Solid State Drive for Laptop

Looking for advice/suggestions on an external solid state drive to stream samples to my laptop (with GP).

I guess let’s say 1 terabyte.

Anything I should be careful about?



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1TB should be more than enough, but the real size can only be determined by you and your specific operating profile and the size of the sample libraries you would use.

However, the most significant aspect of the upgrade may be the transfer speed of your external device. If you are plugging the EHD into a 2.0 USB port you may have a significant bottleneck and disappointing results. Conversely, the device itself should be rated for the speed of the port on your computer that you will use. Example - 1TB SSD USB 2.0 thumbdrive will transfer at the speed it was designed for - about 60Mbps, even if plugged into a faster port type.

And finally, the speed of the transfer port will usually be determined by what your machine actually has. In closing, I recommend that you determine the fastest port that your machine has or can be upgraded to; determine what size drive you absolutely have to have which will allow you to figure out the costs of the range of drive sizes that you might want, and make an informed decision of what to do.

I have included a link to an article of port types and speeds for your reference below. An Amazon search will show you that you can buy a 1TB thumb drive from $20/E/GBP etc up to $350/E/GBP for a brand name Thunderbolt drive. Your sweet spot will probably be in-between depending on your actual needs and machine capabilities. The lower end drives are pretty cheap which means it won’t cost you an arm & a leg to experiment but on the other hand you often get what you pay for.


Thank you. I have a USB C port, an eSATA port and some USB B ports. (I know that does not confirm the speed).

I used to use the regular USB B connected to my audio interface. I don’t think I had any problem with that (the cable that came with the audio interface connected to the audio interface via USB C, but connected to the laptop via a USB B port).

So, maybe I will use my USB C port on my laptop with the SSD and go back to using the audio interface connecting to one of the laptop’s USB B ports.


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What is your specific laptop?

USB-C and USB-B only specify the connector type, not the functionality of the port. There’s USB 2 and USB 3, but not all USB 3’s are the same. USB 3.2 is much advanced over USB 3.0.

You didn’t mention having a Thunderbolt port. Is one available?

If you do, you may want to consider a Samsung X5 SSD that is TB3 compatible. It transfers at about 40x the speed of a fast HD. I use a 2 TB X5 for my sample drive.

If you have at least one USB 3.2 drive, you may want to consider a Samsung T7 SSD. It transfers at about 9x the speed of a fast HD. I have two of those.

My TB3 sample drive already has 1.2 TB of samples on it, and I’m not finished (I haven’t yet downloaded and installed Syntronik 2 MAX). I would highly suggest getting a 2 TB drive if you can afford it.

A USB 3.2 2 TB Samsung T7 is $230 on Amazon (Samsung T7 2 TB). The 1 TB drive is $120.

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It’s a Dell Latitude 7480 (it was not originally purchased for music).

Nope, unfortunately no Thunderbolt port.

Looking at the Device Manager, I have a USB 3.1 port and several USB 3 ports.

I am guessing that the one USB C port is the USB 3.1 port. Is there a way to confirm that?

Thank you for the information. Any additional suggestions based on this additional information?


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USB 3.0 is 5 Gbps
USB 3.1 is 10 Gbps
USB 3.2 is 20 Gbps

The USB-C port on the Latitude 7480 is described in its terrible online manual as DisplayPort over USB-C (optionally Thunderbolt 3). The manual doesn’t make any specific mention of USB 3.1 capability for that port, so have to trust the Device Manager.

In any case, the T7 is overkill for your laptop, spec-wise. Look for a T5. It will run at or close to full speed on a USB 3.0 port. It’s rated for 580 GB/s, so close to 5 Gbps. If it works in the USB-C port, great! I still recommend going with a 2 TB version. You can never have too much space available.

EDIT: I just checked Amazon. The T7 seems to have replaced the T5, is future-compatible with your next laptop with USB 3.2 AND the 2TB versions seems to cost $30 LESS than a 2TB T5.

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See my edit!

Got it!

Okay, went for it:


Let us know how it works for you. If your USB-C really is 3.1 compatible, you’ll get twice the transfer rate you would have with a T5.

Will do.

I used to do a lot of vst midi recording. I think that placed more demands on the disk streaming side of things than live use. When I was sequencing I would have large numbers of tracks streaming from samples libraries etc.

For live use, I am only playing what my hands can handle. Even with some layering I would be surprised if I was streaming more than 4 sources at one time.


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Okay, dumb question:

I connected the new SSD (smaller than I expected!). I can see it on my laptop. Perfect.

I see it has a “set up” file for Windows (as well as for Mac).

Do I do anything with that if I am using the drive to store sample libraries (to stream to applications on my C Drive)?

Or just start placing the sample library files on the drive?



So long as the drive is showing up with a drive letter, it’s ready to go. Go ahead and put the sample library files on the drive. You don’t have to do anything with that setup folder.

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The manufacturer of the SSD usually includes setup files to enable the device to be used with a variety of operating systems and usages. Example - older operating systems had limitations on the size of storage space that it could “see” and there are workarounds for that. On some systems extra, fast storage use benefitted from certain configurations that was best for the OS. There should be a readme file on the device that (probably) describes what is included and how to use them but the newer operating systems from both MS and Apple are capable of handling most additions without any special drivers or files.

Probably more than you wanted to know, and as @edm11 Ed said,

So long as the drive is showing up with a drive letter, it’s ready to go. Go ahead and put the sample library files on the drive. You don’t have to do anything with that setup folder.

I might add one thing - that the drive that is displayed shows the size of the drive as being the same as it is advertised to be.

Thanks! I definitely appreciate the additional info/context.


There’s a program in that setup folder you may want to install to your laptop. It’s called “Samsung Portable SSD Software 1.0”. You can use it to provide secure access to the drive, which I had no interest it, but it can also detect the need for a firmware update, if there is one available. It also allows you to see/change the configuration of the SSD. No harm will come from installing it.

I installed it when I first connected the new drives (the X5 TB3 drive has a similar app). I’d forgotten about both of them until seeing your post.

The only irritating thing about those apps is that they don’t scale on a 4K display configured to scale 200%, like mine is. TINY fonts. Good thing I don’t really need them. Probably should check for a firmware update every 6 months or so.

Once installed, I deleted those folders on the SSDs to free up the space.

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