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Solid State Drive (SSD)

The Best External SSDs For Video Editing (2021)

Updated

This is a list of the best external solid state drives (SSDs) I recommend and use for video editing.

But first...

Choosing A Drive

It never hurts to have too much space AND too much speed.

Make sure the drive's interface is compatible with your computer/equipment.

If you are editing single camera footage at 4K30 or less and and using a fairly standard codec (H.264, H.265/HEVC, ProRes, DnXHD/DnXHR, or compressed RAW formats like BRAW or ProRes RAW), then any of the drives on this list should work well.

If you are editing multi-cam footage, using formats greater than 4K30, and/or using a higher quality codec (uncompressed or lightly compressed RAW, for example), then read/write speeds greater than 1000 MB/s are recommended.

On to the list...


Sabrent Rocket NANO

Sabrent Rocket NANO

NEW Top Pick For 2021!

I've been using a few of these little guys the last couple of months and DUDE! They are sweet.

Tiny, fast, consistent, available up to 2 TB, and amazingly priced.

They may not be as robust or have a 3 year warranty like my previous top pick below, but they're nearly half the price and a fraction of the size.

Interface: USB-C (USB 3.2 - compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0/3.1)

Transfer Speeds: Up to 1000 MB/s

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Glyph Atom RAID SSD

Glyph Atom RAID SSD

Previous Top Pick

Glyph Tech has created rock solid, purpose-built storage solutions for media production over the last two decades.

This was my daily driver for nearly all video editing projects over the last 2 years, and is still in my main rotation of editing drives.

A great blend of performance, durability, and price.

These drives check all my boxes for a great editing drive:

Interface: USB-C (USB 3.1, Gen 2 - compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0)

Transfer Speeds: Up to 950 MB/s

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Samsung T5

Samsung T5

Budget-Friendly Option

Not the fastest or most durable, but an awesome bang for the buck if you don't need consistently fast transfer speeds.

I use these all the time for recording shorter ProRes clips (4K60 or lower) and they have been solid.

Interface: USB-C (USB 3.1, Gen 2 - compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0)

Transfer Speeds: Up to 540 MB/s

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Glyph Atom Pro NVMe SSD

Glyph Atom Pro NVMe SSD

Blazing Fast & Rugged (Just Like Me)

If the Glyph Atom RAID SSD (my top pick) is a 10, this one goes to 11!

When you need portability, durability, and gobs of transfer speed, look no further.

These check all my boxes (and then some) for a great editing drive:

Interface: Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps)

Read Speeds: Up to 2800 MB/s

Write Speeds: Up to 2600 MB/s

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SanDisk Extreme PRO External SSD

SanDisk Extreme PRO External SSD

Solid Performer

The first generation with USB 3.1 has been a very consistent and reliable performer.

I use these in situations where the Samsung T5 can't sustain the necessary transfer speeds, like recording longer ProRes, BRAW, or ZRAW files.

Interface: USB-C (USB 3.1, Gen 2 - compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0)

Transfer Speeds: Up to 1050 MB/s

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