Adata SE920 external SSD review

Experience next-level portability and performance with the Adata SE920 1TB External SSD - your ultimate data companion.

(Image: © Alastair Jennings)

TechRadar Verdict

The ADATA SE920 excels in speed and portability and is suitable for anyone with rapid data transfer needs. However, its limited storage of 1 to 2TB for creative users and some manual setup requirements for Mac/Linux might limit its appeal for some users.


  • +

    Impressive transfer speeds

  • +

    USB4 Connection

  • +

    Choice of 1 or 2TB


  • -

    Write speeds are slow with write cache on

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Adata SE920: One-minute review

The Adata SE920 stands out with its sleek metal exterior and unique expanding design, which is aimed at enhancing cooling during heavy use. Its compact form factor initially suggests premium quality. However, upon closer inspection, the expansion mechanism, although functional, feels somewhat roughly machined. This leads to a bit of play in the case and a lack of precision in its construction.

Performance-wise, the SE920 is exceptional. It delivers on its promise of fast transfer speeds, closely matching Adata's advertised rates - having tested the best SSDs around, we can say that's a rarity in itself. Yet, to achieve these speeds, particularly the faster write speeds, it requires turning off the write cache. This is a straightforward process on a PC but demands technical know-how on Mac or Linux systems, involving manual adjustments via the Terminal.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the SE920 is one of the fastest external SSDs we've tried at this price range. The blend of high-speed performance and a somewhat lacking build quality, alongside the need for manual tweaks to unlock its full potential, makes it a mixed bag. It's a powerhouse in data transfer speed, but these nuances might give some users pause.

Adata SE920: Pricing and availability

  • How much does it cost? £179
  • When is it available? Now
  • Where can you get it? It is available for sale in the US, UK and Australia

The Adata SE920 1TB External SSD is available for purchase in Europe. It is priced at 142 Euros on OpenShop, i.e., a competitive price for a device of its capabilities. In the UK, the SSD is offered at £179 on 

These prices reflect the SSD's positioning in the market as a high-performance yet reasonably priced external storage solution. 


(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Adata SE920: Benchmark

Using AJA System Test Light, the Adata SE920 1TB External SSD achieved exceptional speeds with a read speed of 3201MB/s and a write speed of 3045MB/s however, to achieve these write speeds the write cache for the drive needed to be switched off. These speeds show the drive's ability to handle large files and demanding applications.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Read (MB/s)Write (MB/s)
AS SSD31653051


(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Adata SE920: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
Capacities available1TB, 2TB
SizeFan-off(Case closed): 105 x 64.2 x 15.9mm, Fan-on(Case extended): 122.56 x 64.2 x 15.9mm
Enclosure materialMetal
ConnectorUSB4 (USB 40Gbps)
Warranty (in years)5-year limited warranty
Rated R/W speeds (MB/s)13,800/3,700MB/s
Software bundlen/a

Adata SE920: Build and Handling

Like all the best portable SSDs, the Adata SE920 1TB initially impresses with its full metal exterior, suggesting a premium build. However, its unique expanding mechanism for activating the internal cooling fan reveals a less precise construction. This extension, while functional for cooling, feels somewhat loose and cheaply machined compared to competitors.

Despite this, the drive is robust enough for general use and can withstand minor knocks, though a bit more care in handling compared to other SSDs might be advisable. Its simplicity of design, with the notable USB4 connector, adds to its sleek look. The drive is conveniently powered via USB, eliminating the need for an additional power supply and offering plug-and-play ease.

Performance-wise, the drive is generally fast, though some slowdown in writing data is noted. Disabling write caching, a common tweak for Mac and Linux systems, resolves this issue. The SE920 is straightforward, focusing purely on storage without integrated software, making it a sleek and uncomplicated choice for users valuing speed and simplicity in their external SSD.

Lexar Play 1TB MicroSD Card

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

Adata SE920: Performance

The Adata SE920 1TB external SSD is tailored for gamers and creative professionals, offering a blend of speed and efficiency. Its performance shows read speeds ranging from 3165MB/s to 3783MB/s and write speeds from 3251MB/s to 3268MB/s, depending on the benchmark tool. If you're a gamer, then these speeds are ideal, ensuring rapid game loading and smooth performance, especially for titles with extensive graphics and large file sizes.

On the other hand, if you're a creator, the SE920's swift data transfer rates are a significant advantage. Whether it's moving large video files, quickly accessing multiple high-resolution images or seamless editing of content, the speed offered by this SSD can significantly enhance workflow - definitely one to pair with any of the best video editing laptops for increased storage. However, its storage capacity, capped at 1TB and even at 2TB, might be a limitation for those handling extensive media files. 

Additionally, the drive's performance on different operating systems needs consideration. The notable slowdown in write speeds with write caching enabled on Mac and Linux systems can be worked around by manual adjustments through Terminal, but this requires additional technical steps.

The Adata SE920 delivers high-speed performance, making it a solid choice for gamers and creators who prioritize speed. However, its storage capacity and the need for manual adjustments on certain systems may limit its appeal.


(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Should I buy the Adata SE920 external SSD?

Buy it if...

You want speeds and lots of it
The Adata SE920 is ideal for users who need ultra-fast data transfer rates for gaming or quick file access.

You want a portable SSD
This storage device is perfect for those seeking a compact, high-performance SSD for on-the-go use.

Don't buy it if...

You need more than 2TB storage
This SSD maxes out at 2TB, with a 1TB variant, so it's not ideal if you need extensive file storage.

You prefer hassle-free use on Mac and Linux
This is not ideal for those who want to avoid manual adjustments for optimal performance on these systems.

How I tested the Adata SE920 external SSD

For this external SSD, I connected it to several different computers, including several PCs, A MacBook Pro and a Mac Pro 2013 running a version of Linux. Before starting this test, the drive was reformated to give the greatest compatibility for real-world tests and also for testing through the benchmarking software.

The software used included the latest versions of CrystalDiskMark, Atto, AS SSD and AJA benchmarks, noting the best scores achieved in each. They are all free and can be downloaded by anyone. After the standard benchmarks, I then used the SSD for several tasks, including using it to store the files that were being used to edit 4K video from a Canon EOS R5 C and Sony A7 IV.