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Best SSD for music production 2021

Adding a fast Solid State Drive might be the best thing you can do to your music studio PC. Here are the top picks for M2, SATA and External USB / Thunderbolt.

In 2021 and beyond, there’s really no reason to have a standard hard drive. Purchasing the best SSD for music production is both affordable and important. A slow drive will not only hamper your music production process, but loss of data is a common issue with cheap drives too.

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. Newer NVMe SSDs are becoming increasingly affordable in comparison to their SATA counterparts.

Need a quick pick? Go for the Samsung 980 Pro if you need an internal SSD and the Samsung X5 Portable SSD if you need an external SSD.

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.

If you’re looking for the best internal SSD you can buy right now, the Samsung 980 Pro has to be our top pick. Using PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3c bundled with Samsung’s fast V-NAND, this newer drive edges forward in comparison to the Samsung 970 Pro. It’s also got read/write speeds of 7,000 MBps / 5,000 MBps – which will make data transfer very quick.

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.

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’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. It’s really, really fast!

This drive will appeal to professional music producers who want a reliable external SSD. It’s insanely popular too – and is the best external SSD for music production.

If you’re unable to afford the Samsung X5 which comes with a price tag above $500, then the Samsung T5 might be a more suitable budget SSD for you.

Samsung make some of the best SSD’s on the market – period. With storage capacity of up to 2TB, you’ll be able to fit massive sample libraries on this drive. This drive has USB Type-C instead of Thunderbolt 3, though. The T5 provides transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s which should handle large sessions well.

If you’re someone who tends to drop external hard drives and not look after them, the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable External SSD might provide the ruggedness you are looking for. Not only does it have a transfer speed of 1050 MB/s, it’s also ruggedized, water- and dust-resistant.

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. This model deviates from the usual orange in favor of black – which looks more professional.

FAQ

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.

Which SSD manufacturer is best?

Samsung arguably make some of the best SSD’s on the market. However, Intel, Toshiba, Adata and other brands are also respectable.

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