External USB-C storage for any Apple M Series computer
I recommend backing up all data to the cloud, and supplementing the internal Apple SSD with an external USB-C or Thunderbolt SSD/HD.
SSD speed needs for music production are similar to photography and video. This video will help you understand your actual needs and choose external SSD solutions.
There are many many external storage options, here are just a few.
Some of these options are more suitable for one form factor or another, but all will work on any Apple M Series computer, as well as PC compatibles with USB-C.
Samsung T7 USB-C External SSD
Pictured above, the first option is the external USB-C Samsung 1TB T7 SSD for $120. There are also 512GB and 2TB versions at the same link. These are quite compact and great for portability. There are also fingerprint scanner versions for extra security.
Qwiizlab Aluminum USB-C Hub with SSD Enclosure
Pictured above and in the header image, the second option you might consider is a Qwiizlab Aluminum USB C Hub with SSD Enclosure for $100. This fits exactly under the Mac Studio (and Mac mini), and not only has additional ports but more importantly PCIe and SATA SSD drive bays. For less than $1000 you could add an 8TB PCIe SSD or for less than $100 you could add a 1TB PCIe SSD. If you max out the PCIe and SATA SSD drive bays, you would have 16TB. This is not intended to be portable for MacBook users, but it’s not portability onerous either and it docks well for stationary home, office or studio storage. Many capacity options are available here, as well as at many other computer resellers.
Enterprise Level Storage
I’m thinking that most Mac Studio or MacBook Pro users are not going to need more than 8TB/16TB of medium performance external SSD storage, but if you do need higher performance or exotic features, the sky is the limit. There are many (much more expensive) enclosures and disk systems with higher capacities, and features like multi-user, Thunderbolt and Ethernet connectivity, and fault tolerant RAID. I’ll leave it at that for now, but I am developing some high-end suggestions – stay tuned!
I’m going to wait until the Apple Mac Pro M2 Series is announced or released until I make storage comments for those systems.
Final Storage Thoughts
A lot of file storage is archival and plain does not need the blazing internal SSD performance of the M series Mac Studio or MacBook Pro. If it is within your budget to increase the internal storage at the time of your initial purchase, by all means do it. It was not within my budget or performance needs, so I sought alternatives.
Finally, in my opinion you’d be crazy not to backup to the cloud unless you have your own offsite fault tolerant disk system. I’m going to guess most of us spend way too much time producing our creative output to risk losing it to fire or natural disasters. Be real, shit happens.
Apple related posts
June 26, 2022 – Apple Mac Studio M1 Ultra: Delivered!
March 22, 2022 – Apple M1 is the new DAW performance minimum
March 9, 2022 – Changed MacBook order to Mac Studio M1 Ultra
February 20, 2022 – Finally a MacBook Pro M1 with all the wanted features
Apple related pages
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac mini M1
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M1
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M2
Updated periodically – Apple 24″ iMac M1
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Pro M2 Series
Updated periodically – Apple M1 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M2 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Miscellaneous
Updated periodically – Apple Technology YouTube Critique
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Display
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Pro Display
Updated periodically – Apple M Series External USB-C SSD Options