View Full Version : Raptor for scratch-disk, 36 or 74 GB?

02-18-2005, 08:24 AM
hi, new to this place. lots of information here...
ok, ive got a dual 1,25 g4 with two internal disks. the original 80 gb startup disk, and another 120 gb media disk. 1,25 gb ram.
im thinking of getting a dedicated scratchdisk for PS CS.
and from what i hear here, a Western Digital Raptor would be a good idea. right? i guess a 36 gb would be enough, or is there any reason to get the 74? i wouldnt store any files on it, just for scratch disk.
i need a pci SATA card too, any thoughts about that?

thanks in advance.

02-18-2005, 01:25 PM
I've just completed a similar upgrade. The original IBM 80gig was replaced with two WD Raptors (74gig), one to be used as OS/Apps the other as Scratch. I decided to go 74gig rather than 36 because of the larger capacity, newer technology, and the price difference was justified.

As for cards, I originally started out w/ a Sonnet 2 port and have recently upgraded to the new Seritek 4 port. My MDD G4 now has all brand new SATA drives. The old PATAs have been relegated to external Firewire for backup purposes.

02-18-2005, 01:44 PM
Then I assume you read through the various Guides?

Storage Acceleration Guide (http://www.macgurus.com/guides/storageaccelguide.php)
Photoshop Optimization (http://www.macgurus.com/guides/photoshopguide.php)
Photoshop FAQ
Photoshop Benchmarks (Discussion)

First thing I would do is upgrade to 2GB RAM.
Keep the boot drive just for OS and applications.
Use 74GB Raptor for boot drive.

For just scratch, a pair of 36GB Raptors should suffice (note, they have not been updated since introduced, only the 74GB model).
Consider an external SATA two-drive case?

I found the OEM drive to be on the slow side and replacing it, plus moving the /Users directory to a 2nd drive on the ATA/66 drive helped - noticeably.

The 250 or 300GB Maxtor makes an ultimate boot drive or for sratch (if you want to partition and use 50-80GB for boot volume and the rest for archive).

02-19-2005, 06:18 AM
thanks for your replys!

i will buy another 512 ram, will be 1,75 GB total then.

and, to start with, one raptor 74gb. budget reasons...

but what would gain me the most, to put the raptor as startup disk or as scratch disk?

02-19-2005, 07:26 AM
Actually, the PS benchtest "utility" can help you determine. It may not matter, depending what you have on your boot drive, whether you "off load" your user account to another drive - that not only frees up space, it also means that I/O that would go to your home folder (~/Library/Caches for instance) doesn't affect the OS boot volume.

02-20-2005, 07:39 AM
The 74GB Raptor will be substantially faster than the earlier 36GB Raptor. As TZ points out, it's hard to say whether it should be the boot disk or scratch disk; kinda depends on how big you work in Photoshop.

If you work small and Photoshop is running at 100% efficiency most or all of the time, the Raptor as startup is probably a faster overall config.

Ideally, you'd have a dedicated scratch disk same speed or faster as startup disk. If you use the WDSD method ("work disk/scratch disk method"), your results will be a bit faster than using the designated (and dedicated) scratch disk only for the temp file ('scratch file').

This is true even with just a single hard drive- doesn't have to be a striped RAID array.

1. With 3 drives on 3 separate (S)ATA channels, one as system, one as Users/data/media, one as scratch or WDSD method is probably fastest- if the drives are all more or less the same speed.
2. With just 2 drives, keep everything on one drive, second for scratch or WDSD method.
3. Two drives with Users/data/media moved to second drive but designated scratch still on startup or the second drive will be slower than an all-in-one (number 2 above).