The Vectotech Rapid external SSD is the cheapest large capacity SSD in the market right now.
I bought this because I need to upgrade from my current SSD which is running out of storage.
Here's my workflow. I edit 4K videos off SSD. After my videos are edited and exported, I would move the video files off the SSD to slower hard drives with larger capacity, in this case are the Western Digital My Passport 4TB external hard drives (currently at US $99). Doing that enables me to reclaim the storage space on the SSD to work other future videos.
The thing is, there are projects that I take longer time to work on, like 1 or 2 months longer. During that time, I need those files on the SSD, and those files take up a lot of space. The more of such longer projects I work on, the more storage they will use. Short term projects don't take up space because I clear them out fast. So now, I'm at the stage where I need more fast storage.
I've been looking for the most affordable and value for money SSDs for the longest time. My options are the Samsung T5 2TB (US $668), SanDisk Extreme 2TB (US $599) and the Transcend StoreJet SSD 1TB (US $535). Then I discovered the VectoTech Rapid 2TB which is selling at US $399. The pricing is quite unbelievable when you compare to the competition.
That's the packaging box.
On the back, there's some speed comparison. For SSD through USB 3, the transfer speed can be up to 450MB/s.
Note the 3-year warranty sticker. SSDs are pretty durable since they don't have physical parts to break down. And don't worry about reaching the read/write cycle, you won't reach that stage.
These are the only two items in the box. The SSD and one USB 3 cable.
VectoTech Rapid is just slightly thicker than my mobile phone.
That's the USB 3 port on it. This side is a bit loose when the cable is connected. So be careful not to accidentally disconnect the cable.
Overall size is just slightly larger than my wallet. This is extremely compact and portable. Shown above is how it compares side by side with the Transcend StoreJet Thunderbolt SSD that I'm currently using.
The external case of VectoTech is plastic. It feels a bit cheap compared to the metal case of the Transcend.
The VectoTech comes in black and silver case. Storage options are from 128GB to 4TB
Below are the transfer speeds of various SSDs that I'm currently using, measured using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test on the Mac.
Mac Pro 2013 internal SSD - 934MB/s reads, 987 MB/s writes
VectoTech Rapid - 282 MB/s reads, 365 MB/s writes
Transcend StoreJet SSD - 385 MB/s reads, 279 MB/s writes
Samsung T5* - 500MB/s reads, 400MB/s writes
SanDisk Extreme* - 500MB/s reads, 420MB/s writes
*Speeds based on other reviews I've researched
I find it interesting that VectoTech's write speed is faster than the read speed. This is opposite of how other brands of SSD.
One important thing to note is, make sure the cable is connected properly. If not, the speed may be affected.
Now, benchmarks don't tell the story. And I don't run benchmarks for a living. Let's see how it actually works in real world for work.
Real world performance
As long as you're using SSD over hard drive, USB 3 over USB 2, you're going to see significant improvement in transfer speeds with the SSD. In the real world, this means you can start or reboot your OS faster, you can launch apps fast, you have save and open large files quickly and you can transfer or duplicate files quickly.
For my 4K video editing workflow, I saw no difference in performance compared to the external Transcend, or even the internal Mac Pro SSD despite the speed differences.
I was able to edit 4K 25FPS and 30FPS off the SSDs without any lag and without the need to create optimized or proxy media in Final Cut Pro. I started to see lag when I edited 4K 50FPS and 60FPS. The timeline would play smooth only for a few seconds before video starts to turn choppy. Audio still sounds fine but video lags. Editing with such lag is frustrating so to get best performance, you have to create proxy (low resolution) media in order for the video to play smooth.
So depending on your workflow, you may or may not see significant performance even if you pay extra money for faster SSD. There are other factors that affect performance, and in my case for video editing, my computer's throughput is just not fast enough even if the SSD is fast enough.
I'm extremely pleased and satisfied with the VectoTech Rapid external SSD. First, I saved a lot of money by not getting other brands. Second, even if I bought other brands that have better transfer speeds, with the computer I'm using, I won't be able to reach those speeds, and hence they won't make any difference to my productivity.
Another thing that surprised me is, the VectoTech does not run as hot as my Transcend. Not sure what that is. Less heat is always better.
Overall, I can definitely highly recommend this. It's terrific value for the money paid. I doubt you can find any external SSD that's more affordable than this. If you do, let me know.
Update 1 Aug 2018. I found another affordable SSD and it's from this brand called U32.