External SSD(USB-C) recommendations for multi tracking

I’m in the EU and the market for external SSD’s with USB-C is slowly growing. Hoping someone here has a good recommendation based on what I’m trying to achieve.

I’m using Ableton Live(9) on a 15inch MPB (2017) and I’m looking for a reliable external drive to store all my recordings. Multi tracking takes up so much space and rather than exporting to my regular drive, I want to invest in a dedicated drive voor my projects. I think 1TB will be enough for the coming years, but 2 is also good.

Because I’m using a laptop, I’d like the drive to be portable too.

Speed is obviously important, but I can’t help but wonder if a USB-C equipped HDD might also be an option instead of buying an expensive SSD.


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An SSD will blow away any HD by a large margin. Especially for recording and use as a sample library. Samsung T5 is the way to go.

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i’m interested in an SSD for my main audio drive as well… these samsungs can handle multitrack realtime audio no problem? even bus powered?

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Definitely. They’re basically just as performant as most internal SSDs.

FWIW, the performance difference between USB 3 and NVMe is VAST.


seq. read: 3,200 to 3,500 MB/s
seq. write: 1,800 to 2,100 MB/s


seq. read: 540 MB/s
seq. write: 500 MB/s

USB 3.1 (Samsung T5):

seq read: Up to 540 MB/s
seq. write: Up to 515 MB/s

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Yeah but most computers still use SSDs over SATA, to which these USB-C / 3.1 drives are comparable. Definitely more than adequate for multitracking audio, and a lot better than external HDDs.

Also the amount of wiring you need to do is going to be limited by the bandwidth of your audio interface anyway. Even my 32 track MOTU 16A is still operating at USB 2.0 speeds which is a mere 480 Mb / 60 MB per second. Even if I was recording all 32 tracks at once, which I never do, I’d never come close to the 540 MB/s sequential write throughput of the external SSD.


Apple (notoriously slow at updating laptop hardware) has been using NVME since March 2015; you’re totally on the money about SATA being fast enough though.

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Thank you! This drive seems to tick all the right boxes for me.