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Old Mar 29, 2013, 09:26 AM   #1
Ifti
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Is Scratch Disk necessary?

I understand why we needed scratch disks when using an internal HDD - but with the speeds of SSDs now, do we actually still need external scratch disks? Aren't the speeds now fast enough to run the editor and have all your raw footage/render files on the same internal SSD?
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 01:01 PM   #2
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I understand why we needed scratch disks when using an internal HDD - but with the speeds of SSDs now, do we actually still need external scratch disks? Aren't the speeds now fast enough to run the editor and have all your raw footage/render files on the same internal SSD?
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 01:05 PM   #3
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Valid question. Unfortunately, speed isn't the only factor at play here. General wear and tear from constantly reading and writing large media files will shorten the life of any drive, but SSDs tend to only support only a finite number of write operations before they start to degrade. Spinning disks, on the other hand, don't suffer from this limitation in the same way, though they are at the mercy of their mechanical parts.

You also have to consider that SSD storage is expensive compared to spinning disk storage, so you won't be able to hold nearly as much media for the price.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 01:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BadLegBanks View Post
Valid question. Unfortunately, speed isn't the only factor at play here. General wear and tear from constantly reading and writing large media files will shorten the life of any drive, but SSDs tend to only support only a finite number of write operations before they start to degrade. Spinning disks, on the other hand, don't suffer from this limitation in the same way, though they are at the mercy of their mechanical parts.

You also have to consider that SSD storage is expensive compared to spinning disk storage, so you won't be able to hold nearly as much media for the price.
Storage isn't too much of a problem as I tend to edit a project and move the finished project to my server for rendering and uploading, which has an external Drobo connected. Hence I only really have 1 project on my scratch disk at a time in most cases.
However, you raise a good point about the degradation. I didn't think of that.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 01:52 PM   #5
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Maybe you can have your SSD as your main boot and working drive and use a HD as your scratch disc. Just a thought but I am not sure if this is the ideal solution.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 01:52 PM   #6
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Good question. My understanding is that scratch disks are intended to overcome spindle contention (that is, how fast a disk head can get to the right place to start reading and writing data). SSDs all but eliminate access latency. SSDs do have the same interfaces as HDDs (SATA-2 or -3) so data transfer speeds can be the same. If you have an ability to connect drives on different busses that can increase bandwidth.
While not an expert, my reading on SSDs is the jury is still out on longevity. This mostly because they haven't been around long enough in large enough numbers. I think anyone reading this thread has had HDDs go bad -- it's not that rare. SSDs will fail, too. Properly provisioned they should do equal or better to their warranty period, and provide faster performance while using them. If this meets your needs -- go for it.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 02:48 PM   #7
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Maybe you can have your SSD as your main boot and working drive and use a HD as your scratch disc. Just a thought but I am not sure if this is the ideal solution.
This is pretty standard practice right now. You can remove your optical drive to make room for an SSD, which you can then configure as the boot disk. The old HDD can now function as a storage/scratch volume, so the whole system is self-contained. No need to connect an external scratch drive, and no unnecessary wear and tear on the SSD.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 09:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BadLegBanks View Post
This is pretty standard practice right now. You can remove your optical drive to make room for an SSD, which you can then configure as the boot disk. The old HDD can now function as a storage/scratch volume, so the whole system is self-contained. No need to connect an external scratch drive, and no unnecessary wear and tear on the SSD.
Yep you're correct. I also try to avoid having the scratch disc externally. Thanks
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 01:32 AM   #9
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I'm guessing we're talking about laptops here, right?

I've edited a Lightroom/After Effects/Premiere project on my 2012 Macbook Pro w/ just the SSD last month. It worked well, but it was a light project, and of course, took a lot longer than it would have on my Mac Pro. It can be done, but you'd be much better off with two SSDs in a laptop, obviously. I have to burn discs for people from time to time during my travels, and no thanks to carrying an external burner around, so I can't get rid of the optical drive yet.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 08:03 PM   #10
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I'm guessing we're talking about laptops here, right?

I've edited a Lightroom/After Effects/Premiere project on my 2012 Macbook Pro w/ just the SSD last month. It worked well, but it was a light project, and of course, took a lot longer than it would have on my Mac Pro. It can be done, but you'd be much better off with two SSDs in a laptop, obviously. I have to burn discs for people from time to time during my travels, and no thanks to carrying an external burner around, so I can't get rid of the optical drive yet.
I'd hate the feeling of using the OS drive for source files.

The thought of using bad practice'd kill me.

I am, however, guilty of just placing some files on my desktop to be encoded for other people. But not entire projects; simply putting a video file on the desktop, opening in Media Encoder, and encoding it to something else.
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