test to both M3 and P3. Please go on reading this post to get results.

    Performance Test to Samsung M3 and P3 4TB Portable Drive

    In the test we used Blackmagic Disk Speed Test which is a well known disk read-write test tool on Mac platform to test a 2GB file, getting the following results:

    performance test to Saumsung m3 4tb portable drive Samsung M3 Portable Drive 4TB samsung P3 4t portable drive perforamnce test Samsung P3 Portable Drive 4TB

    From this test we know the M3 drive is with 117.1MB/s write speed and 115.6MB/s read speed, while the P3 is with 129.6MB/s write speed and 122.3MB/s read speed. These numbers are so attractive since they are much higher than those of similar products, like Seagate Backup Plus’s 105.8MB/s read speed and 108.6MB/s write speed.

    In addition, since both M3 and P3 can be used on either Windows platform and Mac OS platform, we also tested read-write speed of M3 on Windows computer, getting the following result:

    write read speed test to samsung 4th portable drive in windows platform

    This test shows the fastest write speed of Samsung M3 4TB portable drive reaches to 130MB/s, and highest read speed is about 115MB/s, which are little different from the results getting on Mac (on Mac it enjoys the 117.1MB/s write speed and 115.6MB/s read speed). That is to say on different platforms read-write speed may be different. Of course, configurations of our computer may slightly influence our testing results.

    Are you more interested in Samsung M3 and P3 4TB portable hard drive after seeing the performance test? If you are seeking for large capacity, portability, and speed, they might be good choices. In addition, these 2 drives should not be too expensive in per GB though the company is yet to disclose the pricing for these drives. After all, the 1TB Samsung P3 portable drive is sold $62 while the 2T drive is sold $103.

    Moreover, in order to help users better manage their portable hard drives, Samsung offers a disk management tool, so naturally this tool is available for M3 and P3 4TB portable hard disks, and it is called Samsung Drive Manager.

    A Brief Introduction to Samsung Drive Manager

    Samsung Drive Manager is the software bundled with Samsung external drives and provides users with multiple functions to optimize disk performance, but disappointingly it is for Windows computers only. After installing the software and running it successfully, we can see its home interface where basic information like total space and used space of Samsung portable drive is shown:

    samsung drive manager

    We can also find some useful programs and tools from this interface, including AutoBackup, SecretZone, Diagnostics, Disk Management, and so on. Here, we just introduce these functions briefly. For details, please see Samsung Drive Manager User Guide.

    • AutoBackup: Samsung AutoBackup is a personal backup solution that can help users backup individual files on local drive or network, and users can also use this feature to restore the backed up data. It allows for real-time mode or scheduled mode backups, and you only need to choose the desired one. However, only Samsung external hard drive can be selected as a hard disk to save the backed up data, and a lot of operations and time are required. As a result, not all Samsung P3 or M3 portable disk users backup their important data in advance, and data loss may appear from time to time.

      samsung autobackup tool
    • SecretZone: Samsung SecretZone is a personal information protecting solution that makes it possible to create and use an encrypted disk on your Samsung external hard drive. That is to say you can use this program to easily and safely prevent important, private, and confidential data saved on P3 or M3 4TB external drive from unauthorized access or modification.

      samsung drive manager secretzone

      However, before doing any operations, we need to create a secure drive.

    • Diagnostics: it is a disk test tool with which your Samsung M3 or P3 4TB portable hard drive can be diagnosed to identify any issues in either Quick or Complete mode.

      samsung drive manager diagnostics

    • Disk Management: Disk Management which is built in Samsung Drive Manager lets users create, delete, or format a partition on the Samsung external hard drive.

      samsung drive management tool

    But actually this feature is not that useful, because all functions it has can be found in Windows snap-in Disk Management utility, and we even can say the latter is much more powerful than the former. By using Windows built-in Disk Management tool we not only can create partition, delete partition and format partition on Samsung portable drive, but can shrink an existing partition to create unallocated space, extend a partition to the right contiguous unallocated space or free space, or change drive letter. Nevertheless, even functions provided by Windows Disk Management are still limited and cannot help use complete more advanced disk management operations, for example it does not provide a function to recover mistakenly deleted partitions or fails to extend a partition to non-contiguous unallocated space.

    Therefore, users who are using or plan to use Samsung M3 or P3 4TB portable drive are suggested installing some other basic programs like data recovery software and partitioning software to better manage their drives, though Samsung Drive Manager is available.

    MiniTool Solutions to Samsung M3 and P3 4TB Portable Drive

    MiniTool Solution Ltd. is a professional software development company which provides Samsung portable drive users with wonderful data solutions and partition solutions, including the Windows partitioning software Partition Wizard, the Windows data recovery software Power Data Recovery, and the Mac data recovery software Mac Data Recovery. Next, let’s see these solutions in detail.

    Solutions Provided in MiniTool Partition Wizard

    Unlike Samsung Drive Management and Windows Disk Management which are restricted by functions, MiniTool Partition Wizard is a powerful partitioning software with dozens of solutions:

    minitool partition wizard disk management functions

    After selecting a disk, we can see all performable disk management functions, including:
    Surface Test”: it helps test the Samsung P3 or M3 external hard drive to see whether there are errors.
    Partition Recovery”: after an important partition gets lost due to either mistaken deletion or virus attack, we can use this feature to recover the lost partition in easy steps.
    Wipe Disk”: it helps erase the entire portable drive to avoid privacy leakage completely.
    Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk”: if you initialize the Samsung M3 or P3 4TB Drive to MBR style, only 2TB space can be used. At this time, you can revert MBR to GPT via this solution, and it brings no damage to data.

    After we select certain partition, numerous partition management functions will appear:

    minitool partition wizard partition management functions

    And here we just introduce solutions Samsung Drive Management and Windows Disk Management do not offer:
    Extend Partition”: extend a small partition (both FAT and NTFS are supported) by taking free space from any other partitions or unallocated space on the same hard disk.
    Merge Partition”: merge 2 adjacent NTFS partitions to one so as to enlarge partition. “Copy Partition”: clone a single partition to any other hard disk (both internal and external) to create a backup.
    Change Cluster Size”: enlarge cluster size to quicken data read-write speed if the partition stores large files, or decrease cluster size to save disk space if the partition saves small files.
    Convert NTFS to FAT” or “Convert FAT to NTFS”: change file system without any data loss.

    By making use of these functions, users would be able to solve different kinds of partitioning problems. Moreover, if you are running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or other Windows non-server operating systems, we suggest downloading the free edition, which is also powerful though it is a freeware.

    Then, let’s see data solutions provided by MiniTool Solution Ltd.

    Solutions Offered by MiniTool Data Recovery Software

    For Windows users, MiniTool provides Power Data Recovery, while for Mac users it offers Mac Data Recovery:

    minitool power data recovery
    minitool mac data recovery

    These 2 programs have the same functions except the CD/DVD data recovery since there is no CD driver on Mac machine:

    Undelete Recovery”: recover deleted data from Samsung M3 or P3 4TB portable drive in several steps.
    Lost Partition Recovery”: recover data from deleted or lost partition.
    Damaged Partition Recovery”: retrieve data from inaccessible partition, RAW partition, the partition Windows asks to format, etc.
    Digital Media Recovery”: specially recover digital media files from Samsung portable drive, like pictures, videos, and music.

    Just make full use of the correct data recovery software to restore lost data if you are troubled by data loss issues.

    These are solutions MiniTool provides to Samsung M3 and P3 4TB portable drive. If you have purchased or plan to buy these disks, try downloading MiniTool software for future needs. It works well on other types of hard disks, too.