Whether you’re gaming or creating, there is no shortage of storage needed. Storage solutions for consoles, PCs and even NAS systems don’t come cheap, and there are so many to choose from. Lucky for you, here at CGM, we have tested plenty, and below you’ll find our choices for Best Storage Solution 2023.
Storage comes in all shapes and sizes—literally—and we considered external and internal storage solutions for this list. From Synology, Seagate, Western Digital and more, we have put together some of our best storage solutions 2023.
Here are CGMagazine’s nominees for Best Storage Solution 2023
Synology DiskStation DS920+
Writer: Brendan Frye
Synology has been a name in storage solutions for years, and that experience shows. The DiskStation DS920+ is a great-looking device, even out of the box. It gives you everything you need to get started and manages it without being an eye sore on a shelf or around the office. It offers 4 bays for drives, giving you a potentially massive level of space depending on your needs, and it offers simple lights on the right side of the unit to let you know what is actively being used and what is ready to be taken out. The front also offers a USB 3 port and a backlit power button to turn the NAS on or off.
The DS920+ offers a range of RAID types and can allow for both Btrfs and ext4 file systems, so it is based to log onto the company’s documentation and read what the options, advantages and limitations are for each configuration before selecting one. It is hard to change once everything is installed and, depending on your needs, it can be hard to recommend one over another. Although, please note that Raid 0 does not allow any redundancy, so if a hard drive crashes, that data will be lost.
The DS920+ is a 4-bay NAS system that brings a great combination of business-level features and performance that offers a lot for home and office users, provided they can get past the price.
Seagate FireCuda External Hard Drive: Ghost-Spider Special Edition
Writer: Andrew Wilson
The Seagate FireCuda external hard drive is one of many external drives on the market. I had the opportunity to test out the Seagate FireCuda External Hard Drive: Ghost-Spider Special Edition with 2 TB of storage. With it comes a braided data transfer cable and some special edition Spider-Man and Marvel stickers.
The speed of the Seagate FireCuda External Hard Drive: Ghost-Spider Special Edition copies at USB 3.2 speeds and is able to quickly transfer files between the drive itself and your computer, whether it be Mac, Windows or Linux. I regularly transferred large movie files between my MacBook and Windows laptop and was able to transfer several gigabytes worth of data in a matter of minutes. On average, speeds reached about 120-150MB/s which, while small compared to some solid state external drives, is still respectable in my book.
Seagate has produced a cool-looking device with the Seagate FireCuda External Hard Drive: Ghost-Spider Special Edition aimed at gamers and comic fans. While not the fastest drive on the market, it still offers plenty of speed for quickly transferring large amounts of data easily with ease.
Writer: Brendan Frye
The SanDisk PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT enclosure is an unassuming drive that includes all you need to get started in the box. The USB-C cable is a tad short for my liking, but the clean, dark and light grey colour scheme of the TRANSPORT looks great and invokes that professional feel you want from something of this range. The drive feels rugged and built to last, and from all our tests, it has withstood my clumsiness testing and emerged unscathed.
Western Digital is known for some of the best SSDs in the market, so it is no wonder the drives at the core of the PRO-BLADE are made to just work the way you need them. The mechanism to load and unload the MAG’s into the TRANSPORT is simple and straightforward, you simply load them in until you feel it click into place. Once you are done with it, you can pull it out and swap it for another drive. It is that easy.
Delivering fantastic speeds and built to last, the SanDisk PRO-BLADE ecosystem from Western Digital is something professionals and creative should take note of.
Writer: Brendan Frye
The TerraMaster D5-300 is an external hard drive enclosure for your desk to sit near your computer that can provide a bevy of storage in a pinch. While it does not come packed with drives, it allows up to five 16-terabyte drives, with a maximum capacity of 80 terabytes to be added, giving you more storage than you could know what to do with. With the included USB cable, you can connect your Mac or your PC and reap the rewards of consistent backups and copies of your most valuable work.
While I still advocate for NAS enclosures over USB-based options, TerraMaster has made a solid case for the D5-300. It is simple to use, gives a solid performance, and their software guides users through all the steps, ensuring nothing is accidentally whipped without being notified first. It is also great to see how easily the drive functions as a standard external drive, giving users that need a safe backup solution something that is only ever a plug away.
The TerraMaster D5-300 is a no-frills external storage and RAID enclosure that is ideal for creators looking to keep your valuable content safe.
WINNER: Best Storage Solution 2023 WD_Black SN770 1 TB
Writer: Zubi Khan
Priced at $144 Canadian, the WD_Black SN770 is a DRAM-less M.2 drive and an affordable middle-ground solution that doesn’t compromise performance. Due to its DRAM-less nature, which bottleneck speeds slightly, coupled with the rated speed of 5150 MB/s, I wouldn’t recommend the WD_Black SN770 for PlayStation 5 owners. Instead, the SN770 is a better fit for those looking for blazing-fast performance and storage when it comes to their library of existing PC games, making the SN770 a hard-to-beat piece of kit.
Installing the 1TB SN770 was simple for my Crosshair VIII Hero motherboard. It only required loosening the M.2 heatsink, which came with its own adhesive, sticking on the SN770 and then firmly placing it into the appropriate slot before fastening it down. Upon first boot, the drive is unallocated, meaning Windows won’t immediately display it under your drive listings, but simply using a program such as EaseUS Partition Wizard or Western Digital’s own WD Dashboard application will format the drive accordingly.
The WD_Black SN770 is an excellent value that future-proofs any PCIe 4 compatible rig and will deliver fantastic load speeds as we wait for Direct storage adoption.