External WD SSD
Western Digital G-Drive Mobile Pro. Image obtained with thanks from G-Technology.

Video creators have long struggled with the slow transfer speeds offered by external USB hard drives. Combine the slow transfer speeds of a conventional hard drive with the low transfer rate offered by the USB interface, and your 4K RAW video backups aren’t coming off it anytime soon.

A 4K RAW video is no longer extreme by today’s standards, as 4K monitors are well on their way to mainstream adoption, and are no longer a rare sight. However, external hard drives — a staple backup medium for large files such as RAW videos, needed to catch up to that.

Western Digital has released new external SSDs, which they claim can transfer up to 1 TB of data in 7 minutes or less, according to The Verge (the brand is G-Technology, which is a WD company). The first one (which can do the 7-minute transfer) is the G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD, which will come in a 500GB and 1TB capacity this summer.

This means that some 4K RAW videos can be transferred in only a few minutes instead of hours! The 500GB model will cost $659.95 and the 1TB model will cost 1,049.95. The G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD also lets you edit 8K videos at ‘high frame rates’.

The G-Drive Pro on the other hand comes in capacities ranging from 960GB to 7.68TB, and offers the same transfer speeds, plus dual Thunderbolt ports. The price range of the G-Drive Pro is $1,399.95 to $7,599.95, and they will become available in May.

For those that need it (for example, videographers), the G-Speed Shuttle SSD offers up to 16TB of storage for $7,599.95. These SSD models offers transfer speeds of up to 2,800 MB/s.

Two key implementations made this happen: The use of fast SSDs, and the use of the Thunderbolt interface. USB and spindle-based HDDs make large transfers painful, but they are cheaper by a massive margin (for example, there are 500GB offerings from Samsung for approximately 1/4 of what the G-Drive Mobile Pro costs, depending on the seller), so these new SSDs won’t necessarily help your bottom line.

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