Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Hard disk setup for photoshop - help!

Last response: in Storage
Share
February 21, 2008 10:36:53 PM

Hi! I could really use some help. Im doing a new build pretty soon here. My computer is mostly for doing photoshop and storing pictures. I use external backups on and off site so I'm not very worried about redundancy of the setup. I'll use it a bit for games as well but Im not sure how I should set this up. I need at least 1 TB of storage - Do I go with RAID 0? One large hard drive? One hard drive (possibly in RAID 0) for photos and one for applications and one for a scratch disk? I don't need the worlds fastest set up but I'd like to remove any bottleneck I can for less than $400 (I can go higher if it makes that much of a difference).

Any help would be appreciated. I will be building off the new quad core with 8gb of RAM on Vista 64.

Thanks!
February 21, 2008 11:03:15 PM

If you do regular backups as you say and you need a fast scratch disk for your photo editting i would go with 2x500gb in RAID-0 maybe the WD AAKS drives as they are pretty solid. Setup off mainboard install Vista on a smaller partition and the games/data on the remainder.
February 23, 2008 4:31:20 PM

Thanks! I don't think I have to have a TB for a scratch disk - it was more for storage. And yes, I backup reguarly - its a live sync on the main backup and I update the off-site backup every month.

Are you suggesting that I build three partitions off of the TB in RAID or that I get a second (or third) drive to hold the OS and games? I appreciate the help - just a little confused here. Thanks!
Related resources
February 24, 2008 9:09:54 PM

no just 2 partitions ... 1 for windows and the 2nd for anything else. That way if you ever have to reinstall windows its easier to do a fresh install.
February 24, 2008 9:15:17 PM

awesome. Thank you!!
March 7, 2008 11:34:48 PM

chookman said:
no just 2 partitions ... 1 for windows and the 2nd for anything else. That way if you ever have to reinstall windows its easier to do a fresh install.


Hi. I'm also gearing for a new build, and with similar needs as washout. That is, I do a lot of Photoshop.
So my question is; With this configuration are you saying a scratch disk is not necessary? And how much of the 500 gigs would you allocate to the OS?
March 9, 2008 9:09:49 AM

Remember... RAID ups the chance of a drive failure. In RAID 0 it ups it more than the others. I use that configuration for video editing because it requires it... I use 2x500 that I set to only support 650... as that is what I can conformably back up. I also have windows back up every single day to the forth 500 gig drive.

For photos... you don't really need the RAID 0 configuration. It may make things work a little faster... but unless your working on photos or pictures that are multiple Gigs by themselves... there really is no need. It just ups the risk and potentially costs more money... really for nothing.
March 9, 2008 2:36:15 PM

lilsage;
Do you think Raid 1 also ups the chance of a drive failure?
March 9, 2008 7:14:47 PM

No because raid 1 mirrors the other drive the chances are halved (I think) because if one drive fails you still have the other working drive to function and use. The only way your data can be destroyed would be if both drives failed at the same time.
March 9, 2008 7:22:48 PM

That's how I see it. What do you think of this idea in a new build? One 80GB drive for the OS plus Apps (Word, etc), 2- 500 GB's as Raid 1 for Photoshop storage, one more 500GB drive for storage, and one 80GB drive for Photoshop Scratch?
a b G Storage
March 9, 2008 8:06:52 PM

Get two 7200.11[\b] HDDs in RAID.
March 9, 2008 8:15:55 PM

Like the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11? It comes as 1 TB.
March 9, 2008 8:32:12 PM

Thanks for all the input! I'm not worried about hard drive failure as I use a live backup (only minutes of lag). Going with 8 gigs of RAM (on 64bit), it seems that a scratch disc isn't really needed - am I right? I currently have about 3.2 gigs available and opening 40 7 mb files has photoshop still only using RAM (based on the efficiency number on the info palette).

Based on what you guys have described, I'm leaning towards a single TB primary drive (Seagate .11), an 80 gig or so OS/App drive (which one should I get?) and forgoing a scratch disc (correct me if you guys disagree)... Im not even thinking about using partitions but rather using separate physical drives...
a c 180 G Storage
March 9, 2008 8:47:13 PM

There is generally no real world(vs. synthetic transfer rate benchmarks) performance advantage to raid of any kind.
Go to www.storagereview.com at this link: http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single...
There are some specific applications that will benefit, but for example,
gaming is not one of them. Even if you have an application which reads one input file sequentially, and writes
it out, you will perform about as well by putting the input on one drive, and the output on the other.

