Selecting the ideal hard drive for video editing can spell the distinction between a smooth editing process and constant frustration. As video resolutions climb to new heights, so do the demands for storage. Shooting high-quality 6K video could easily consume about 1 TB of storage for every hour of footage.
However, storage capacity alone isn’t the sole consideration. The paramount factors encompass ensuring the safety of your files and facilitating swift accessibility. The majority of us lack sufficient built-in computer storage, thus turning to external storage becomes imperative.
In this comprehensive review, we delved into both portable and desktop storage options, evaluating the merits of hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). Our buyer’s guide provides a detailed breakdown of the advantages and drawbacks of each drive type. Additionally, we examined a spectrum of sizes ranging from 1 TB (1,024 GB) to 48 TB.
Our top recommendation doesn’t necessarily boast the largest storage capacity or the lowest price. However, it strikes an appealing balance between speed, physical size, storage capacity, and cost-effectiveness. This well-rounded choice aims to deliver optimal performance and reliability without compromising on essential factors crucial for video editing tasks.
Best Hard Drives For Video Editing Reviews
1. LaCie 2big RAID 8TB External Hard Drive
The LaCie 2big RAID 8 TB External Hard Drive is anything but compact; it’s a substantial unit, and surprisingly, the 8 TB variant stands as the smallest capacity within its range, with the largest reaching a staggering 40 TB. Positioned as a desktop solution, this device offers an extensive external storage capacity for your files.
Featuring a fan-cooled enclosure capable of accommodating up to two hot-swappable enterprise-class hard drives, this unit allows you to disconnect and replace drives while the enclosure remains operational and connected. Its USB-C compatibility facilitates rapid access to your stored files. Additionally, the included five-year Rescue Data Recovery Service offers an added layer of assurance.
Simplifying the setup process, the device offers straightforward RAID configurations, guiding users through the setup, even if they’re unfamiliar with RAID systems. Three configuration options are available: seamless collaboration between the two drives to function as a unified entity, mirroring data between the drives for redundancy akin to dual-card recording in professional cameras, or setting them up as two distinct drives, offering flexibility in allocating recording spaces.
While this solution may not come at a modest price point, the LaCie 2big RAID 8 TB External Hard Drive provides expansive and customizable storage options. Its hot-swappable feature enables archiving and replacement of hard disks as needed, making it an excellent choice for substantial file storage solutions.
2. SanDisk Professional 48TB External Hard Drive
The SanDisk Professional 48 TB G-RAID Shuttle 4 stands out distinctly in this lineup for its sheer size, colossal storage capacity, and lightning-fast speed. Offering an immense 48 TB storage option with an available upgrade to a staggering 72 TB, its specifications and target audience become evident upon closer inspection.
This external drive specifically targets video creators requiring external editing solutions, especially those working with 6K resolution or higher, surpassing their computer’s native storage capacity. Sporting a Thunderbolt 3 interface, it zips along at an impressive 40 Gbps, making the also available 10 Gbps USB-C transfer speeds pale in comparison.
Housed within this enclosure are four HDDs, configured for RAID compatibility, and set up initially for RAID 5. RAID 5 optimally distributes data across all drives while allowing tolerance for a single disk failure. However, users have the flexibility to opt for RAID 0, 1, 10, or JBOD. RAID 0, offering maximum speed by distributing data across all drives, lacks redundancy in case of disk failure.
RAID 1 mirrors data across two disks, providing a backup at a slower pace, while RAID 10 utilizes all four disks, writing data identically across two pairs. Lastly, JBOD, aptly named “Just a Bunch of Disks,” allows separate accessibility to the four HDDs within the enclosure.
Undoubtedly, the SanDisk Professional 48 TB G-RAID Shuttle 4 caters to serious videographers, offering a robust solution that comes at a considerable cost. However, its expansive storage, remarkable speed, and adaptable configurations make it an appealing choice for those seeking a comprehensive and powerful storage solution. Many within the industry will view this as an ideal answer to their storage needs.
