It’s been awhile since I’ve looked at prices for solid-state drives, and boy have they come way down from just two years ago. Back in 2017, an external USB-3 SSD in 1 terabyte capacity cost me around $300 dollars. Now, I can get the same capacity drive, but in a four times faster Thunderbolt 3 connection, for just about the same price. The passage of time is such a great equalizer in turning once expensive technologies into something way more affordable.
Which baffles me why Apple still charges exorbitant sums for extra SSD hard-drive storage on their laptops. Take my 2019 15-inch Macbook Pro for example; the base machine comes standard with 256 gigabytes worth of fast SSD. Upgrade to double that - 512 GB - costs $200 dollars, and 1 TB is yet another $200 on top. When equally fast NVMe SSD drives at similar capacities can be bought for PC builders at a third of the cost, that is some hefty price-gouging, even by Apple’s infamous standards.
Being a price-conscious person, and the fact the base laptop is already well over $2000 dollars, I opted to not pay for the extra hard-drive capacity, even though as someone who dabbles in digital photography and videography, the additional space would have been super welcomed. Indeed it would’ve been incredibly convenient to have the massive amounts of storage built right into the machine, but ultimately I couldn’t stomach the horrendous price-per-gigabyte ratio.
Instead, I’m living the dongle life and currently using that same 1 TB external drive I bought in 2017. While obviously nowhere near as fast as its modern Thunderbolt 3 counterpart, USB-3 is still quite adequate for my photo-editing requirements. However, once I get back heavily into video editing, I will have to get a proper Thunderbolt 3 drive. But, it will be immensely cheaper than paying Apple to put the same level of storage into the laptop; for my perspective, that is a win.