Skip to main content
Buying GuidesHardwareMotion GraphicsPC Builds

Best Internal SSD For Video Editing

By February 7, 2021No Comments

Arturth is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Best Internal SSD For Video Editing

Best Internal SSD For Video Editing

The fact that you are looking for an internal SSD for video editing tells me you get why SSDs are so important. In fact, not having a fast SSD means you won’t get optimal performance out of your other components like the CPU and RAM. And with video editing becoming more demanding on your computer, choosing the right SSD can dramatically improve your workflow.

With all the different types of internal storage drives out there, which is the best internal SSD for your specific needs will differ from the next video editor. This article will cut through the noise, outline for you the best internal SSDs for video editing, and answer some common questions about video editing storage.

Before we get into the recommendations, I want to give you a high-level overview. Ultra-fast SSDs are becoming more affordable. The fastest and best SSDs are M.2 NVMe SSDs. These NVMe SSDs are ideal for your primary, and secondary drives. SATA SSDs are less expensive and work well for your tertiary drives. Video editing is demanding and more drives will give you better performance. Now that you’ve got the theme of this article, let’s dive into the recommendations.

Best Internal SSDs For Video Editing (Compared)

Preview
Pro Choice
SAMSUNG 980 PRO 1TB PCIe NVMe Gen4 Internal Gaming SSD M.2 (MZ-V8P1T0B)
SAMSUNG 970 PRO SSD 1TB - M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-V7P1T0BW) Black/Red
Great Value
Seagate Firecuda 520 1TB Performance Internal Solid State Drive SSD PCIe Gen4 X4 NVMe 1.3 for Gaming PC Gaming Laptop Desktop (ZP1000GM3A002)
Budget Option
Crucial P5 1TB 3D NAND NVMe Internal SSD, up to 3400MB/s - CT1000P5SSD8
SATA Option
SAMSUNG 870 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-77E1T0B/AM)
Title
SAMSUNG 980 PRO 500GB
Samsung 970 PRO SSD 1TB
Seagate FireCuda 510 1TB
Crucial P5 1TB NVMe SSD
SAMSUNG 870 EVO 1TB SATA
Internal Form Factor
M.2 Type-2280
M.2 Type-2280
M.2 Type-2280
M.2 Type-2280
2.5-Inch
Interface - Computer Side
M.2 Type-2280
M.2 Type-2280
M.2 Type-2280
M.2 Type-2280
SATA
Bus Type
PCI Express 4.0
PCI Express 3.0
PCI Express 3.0
PCI Express 3.0x4
Serial ATA
Max Sequential Read
7000 MBps
7000 MBps
3450 MBps
3400 MBps
560 MBps
Max Sequential Write
5000 MBps
5000 MBps
3050 MBps
3000 MBps
530 MBps
NVMe Support
Capacity
1TB
1TB
1TB
1TB
1TB
Terabytes Written
600 TBW
1200 TBW
1300 TBW
600 TBW
2400 TBW
Warranty
5 Years
5 Years
5 Years
5 Years
5 Years
Price
$199.99
$375.81
$179.99
$144.77
$114.99
Pro Choice
Preview
SAMSUNG 980 PRO 1TB PCIe NVMe Gen4 Internal Gaming SSD M.2 (MZ-V8P1T0B)
Title
SAMSUNG 980 PRO 500GB
Internal Form Factor
M.2 Type-2280
Interface - Computer Side
M.2 Type-2280
Bus Type
PCI Express 4.0
Max Sequential Read
7000 MBps
Max Sequential Write
5000 MBps
NVMe Support
Capacity
1TB
Terabytes Written
600 TBW
Warranty
5 Years
Price
$199.99
Preview
SAMSUNG 970 PRO SSD 1TB - M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-V7P1T0BW) Black/Red
Title
Samsung 970 PRO SSD 1TB
Internal Form Factor
M.2 Type-2280
Interface - Computer Side
M.2 Type-2280
Bus Type
PCI Express 3.0
Max Sequential Read
7000 MBps
Max Sequential Write
5000 MBps
NVMe Support
Capacity
1TB
Terabytes Written
1200 TBW
Warranty
5 Years
Price
$375.81
Great Value
Preview
Seagate Firecuda 520 1TB Performance Internal Solid State Drive SSD PCIe Gen4 X4 NVMe 1.3 for Gaming PC Gaming Laptop Desktop (ZP1000GM3A002)
Title
Seagate FireCuda 510 1TB
Internal Form Factor
M.2 Type-2280
Interface - Computer Side
M.2 Type-2280
Bus Type
PCI Express 3.0
Max Sequential Read
3450 MBps
Max Sequential Write
3050 MBps
NVMe Support
Capacity
1TB
Terabytes Written
1300 TBW
Warranty
5 Years
Price
$179.99
Budget Option
Preview
Crucial P5 1TB 3D NAND NVMe Internal SSD, up to 3400MB/s - CT1000P5SSD8
Title
Crucial P5 1TB NVMe SSD
Internal Form Factor
M.2 Type-2280
Interface - Computer Side
M.2 Type-2280
Bus Type
PCI Express 3.0x4
Max Sequential Read
3400 MBps
Max Sequential Write
3000 MBps
NVMe Support
Capacity
1TB
Terabytes Written
600 TBW
Warranty
5 Years
Price
$144.77
SATA Option
Preview
SAMSUNG 870 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-77E1T0B/AM)
Title
SAMSUNG 870 EVO 1TB SATA
Internal Form Factor
2.5-Inch
Interface - Computer Side
SATA
Bus Type
Serial ATA
Max Sequential Read
560 MBps
Max Sequential Write
530 MBps
NVMe Support
Capacity
1TB
Terabytes Written
2400 TBW
Warranty
5 Years
Price
$114.99

