Best External SSD for Video Editing

By: Jeb Brooks | Updated 04.03.2024, 15:45

If you’re a video editor, getting a good SSD for your system is crucial. The Fast SSD will significantly speed up the processing of footage and can increase overall performance and reduce game loading time.

If you do not want to upgrade your computer's storage, a suitable portable SSD will solve your problem too. In this guide we will consider the best storage solutions for any budget.

If you're pressed for time, here's our top picks of the best external SSDs for Video Editing in May 2024

Editor's Choice
SAMSUNG T7 Portable External SSD
SAMSUNG T7 Portable External SSD
The SAMSUNG T7 Portable External SSD is a robust and high-performance storage solution designed for individuals who require durability and speed in their adventures. Whether you're a content creator, gamer, or professional on the go, the T7 Shield is engineered to withstand the elements while providing lightning-fast data transfer speeds.

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Best Overall
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD
The SanDisk Extreme V2 is a dependable and fast SSD, offering read and write speeds of up to 1050MB/s and 1000MB/s, respectively. It provides enhanced security with 256-bit hardware encryption and is built to withstand the elements, with IP55 water and dust resistance and a 2-meter drop rating.

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Portable external SSDs, on the contrary, can be used out of the box. They allow an easy switch between different devices and can help when you run out of space on internal drives, which may eventually happen.

Now let's examine each category in more detail with its top representatives.


Table of Contents:


Best External SSD for Video Editing - Buyer's Guide

Drawing from our experience even the simplest SSD will be faster than an old hard drive in everyday use. Choosing a storage device for video editing is more complicated and there are several important things to consider.

best external ssd for video editing 2024

When choosing an external SSD, remember that most Thunderbolt 3 drives do not work with regular USB-C and full-sized USB-A ports. However, when connected to compatible devices, they are significantly faster than USB 3 SSDs. For example, SAMSUNG T7 Portable External SSD or SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD.

The Difference Between SLC, MLC, TLC, and QLC Flash Memory

SSD uses flash memory, also known as NAND (or 3D V-NAND when multiple planar layers are stacked one after another). Each cell can store not one but several bits (0 or 1) at once. The more of these bits, the higher the information density, but simultaneously the memory resource goes down. There are four main memory types in total.

4 Memory Types

SLC (Single-Level Cell). Only one bit of data is stored in each SLC cell. This type of memory provides maximum data transfer rate and high reliability, but due to its low density it has been pushed out by new storage technologies.

MLC (Multi-Layer Cell). It is used in some Samsung drives. MLC cell stores two bits of information, the advantages are high endurance rating and strong sustained writing performance.

TLC (Triple-Level Cell) is the most common memory type in modern SSDs. Due to its high density, it allows to create relatively inexpensive solutions with high capacity. Lower speed compared to MLC manufacturers solve in different ways. One of them - SLC-cache, when a small amount of memory runs in single bit data storage mode. Once the cache is full, performance is reduced, although the flagship PCIe Gen 4 drives and Kioxia Exceria Plus SSD remain fast even in TLC mode.

QLC (Quad-Level Cell) will result in an even more capacious and affordable SSDs by storing 4 bits per cell. But QLC speeds are on average lower. And with the constant recording of large volumes of data (as with video editing) such drives will degrade more quickly.

SSD VS HDD for Video Editing

Switching from a hard drive to an SSD will have almost no effect on rendering time, but it will make your work more efficient. Loading the program and source files, exporting video, and transferring files from the camera will all take less time. A faster SSD will provide more responsive scrubbing and better timeline navigation, especially when you have multiple streams of footage. Professionals can also benefit from using an SSD as a scratch disk, where temporary data are stored. And a high-capacity HDD is still a good option for storing projects when you finish editing.

