Ever since I switched my production workflow to 4k I’ve been meaning to upgrade the internal storage drive on my Vmix computer to a higher capacity drive. It’s not unusual for a single recording session to rack up 200GB or more of raw footage.
I’ve been using a 1 TB Samsung SSD for the job and it has performed admirably since I built my system three years ago. But during Amazon Prime Day I got a great deal on a 4 TB Crucial NVME drive. It’s still pretty reasonably priced now too.
Crucial has carved out a nice segment of the SSD market for people looking for high capacity storage that don’t necessarily need the fastest performance. This drive is very much in that market segment, delivering reads and writes at “only” about 2.6 gigabytes per second.
Newer drives running on the Gen 4 and 5 standards are almost exponentially faster, but this much capacity in drives that fast are prohibitively expensive for this YouTuber who works out of his basement. And as you can see here this low spec device can easily handle the 4k 30 video I record and beyond too.
Crucial also makes portable SSDs in this lower cost market segment. For example their X6 drive is priced very close to similar capacity spinning hard drives and delivers many of the speed advantages of an SSD. Are they as fast as some of the gaming and professionally oriented drives out there? No, but for many consumers they are more than adequate for the task.
WD has a new USB-C external SSD called the P40 SSD which is the subject of my latest review. What distinguishes this one from the P50 we reviewed a few months ago is that this one is a little smaller and has RGB lighting.
I found the drive performs quite well for its stated use case: gaming. The random read/write tests on the Crystal DiskMark test suite were excellent. But I did notice that it was not able to sustain its write speeds over longer periods of time, perhaps making this a little less ideal for professional video capture applications that need 800 megabytes+ per second. I did edit a 4k video on it and found it to be very responsive with no lags or slowdowns.
WD continues to build drives that support the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (aka Superspeed 20gbps). This is different than the USB 4 20 gigabit standard that uses Thunderbolt technology. Most computers don’t support 2×2 technology (I have yet to get one in for review that does) so in most cases you’ll only get about half the state maximum of the marketed claims even when connected to a Thunderbolt port. In my testing we were able to sustain about 940 megabytes per second in reads and writes. Yes, USB continues to be a total mess for consumers.
The RGB lighting is not necessary but does differentiate the drive a bit from its competitors. The colors can be configured with a software control panel on Windows which will also allow connections to Razer Chroma, Asus Aura, Gigabyte RGB Fusion and MSI Mystic for color coordination with other RGB hardware.
The drive will work on Xbox Series S & X along with the PS5. But games designed for these next gen systems can only be archived – not played – off the P40. My advice would be to install the prior gen games on the SSD and play the new ones off the console’s internal drive.
All in this is a good choice for gamers but also for booting operating systems, virtual machines, video editing, etc. thanks to its super fast random read and write speeds.