Now even the portable storage segment has a gaming entry, hello there ROG Strix Arion S500!
Portable drives have been at the forefront of storage solutions for many through the years. Allowing people to safely store large files outside the confines of a PC or cloud. For years, external Hard Disk Drives (HDD) have dominated this space providing affordable and easy portable solutions. Now with the advent of cheaper big capacity Solid State Drives (SSDs), having a portable one is no longer just a dream.
You still can’t count out a good HDD but SSDs are just generally faster and are less likely to break down than their mechanical brethren. Enter ROG, they did not just join in the portable Solid State Drive craze, they made one specifically for gamers. Say hello to the ROG Strix Arion S500, the plug-and-play SSD portable storage solution of the Republic. Will it perform as expected, or is it just a fancy portable SSD? Let’s find out in our review!
A fancy enclosure
Without a doubt, the ROG Strix Arion S500 is one of the fanciest portable drives you’ve seen out there. We no longer have just a simple square enclosure with logos, different colors, or stripes. Of course, being a ROG device means having the flair to back it up. As such, the Arion S 500 looks every bit of a gamer product. You have intricate linings all around the body in a slim rectangular enclosure. Then to cap it all off we have RGB lights on the ROG logo on the body and at the top of the case. Making this is one, a truly flashy portable drive.
Compatibility with most devices
The beauty of the ROG Strix Arion S500 is not just because it’s a portable SSD, it also has support for a wide range of devices. If your device accommodates the latest USB 3.2 Gen 2 connection then you should be able to make use of the Arion. Gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X are also supported by the portable gaming storage. Although, you will have to do a little bit of setup with the Xbox Series X since the console is without a USB Type-C port.
So you’ll have to grab either a separate Type-C to Type-A cable or purchase a USB Type-C to Type-A converter for the included cord. It’s even crazier if you wish to use the Arion on an iOS 13 device, you’ll need a lot more setup. For more information on how you can do that head on over to ASUS’ tutorial here. On Android devices, your mileage may vary but the Arion does support them.
Perfromance as advertised
Now being portable is nothing if you ain’t performing the way you should. Luckily for the Arion S500, it performs as advertised. On our CrystalDiskMark tests, it reached read and write speeds of 973.88 and 938.71 mb/s, respectively. That’s relatively close to ROG’s claims of up to 1,050 mb/s file transfer speeds. We also tested the drive on AS SSD’s parameters, including a transfer test. Again it performed as expected and advertised, especially in the copy benchmarks where it quickly transferred large files.
Of course, all of those synthetic marks are for naught if it doesn’t carry over to the real world. As such, we did a few large file transfers ourselves. True enough, the Arion S500 again reached expectations. The drive took a little over 2 and a half minutes transferring 18GB worth of creative assets (videos and graphics). It was even more impressive in transferring games as it took only around 50 seconds to transfer 5GB worth of files.
Cool under pressure
What truly sets the Arion S500 apart is not its performance but rather its cooling solution. ROG spared no expense in keeping this portable drive cool even under heavy conditions. That’s all thanks to a thick 1.5mm thermal pad on the enclosure coupled with an aluminum alloy case. We tried pushing the drive to the limit keeping it plugged for about 6 hours while using it as our main drive. It maintained a nice 25 °C the entire time. Fair warning to owners of the Arion Lite though, ROG is one step ahead of you. Sadly, the thermal pads of the S500 only supports the S500. So, you can’t swap out your Arion lite lid for that sweet better cooling.
Can still be an enclosure but with a catch
Now, the S500 is still very much similar to its brother, the Arion Lite. Meaning, it can still work as an enclosure should you wish to replace the included Phison PS5012-E12S inside. However, doing so will void your warranty, unless you’re willing to let go of that then you may want to hold off swapping the pre-installed Phison drive. Then again, it’s still good to know you’ll be able to take advantage of the enclosure and all its goods down the road.
Without a doubt, the ROG Strix Arion S500 is one of the fanciest portable SSDs out there with the performance to back it up. You have amazing transfer speeds, great cooling, and a beautiful enclosure. Not to mention, all-around compatibility with most devices, including next-gen gaming consoles. Provided, of course, you have the right setup in some circumstances, such as with the Xbox Series X and iOS.
It’s almost the perfect portable SSD save for the fact that ROG somewhat teases its consumers that it can double as an enclosure. Yet voiding the warranty of anyone who tries to pry it open and swap. Then again, anyone looking to grab just an enclosure can take a look at the Arion Lite. Either way, the Arion S500 ain’t bad for a Php 6,650 (~$131) drive as you’ll be getting the complete package of speed, portability, and beauty.
Arion S500 Specifications and Price
|Specifications||Strix Arion S500|
|Interface||USB 3.2 Gen 2|
|OS Compatibility||- Windows® 7
- Windows® 8.1
- Windows® 10
- Mac OS Catalina or later
- Android devices supported OTG function
- Chrome OS
|Aura System Requirement||Windows 10 RS3 or above|
|Dimensions||124.57 x 47.76mm x 10.85 mm (L/W/H)|
|Temperature||- Operating: 0 ℃(32 ℉)-40 ℃(104 ℉)
- Stroage: -20 ℃(-4 ℉)-60 ℃(140 ℉)