Portable SSD for Video Editing – TOP 6

Editor's Choice SAMSUNG T7 Portable External SSD
SAMSUNG T7 Portable External SSD
  • Capacities: 1/2/4 TB; Features: Portable
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 1,050/1,000 MB/s4
  • Interface / Protocol: USB 3.2
Best Overall SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD
  • Capacities: 500 GB, 1/2 TB; Features: IP55 rating, drop protection
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 1050 / 1000 MB/s
  • Interface / Protocol: USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2
People's Choice SAMSUNG T5 Portable External SSD
SAMSUNG T5 Portable External SSD
  • Capacities:500 GB, 1/2 TB; Features: DROP PROTECTION
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 540 / 520 MB/S
  • Interface/Protocol: USB-C / USB 3.1 GEN 2
PREMIUM CHOICE SAMSUNG X5 External Portable SSD
SAMSUNG X5 External Portable SSD
  • Capacities: 500 GB, 1/2 TB; Features: drop protection
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 2800 / 2300 MB/s
  • Interface / Protocol: Thunderbolt 3 only
Best Budget Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD
Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD
  • Capacities: 1/2/4 TB; Features: Water and dust Resistant,Portable
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 1,050MB/s
  • Interface / Protocol: USB 3.2
Water Resistant ADATA SD810 External Solid State Drive
ADATA SD810 External Solid State Drive
  • Capacities: 500 GB, 1/2 TB; Features: IP68 rating, drop/shock protection
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 1000 / 1000 MB/s
  • Interface / Protocol: USB-C / USB 3.1 Gen 2

External Hard Drive for Video Editing - Comparison

Each of these External SSDs for Video Editing offers unique features and benefits. Let's delve into a detailed overview:

SSD Model Capacities (Available Sizes) Interface/Protocol Sequential Read / Write Speed (Up to)
SAMSUNG T7  1TB, 2TB, 4TB USB 3.2 1,050/1,000 MB/s4,
SanDisk Extreme V2 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (Type-C) 1,050 MB/s / 1,000 MB/s
Samsung T5 500GB, 1TB, 2TB USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C) 540 MB/s / 540 MB/s
Samsung X5 500GB, 1TB, 2TB Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) 2,800 MB/s / 2,300 MB/s
Crucial X9 Pro  1TB, 2TB, 4TB USB 3.2 1,050MB/s
ADATA SE800 512GB, 1TB, 2TB USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C) 1,000 MB/s / 1,000 MB/s

SAMSUNG T7 Portable External SSD

Editor's Choice

The Samsung T7 Shield is built to go the distance, offering resistance to water, dust, and drops. Additional drop protection from heights of up to 9.8 feet provides peace of mind for those who are constantly on the move, making it the perfect choice for outdoor or traveling shoots.

The T7 is equipped with PCIe NVMe technology, which delivers impressive read and write speeds of up to 1,050/1,000MB/s. The T5 lets you transfer large files such as 4K video or high-resolution images quickly. Whether you're transferring data between devices or editing directly to an SSD, the T7 ensures that your workflow remains uninterrupted. The T7 can be used with PCs, Macs, Android devices, game consoles, and more, making it a versatile storage solution for a variety of needs.

With capacities ranging from 1TB to 4TB, the T7 allows you to store significant amounts of data in a compact, palm-sized device. This makes it a great choice for those who need to carry large projects or large media libraries on the go. The T7 comes with Samsung Magician software, which provides advanced optimization tools to get the most out of your SSD. You can monitor drive health, protect valuable data, and receive important updates.

Pros:

  • Durability
  • High-Speed Performance
  • Versatile Compatibility
  • Ample Storage Capacity
  • Compact and Portable
  • Enhanced Security

Cons:

  • Limited Color Options
  • Rubber end must be sealed for waterproofing

Summary: Overall, the SAMSUNG T7 Portable External SSD is a top-notch storage solution for those who need speed, durability, and versatility. Whether you're braving the elements on an outdoor adventure or working on demanding projects, the T7 Shield has you covered. With its fast transfer speeds, robust build, and ample storage options, it's a reliable companion for capturing and safeguarding your most precious memories and professional endeavors.

SAMSUNG T7 Portable External SSD
SAMSUNG T7 Portable External SSD
  • Capacities: 1/2/4 TB; Features: Portable
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 1,050/1,000 MB/s4
  • Interface / Protocol: USB 3.2

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SanDisk Extreme V2 External SSD for Video Editing

Best Overall

The SanDisk Extreme V2 combines rugged design with solid performance. Compared to the first generation, reading and writing speeds have almost doubled to 1050 MB/s and 1000 MB/s respectively. SanDisk has also moved from 128-bit to 256-bit hardware encryption for better security. The drive is IP55-rated for water and dust resistance (which means it can withstand rain and spills, but not being submerged) and features protection from drops from the height of up to 2 meters. Rubberized casing is durable and is easy to grip. For better convenience you can clip SanDisk Extreme to a bag with a carabiner. It is perfect for in-the-field use.

