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How To Get an Incredible SSD for Video Editing for Less Money

High-end Solid State hard drives (SSDs) have all but replaced the traditional spinning drives, but for the best SSDs, you're going to have to spend a fair amount. In this short video, learn how to easily create your own which will outperform many on the market.

Us photographers and videographers use a lot of hard drives and space. I have SSDs and external drives I work off and back up to, then off-site back-ups as well as cloud storage; it's a lot. With the drives I work off of, I need SSDs to run the files smoothly and quickly as even large PSDs and medium format raw files can be taxing. When it comes to editing 4K video and above, unless you have time and patience to burn, you'll not only need an SSD of reasonable size, you'll need one that can read and write at a high speed too.

The problem is for that, you're going to want an m.2 SSD and so the price just continues to rise. If you're looking for a standalone m.2 SSD of a reasonable size (4 TB or more) that comes in an enclosure, you're going to be spending between $700 to $1,000 dollars. However, Cody Wanner walks you through how you can create your own for under $550 by buying an m.2 internal SSD and enclosure separately and combining them.

As is usually the case with all things computer, many are put off of DIY solutions because of perceived complexity and risk of failure. The idea of "building your own computers" is seen as something akin to building your own car, when in actuality, it's barely more difficult than some Lego sets. This DIY M.2 4 TB SSD has a write speed of 3 GB per second and a read speed of 3.4 GB per second, which blows most ordinary and older SSDs out of the water.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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That 4TB M.2 internal SSD drive alone will run a Canadian $1400 + HST , not including the enclosure. There's no way to do this in Canada for the half a grand price point. The concept is nice though, for a portable solution.

10 points to Cody for having the balls to do this inches away from a canal! I've never been able to pull those things apart without dropping something. Respect! I've actually been thinking about building one of these for myself. If I do I'll make sure that I build mine whilst riding backwards on the back of a horse! :-)
Great video Cody!

that enclosure is limited to 10 Gbps (1250 MB/S), so you will not get the full potential of that SSD
to get that full potential on Apple, you should look for Thunderbolt 3 enclosures with 40Gbps, but they cost 3-4x more

I 'made' my own 1TB USB 3.1 SSD last year and it works like a charm. Just make sure you get an enclosure that supports the 10GB/s transfer speeds. It's not quite at Thunderbolt 40GB/s speeds, but it'll do the trick.
The beauty is that the enclosures are fairly cheap, so when a newer, faster one becomes available, it'll just switch them.

In Canada it's cheaper to buy a 4TB LaCIE Rugged Drive USB 3.0 for around $150ish + HST.