Buying the best SSD for music production is incredibly important. The last thing you want is lost audio or video file projects due to hard drive corruption, or a slow session that’s hampering your process.
When you run multi-track DAW sessions on your PC or laptop, or have gigabytes of samples you need to import, a fast internal or external SSD (Solid State Drive) is a primary factor. Ditch the regular HDD now!
For music production you will want to consider an SSD size of at least 500GB. This will be sufficient storage to install your OS, DAW software, plug-ins and sample library.
If you keep other files on your music production PC, work with video editing, or have a large sample library, consider purchasing a 1TB SSD or larger.
Best internal SSD for music production
If you’re looking for storage that can be installed inside your computer or laptop, here are a few of the best internal SSD choices available.
When purchasing an internal SSD, it’s crucial that you pick a compatible interface. An internal SSD can run on SATA (which can be slower), M.2 PCIe or as an Add-in Card.
Samsung 970 Pro – Best SSD For Music Production
If you can spend a little more and want some of the fastest read and write speeds, the Samsung 970 Pro is an obvious choice. This drive also runs on a NVMe PCIe M.2 interface. If you edit 4k video, this SSD will also be extremely fast and beneficial for video editing.
Samsung 970 Evo Plus – Best Budget SSD for Music Production
This new budget drive from Samsung provides fantastic performance without hurting your wallet. It’s one of the top-performing drives on the market, and can be purchased for under $90 for the 500GB version.
The 970 EVO Plus uses a newer M.2 NVME interface and is capable of 3,500 MB/s read speed. The sequential write speeds are a little slow under load, but that shouldn’t matter too much.
Adata XPG SX8200 SSD – Best M.2 SSD for Music Production
If you’re ready to purchase an M.2 SSD, the Adata XPG SX8200 SSD offers some of the best performance on a budget. It’s not the fastest consumer drive available, but at under $270 for the 2TB version it’s a steal.
Samsung 860 Pro – Best SATA3 SSD for Music Production
Still using SATA3 connectivity? The Samsung 860 Pro might not be as fast as some of the others on the list, but for an aging interface it still manages to keep up. If you’re upgrading an older PC, this might be your best option. Plus, it’s available in up to 4TB storage.
Best external SSD for music production
If you’re looking for an external SSD for music production – perhaps to keep those important session files off-site, or to take them with you on-the-go, there are a few options available.
Once again, take note of the external SSD interface. Check if the SSD uses USB 3.2 (the latest standard) or Thunderbolt 3, which are typically geared towards Mac users. You’ll want a PCIe/NVMe-based external SSD for maximum speeds.
Samsung X5 Portable SSD – Best External SSD for Music Production
Samsung’s X5 is geared towards the creative type which includes music production. This SSD has some of the best performance on the market that can’t be matched – however expect to pay for it.
Using Thunderbolt 3 technology, the X5 delivers up to 40Gb/s data transfer speeds. Furthermore, Samsung claims a sequential read and write performance levels of up to 2,800MB/s and 2,300MB/s respectively. This drive will appeal to professional music producers who want a reliable external SSD.
Samsung T5 Portable SSD – Best Budget External SSD for Music Production
Just like their internal SSD drives, Samsung make some of the best external SSD’s on the market. With storage capacity of up to 2TB, you’ll be able to fit massive sample libraries on this drive. The T5 provides transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s which should handle large sessions well.
SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD – Best Budget Rugged SSD For Music Production
If you’re someone who tends to drop external hard drives and not look after them, the SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD might provide the ruggedness you are looking for. Not only does it have a transfer speed of 550 MB/s, it’s also ruggedized, water- and dust-resistant.
LaCie Rugged SSD Pro – Best Rugged SSD for Music Production
If you’ve got an extended budget, drop your hard drive a lot or care about your data more than life itself, the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro is one tough IP67-rated external hard drive, which can survive some harsh circumstances. There’s fast NVMe/Thunderbolt 3 performance, and it can be plugged in via Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.0.
Do I need an SSD for music production?
For music production an SSD is much more reliable than a HDD. Furthermore, an SSD is much faster – your DAWs, instruments and libraries will load fast. It is highly recommend that you install an SSD for music production.
Is 256gb enough for music production?
It might be enough, but typically we recommend 512gb or more for music production. With the larger size, you won’t have to worry about installing too many plug-ins or increasing the size of your sample library.