Should I set an external scratch disk for use with Photoshop?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Siderz, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    I'm mainly a video guy, but I also do Photoshop stuff, either for the videos or just for fun.

    I haven't set Photoshop to use my external drive as a scratch disk though, I'm wondering if it's all that necessary with Photoshop? And considering my specs?

    I have a 2012 iMac:
    • 3.1GHz i7
    • 16GB RAM
    • GeForce 650M 512MB
    • 1TB Fusion Drive
    • Adobe Production Premium CS5.5

    As it is, it turns out that I have enough RAM that I don't need a faster hard drive to encode video. I tested it between my FW800 G-Drive 1TB against a LaCie 240GB SSD Thunderbolt RAID, and they both render at the exact same speed.
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Unless you work on files larger than hundreds of MBs, you probably don't need a separate scratch disk with photoshop.
  3. Arelunde macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2011
    CA Central Coast
    I always have my PS scratch disk on an external drive. The scratch disk takes up a lot of space, especially if you are actively using PS. There's no difference in performance with scratch on an external vs. internal drive. So, why bog down your primary drive with storage.

    Plus, having the scratch on an external is a form of insurance, should your main drive crash.
  4. vigorblade macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2008
    New York, NY
    My main drive with my OS and other apps is a very small 60GB SSD drive (When I first got it the SSD prices for a larger capacity drives were too high for me), so yes, I use a second drive as a scratch disk for photoshop.
  5. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    I use 4Gb of my RAM as my first scratch disk. 10 times as fast as SSD!


    You tested it with video-encoding? That is very easy on the hard-drive. Try a multilayer (16 bit CMYK) photoshop file with 200 steps of history and a 2500pixel pencil and start drawing short strokes to see if the drive is getting in trouble. That is a real pain for the scratch disk.
  6. Siderz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    Pretty sure the point of a scratch disk is to put data from the RAM to the hard drive when there isn't enough setting the RAM as a scratch disk isn't going to do anything. could a video be less intensive than a single picture? Also I literally just sold that SSD, so it's too late now.

    Is there a PSD available that I can try this with?

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