5 Best External SSDs for Video Editing 2019 - YouTube Society

Shooting in 4K is becoming the new normal, with more cameras and even phones shooting in Ultra HD as a YouTuber or Videographer, the space on your laptop can fill up pretty quick. Especially when you're creating videos on the daily or even a few per week. Ultra HD Video is huge, but its the price we have to pay for stunningly beautiful video! 

We've found the best SSDs for Video Editing that will make life that bit easier, if you're not sure what you're looking for in terms of an SSD we've created a buyers guide on what to look for in an external SSD tailored to video editing!


Best External SSDs For Video Editing

If you're in a rush heres a list of the Top SSDs:

Name

Read/Write Speed

Connection Type

Capacity

Up To 2800MB/s

Thunderbolt 3

500GB, 1TB, 2TB

Up To 950MB/s

 USB  & Thunderbolt 3

1TB, 2TB, 4TB

Up To 850MB/s

 USB 3.1 Gen 2

480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB

Up To 560MB/s

 USB 3.1 Gen 2

500GB, 1TB, 2TB

Up To 550MB/s

 USB 3.1 Gen 2

250GB, 500GB, 1TB

Up To 540MB/s

 USB 3.1 Gen 2

250GB, 500GB, 1TB

1. Samsung X5  -  Fastest SSD For Video Editing

SSD Tech Specs

  • Transfer Rate: Up To 2800MB/s
  • Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • Connection Types: Thunderbolt 3
  • Shock Resistant: Up to 2 Meters

The Samsung X5 is Samsung's latest and fastest offering in terms of Portable SSD's. This is an absolute beast of a drive however only supports Thunderbolt 3. 

Drive Speed

You're looking at the Ferrari of solid state drives, this is an NVMe based SSD which brings a whole new level of IO (Read/Write) performance. Theoretically, it can reach up to 2800MB/s read and 2300MB/s Write. In real world terms you can expect over around 2300MB/s and 1900MB/s write depending on your PC or Mac's spec.  For example a set of videos that amount to 10gb can transfer in just under a minute with this bad boy. 
For professionals, this can save you a lot of time.

Build Quality

As you can see from the photo above,  the X5 is an beauty. Its well designed inspired by supercars  it features a full metal body that looks very sleek and sturdy. To back up the beauty with the ruggedness it is also shock resistant up to 2 meters, and of course you don't want that drop happening anytime soon, so on the bottom of the drive they have added a non slip mat to give it that extra grip onto surfaces.

The X5 also features a dynamic thermal guard which mean its internal heat sink will keep the temperature nice and cool, so it doesn't throttle.

Ease of Use

Like all other drives, the X5 was simply plug and play. This drive is only has the ability to connect over Thunderbolt 3. This is built into many new PCs and Macs but always make sure to check it is compatible with your build.  

Pros

  • Up to 2800MB/s Read & 2100MB/s Write Speeds
  • Supercar Inspired Design
  • Excellent Thermal Performance
  • Shockproof

Cons

  • Thunderbolt 3 Only
  • Quite expensive

2. Glyph Atom RAID SSD - Best SSD For Video Editing

SSD Tech Specs

  • Transfer Rate: Up To 950MB/s
  • Capacities: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
  • Connection Types: Thunderbolt, USB C (3.1, Gen 2)
  • Shock Resistant: Yes

Another hard drive with a G, this time not G-Tech but Glyph Technologies, Atom RAID SSD. This solid state drive is another drive specialised for 4k Video/Photo capture editing due to its blazing fast RAID 0 Configuration & Thunderbolt Compatibility.


SSD Speed

The Theoretical speed of the Glyph Atom is 950MB/s. In the real world with the average mac setup with thunderbolt coming in at 750MB/s Read & Write. Speeds of 550MB/s for USB3.1 Gen 2 and mid 400MB/s range for USB3.0

This external SSD is made for video editing, if you look at the size it starts off at 1TB with options of 2TB and 4TB which is ideal for filmmakers, videographers and editors.


Build Quality

The Glyph is well built with a beautiful aluminium enclosure and rugged rubberised bumper protection which makes the drive shock resistant. The drive is available in an array (see what I did there?) of colours in Silver, Gold, Black and Grey. My favourite is gold, it goes with the iPhone XS, which is a comparable size for the Gylph Atom.


Ease of Use

This drive like 90% of drives out there is easy to use. This solid state drive comes formatted for mac, therefore windows users will need to reformat, which is simple. It has a reversible USB C port that can be used for Thunderbolt and USB C. It also contains USB C to USB C cables and USB C to USB 3.0 for ease of use.

In The Box:

  • Atom RAID External SSD
  • USB-C to USB-C (3.1) Cable
  • USB-C to USB 3.0 Cable
  • Rugged Sleeve

Pros

  • Speeds of up to 800MB/s
  • Thunderbolt, USB 3.1 (Gen 2)
  • Aesthetic design
  • Shockproof Casing

Cons

  • High Price point due to RAID configuration

3. Sandisk Extreme - Rugged, Portable, Fast

SSD Tech Specs

  • Transfer Rate: Up To 550MB/s
  • Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB
  • Connection Types: USB C (3.1, Gen 2)
  • Resistant To: Shock, Dust, Water Protected. IP55

The Sandisk Extreme comes ruggedised and ready to go. Sandisk a name that has a solid reputation in the world of flash memory and the sandisk extreme is no exception to that rule.

