Custom built SSD drives

For the last couple of years we have struggled to find a fast hard drive solution for a reasonable price, so we have been building our own instead. The drives we use are Samsung Evo 850 SSD’s. We chose these because of the good balance between speed, price, reliability and availability. The one in the images is an old 256GB version that was in the office, but they are available in 500Gb, 1Tb and right up to 4TB 

lifestyle photographer london

If you look at the cost of SSD’s in rugged enclosures at the time of writing a 500GB Lacie SSD is £300 and a Gtech version is £235. In comparison to buy a Samsung Evo 850 and enclosure is £150 quite a saving if you are buying mulitple drives. The saving gets even more if you go up to 1TB versions and 4TB versions are not even available from the other manufacturers. 

lifestyle photographer london

When picking an enclosure it must be optimised for SSD to allow the high data transfer speeds. We picked an enclosure from the brand Sabrent because of the solid build quality and silicon bumper. They are available with a bumper here but sometimes out of stock. Failing that they can be bought in the US here or without a bumper in the UK here.

The main reason we chose the enclosures is the USB A connection. So many times on set USB Micro B connections get broken due to the small delicate design. These enclosures use a USB 3.0 type A to A lead which is pretty bomb proof.

As USB connections are changing all the time, having the option to swap your drives into new enclosures is much cheaper than swapping the whole drive. With the enclosures we currently use the lead can be swapped for a USB 3.0 A to USB C 3.1 to allow for use with new Macs and further down the line the entire enclosure can be swapped for a minimal cost to go full USB C 3.1

Below is a reading from Black Magic Disk Speed Test showing the crazy read write speed of these drives. We have also used the Evo Pro as well as the Evo but the speed gains in the real world are marginal and do not justify the big jump in price. 

lifestyle photographer london