💾 Why use External Drives for VSTs?Apr 18, 2023
This topic stumped me for a while. Here's the short of it:
Computers do two things at once with data: reading and writing.
When composing in a DAW, your computer reads the sample from the VST folder... but it also writes data into your project file (wherever that file is saved).
Now imagine two currents, flowing in opposite directions--one for reading, one for writing. That's your computer.
When those currents are on the same machine, they're pushing against each other, slowing down your computer's ability to send that information (especially with decreased storage and increased project file sizes).
External drives help us to keep those streams separate: the computer pulls (reads) the data from the VST drive, then pushes (writes) the data into the project file (either hosted on the computer, or better yet, another external drive.)
I'm currently using a Samsung X5 1TB SSD Drive--it's got a wicked fast read/write speed of around 2500 MB/s, but it's also quite pricey. I wouldn't recommend it if it's your first external drive, though SSDs do fare much better than HDs in terms of read/write speed.
If you're looking for the best bang for your buck, I recommend the Samsung T7 1TB SSD. It's much more affordable, has a great read/write speed of up to 1050 MB/s (mine clocks in closer to 700 MB/s), and is a tried-and-true crowd favorite.
Do your research and find a drive that best suits your needs and budget!