Olly from WeSeekTravel recently wrote his honest review of the SanDisk Professional PRO-BLADE external SSD for video editing and content creation on the go. Olly is a full-time location-independent travel photographer and content creator, so he is always on the lookout to find the best external storage on the go solution for photo and video. In this review, Olly is testing the SanDisk Pro-Blade system which offers convenient SSD workflows and high storage capacity without excess bulk. Olly aims to provide an unbiased and independent review of the experience of using the Pro-Blade Transport and SSD Mags for video editing and traveling content creation, to help potential users make an informed decision about the product.
About the SanDisk Professional PRO-BLADE System
The SanDisk Professional Pro-Blade system is a modular SSD system that consists of NVMe-based "Mags" (the SSDs) and a portable single-mag reader called the TRANSPORT. The system allows for "Hot-Swap" capabilities, making it easy for video editors and content creators to switch between projects or share files for collaboration and delivery.
Let’s take a look at the Mags. This is essentially a Western Digital M.2 NVMe SSD inside a durable & very portable enclosure.
- A durable aluminum enclosure weighing just 1.5 oz (45 g)
- A thick internal thermal pad
- An external proprietary connector intended for repeated insertion cycles (unlike the regular M.2 interface)
- Storage options of 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB
- Size: 4.32 x 0.3 x 1.1 inches (110 x 0.6 x 27.9 mm)
The Mag has a design similar to a pen drive, which Olly views as a positive aspect. The small size of the SSD enclosures makes it a good option for video editors and content creators who need separate external drives for multiple projects.
Now, the TRANSPORT reader:
- Proprietary SSD Mag reader (will only work with SanDisk Pro-Blade Mags – weighing 7.36 oz (208 g)
- USB Type-C Port utilizing USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×2 for USB 20Gb/s
- Size: 5.13 x 2.81 x 0.63 inches (130.4 x 71.5 x 16 mm)
The TRANSPORT reader is larger than the Mag and also larger than some other SSD drives Olly has compared. To take advantage of the reported USB-C speeds, the device connected to the drive must have compatible USB-C connectivity.
External SSD For Video Editing – What To Look For
When choosing the best SSD for video editing, different criteria should be considered compared to those for SSDs for photography. The main goal for video editors is to get the fastest read speeds from the SSDs to handle 4K or 8K footage in editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut, or DaVinci Resolve. In this review of the SanDisk Pro-Blade, the author has tested and compared the sequential speeds (s speed) of the drives against other popular options. The author has also evaluated the portability, durability, and capacity options of the Pro-Blade. The Hot-Swap feature has also been evaluated for its ability to store and manage multiple terabytes of video content.
Travel Video Editing With The Sandisk Pro-Blade SSD – A Review
Olly has been using the Pro-Blade TRANSPORT system with two 2 TB Mags for a recent travel and tourism project. They are editing DCI 4K, 10-bit C-Log video clips at 100 fps from a Canon R5 camera and DCI 4K, 10-bit D-Log files at 60 fps from a DJI Mavic 3 drone using Final Cut Pro on a high-spec Macbook Pro 2021 M1 Pro. The review aims to test the true workflow speeds of the external hard disk drives, without being bottlenecked by the device or software.
Olly conducted preliminary speed tests of the Pro-Blade system and found that the advertised 20Gb/s speeds are only possible if the device connected to it supports native USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×2. However, most devices, including the author's high-end Macbook Pro with Thunderbolt 4, do not support this version of USB 3.2 and therefore offer limited data flow. Currently, no Apple laptops or most PC computers offer compatibility with USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×2.
This makes the Pro-Blade a strong contender for a top-performing external SSD in terms of data transfer speeds, but it's worth noting that the maximum speeds you'll get depend on the compatibility of your device. It's always a good idea to double-check the specifications of your device and the SSD before making a purchase to ensure that you're getting the speeds you need for your workflow.
Video Editing Tests Off The SSD
According to Olly, he was able to edit videos on the Pro-Blade SSD with a fast read and write speed, making the editing process seamless. The review states that the workflow was handled just as it would if the files were being edited straight from the Mac's internal drive. He didn’t use proxies and was editing the timeline with several transitions and color grades added. In all, if you are looking for a fast SSD for video editing, the Pro-Blade will be a great choice for most people working with up to at least 4K 10-bit files.
Testing The Hot-Swap Feature
The Hot-Swap feature of the Pro-Blade SSD system provides several benefits for video creators and content producers. There are a number of instances that I found this useful:
- Collaboration – easily collaborate and share projects with other creators
- Working across projects – having the ability to travel with several TB of storage and swap between projects without carrying separate drives and cables
- Traveling with a lot of storage – investing in the Pro-Blade system is great if you are a video creator traveling with tonnes of storage and want to reduce bulk
The system works just as intended, and the small finger handle on the Mags really makes it easy to pull them out. The system is very intuitive and a pleasure to use.
Video editors and content creators need a lot of storage- especially those who carry all of their equipment and footage on the road. Olly has been testing two drives with 2 TB of storage space each, which is enough for smaller projects. SanDisk offers a maximum storage capacity of 4 TB. While this isn't groundbreaking, the small form factor and the easy hot-swap system is what makes it attractive. For example, some professionals shooting with more complex professional systems may be recording up to 1 TB of footage per day! After a 10-day project, that’s over 10 TB of content, and you certainly don’t want to carry several expensive and bulky SSD drives if you’re on the road.
Conclusion: Is The Sandisk Pro-Blade The Best SSD For Video Editing?
In conclusion, based on Olly's experience and SanDisk's promises, the SanDisk Pro-Blade system appears to be a very durable solution for video editing, making it a great choice for content creators who need a lot of portable storage and are looking for a high-performance external SSD.
Read the full article from WeSeekTravel HERE