Silicon Power Armor A66 2TB & 5TB Portable Drives

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Silicon Power Armor A66 2TB & 5TB Portable Drives
Specs and Tests

Today we are looking at a pair of products from Silicon Power - their new A66 series 2TB and 5TB portable HDDs. These are part of their Armor series, and are tough, fast, and packed with features that make them worth checking out. If you are in the need for portable storage that simply will not fit on a flash drive, make sure to check out the super affordable drives in our quick-and-dirty review as we continue.

Silicon Power A66 Armor Drives


Keep on reading to find out what these drives offer and get some ideas as how they can integrate into your life.

Products: Silicon Power Armor A66 2TB & 5TB USB3.2 Portable Drives
Provided By: Silicon-Power
Price: ~$70 - $130 USD Respectively at time of publication


Silicon Power reached out and asked if we wanted to review a couple of their drives and they were kind enough to not only send over one of the mainstream-priced drives - the 2TB Armor A66, but they also sent over the largest model of this drive as well, with a non-formatted capacity of 5TB. Both drives share similar appearance and specifications, but there are slight differences to note.

Before we talk about the differences, let's get one thing out of the way; the USB3.2 Gen 1 specification. There is an excellent article over at CNET that explains the name and specification changes that surround the USB platform.

USB 3.2 Gen 1 really is the same thing as USB 3.1 Gen 1. While it received an upgrade in terms of "spec" (3.1 to 3.2) nothing really changed. Let's go back even further to USB 3.0 - the original "SuperSpeed USB". It is considerably non-different than USB 3.2 Gen 1. In that, I mean it's exactly the same. If you haven't been following the USB name changes in the past few years, you may be sucked into a slick talking salesman's pitch on how much better 3.2 Gen 1 is than the "old"USB 3.0. Fact: It is exactly the same. USB 3.2 Gen 2 is different though, but that's a conversation we'll have to continue later.

For the Silicon Power A66 mechanical drives, USB 3.0, 3.1 Gen 1, and yes 3.2 Gen 2 provide ample bandwidth. Inside these drives we have basic mechanical drives that will be limited to data transfer rates that are typical of 2.5" SATA drives. If we were using NvME or other higher speed SSD drives, we'd be hoping for USB 3.2 Gen 2, 3.2 Gen 2x2 or a USB-C Gen 2 or better.

SP A66 Boxes  - Back


First Look:

Silicon Power does things a little different with their external drives. While some companies use a USB Micro B SuperSpeed connector on the drives themselves, they use a typical USB-A connector on both ends of the cable. This makes for a much more durable cable with a narrow profile on each end, allowing the cable to be wrapped around the drive frame for convenient, compact storage.



The only real downside I see to this idea is that the cable become proprietary to Silicon Power devices. I've purchased and used a few different drives over the years that used the more traditional USB Micro B SuperSpeed connector and have swapped cables between different brands. However, with Silicon Power, you'll need to keep one of these cables handy as you won't be able to easily find a USB-A to USB-A cable most places. With the convenient and secure storage, you won't likely lose it - just make sure you don't leave it behind at work if you want to use it at home also.

Side Profile - A66


As you can see above, the 5TB version is a little thicker than the 2TB version. The 1TB and 2TB versions are 16.2mm thin, while the 4TB and 5TB drives measure in at 24mm thick. Neither is overly bulky, but if you are more concerned about physical size than storage capacity, it may be worth noting.

The Armor A66 series are decently rugged and are "armored" to help the drive survive bumps, thumps and jumps. They also come with a plug that seals off the USB port to help prevent dust and water intrusion. The rating is rather low for water intrusion at IPX4, but it should survive some splashes or rain. The rubber armor also helps it pass the MIL-STD 810G method 516.6. Before you get super excited about the "Military Grade" ruggedness, take a look at what the drive rated to pass.

I'm not trying to take anything away from the A66 drive at all, but the rating makes you feel supremely confident in the durability of the drive where it basically will survive bumps on your desk. drops during packaging and shipping, breakage during daily use, a crash during transit, pendulum impact and catapult launch with an "arrested" landing.

It will survive daily use and bumps and bangs without issue, but it won't survive being shot out of a slingshot and landing in the Costco parking lot.

On the next page, we'll touch on the specifications of the drives before we jump right into testing.