View Full Version : External Scratch Disk Info

02-19-2008, 09:21 PM
I have a quad 3Ghz Mac Pro with 8GB of Ram and I have 4 1TB drives in each bay. I have my OS on bay 1 and keep that drive clean with only OS stuff, drive 2 right now I made into a partition and have 100GB allocated for scratch for PS and the other remaining partition is for storage, the drive 3 is for my music, and drive 4 is for my job backup. I really want to keep my scratch disk on its own separate drive, but at the same time really need my drive space that I have in the four bays and was thinking about buying a Western Digital 150GB 10k Raptor drive and put it in an case and use it as my scratch disk for the quick spin up speed, but not sure if the external side of this will be slower than what I currently have. Any thoughts or suggestions on this? I guess another option would be just putting that 150GB Raptor drive in the fourth bay or something like that. Thanks. A.

I enclosed an image of the Red Pill little trick of what they did to honor Bruce Fraser since I saw that it was on the PS acceleration PDF. A.

02-20-2008, 09:14 AM
Having scratch on the first partition of a drive where the second partition is not used at the same time is fine. IE: Use the second partition for your backup where the only time partition 2 is accessed is when you are running your backup application.

Having scratch on a partition of a drive where the second partition is storing the data that you are working on will be a net a negative to performance. The slowest component on a computer is the heads on a hard drive. Forcing them to move from inside to outside as the system needs data and scratch access makes the heads on that drive the controlling factor on storage performance. Better to put scratch on that huge mostly unused OS drive.

Your idea to put a Raptor externally is fine. You will need a case that can keep it cool, I would recommend a 2 bay SATA kit (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/satakits.php). Really good cooling, simple and really quiet. Not to mention about the best cost possible.

You can either run a host card or attach some cables to the extra SATA port on the motherboard. Those ports won't allow hotplugging though, you will have to reboot each time you want to mount the external drives. Installing a host card is the better choice, IMHO, and the fastest for the money is the Lycom 4 Port card (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/LYCeSATA-4e.php). the reason for the 4 port card is the chipset is fast enough to give you all the benefits in the future of more than one drive. The 2 port cards have chipsets that are only capable of 150-160 MB/sec. The 4 port cards can exceed 1 GB/sec making them a better choice for high performance.

One other warning. When you search for Raptors, be aware that we are hearing about a lot of OEM Raptors on the market. Seems lots of them getting dumped these days. They cause us considerable support issues when folks end up with them. Sticking with Retail drives will avoid the firmware issues of the OEM drives.