My fast storage setup in 2020

Meet the family.

Solid state drives, USB-C drives and a series of Micro-SD cards!

The way I looked at storage was always the same, defined by the number of GB the storage device or service had, and boy was I missing out on alot.

In April, I started to film and edit a lot of video, experimenting with 1080p and 4K resolutions and one thing that always slowed me down was moving files and storing them safely. This is how the story began.

Sandisk Ultra 128GB USB Type-C

This has been my companion since buying the Macbook Pro, which only comes with USB Type-C ports.

While it had plenty of storage, and I never moved large files, it was great. Until I started transferring large files and the device would get really hot and really slow.

How hot? Almost too hot to touch, hot. And how slow?

That is quite a problem moving a few hundred MBs or even GBs at a time.

The second big issue is the device can’t seem to handle big files well and have failed on me several times moving files between my Samsung Note 10+ and my Macbook Pro. It would no long, EVER, eject properly on my Mac.

WD My Passport SSD – 512GB

After quite a lot of research, it turns out that while USB Type-A drives are “older” tech, they can run smoother, cooler, and faster than the Sandisk USB Type-C that I was using. What a shocker! Also, there does not seem to be a USB Type-C drive on the market that is not plagued with issues.

And this is where the WD My Passport SSD comes in, to replace that tiny little drive with something a lot more stable and faster.

How does it compare?

Price: 3.5x the cost
Size: 5x the height when laid flat and 2x the thickness
Weight: 4x the weight
Storage: 4x the storage
Speed: Let’s find out…

Now we are talking! But let’s do a more thorough comparison:

If we are to move a 1GB file to my Sandisk drive, it would take approximately 1 minute and 9 seconds.
If we are to move a 1GB file to my WD SSD, it would take approximately 2.5 seconds.

Oh, and that is without the Sandisk USB drive heating up, which would throttle the speed.

The Sandisk Ultra gives me a value of $0.18/GB and the WD SSD gives me a value of $0.16/GB.

My conclusion on this is that the Sandisk USB drive is not good for me and I will be using the WD My Passport SSD as my USB drive. The only compromise is carrying a device significantly bigger, yet very portable.

So, what other storage experiences have I had?

Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD – 1TB

I only have 512GB on my Macbook Pro and back when I bought it, it seemed enough. Today that has changed entirely with the video content I am capturing and creating, which led me to need a solid external hard drive that I can rely on and move files on and off, super fast.

After quite a bit of research and finding out all SSD in this segment are about the same, I opted for the one with the best features and price-tag. I managed to get the 1TB SSD for $138.5 locally, which equates to $0.14/GB. Quite the deal!

How did it perform?

The device comes with an IP55 water and dust resistance, and a rugged body protecting it from bumps and scrapes. Big win there.

It also has a funky design and a hole big enough to hang it off a lanyard or a bag-pack tag (If anyone would ever do that).

The only important question left is speed:

It matches up with the WD quite nicely.

And it has become my permanent backup for my laptop. I would also like to note that I use iCloud for an immediate laptop backup, and this to backup content outside my laptop.

Sandisk Ultra MicroSD200GB

From a time when GB count mattered more than performance to me, I had purchased a 200GB MicroSD card for my phone.

While it served quite well as a storage medium moving files to and from it was not as fast as I imaged and since my smartphone can record 4K @ 60FPS, I am not sure it could handle it.

Here’s why:

Probably good to move images and files over on my phone, but hardly the 4K video taking beast I now require.

Until this gets a similar (or bigger) sized replacement, my filming will be on internal storage. Fortunately the Note 10+ is tested to have over 500MBps write and over 1500MBps read!

Sandisk Extreme Pro MicroSD64GB

In comparison, I would prefer a MicroSD similar or better than the Extreme Pro MicroSD, which would cost me approximately $64 for a comparable 256GB or $97 for 400GB.

There is an Extreme and Extreme Pro in 512GB and 1TB as well. Pricing does not seem to have settled well.

I have also come across other brands like Samsung with their Evo where 512GB is for approximately $85 and offers the same (advertised) speeds.

This 64GB MicroSD is quite a performer in comparison and would be spot on for my video taking requirements.

Lexar 633x Micro – 64GB

While the performance of the Lexar 633x is comparable to Sandisk’s Extreme line (advertised) 100MBps read and 70MBps write, mine died after little use on a GoPro.

Not sure if I managed to fry it by doing something wrong or it just wasn’t as good. I will not be giving them a try again.

Conclusion and what next?

The main take-away I would like to give you is to know what you really need from your memory card before buying, and be wary of reliability.

Capacity is important and you will easily find cheap high-capacity drives starring you in the eye but speed is vital as I have learned, especially, if you are creating or moving a lot of content.

Next up, I will be upgrading my phone’s MicroSD to a faster one, with performance no less than the Sandisk Extreme Pro MicroSD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *