Best Scratch Disk for My Mac Mini w/ SSD?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sammyman, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    I am about to install a 120GB SSD in my Mac Mini (8GB RAM) and use photoshop all the time automating actions on large groups of pictures. I have a firewire 800 external 2tb drive with my pictures on it. I also have a 1tb firewire drive, as well as a 1tb USB drive.

    What is the best way to get the best scratch disk for my situation? Daisy chain the 1tb firewire to the 2tb firewire media drive? Or since the SSD is really fast, should I have the scratch disk on the SSD drive?

    Also, when working on pictures, would it be best to have them on the SSD, or should I keep all pictures on the firewire drive?
  2. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    This is by no means my forte, but I would say using the SSD for a scratch disk would be fast, but it would also lead to a premature death of the SSD. If I understand correctly, a scratch disk would be written to FAR more frequently than a normally used drive.

    Like I said, this is not my forte, so feel free to correct me...
  3. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    That is what I was thinking, but I have heard that you shouldn't use the osx + applications drive as a scratch disk.

    If this is the case, I am assuming the fastest would be to have the applications, the content I am working on, as well as the scratch disk all on the SSD?
  4. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    It is probably best if you put OSX + apps on the SSD and get a fast HDD (short stroke a huge drive or a Velociraptor if you really care about speed). Not sure how a MLC SSD will take to being a scratch drive.
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    That advice is for old school mechanical drives that weren't up to the task of doing it all. An SSD can easily handle the demands of scratch, os, and apps, without breaking a sweat. However, the life span of the NAND flash will be reduced running scratch on it due to the excessive writing. Exactly how much is anyone's guess. It really depends on your usage.

    I run everything on my SSDs for max performance... When they wear out, I'll replace them... Likely with something 4x faster, 4x bigger, and 4x less expensive (meaning I'll be looking forward to it).
  6. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    Ditto. I just went through this per se this past summer and was able to borrow a SSD to use with FCE as a scratch for a large project and what a blessing it was. So much nicer having the OS & Apps. on one drive and the SSD used as the scratch to do the bull work. I only wish I was able to keep it but if you have a good warranty I can't see a problem down the road and by then like VirtualRain stated, it would be time for a new one with all the perks of bigger, cheaper and so on.
    Good luck ;)
  7. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    MBTF values for SSDs are the same if not greater than mechanical hard drives. I think if you used one as a scratch disk I doubt you will wear it out before it becomes obsolete by other means, unless you are thrashing it 24/7.

    Some SSDs suffer from "file clutter" issues after a long time due to the lack of true trim support in OSX. You can get around this limitation by either accepting the gradual performance drop from a "fresh" drive (which eventually settles to some lower value) or by periodically refreshing it (usually you have to plug it into a windows box to get a true wipe).
  8. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    I did not know this. Thanks.
  9. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Something to keep in mind here is that an external drive is only as fast as the interface you are using. An ssd on usb2 won't transfer faster than whatever usb2 will handle. Hook this up by esata and it will be really effective.


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