External USB-C drive speed

I need to get an external drive. Due to the Sandisk mess, as I’ve been looking for a different drive, I’ve been seeing things about how one should make sure their computer usb speed matches that of the external drive so you get the best speed.

I have a 15" MacBook Air M2. The specs say:

  • USB 4 (up to 40Gb/s)
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s)


A friend recommended the Samsung T7 or T9. Those specs show:

T9: USB-C 3.2 Gen 2x2
T7: USB-C 3.1/3.2 Gen 2


I assume that since my computer only has 3.1, i wouldn’t get the top speed of the T9 and should just get the T7.

Any people know about this stuff and can advise?



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuXo7UriW6o this seems to indicate you’re correct with your assumption :slightly_smiling_face:

Yep I ended up with the same challenge, purchased a 2TB Seagate Firecuda USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 drive (oh the USB naming schemes, but I digress).

Turns out that USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 isn’t supported by Apple on M1, M2 or M3 currently, meaning that I can only get 10Gbps max.

If this is a challenge for you, sadly the only option is to stick with 10Gbps performance or move to USB-4 / Thunderbolt 4 / Thunderbolt 3 that can deliver a connection speed of 20 or 40 Gbps.

Thanks to both of you. Maybe I’m not future proofing but the T7 will suffice. This is as opposed to my 5 year old external drives that act like snails.