External SSD or HDD Storage for Creative Pros

There's fast, then there's Solid State Drive (SSD) fast when it comes to storage solutions. It seems that every manufacturer claims that they have the best, fastest, and most stable solution, but for photo, video, and design applications, our definitions may seem a bit skewed. Enter the new CalDigit AV Pro external storage solution.

To fully evaluate the AV Pro, it was clear that challenging yet another drive would fall to using Avid Pro Tools 10 in real time. No, not just audio playback, but two-way audio and HD video on a live concert stage was the testing ground. The video and audio stems were stored on the AV Pro with the 260 GB SSD card installed. Then, the AV Pro was connected via FireWire 800 for throughput to both the digital mixing console and as the conduit to the Canopus feeding the Panasonic video switcher. The AV Pro delivers super speed without any errors from Pro Tools or lag in performance, in real time. Not an easy feat, by any means, in a live environment that doesn't give second chances.

Of course, the USB 3 performance is outstanding with read and write speeds that hit their max without errors or much fluctuation. The solid build quality, more than acceptable fan noise level, and super-high coolness factor from their smartphone monitoring apps makes this solution rock-solid as a pro tool, even for Pro Tools.

As of this writing, CalDigit reports that they're being considered for full Avid certification, but based on the experience of testing the AV Pro, it's certainly an excellent choice for nearly all storage needs.

Company: CalDigit
Price: $229-599, based on configuration ($469 as tested)
Web: www.caldigit.com
Rating: 5
Hot:  Speed; reliability; OS bootable; connectivity options