Best Internal SSD For Video Editing

SAMSUNG 980 PRO 1TB PCIe NVMe Gen4

Best ultra-fast SSD for PCIe 4.0 builds

Specs:

  • Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 Type-2280
  • Bus Type: PCI Express 4.0 x4
  • NVMe Support: Yes
  • Max Sequential Read: 7000 MBps
  • Max Sequential Write: 5100 MBps
  • Terabytes Written Rating: 600 TBW
  • Warranty: 5 Years
PROS
  • Ultra-fast performance
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Multiple capacity options
  • Hardware encryption capable
  • 5-year warranty
CONS
  • Expensive
  • 600 TBW could be higher

The Samsung 980 Pro is our pick for video editors who demand the fasted SSD period. This performance beast leverages PCIe 4.0 bus type to raise the bar in read/write speeds, and overall performance. With PCIe 4.0, you get essentially double the speed as the previous generation 3.0. It’s important to note, currently only some AMD X570 platform CPUs, 3000 series, and Threadripper paired with compatible motherboards, will support PCIe 4.0. Overall, if you have an AMD build and need the fastest SSD for video editing, nothing beats the M.2 PCIe 4.0 Samsung 980 Pro.

Check Current Price

Samsung 970 PRO SSD 1TB – M.2 NVMe SSD

Fast and reliable PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD for Video Editing

Specs:

  • Capacity: 512GB, 1TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 Type-2280
  • Bus Type: PCI Express 3.0 x4
  • NVMe Support: Yes
  • Max Sequential Read: 3500 MBps
  • Max Sequential Write: 2700 MBps
  • Terabytes Written Rating: 1200 TBW
  • Warranty: 5 Years
PROS
  • Remarkably fast for professional users
  • Highly reliable and durable
  • Hardware encryption
  • Long warranty
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Only two capacity options

The Samsung SSD 970 Pro is an ultra-fast NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD, aimed at video editors and gamers who demand fast storage. Apart from speed, the 970 Pro’s main selling point is its reliability. Which is rated at 1200 TBW (Terabytes Written), twice as much as Crucial P5 600 TBW. Overall, if you prefer Samsung as an SSD brand and need long term reliability, this is the SSD for you.

Check Current Price

Seagate FireCuda 510

Great price for performance PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD

Specs:

  • Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 Type-2280
  • Bus Type: PCI Express 3.0 x4
  • NVMe Support: Yes
  • Max Sequential Read: 3450 MBps
  • Max Sequential Write: 3200 MBps
  • Terabytes Written Rating: 1300 TBW
  • Warranty: 5 Years
PROS
  • Great performance for the money
  • Highly reliable and durable
  • Multiple high capacity options
  • PCIe 4.0 version available
  • Long warranty
CONS
  • Slower than others in 4K read/write speeds

Seagate is a serious competitor to the likes of Samsung and Western Digital. And for good reason. The FireCuda 510 is easily one of the most durable and fastest SSDs on the market today. Originally targeting the gaming market, The Seagate FireCuda 510 offers video editors a compelling blend of speed and reliability, at a great price. The only drawback is the 4K read/write speeds, which are a bit lower than the competition. That aside, the FireCuda 510 is an excellent value for money PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD.

