Can a Super Fast NVMe Drive Help Your Video Editing?

NVMe drives are the new generation of SSD based on the NVMe interface. The classic 2.5” SATA SSD is limited by the SATA standard to 550 MB/s. On the other end, the best NVMe SSD are reaching up to 3,500 MB/s (read) and 2,100 MB/s (write) speed, and they offer much better latency. In short, they are much faster, smaller, and pricier than regular SSDs.

Do you really need a NVMe drive for video editing? As always, the final answer depends on your budget and usage. In any case, an NVMe SSD will seriously speed up your applications’ boot time and task-responsiveness, especially when working with large files. High-bandwidth materials like pano-stitching and raw video will benefit from the additional bandwidth for preview and scrubbing. But keep in mind that most 12-bit intermediate codecs and even some lossy raw footage up to 4K resolution don’t saturate the SATA SSD bandwidth (Canon Cinema Raw Light is 1 Gbps, ProRes 4444XQ is 2.1 Gbps, Redcode 6:1 is 500 Mbps). The gain in export performance won’t be as dramatic, because the drive is rarely the limiting factor in this phase. Rendering is usually not limited by the drive but by the processing power of the CPU and GPU. Feeding more data to these processors won’t help when they're already runing at full capacity.

This is demonstrated by Dave Dugdale, who conducted a series of quick benchmarks to evaluate the gain of his NVMe drive over a regular SSD. His short video covers the difference between traditional hard drives, SSD, and NVMe drives in different working phases such as file transfer, boot time and rendering. Check it out above to see what's right for you.

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Fritz Asuro's picture

Meanwhile... 3D Cross point