Drive Speed

This drive can theoretically reach 550MB/s and in tests performed with a USB 3.1 Gen 2. The drive comes in 3 different options of 250GB, 500GB and 1TB

Build Quality

The drive is a little beast in terms of build quality. The Sandisk Extreme has extreme in its name for a reason, the drive is IP55-rated, which means its built to withstand dust and water for up to 3 minutes. The drive can also withstand up to 2 meter drops, which is an extra peice of mind for those of us who are clumsy, or just have one of those days.

Really liked the size of this drive, it fits into pockets and is easy to carry around. What we didnt like however, was the cover on the the device which is made of rubber which is fantastic for grip but it can be a dust magnet with little particles sticking into it, due to its design.

Ease of Use

The SSD is very simple to use, there are no bundled softwares like the samsung above which is why some users choose the Sandisk. Simply plug and play like most portable SSDs. The Sandisk will need to be formatted for use with a mac as it comes formatted for Windows, this is simple enough to do through Disk Utility. 

In The Box:

  • Sandisk Extreme SSD
  • USB Type C to Type A
  • USB Type C to Type C

Pros

  • Up to 550MB/s
  • Rugged, Shockproof, Water and Dustproof
  • Portable design
  • No software to be installed

Cons

  • Dust magnet

4. Samsung T5  -  Affordable, Portable, Fast

SSD Tech Specs

  • Transfer Rate: Up To 540MB/s
  • Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB
  • Connection Types: USB C, GEN 3
  • Shock Resistant: Yes

The Samsung T5 is a small, light and compact SSD. Its one of the most popular SSD's out there for Video Editing due to its price point, versatility and storage options. 

Drive Speed

The T5 Performs very well in tests, it has a theoretical read/write speed of 540MB/s when used with USB 3.1 and about 450MB/s when used with USB3.0 which is what any standard laptop currently has.

With the T5, you can seamlessly edit and export videos directly from/to the drive itself without having to transfer the video over to your laptop locally which results in clogging up your hard drive with video. Tests with Premiere Pro and Final Cut worked without a hitch.

Build Quality

The T5 is well built, stylish and compact, which makes it ideal for on the go, travelling and general work. It comes in a variety of colours, such as Black, Blue, Silver,. After heavy use or rough and tumble around your bag,  you may find some scratches appear on the exterior metal, but that obviously doesn't affect performance. 

Ease of Use

This drive like most drives are easy to use, simply plug and play.  It comes with USB Type C to C and USB Type C to A cables. The drive is compatible with USB 3.1 and backwards compatible USB 3.0. USB 3.0 should get you 400+ MB/s which is ideal for video editing. 

Samsung also bundles its Samsung utility software to manage the drive for both PC and Mac. Some Mac users might want to reformat the drive for mac through Apple's Disk Utility software as some have had issues with Samsungs software, however the software is not needed to use the drive. 

In The Box:

  • Samsung T5 External SSD
  • USB C to USB C 
  • USB C to USB A

Pros

  • Up to 540MB Read-Write Speed
  • Small & Light, Ultra Portable
  • Value for money
  • Variety of colours

Cons

  • Can be prone to scratches if not stored properly

SSD Tech Specs

  • Transfer Rate: 560MB/s
  • Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • Connection Types: USB C (3.1, Gen 2)
  • Resistant To : Water, Shock, Dust, Crush Resistant IP67

For those of you who haven't heard of G-Technology, you may know its parent company, Western Digital. This is another rugged SSD with a slightly faster theoretical speed, finishing off this level of external solid state drives before we move onto the big dogs!

The G-Tech Rugged SSD is just that, Slightly chunkier and larger than the Sandisk Extreme, however keeping a small and light form factor.


SSD Speed

The theoretical speed of this drive is a speedy 560MB/s with USB 3.1 Gen 2

Build Quality

The G-Tech build quality is uncompromised with a IP67  Water, Dust and 3M Drop Resistance due to its Shock and vibration resistant solid state drive. Not just that, it also has 1000 lb crush resistance, just incase. This does win on durability and ruggedness versus the Sandisk Extreme, which doesn't seem so extreme beside this little guy.

Excellent for Filmmakers, vloggers who travel a lot or adventure through harsh terrain or weather conditions.The G Tech may be rugged but its beautiful, its small and fits in the palm of your hand and its black and blue design, with sleek metal finishes.


Ease Of Use

Usual plug and play (for me on a Mac). For windows users however, windows explorer may not recognise the drive when you plug it in at first. You will need to format the drive to be able to use it with windows, all the information can be found on the G-Tech Site here.

The USB-C/USB A and USB-C/USB-C are also included with this external SSD.

