OWC Envoy Pro Elektron External SSD Review – Exreme Transfer Rate

External storage options are everywhere and the folks over at Other World Computing (OWC) have a lot of options to choose from. They recently sent us one of their external 1TB Envoy Pro Elektron SSD to check out. Is it a great fit for you and your fancy new console or PC?

Read on to find out

 

With the power of the PlayStation 5 being unleashed upon the masses recently, and its ability to play most PlayStation 4 games, the very limited internal storage on that powerful machine can be an issue when it comes to your library. Luckily for those of us with a massive catalog (and back log) of PS4 games, we can store and play those PS4 games on an external USB hard drive. If you already have a USB drive for your PS4, you can just plug it in to the PS5 and you are good to go, but if you are looking to take your new console to the next level, you may want an external drive that makes moving games much quicker, and can improve the load times on some of those older games.

Small Form Factor but Up to 2TB Storage

Once you open the box you realize that this is one of the smallest external USB drives around, but it isn’t small on safety features. The box says “Built like a Tank” and it really feels like it is. The drive claims to be crush proof, dust proof, and waterproof (we tested none of these features because they only sent one drive, and well, we didn’t want to wreck it). If you are heading out to the lake on your boat, and want to bring your library of MP3s with you, this would be a great option if you have a USB connection on your boat’s sound system and it can even be plugged into your Android phone. For photographers looking for on-the-go storage, this little guy (3in. X 2in. X .05in. weight 3oz) would be great for that as well. It is also PC , MAC, and iPad OS compatible.

Moving Games to the External in a Hurry

For us, this little guy will be used mainly for PS4 game storage on our PS5. Currently we have a 6TB external Seagate USB drive packed full of PS4 greatness that is connected to our PS4 Pro, and we used that to compare transfer rates on both the PS4 and the PS5. Sorry Seagate, but that OWC SSD blows you out of the water. We made sure to properly unplug the external drives everytime during this process so as not to mess anything up. Safety first folks. We used the front USB-C port on the PS5 (we moved it to one of the back ports once we finished testing and the speeds were the same) and the rear USB port on the PS4 Pro. The OWC Envoy Pro Elektron ships with a USB-C cable that has a Type-A adapter tethered to it and that’s what we used for connectivity.

Our methodology was simple: send the game to and from the USB drive and use a stop watch to time the transfer. Not an exact science, but it was obvious which USB drive was superior when it came to transfer rates. We are talking night and day differences here. Where the SSD was timed using seconds, the older standard USB with a 3.5″ HDD was timed in minutes. In some defense of the older Seagate drive, it is several years old and clearly an older generation of technology, where as the OWC Envoy Pro Elektron is about as new gen as you can get right now with its internal NVMe M.2 2242 SSD (M-Key) drive inside.

Transferring games to the SSD external is a simple process on either console and pretty straightforward. I started with Abzu due to its small file size on the PS5 as it was only 2.4GB in size.

Abzu Seagate on the PS5

  • to USB 40.5 s
  • to HDD 51.36 s

Abzu Envoy on the PS5

  • to SSD 12.38 s
  • to HDD 21.74 s

As you can see, there was a pretty big difference in times, and these numbers got were even higher once we started moving larger games like The Fisherman.

The Fisherman Seagate on the PS5

  • to USB 3:02 m
  • to HDD 3:01 m

The Fisherman Envoy on the PS5

  • to SSD 38.05 s
  • to HDD 1:23 m

PS4 Load Times are Identical with External vs Internal SSD

One other thing to note here, is that the load times are identical whether you are playing games off of the external SSD or the internal SSD of the PS5. While using the Seagate on the PS5, the load times fall back to just a little better then the PS4 load times. We tried out MLB The Show 20 and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and found that there is no deprecation in load times while playing the game on the OWC Envoy Pro Elektron but the Seagate did fall a little behind in that area, but was still faster than playing the games on the PS4 Pro.

Pricey But Fast

The OWC Envoy Pro Elektron isn’t cheap, but at the same time a 1TB unit won’t exactly break the bank. Keep in mind that the technology is fairly new, and that usually means the price will continue a downward trend as time goes by. The price of this unit vs some of the other external SSDs on the market is comparable, with the OWC drive being on the higher end of the list. You get what you pay for when it comes to the safety features, though, and you won’t find many that are built like a tank and water proof.

The PlayStation 5 is a powerful machine, and you’ll want to have the best accessories for it. External USB drives are many, with varying technology behind them, depending on the age of the unit. The OWC Envoy Pro Elektron uses some of the latest tech on the market to bring you fast loading times and fast transfer rates at an affordable price.