A small drive for the os is good. Several drives for data would be better than one large drive. The cost per gigabyte would not be very different, and the performance of data transformation type applications would be better. Performance would be better because there would be less access arm movement when accessing two different data streams on different drives. The more drives, the better, assuming your case and mobo can handle it.
March 9, 2008 9:25:39 PM

Thanks! I really want to avoid multiple drives for data if they're not in RAID as I'd like all of my pictures in one root folder to go to.

Any recommendations on the OS/APP drive? Will a raptor be needed or am I OK with something less... extravagant?

I appreciate the links!
a c 180 G Storage
March 9, 2008 11:08:47 PM

I think you would be ok even with a single 1tb drive. A separate os drive is nice, but not really necessary. It won't cost much though($40), so why not? Should it be a raptor? If you have the funds($60 more), it is the best, but I think you would hardly notice the difference.
a b G Storage
March 9, 2008 11:30:12 PM

Go for the Raptor if you wish for OS only.
March 9, 2008 11:38:53 PM

Define the speed you need per each group of files.

For example the OS would do well on a high RPM low latency drive like a WD Raptor. Bulk storage can go on anything, a single large drive is fine for that.

For concurrent operations on large files, make one drive the source and a second drive the destination. For gaming the load times would be shorter with a pair in RAID0, and that RAID0 array might be the source for your files when video editing since destination tends to be in a compressed format not needing so much throughput.

Photoshop does not need anything in particular, processing the files takes longer than reading them in, but the swap space for that, your browser temporary files, windows temporary files and the pagefile ought to be on a second logical volume from whatever else you'd be running with the most frequent or large concurrent access.

In other words, only you can look over your shoulder to see exactly how you'll use the system, especially when it comes to multitasking. Having a boatload of memory helps quite a bit with general windows use, making HDD performance less important. You also don't mention the noise level you'll tolerate (or I missed it), for $400 you could have 4 drives but it'll certainly be louder than with fewer.

For $400 I'd get a Raptor and two 500-750GB drives, size depending on the pricing at your preferred seller. 1TB is a lot to backup regularly, I leave it to you to decide if RAID0's gain is worth doubling the chance of data loss between each backup interval.
March 9, 2008 11:47:15 PM

geofelt said:
There is generally no real world(vs. synthetic transfer rate benchmarks) performance advantage to raid of any kind.
Go to www.storagereview.com at this link: http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single...
There are some specific applications that will benefit, but for example,
gaming is not one of them. Even if you have an application which reads one input file sequentially, and writes
it out, you will perform about as well by putting the input on one drive, and the output on the other.


RAID0 may not increase FPS in games but definitely improves game level load times (as does a lot of extra memory to cache files).

A dated test of RAID is not the whole story, today we have better integrated RAID controllers without such a bandwidth issue, and more processing power to spare (lesser % of total load) helping to improve performance, as well as the faster memory required for increased disk IO. This doesn't even take into consideration a good RAID card (though not on the PCI 33MHz/32bit bus) with a lot of memory for caching IO.

Even considering these factors I'd have to agree that multiple logical volumes (aka drive letters to some windows users) to avoid concurrent IO to the same volume as much as possible are the right solution, whether it be two non-RAIDed drives, one RAIDed volume and one non-raided, or two raided arrays as volumes.
March 10, 2008 8:57:16 AM

I think doing an 80 gig drive for OS and apps would be a mistake. You would eat through it in no time. The fuller it gets the slower it gets don't forget. I have only two games installed on my computer and my multimedia programs and I am already close to 90 gigs. I myself would probably stick to at least 150 gigs... but I do think 250 would be better. That gives you room to move and not have to skimp on programs features etc due to lack of space.

I think you would be better off without the scratch drive... less drives in the system will also help keep the heat a little lower, plus no real performance advantage to having a seperate scratch disk. With Premier Pro the defualt setting for all the scratch disks is where you create the video file. Keeps it all together for easier deletion when no longer need the extra files (rendering and such).
!