Int SSD or ext HD for scratch disk?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Atisha, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Atisha macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012

    Coming from a rMPB owner user FCP 7 among other apps:

    I was under the impression that my internal SSD would be perfect for editing and I wouldn't need an external HD as a scratch disk.

    However I need to purchase an external HD for space, and meanwhile I'm learning that using the internal SSD as a scratch disk will wear it out more quickly, and that despite its speed it's still better to use the SSD exclusively for apps and the system.

    It is extremely fast while editing; rendering and so forth is MUCH faster than editing on my borrowed (thunderbolt->) FW800 5400rpm 500gb Lacie drive.

    So among all these options are USB 3 and thunderbolt hard drives, and I get the impression that these would be the same speed even at 5400rpm than my internal SSD while giving the SSD some breathing room.

    Then there is the problem that thunderbolt drives seem nasty, noisy, expensive, though I would certainly prefer thunderbolt. USB 3.0 ones seem cheaper, more options, as a result there's quieter ones built for mobility, and so forth.

    There are so many informative posts here about WD My Passport and similar drives being excellent, but I don't want to go back to Firewire 800, despite the fact that my office computers have USB 2.0/FW800 from which I need to pick up footage.

    So therefore I'd prefer a somewhat portable drive that can transfer ~60gb project folders in a reasonable time and it seems like USB 3.0 drives to 2.0 ports will be very slow, and unlike thunderbolt there are no FW 800 adapters haha.

    So I am narrowing in towards:
    or the most expensive, 7200 rpm, noisier, thunderbolt equivalent:
    I'm a little behind on tech: previously I thought anything above 1TB would use raid 0 without telling the consumer, so does 3TB mean greater failure rate? In that case would continuing work on my SSD and a 0.5-1tb external be better (with a crappy 2 TB backup for time machine)?

    Can anyone please advise brands or storage methods? I posted here because rMBP owners who do design or editing seem very common and I haven't seen many similar posts.

    Thanks so much.
  2. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Just use the SSD, you're not going to wear it out. Otherwise buy another SSD and stick it in a USB 3.0 enclosure. Spinning disks are very slow for scratch disks.
  3. Atisha thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Thanks, that helps narrow down my search
  4. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Why do you need a scratch disk? While I haven't used FCP, if it's like any other program, it'll only write to the disk after RAM is saturated.

    If you look in Activity Monitor -> System Memory, you'll see an entry for "Page Outs." This is when the OS writes to the page file (on the main internal drive) because it's out of RAM. If you have 8GB of RAM or more, you shouldn't be writing to that page file at all.

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