Pros:

  • Water and dust proof
  • Fast data transfer speeds
  • Feels sturdy in the hand

Cons:

  • Only short cables are included
  • Doesn’t have an activity light

Summary: The SanDisk Extreme V2 is a reliable and high-performance SSD with read speeds of up to 1050MB/s and 1000MB/s, respectively. With enhanced security through 256-bit hardware encryption, IP55 water and dust protection, and a 2-meter drop rating, this drive is a reliable and secure external storage solution.

SanDisk Extreme V2
SanDisk Extreme V2
  • Capacities: 500 GB, 1/2 TB; Features: IP55 rating, drop protection
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 1050 / 1000 MB/s
  • Interface / Protocol: USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2

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SAMSUNG T5 External Hard Drive for Video Editing

People's Choice

With its slim profile, Samsung T5 fits easily into your pocket. The drive uses a quick USB Type-C connection and also works with full-sized USB-A ports (both cables included).

Based on tests that show data transfer rates close to the claimed 540MB/s, the T5 does not suffer a significant performance drop-off when writing large files thanks to TurboWrite technology. In such tasks, it surpasses the newer Samsung T7 model.

In addition, the T5 can be used as an external storage for Black Magic Pocket Cinema Cameras. The rugged metal case can withstand drops from a height of up to two meters. The AES 256-bit hardware encryption function allows you to keep your data safe. In addition to Black, Samsung T5 Portable SSD is also available in Red, Blue and Gold colors. 

Pros:

  • Ultra portable and lightweight
  • Decent performance
  • Hardware encryption support
  • Compatible with most USB-equipped devices

Cons:

  • The 2TB version comes only in black

Summary: As indicated by our tests the Samsung T5 Portable SSD features a slim design, fast USB Type-C interface with backward compatibility with USB-A ports, and TurboWrite technology that maintains fast transfer speeds even when writing large files. It features a rugged metal casing for durability, 256-bit AES hardware encryption for data protection, and is available in a variety of colors.

Samsung T5
Samsung T5
  • Capacities: 500 GB, 1/2 TB; Features: drop protection
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 540 / 520 MB/s
  • Interface / Protocol: USB-C / USB 3.1 Gen 2

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Samsung X5 Portable SSD for Video Editing

Premium Choice

Samsung X5 is one of the fastest portable SSD in the market. Thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 interface and installed inside the 970 EVO NVMe SSD, serial reading speed reaches 2800 MB/s, with writes close to 2300 MB/s. In real life, average readings can be noticeably slower.

With intensive use, X5 becomes warm and Dynamic Thermal Guard technology slows down the controller frequency to avoid overheating. However, the ability to transmit gigabytes of data in a matter of seconds looks impressive. Just keep in mind that Samsung X5 is not backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 2 and it doesn't work with USB. The magnesium alloy case can withstand drops from heights up to two meters.

Pros:

  • Blazing-fast speeds
  • Hardware encryption with no impact on performance
  • Excellent build quality

Cons:

  • Works only with Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Performance drops after some time due to heating

Summary: Our analysis of this product revealed that the Samsung X5 is a high-speed portable Thunderbolt 3 SSD that uses a 970 EVO NVMe SSD to achieve an impressive sequential read speed of 2800MB/s and write speeds of around 2300MB/s. The magnesium alloy body provides durability and protection against drops. 

Samsung X5
Samsung X5
  • Capacities: 500 GB, 1/2 TB; Features: drop protection
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 2800 / 2300 MB/s
  • Interface / Protocol: Thunderbolt 3 only

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Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD

Best Budget

One of the standout features of the Crucial X9 Pro is its impressive read and write speeds of up to 1,050MB/s. This makes it an excellent choice for editing directly from the drive, as it can handle high-resolution video files without any lag. Additionally, the drive maintains a high sustained performance of 975MB/s writes throughout its capacity, ensuring consistent speed even as the drive fills up.

The X9 Pro offers plug-and-play compatibility with a wide range of devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, iPad, PC, Linux, and gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox. This broad compatibility is achieved via an included USB-C cable, and for devices with USB-A ports, a separate USB-C to USB-A adapter is available, making it a versatile storage solution for various setups. With IP55 water and dust resistance, the X9 Pro is built to withstand the elements, making it an ideal companion for outdoor shoots or travel. Additionally, its drop-proof durability of up to 7.5 feet/2 meters adds an extra layer of protection for those accidental drops, ensuring your data stays safe.