Check Currency Price

Crucial P5

Excelent budget option for PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD performance

Specs:

  • Capacity: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 Type-2280
  • Bus Type: PCI Express 3.0 x4
  • NVMe Support: Yes
  • Max Sequential Read: 3400 MBps
  • Max Sequential Write: 3000 MBps
  • Terabytes Written Rating: 600 TBW
  • Warranty: 5 Years
PROS
  • Great price
  • Good sequential speeds
  • Highly reliable and durable
  • 5 year warranty
CONS
  • Slightly low 4K speeds
  • 256GB model has lower write speed

If you have a tight budget, look no further. I’m serious. The Crucial P5 is our pick offering the best value in terms of price-to-performance. This amazing value comes from a combination of solid performance specs, and 600 TBW (5-year warranty). Overall, this four-lane PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD can’t be beaten in this low price range.

Check Current Price

SAMSUNG 870 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III

Great value – high performance in the SATA SSD category

Specs:

  • Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 Type-2280
  • Bus Type: Serial ATA
  • NVMe Support: No
  • Max Sequential Read: 560 MBps
  • Max Sequential Write: 530 MBps
  • Terabytes Written Rating: 2400 TBW
  • Warranty: 5 Years
PROS
  • Solid performance for SATA
  • Durable and reliable
  • Multiple high capacity options
CONS
  • Not as fast as PCIe NVMe SSDs

If you are on a tight budget or need a tertiary drive for storing footage, the Samsung SSD 870 EVO is an excellent choice. While I usually recommend NVMe SSDs for your primary OS drive and secondary drive for storing project files, Having a large capacity SATA SSD is a great option for your tertiary drive. You can use this drive to store footage and backup files because outright speed isn’t usually required. What’s nice about the Samsung SATA SSDs is the fact that they come in multiple high-capacity options including up to 8TB.

Check Current Price

How Much Storage Do I Need For Video Editing?

How much storage you need for video editing will depend on the kind of work you do. The bare minimum for video editing is widely known to be 2x 256GB hard drives. One storage device, your primary drive, will run your operating system and the video editing software. The other, your secondary drive, will store your project files and act as your scratch disc. This minimum spec setup will get you by if you only do light video editing work.

If you are a professional video editor or even a hobbyist content creator, this minimum storage spec (2x 256GB), will not cut it. For serious video editors, I recommend 3 to 4 storage drives. Ideally, two of them should be ultra-fast M.2 NVMe SSDs. The other drives can be SATA SSD drives or even HDD if you are ok with the slower older technology.

Your primary drive should be as fast as possible to run editing programs like Premiere Pro, Final Cut, DaVinci Resolve, etc, and all your other applications. 512GB – 1TB SSD M.2 NVMe is ideal.

The secondary drive should also be an ultra-fast SSD. This is where all the working project files and media will be stored. Having an NVMe SSD for storing project files, will allow you to easily handle high bitrate footage. If you don’t work with high bitrate footage, a normal SATA SSD will suffice. 

The tertiary drive is for dedicated media cache, also known as a scratch disc. Having a separate SSD that is specifically for cache will give you massive performance gains. You will notice this most when scrubbing the timeline and during playback.

Lastly, I recommend having another drive or two, for long-term storage and backup. Backup storage doesn’t have to be NVMe SSD. In fact, you could opt for a cheaper HDD, as read/write times aren’t as vital. These long term storage drives could even be external if that makes more sense for your setup.

NVMe SSD For Video Editing – Why Is NVMe Better?

What Is An NVMe SSD?

NVMe, or Non-Volatile Memory Express, is a new controller that replaces the older AHCI, or Advanced Host Controller Interface. NVMe and AHCI are controllers used to interface between the hard drives bus, and the motherboard it’s connected to.

NVMe is specifically built with SSDs performance in mind. Whereas the older AHCI controllers and SATA bus types are not optimal with SSDs. NVMe gives lower latency and higher efficiency by using solid states parallelization running two thousand times more commands to and from the drive than compared to a drive operating on an AHCI controller.

