Mushkin carbonX USB 3.1 Gen 2 Portable SSD Review – Understanding USB Versions Key to Fast Data Transfer


Flash Testing at TSSDR differs slightly, depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise storage media. For our Mushkin carbonX USB 3.1 Gen 2 1TB Portable SSD  testing today, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide. Specific to the UEFI however, CPU C-States, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) and Intel Speedshift (P-States) have not been disabled as they offer no performance boost to 11th Gen systems such as ours. As you will see below, the system is also bumped to 5.3GHz with memory at full speed in its XMP 2 profile.

The components of this Test Bench are detailed below.  All hardware is linked for purchase and product sales may be reached by a simple click on the individual item. As well, the title is linked back to the individual build article where performance testing can be validated. Clicking on the Title below will bring you to our complete report on this new Gen 4 PC system.

INTEL Z590 PCIE 4.0 TEST BENCH (Click for System Report)

PC CHASSIS: Corsair 5000X RGB White Tempered Glass Chassis
CPU: Intel 11th Gen Core i9-11900K
CPU COOLER: Corsair Hydro Series H150i Capellix White
POWER SUPPLY: Corsair RM850x 80Plus White
GRAPHICS: ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity White
MEMORY: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4-3200 32GB
STORAGE: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Gen 4 4TB NVMe SSD
KEYBOARD: Corsair K70 RGB Mk. 2 SE White Gaming
MOUSE: Corsair M65 RGB Elite FPS Gaming
MONITOR: Samsung 34″ 1440p WQHD Ultrawide Gaming


The software in use for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of Crystal Disk Info, ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, AJA, and TxBench. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.

Specific to our testing, please remember that the speeds reached are only reached as we are using a system that has a Type-C port capable of transferring data up to 20Gbps…or 2000MB/s.  Our system also has two Thunderbolt 3 ports that we confirmed provide the same 10Gbps speeds that this SSD is capable of.  Something very interesting that we never expected was that the Corsair 5000X case itself, which advertises a front Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 2 port… is actually a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port which means it can transfer data up to 2000MB/s with a compatible storage device, and not only 1000MB/s as the advertised specs suggest.

Another point one might want to consider is that ONLY A USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port can provide 2GB/s performance from a Gen 2×2 portable SSD capable of such.  This does not work when plugging a Gen 2×2 SSD into a Thunderbolt 3/4 port, and when you do this, performance is dropped to 1GB/s for that device.


Crystal Disk Info is a great tool for displaying the characteristics and health of storage devices. It displays everything from temperatures, the number of hours the device has been powered, and even to the extent of informing you of the firmware of the device.

This Crystal Disk Info score validates that we are running in UASP (NVM Express), and that the Mushkin carbonX is fully TRIM compatible.


ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 512b to 65mb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

Our first look at performance provides us with data transfer speeds of 1000MB/s read and 926MB/s write which is right in line with where it should be.

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