For professionals who need to protect sensitive data, the X9 Pro offers password protection and 256-bit AES hardware encryption. This ensures that your data remains secure, whether you're in the studio, in the field, or traveling. Engineered by Micron, the X9 Pro boasts a premium build quality with an anodized aluminum exterior and a rubberized soft-touch base. The compact design, measuring just 65 x 50 mm, includes a drive activity light integrated into the lanyard hole, making it both stylish and functional.

Pros:

  • Powerful Performance
  • High Sustained Performance
  • Broad Compatibility
  • Durable Design
  • Security Features
  • Professional Quality Build

Cons:

  • USB-C to USB-A Adapter Sold Separately
  • Limited Color Options

Summary: Overall, the Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD is a top-tier choice for professionals and enthusiasts who demand powerful performance, broad compatibility, and robust security in their portable storage. Its durable design and impressive speeds make it a reliable tool for editing and storing data on the go, while its security features provide peace of mind for sensitive information.

Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD
Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD
  • Capacities: 1/2/4 TB; Features: Water and dust Resistant,Portable
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 1,050MB/s
  • Interface / Protocol: USB 3.2

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ADATA SE800 External SSD for Video Storage

Water Resistant

According to the manufacturer, ADATA SE800 provides speed up to 1000 MB/s. In reality the sequential writing speed tops around 950 MB/s and fast drops to 700-600 MB/s, which is also not bad for this price. The drive is very compact and lightweight, and the brushed metal surface feels more premium.

The SE800 has IP68 rate for dust and water protection. The drive will continue to operate even after 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters. Just make sure that the rubber flap covering USB Type-C port is in place. If you're on a budget, the 512GB model may be the best option.

Pros:

  • Good value per gigabyte
  • IP68 protection rating
  • Very compact

Cons:

  • Rubber end must be sealed for waterproofing
  • Short supplied cables

Summary: The ADATA SE800 is a compact and lightweight portable SSD that delivers an impressive speed of up to 1000MB/s. The brushed metal surface gives it a premium look, and it's IP68-rated for dust and water protection.

ADATA SE800
ADATA SE800
  • Capacities: 500 GB, 1/2 TB; Features: IP68 rating, drop/shock protection
  • Sequential Read/Write (Up to): 1000 / 1000 MB/s
  • Interface / Protocol: USB-C / USB 3.1 Gen 2

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FAQ about Best External SSDs for Video Editing

Still have queries? Here are some frequently asked questions about SSDs for Video Editing:

Why should I choose an external SSD for video editing?

External SSDs offer portability, fast data transfer speeds, and additional storage capacity, making them ideal for video editors who need to work on different devices or on the go.

What capacity should I look for in an external SSD for video editing?

It depends on your specific needs. A minimum of 1TB is recommended for most video editing projects, but if you work with 4K or 8K footage, you may need 2TB or more.

What transfer speed is suitable for video editing?

Look for external SSDs with read and write speeds of at least 500 MB/s. For more demanding tasks, such as editing high-resolution footage, speeds of 1,000 MB/s or higher are preferable.

best portable ssd for video editing

Are external SSDs compatible with all operating systems?

Most external SSDs are compatible with major operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux. However, it's essential to check the compatibility of the specific SSD model with your operating system before purchasing.

How important is durability for an external SSD used for video editing?

Durability is crucial, especially if you travel frequently or work in challenging environments. Look for SSDs with rugged designs, water and dust resistance, and shockproof features to protect your data.

Fastest SSD for Video Editing: Conclusion

So, choosing the best external SSD for video editing is crucial to improving your workflow and ensuring efficient data management. The key factors to consider are high transfer speeds, sufficient capacity, durability, and compatibility with your devices and editing software.

By prioritizing these aspects, you can choose an external SSD that not only meets your current needs, but is also adaptable for future projects. Whether you're a professional video editor or a hobbyist, investing in a reliable and fast external SSD drive will simplify your editing process, making it smoother and more enjoyable.

Be sure to choose a reputable brand such as the SAMSUNG T7 External SSD, SanDisk 1TB Extreme SSD, or SAMSUNG T5 Portable External SSD. Ultimately, the right external SSD will be a valuable asset in your video editing toolkit, allowing you to focus on creativity and productivity.


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