Suggested scratch disks on Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by speekez, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. speekez macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    I'm using Leopard, CS3, Mac Pro with 4GB RAM. Would I be wise to set up a scratch disk located off of my main System/Apps disk. If so, what would be a smart scratch disk size to partition without creating a partition that is overkill in size. 5 GB? 10GB?

    I work mostly with RAW files, PSDs, photography. Thanks.
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I'd say it depends on the applications you use. Since you say you have 4 GB of RAM, I'd recommend the following:

    If you're only using 1 application at a time that could benefit from the scratch disk, make it 10 GB.
    If you're using multiple applications that could benefit simultaneously, increase this by 10 GB for every additional simultaneous app.

    I would recommend 8 GB per app (twice the size of your RAM) but 10 GB just sounded better :p
  3. yeroen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    Unless you're editing huge multi-GB psd files, I'd just install more RAM and not worry about configuring a scratch disk. With enough memory, neither the OS nor the Photoshop vmm (assuming it still uses one) will need to page out to disk.
  4. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Would you get a benefit from the partition vs. just using the boot partition as a scratch?

    That's a q to anyone…
  5. adamzx3 macrumors regular


    Sep 8, 2007
    NE Ohio
    Just to let ya know you the 4GB of ram should be plenty with PS3, I tried to max out mine and PS would only pull off 1.8GB with a 1.3GB file. There does seem to be a patch on that fixes it so PS uses the extra ram for big files. I have also heard of making a Ramdrive to use as a scratch, however if the adobe patch does the same thing you can eliminate the ramdrive hogging space. I really dont worry about it because I rarely go bigger than a 21mp image with a couple raster layers (lots of Adj. layers though!) The 1.3GB PSB file was merely a test file enlarged to a gargantuan size.

    I came close to paging out when I was working on my senior project with Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Bridge, Safari, Mail, and iTunes (a very productive app :) ) running all at once.

    As far as the partitioning, I have heard even if you have one disk, it gets better performance if you have a partition a section just for scratch so that its clear and unfragmented. If your looking for a fast disk setup you could put together a couple of drives and make a Raid 0 setup, try it without the raid scratch first, you might not need it. I am very happy with a 7200rpm scratch, very rare do I have to wait for a filter to apply.
  6. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Of course. A scratch disk must be a separate drive because it has different heads and is capable of reading and writing independently of the drive with the application installed thus increasing performance.
  7. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
  8. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    &*#$! I think I paid ~$700 for 4GB less than a year ago. [Barfs in mouth.]
  9. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I paid $1200 for 32MB 10 years ago and that was a great deal at the time.
  10. thevibesman macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    True, a blank partition on a second physical drive is the best solution, but Adam (quoted below) did hear correctly about about using one disk.

    Normally I keep all my files on external disks and record audio to external firewire whenever possible, but sometimes I'm out in the field with my laptop, so I keep a couple extra partitions that I can erase at any time and voilà, a completely defragmented disk ready to use for recording. Even though I keep my startup drive as fragment free as possible, a blank partition will always be at least slightly less fragmented than another volume on the same physical disk and so also will perform a little faster.

    Same goes for photoshop scratch disks or anything like that. A blank partition on a different physical disk is the best option, but if you only have one disk, a blank partition is always better than your startup volume.

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