Recommendations External Drives Suitable for Streaming?

Hello all.

I plan to use an external SSD to store and stream sample libraries to my laptop. I was looking at the Samsung T5, which I could connect via usb 3 or usb-c. ( )

However, I realized that maybe this sort of drive is mostly for storing static files. It’s pretty small and doesn’t have its own fan or power supply. Do I need a more heavy duty external drive/enclosure that has a fan and its own power supply? The drive would be connected at all times and would see a lot of continuous use, which I imagine might generate a lot of heat.

Would anyone recommend a good external SSD for my purposes?
Thank you.

I don’t recall ever seeing an external SSD with a separate power supply, or a fan. I doubt it would overheat.

Hmm. Is the drive that I linked a good candidate then, or should I look into something else?

Samsung makes good stuff in my experience, so I would expect this to be good.

A site that I’ve trusted so far has a review on it:

You can click on the “storage” link at the top to see a few other reviews, but frankly this type of research tends to be a rabbit hole that uses up a bunch of time. I’d just get that drive if I were you.

PS: The maximum transfer rate of the drive is stated at 540MB/s, which is about the same as a lot of other drives using what I think is the same SATA protocol. The interface type you’ll need for that is USB 3.1 gen 2 according to Samsung. That interface maxes out at 10Gb/second, which is more than this SATA protocol allows for (6Gb/s, or about 770MB/s). So I’m guessing that if you hook this up to an older USB port with a Type-C to Type-A connector you’ll possibly see lower transfer speeds.

PPS: I don’t stream samples from external drives so what the real-world possible ‘issues’ are is something I don’t know anything about. But the drive seems fine to me. Anything better than that will probably be quite a bit more expensive.

Regarding the transfer speeds, I am switching to a new laptop that supports usb 3, so that should be fine. I’m just not entirely sure whether a bus-powered “mobile” ssd can handle continuous sample streaming. Some older HDD enclosures have external power.

Got it.

Well, I can’t recall hearing or seeing any stories about overheating external SSD, or them being underpowered. I also don’t recall there being ones with external power or fans so I think if you want an SSD you might be stuck without that.

The only cases I’ve seen where flash memory performed worse due to heat was when it was m.2 drives inside a computer and the slots were positioned in such a way where the drives got either very little cool air blown across them or they were located below power hungry video cards that actually blew hot air over them.

So my hunch is that you’ll be fine. I’m just one person though so…

SSD Drives don’t need extra power sources or fans as there are no actual moving parts. Power from USB3 should be plenty. Ha, I have a couple of those old drives laying around my desk right now, but I have a WD which works great, but I would get a Samsung. I upgraded my wife’s old MacBook with a new Samsung internal SSD and it has worked like a champ.

So you think the SSD I linked is fine for the job then?

I haven’t tried one yet but I’ve been looking at getting one of the little inexpensive drive “toasters”. I haven’t done the math yet but I’m thinking that one of these plus ‘raw’ drives would be less expensive in the long run as opposed to buying individually encased dives?

And if you are doing a lot of work, the relatively expensive but highly regarded BlackMagic quad rack mount unit might be worth it?


The Blackmagicdesign rack is likely more trouble than it’s worth seeing how large it is.

The “dock” at Amazon seems like a waste of money. The problem I see with it is that it’s leaving part of the drives unprotected from dust and contact, and at that point one could just buy a cheap external case for an SSD, buy the SSD separately, and just not cover the drive with the lid once it’s attached:

more portable, cheaper, and with the “same problems”.