3. LaCie Rugged Mini 5TB External Hard Drive
The LaCie Rugged Mini 5 TB External Hard Drive is purpose-built for life on the move, crafted to endure the bumps and jolts it might encounter along the way. Sporting a vibrant orange rubber bumper surrounding its metal drive enclosure, it not only embodies durability but also boasts a rugged appearance.
LaCie asserts that the Rugged Mini can withstand immense pressure, equivalent to that of a one-ton car, or endure a drop from 4 feet (1.2 m). Moreover, it’s engineered to be rain-resistant, boasting an IP67 rating—an impressive feat for a mechanical drive. However, it’s important to note that being a mechanical drive, it still holds the inherent risk of potential damage due to its moving parts. Nevertheless, it lives up to its name by prioritizing durability.
While its USB-C connectivity ensures compatibility with modern devices, the drive’s HDD nature limits the actual attainment of the interface’s maximum transfer speeds. As expected, a spinning disk inherently operates at a slower pace compared to a solid-state solution. Despite this, it offers a commendable blend of portability, substantial storage, and robustness, all at an appealing price point.
The LaCie Rugged Mini 5 TB External Hard Drive serves as an excellent companion for active photographers. Toss it into your hiking backpack alongside your favorite adventure camera, and you’ll have ample space to capture your journeys without worrying about storage limitations.
4. Toshiba Canvio Flex 2TB External Hard Drive
The Toshiba Canvio Flex 2 TB Portable External Hard Drive stands out among its peers due to its smaller form factor, utilizing a 2.5-inch disk instead of the more standard 3.5-inch size. This design choice renders it a notably compact offering within the realm of external hard drives.
Moreover, it holds its ground as one of the most cost-effective HDDs in our review, offering a substantial amount of storage at an exceptionally reasonable price point. If affordability is your primary concern, this drive presents itself as a favorable option. It arrives as a straightforward enclosure equipped with a USB-B connector, along with cables facilitating connectivity to both USB-A and USB-C ports.
While it lacks USB-C transfer speeds due to its technological limitations, it still provides commendable transfer speeds within the constraints of its hardware. Notably, it presents itself as a cross-platform device, pre-formatted to seamlessly function across MacOS and Windows platforms. Furthermore, its compatibility extends to iOS and Android devices, making it a versatile choice for data transfer among various machines and devices.
The Toshiba Canvio Flex 2 TB Portable External Hard Drive offers a no-frills approach to external storage solutions. Its strength lies more in storing finalized files rather than being an optimal choice for frequent editing tasks. Nonetheless, it delivers significant value in terms of storage capacity per unit cost, making it an attractive option for those seeking cost-efficient storage solutions.
5. SAMSUNG T7 Shield 2TB Extenal Solid State Drive
Absolutely, the SAMSUNG T7 Shield 2 TB Portable SSD stands as a premium option in terms of price, but its performance elevates it to a league of its own. Being an SSD, it boasts impressive read/write speeds of 1,050/1,000 Mbps, catering magnificently to the needs of demanding users seeking optimal performance.
However, its elevated performance doesn’t come at the expense of protection. This drive exhibits remarkable resilience, being drop-resistant up to an impressive 9.8 feet (3 m) and securing an impressive IP65 rating. This level of durability ensures that dust has no chance of infiltrating its enclosure, and even rain poses no threat. Moreover, the enclosure features a specially designed rubber compound that not only shields the drive’s contents but also aids in maintaining optimal temperature levels.
Of particular interest to video editors, the drive has garnered endorsement from Blackmagic Design, a prominent association that affirms its reliability. The drive is showcased attached to the top of their cameras, serving as on-the-go storage—a testament that should reassure any concerns about transfer speeds during video editing tasks when using this drive.
In essence, while the SAMSUNG T7 Shield 2 TB Portable SSD may demand a higher investment, its exceptional performance, coupled with its robust protective features and the confidence it inspires within the video editing community, makes it a compelling choice for users seeking top-tier performance and reliability in their portable storage solutions.
Selecting the best hard drive for video editing hinges on considering factors like performance, durability, storage capacity, and compatibility. Each of these drives presents distinct advantages, catering to a spectrum of editing needs, ensuring a smooth editing experience, and safeguarding precious video footage.