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Should I configure SSD with OS, HDD for storage and RAID 0 for scratch drive

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June 6, 2014 1:30:04 PM

Hello and thanks in advance for any advice on my predicament. I am building a new system and intend to do the following:

Use a new 1TB Samsung EVO SSD for OS and programs.
Use a new 2TB 7200 HDD for storage (mainly photos and music)
Use 2 x identical spare 500GB 7200 HDDs as a RAID 0 'Scratch Drive.

Here's my thoughts collected from reading this great forum and from my small brain:

Firstly, I have read that the SSD should be used as the OS and scratch drive. This seems to contradict the 'don't use same drive for many tasks' viewpoint.

Secondly, I read the following and am confused about what the source and destination drives refer to: ....The key to high editing speeds is to never use the same drive as the source and destination drive.... I think it refers to video editing, which I do very little, so maybe I should not be concerned. Maybe it means that I should initially import my my pics to one drive but after editing save them on another? Clarification welcome.

Thirdly and finally, would using the 2 x HDDs as a RAID 0 scratch drive be a good idea? I thought RAID 0 for performance rather than RAID 1 for reliability. Since it would 'only' be used as a scratch drive, my pics would not reside there and the RAID would only be 'used' during editing, so the risk of RAID failure would not lose any data (other than that particular edit). Am I way off here? Would it give better performance than just having them as 2 x 'normal' scratch drives?

I thank you all in advance for any useful thoughts and confirmation whether my understanding of scratch drives is accurate. Worst case, I guess, is that I will omit the old drives and just use SSD for OS/Programs/scratch and 2TB HDD for storage. I have external HDDs to backup both OS and Files, its just this initial setup I'm exploring. Phew, anyone still awake?
a c 311 G Storage
June 7, 2014 8:45:34 AM

What do you intend to do with a scratch disk? You never mentioned any type of professional work that could benefit from the use of a scratch disk. Typically questions about using a scratch disk in this fiorum are about professional film editing and professional photo editing. The most common questions are about Adobe Photoshop and scratch disks.

What do you intend to do with a RAID array? Again, you did not mention any type of professional work that could benefit from a RAID array. I normally do not recommend RAID arrays. Modern solid state drives are fast enough for typical home use and casual gaming.
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June 7, 2014 8:08:00 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
What do you intend to do with a scratch disk? You never mentioned any type of professional work that could benefit from the use of a scratch disk. Typically questions about using a scratch disk in this fiorum are about professional film editing and professional photo editing. The most common questions are about Adobe Photoshop and scratch disks.

What do you intend to do with a RAID array? Again, you did not mention any type of professional work that could benefit from a RAID array. I normally do not recommend RAID arrays. Modern solid state drives are fast enough for typical home use and casual gaming.


Many thanks for taking the time to reply, very much appreciated. Didn't realize that I had to provide my life story with the question, or that this was a domain for 'professionals' only :)  So to set the record straight I am NOT a 'professional' but a lowly amateur photographer looking to build a new system. Just exploring how to configure it to give better performance and make best use of the resources I have. My photo library is growing daily, I have nearly 275 pictures already, from my 1.3Mpixel cameraphone :D 

To answer your questions:
Q. What you you want to do with a scratch disk?
A. Simply use one or 2 'spare' HDDs and allocate them solely to PSE (yikes, not even full PS - further confirmation of amateur status) and Lightroom as scratch disk(s). Aim is to improve performance when photo editing and not encroach on OS or Data Disks. Hope that makes sense - am I correct in my thinking?

Q. What do you intend to do with a RAID array?
A. Use it as the above mentioned scratch disk, since I think it will perform faster than a single disk. Of course the big assumption here is that I can configure a single SSD for my OS, a different single HDD for my storage and the 2 x HDDs as the RAID scratch disk. I make regular OS and data backups on other, separate, external HDDs.

In return, I have a few questions for you. You state that I 'did not mention any type of professional work that could benefit from a RAID array'. Is it only 'professionals' who benefit from RAID? Does it offer nothing to second grade amateurs like me? You also mention that you 'normally do not recommend RAID arrays'. Could you expand a little as to why this is (for my education)?

Finally, I think I have my answer in your last sentence - that SSDs are fast enough for us amateurs (so we should be grateful for that and not seek to improve or to aspire to act 'professionally'!). Finally finally, my tone is very much tongue-in-cheek, so I trust you are not offended by this inferior amateur lowlife intruding in your professional-oriented forum. Right, off for a coffee and a 'casual game' of solitaire :pt1cable: 

Many thanks again and best wishes.




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