Question Portable SSD drive as main computer storage?

Oct 13, 2022
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Hi all,

I am a photographer who needs a decent amount of storage. I currently run a 2019 27" iMac running the latest version of Montery. This computer has 1tb internal ssd storage and most of my photos, videos and other files permenently stored on on a 6tb G drive external desktop HDD. I backup regularly to a seagate 8tb desktop hdd and another 8tb drive I keep offsite.
The G drive external desktop HDD has worked well so far as permanent storage for my photos but the HDD speed is starting to become an issue. It often goes to sleep and when the drive wakes up it takes a bit to spin up those drives. This isn't a major issue but more of an annoyance. The more pressing issues are the overall slow speed of the drive when working on my photos AND I have two young and rambunctious kids. My desk is in a main thoroughfare of our house and I often worry my kids are gonna knock my drive off my desk (It has almost happened a few times already).

My question is....is it advisable to move all my photo and video storage to a portable ssd drive such as the Sandisk extreme portable ssd? I would be keeping my files permanently on the drive and mostly use it as a desktop drive for long term storage. My boot drive would remain the internal ssd drive on my iMac, the external drives would only be file storage. I might travel with it occasionally but portability wouldn't really be top priority. Money is not a huge issue if it will speed up my workflow and be safer for the occasional hit. I actually ordered two of the sands extreme 4tb portable drives on the big amazon sale yesterday so I could devote one whole drive to photo/video and the other to various files. I would probably also update my backup drives to something a bit larger (but still HDD desktop drives). I also replace my drives every 3-5 years so they don't get too old and risk drive failure so this isn't like a ten year long solution.
I figure this is safer if it gets knocked around a bit and should be noticeably faster. Any reason using a portable ssd drive in this manner wouldn't be a good idea?

Would I have to enable trim for the drive? I believe it runs on usb c.

Thanks for any and all input.
 
There are various ways of rigging up external storage beyond simply choosing between a standard hard drive and an SSD.

Not sure of the reliability/durability/speed of the Sandisks you have in mind. You'd have to look for reviews, but they might not tell you anything about durability. Standard hard disk drives purchased in that format are typically not the best performers. Not sure about the SSD variant.

Would you want to have this external method turned on and connected at all times...or on an as needed basis?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Storage fr your pics and projects?
Yes.

For the OS drive?
No.

Given that external drive has the same drive letter all the time, it is easy to configure your applications to save to that and work with it all the time.


Using the external is fine. But you REALLY REALLY need an ongoing backup routine.
Do NOT have that as the only drive.
 
Reactions: Tommy Sawyer
Oct 13, 2022
3
0
10
0
There are various ways of rigging up external storage beyond simply choosing between a standard hard drive and an SSD.

Not sure of the reliability/durability/speed of the Sandisks you have in mind. You'd have to look for reviews, but they might not tell you anything about durability. Standard hard disk drives purchased in that format are typically not the best performers. Not sure about the SSD variant.

Would you want to have this external method turned on and connected at all times...or on an as needed basis?
The drive would be plugged in and on pretty much at all times.
 
Oct 13, 2022
3
0
10
0
Storage fr your pics and projects?
Yes.

For the OS drive?
No.

Given that external drive has the same drive letter all the time, it is easy to configure your applications to save to that and work with it all the time.


Using the external is fine. But you REALLY REALLY need an ongoing backup routine.
Do NOT have that as the only drive.
thanks for the input. Very helpful. I have a pretty obsessive backup routine going already. I use time machine to constantly backup internal and external drives to a desktop hdd and I regularly backup to a second external hdd which I store offsite . thanks for the reminder however :)
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
161,333
13,391
176,090
24,452
thanks for the input. Very helpful. I have a pretty obsessive backup routine going already. I use time machine to constantly backup internal and external drives to a desktop hdd and I regularly backup to a second external hdd which I store offsite . thanks for the reminder however :)
Then there is no real difference, aside from speed, to another internal drive.
 

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