View Full Version : 250HD and 400HD is bigger better and more reliable?

11-20-2005, 11:15 AM
Hello cool smart helpful gurus,

I am a loyal guru fan with my tricked out 2.5Ghz G5, with 4.5G of RAM, with one Raptor Drive for my applications and another 250 Partitioned internal HD and a Hot Swap SATA running 4 Seagate 250 Drives (thanks Rick for answering a million questions).

I am a pro photographer and I do a lot of retouching/photoshop work so I have tried to memorize the photoshop acceleration article....

I have two questions am I an idiot for making one of my 250G SATA Drives a scratch disk? When I bought my SATA enclosure I thought that I would partition one drive for scratch until I realized that partitioning would make it run slower. But how much does a PS scratch disk really need? And would speed make a difference?

Should I buy perhaps another WD Raptor drive for a speedy scratch disk and then buy perhaps a bigger 400 Seagate Drive for more data storage?

Are bigger HDs more prone to problems because there is more Gigs in there? Or are the 250 Drives more reliable and I should just stick with buying more of these puppies.

I guess I do not want to feel like I am wasting one of my SATA HDs for Scratch. Would a firewire Hard Drive be just as fast as a Scratch?

My guess would be no, because the SATA drives kick so much butt for working off of.

Anyway, I have got the tools, I just want to know if I can optimize them better.

(wannabe mac guru)

11-20-2005, 12:02 PM
Hi Fiona,

some PS users here are using two Raptors in a stripe RAID0 as system or as scratch to gain more performance.

If you want to RAID0 your System/Bootdrive then do your backups!

With SoftRaid you can RAID volumes not only entire drives like with DiskUtility.

A fast scratch can realy speed up PS.



11-20-2005, 12:08 PM
Adding more memory should probably come first. Everygthing beyond what you have will be used as cache memory/scratch before you start hitting the scratch disk(s) and is, of course, much faster.

I just read a forum post on Photoshop scratch disk: storagereview forum (http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?showtopic=21240&hl=) that higher density drives (125GB per platter) are better, though in the past we always wanted fast 10K or 15K drives.

SATA-II native drives: Hitachi 7K500, Raptor 10K 74GB, Maxtor DM10/Maxlini III 300GB, Hitchi T7K250. That would be my own personal order of preference.

There seem to be differing opinion on partitions. Used right, yes, they can be used successfully. A drive that is being used to access multiple partitions at the same time, though, is not recommended.

Scratch disks are just that. Copy the file to work on onto the scratch volume, work on it, back it up frequently while working as you reach a step. It is faster to have the data file on the scratch disk.

The best is to use multiple drives. Not just a single scratch disk. But one dedicated disk is better than none. In some cases partitioning your drives as a stripped raid (which requires SoftRAID 3.3) can also improve performance.

Not all SATA-II drives will work with all SATA controllers. Any drive that has SSC enabled and is used on SeriTek won't work at all for now. Drives with a jumper to disable SSC would, though, work.

The only way to say for sure that partitioning will make it run slower, is to actually do so, time your results.

If a scratch disk has trouble, it isn't much of a problem as the only data kept is temporary. As for wasting a drive for scratch... a drive is just a drive, a tool. People invest quite a bit to get a fast scratch RAID ($500 controller, $300 in cables and terminators, $800+ in drives) all just to build the fastest RAID they can achieve. And sometimes use two or three such setups.

Until Seagate comes out with non-SCC drive, I'd skip on that one. The fastest 7.2k rpm drive would be the Hitachi 500GB ($390-450). You could buy two Raptors for that.

There is the RAID DB with various user setups (SCSI, SATA, etc on different systems).
There are tips and help on how to setup different configurations.

we just went through almost similar question Friday and yesterday on the topic in this forum as well.