In summary, if cutting-edge performance and future-proofing are your priorities, you need a PCIe NVMe M.2 drive. They are becoming the norm. And the great thing for us creatives is, the prices are slowly becoming more reasonable.

How To Buy The Right SSD?

It’s easy enough to take our recommendations and pick up a new SSD. But we should cover a few basic concepts so that you can pick the right SSD for you. There are three important things you should know: M.2, PCI Express (PCIe), and NVMe. They all revolve around making SSDs faster and smaller.

SSD Compatibility – What Do You Need To Know?

The most important thing to consider when choosing an SSD is compatibility. Thankfully most desktop PC motherboards come with small slots meant for SSDs. These slots are referred to as M.2 slots.

Interface:

M.2 is most commonly referred to as the interface and/or slot. But there’s more to it than that. M.2 also describes the SSDs form factor. In addition, M.2 dictates the keying that allows the SSD to fit onto a motherboard. 

Form Factor:

The most common size for M.2 SSDs is 22mm wide. However, lengths differ ranging from 80mm (M.2 Type-2280), and 60mm (M.2 Type-2260), and the shortest 42mm (M.2 Type-2242). The difference in size due to different computers have smaller surface area around the motherboard. You should know your available space before you choose.

Storage capacity isn’t defined by length. However, longer SSDs have more space to house memory grids. Due to the size and space of M.2 SSDs, most max out at 1TB.

You want to make sure you know what interface or connections your motherboard supports, in order to choose the right type of M.2 SSD. M.2 SSDs, depending on the type, are made to work on SATA or PCIe bus. PCIe is faster.

Bus Type:

M.2 SSD sticks, no matter what the length, are not equal. The bus type is the key specification you need to know to make sure you have compatibility. This is absolutely vital.

M.2 drives first came with SATA bus types. And you can still find SATA M.2 drives today in M.2 form factor/shape. Most M.2 slots will accept them and they are quite common.

If you are looking for higher-level speed and performance, PCIe gen 2.0 bus type is the preferred option. The latest M.2 drives support PCIe x4 which is 4 lanes of bandwidth. But if you want the most performance from M.2 PCIe, you want to look for an NVMe SSD.

SSD interface Types:

If you opt for an SSD and want the fastest workflow possible, we should understand the different interfaces used to connect SSDs. It’s important to know SSDs come in a number of different form factors and different interface connection types. The most common are PCIe and SATA.

SATA, (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) is an interface used in computing systems for connecting a variety of components such as storage and optical drives. There have been many versions of SATA over the years. However, the most commonly used nowadays is SATA 3.x.

PCIe, (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) is an interface that can be used for connecting a variety of components, such as graphics cards and storage devices. There are quite a few generations of PCIe. Most SSDs nowadays comply with PCIe 3.0. However, some SSDs are starting to support PCIe 4.0.

Overall, both PCIe SSD and SATA SSD will give way faster storage than traditional SATA HDD.

What’s better for you will ultimately depend on the performance trade-off. For designers who need the fastest computer no matter what the cost, PCIe is the right choice. On the other hand, SATA based SSDs are perfect if you don’t want to pay a premium, but still need a good performance and latency attributes.

If you want the highest level performance out of your PCIe SSD, there’s one important attribute of the PCIe interface to note. Which is, different slot sizes provide varying amounts of bandwidth. Both the slot size and PCIe version will determine total bandwidth. PCIe interfaces are available in the following sizes: x4, x8, and x16.

Conculsion

In summary, choosing any of the SSDs we recommend will improve your video editing workflow. In particular, the M.2 NVMe SSDs offer faster, smaller, and more efficient storage to meet the needs of heavier video editing workflows. Having enough storage is also important.

If you want the optimal storage setup,  the key takeaway is this: a four SSD storage setup is king. Primary and secondary drives should be ultra-fast NVMe SSDs, to run your programs and store project files. The other 2 drives are allocated for the scratch disc and long term storage. Each drive is fast and does a specific job. This will remove all bottlenecks and give you the fastest video editing storage setup possible.

Camden Taylor

Author Camden Taylor

Camden is ARTURTH's Chief Editor, Senior Graphic Designer, and artist from the Pacific Northwest.

More posts by Camden Taylor