In The Box

  • G-Technology Rugged External SSD
  • USB Type C to Type C
  • USB Type C to Type A

Pros

  • Up to 560MB/s
  • IP67 Crush, Shock, Dust/Water Resistant
  •  Up to 2TB
  • Stunning blue/black design

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than competing drives

6. Sandisk Extreme 900 - Fast RAID SSD

SSD Tech Specs

  • Transfer Rate: 850MB/s
  • Capacities: 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB
  • Connection Types: USB C (3.1, Gen 2)
  • Shock Resistant: Yes

Another Sandisk in the mix, this time we have the daddy. The Extreme 900. This thing is unspeakably fast, providing you have the computer hardware to match.

SSD Speed

The theoretical speed of this drive is 850MB/s, yes 850MB/s read and write. Testing at 780MB/s on Read and writes with USB 3.1 Gen 2. This thing is blazing fast.

This is due to the RAID 0 Configuration. RAID 0 Config doubles the speed of a solid state drive, but at the cost of data redundancy. 

This drive was built for capturing and editing 4K Video content, but would need higher capacities which is going to be expensive! Speed being the price driver of these external solid state drives. The drives come in 480GB, 980GB and 1.92TB


Build Quality

This drive is larger than the other drives mentioned, but it is still a compact size.  It is a well built solid drive that has a sleek durable aluminium and standard  design color with notably beautiful curved edges and contains a rugged rubber edging to protect against falls. While this is not as rugged as previous drives you may want to get a carry case for this drive.

Ease of Use

As with Sandisk products, its simply plug and play, compatible with both windows and mac coming with USB A and USB C cables.

In The Box:

  • Sandisk Extreme 900 SSD
  • Type C-Type C Cable
  • Type C-Type A Cable

Pros

  • 850MB/s Theoretical Speed
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Could be more rugged considering price point.

External SSD Buyers Guide for Video Editing

When buying an external SSD for the purpose of Video Editing there is a lot to look out for. We have created a list of some of the most important factors for using an external drive for video editing. Which resulted in the above list of external drives that are suitable for video editing wether on Mac or Windows that will work with a variety of video editors such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, Final Cut Pro, iMovie and many more.

What Should I Look For In An External SSD?

Here are some of the factors we used to evaluate SSDs suitability for video editing. 

Storage Capacity

You've probably heard size isn't everything, that may be true but when it comes to capturing 4k Video that isn't necessarily true. As a YouTuber or filmmaker you're constantly producing large amounts of video in high resolutions that need storage. Therefore we would recommend at least 1TB for your needs.


Transfer Speed

Time is money my friend and YouTubers know this. Transfer speed is important and if a drive can shave down the agony of the waiting to write or read off of a drive then the external drive was definitely worthwhile. 

SSDs come in 2 main categories of speed 500-600MB/s range as seen with the Samsung T5, Sandisk Extreme and the G-Technology Rugged SSD and the RAID 0 SSDs with a transfer speed of 750-950MB/s

What is the difference between an SSD and an SSD in RAID 0?
RAID 0 are meant for Speed, but with speed comes a cost. A physical dollar cost as they are a lot more expensive but also at the cost of data redundancy which means the failure of one drive will cause the entire array to fail. Because the array has data striped across all of the drives, the failure will result in total data loss.  However, SSDs are less prone to failure than traditional SSDs but glitches may still occur.

Therefore, RAID 0 in my opinion are not for long term storage but more for the capture, editing and transfer, a working drive.


Portability & Durability

Portability is key with external drives, wether you're working from home but moving around with your laptop or travelling and exploring the size and durability of an SSD is quite important.

Most SSDs come with shock resistant drives and a rugged exterior, some are even water, dust and crush proof and drop proof of up to 2-3M. The most durable SSD mentioned above is the is the G-Tech Rugged SSD which has an IP67 Rating but is marginally larger than its competitors.

Portability is also a key factor, if you're someone who's is travelling in lot on planes, trains and ubers or goes to co-working spaces most of these SSD drives are highly portable with the Samsung T5 being the sleek portable drive of choice.

However, if you are looking for a middle-ground with ruggedness, portability and speed we would recommend the Sandisk Extreme.


Compatibility

Most PCs & Macs nowadays have USB 3.0. Its the most common. A lot of drive performance in terms of speed depends on your own setups specifications in terms of USB and how fast your internal drive can read/write too.

The latest USB 3.1 Gen 2 are backwards compatible with 3.0 and even 2.0 but you're probably not using the outdated USB 2.0. If your computer/laptop does not have USB C it probably has a USB A Connector (Most Common USB) and these cables come available with most of the SSDs.

USB 3.0 performance tends to test with SSDs around the mid 400MB/s. While USB 3.1 (often referred to as USB 3.1 Gen 2) clocks in over 500 for most non-raid drives, and with RAID in the high 700's-800MB/s. Mac users with Thunderbolt 3 and thunderbolt three drives have the fastest transfer speeds as highlighted with the Glyph Atom.

All SSD's listed above come with USB C to USB C and USB C to USB A.


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