I’m about to turn off the last hard drive I’ll ever use in my life and replace it with a Solid State Drive (SSD).
My camera produces images that are 40MB!
Since that time, Hard Drive capacity has grown to more than you’ll ever need. You can buy at 5TB Hard Drive for $130 or 2.5 cents per GB.. Through a lot of clever engineering these Hard Disks have gotten bigger and cheaper. But they have grown in size beyond your needs, and the Cloud is challenging the need for anything more than a local cache.
How big a cache you need depends.
I have been shooting digitally since 1999 and all the data that I own or have created takes up less than 1 TB. This is unusual as many of my photography friends have > 6 TB. Well, I delete stuff without prejudice. I also gave up the insane habit of ripping movies and music. I’m 100% in the cloud now, which provides the best usability at the small expense of quality. With so many devices in my life, I’d rather not have to worry about accessing data or having backups. All my devices are temporary and can be replaced at any moment.
The world changed when the first SSD was released
For those of you that don’t know, an SSD is essentially a “Hard Drive” but without any moving parts. Data is not stored on a magnetic platter that spins (like a Turntable), but rather in flash memory like RAM, except it persists.
Why does this matter? SSD is light speed. It’s like a concord vs a bicycle.
Who wants to wait around for their computer to do something?
We are all used to our insanely fast pocket computers and tablets. Increasingly every PC and Mac has got an SSD in it. The issue with SSDs is that they started off expensive and small. They have no moving parts, consume less power.
SSDs are everywhere, and the Hard Drive is almost dead. You too can leave them in the dust.
I have a need, a need for speed
It can move data at 450 Megabytes a second. That means you can transfer 1TB of data in 40 minutes. That is INSANE. And note, this by no means the fastest. The Drive is limited to USB3 at 5GBps, not the latest USB 3.1 10GBps. That means you could theoretical transfer the same amount of data in 21 minutes, which is what my iMac can do with it’s built in SSD drive.
To put this in perspective, my legacy Hard Disk transfers at 95 Megabytes a second. So 200 minutes to transfer 1TB.
Here is a simple bar chat showing 3 drives:
- The SSD in my iMac
- The Samsung T3
- The External 3TB Legacy Hard Drive
As you can see, both SSDs (orange) crush the legacy hard drive (green). The SSD in the iMac is faster than the MacBook as they are limited by transfer speed.
The Samsung T3 is comically small. It’s as if they had to add extra stuff to make it big enough that you would not lose it.
This means I can take everything I own everywhere with me on an encrypted disk. I can see every photo I have ever taken, ever file ever stored on any device I want.
The Samsung T3 has a USB-C port. This is the new universal, can do everything port. Not only does it provide for a simple, reversible plug, it also can transfer data, power and video at ver high speeds.
This makes it perfect for my MacBook which only as 1 USB-C port.
Living on the cache and the SSD
This past week I moved over all my photos to the SSD. This is the first step in decommissioning the legacy Hard Drive. So far it’s been great. I can move my Samsung T3 from Machine to Machine, as it is right her on vacation with me where I can finally go through those 2015 photos in Lightroom that I’ve yet to finish.
I’m looking forward to moving the rest of my data. I may have to get that 2TB drive through just go give me some head room :-)
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