With the advent of newer, flash-based technologies, those involved in intense post-production workflows have been able to take advantage of faster sequential read and write speeds, especially when it comes to editing off an external hard drive, thus gradually making the conventional spinning drives a thing of the past. So, if you’re convinced that the external flash-based drives are the only way to go these days, you might be wondering what is the best option you could currently get your hands on?
While the make and model of the drive may depend on factors such as capacity and price range, there is a good chance that the speed and performance are among the essential considerations and top priorities on your list. So, if that’s the case, then the Sonnet Fusion PCIe SSD external drive could certainly fit the bill and justify most of your expectations. But before you take the leap, make sure to check out the insightful video produced by 9to5Mac that showcases the drive’s capabilities in a real-world situation.
In terms of build quality, the Sonnet drive offers an innovative design with a body that’s built from black coated anodized aluminum for maximum durability. In addition, the fin design also helps the chassis act like a heatsink that cools the internal components passively, thus eliminating the need for a loud fan within the drive.
While this might be considered as a neat feature, there are two minor flaws worth mentioning. Because of the passive cooling, the unit can get rather warm, so that’s something to keep in mind. Also, the Thunderbolt 3 Type-C cable is built into the drive, limiting you to the 1.5m cable length. The only positive side to this is that if you are within your warranty period, Sonnet technicians can easily replace the cable for you.
In the meantime, there are a few more additional things you should consider before purchasing the drive. Firstly, the Sonnet Fusion will only work with computers that have a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port since the specific port allows for the transfer of both power and data simultaneously. Also, in order to use the drive with a Mac, you will need to manually format it using a few Terminal commands since Disk Utility may not detect the drive right out of the box.
Once you’ve got everything up and running, however, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the insane read and write speeds of the drive reaching over 2200 MB/s and 1400 MB/s respectively. This crazy fast performance makes the Sonnet Fusion a candidate for a potential boot drive for systems running on slower drive technologies that could hardly get close to those numbers.
While the results of the speed tests definitely leave an impression, the Sonnet Fusion comes at significant cost to the average user at $989. Apparently, this may not be the drive for everyone, but it’s certainly for those who are in serious need of blazing fast read/write performance and don’t mind to burn some extra cash along the way.