Use old hard drive as scratch disk?

Hi guys, I'm building my first new computer in 6 years now. I'll be adding a Spinpoint 1tb for data storage, and a crucial c300 64gb for the OS and select programs (Vegas, Photoshop, a game or two). I'm also considering using an old (from 2003) 40gb hard drive as a scratch disk for vegas and photoshop. My question is, could using such an old disk actually impair performance (as opposed to just letting the scratch disk operate on either my SSD or spinpoint)? Here are the details on the old drive (taken from the old product manual).

Seagate Barracuda ATA IV
Model ST340016a

• 7,200-RPM spindle speed and 2-Mbyte buffer combine for superior
desktop performance
• High instantaneous (burst) data-transfer rates (up to 100 Mbytes per
second) using Ultra DMA mode 5
• Giant magnetoresistive (GMR) recording heads and EPRML technology, which provide the drives with increased areal density
• State-of-the-art cache and on-the-fly error-correction algorithms
• Full-track multiple-sector transfer capability without local processor
• Quiet operation
• 350 Gs nonoperating shock
• The innovative, shock-absorbing SeaShield®
cover protects the drive
against electrostatic discharge (ESD) and other handling damage. It
also includes installation instructions and jumper settings.
• SeaTools diagnostic software performs a drive self-test that eliminates
unnecessary drive returns.
• The 3D Defense System™, which includes Drive Defense, Data
Defense and Diagnostic Defense, offers the industry’s most comprehensive protection for disc drives.
• Support for S.M.A.R.T. drive monitoring and reporting
• Support for Read Multiple and Write Multiple commands
• Support for autodetection of master/slave drives that use cable select
6 answers Last reply
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  1. I would use the Spinpoint as a scratch disk since it is up to 3 times faster the the Seagate. If speed does not matter use the Seagate

    If you would use the SSD drive it will reduce the life of the drive by a lot.
  2. Ok, I will definitely avoid the SSD. Isn't there some performance gain from keeping the scratch disk and the media disk separate? That's why I was going to avoid using the Spinpoint.
  3. IMHO: As the drive is IDE, and only 40GB, why bother? The read speeds will be half of the SATA HDD, and a quarter of the SSD.

    40GB isn't even enough to use it as a backup.

    And, again, IMHO, don't worry too much about the SSD, USE IT FOR WAS IT IS! Fast access times and read speeds. Don' t you want to get the faster access times for files needed (i.e. pagefile, contacts, internet cache)??

    As long as you have Windows 7 with TRIM support for the SSD, wear won't be that bad. Especially if it one of the newer SSD with a SandForce 1200 (or higher) controller.

    Sure, ever write and re-write will degrade the SSD, but so does it on a HDD. The lifespan of the SSD really won't be an issue (over 5 years).

    SO, YES, it will inhibit the performance of the machine. You can probably actually hear the drive spin up, as it does reads and writes; being that old, small, and slow.

    BTW, what do you consider a "scratch disk?"
  4. Temporary space when memory isn't enough to manipulate files.
  5. OK, how much RAM do you have?

    With 4-6GB of RAM, the swapfile/pagefile/scratch disk won't get used much.

    But if it is, you want the fastest device to read/write to.
  6. 6gb is the plan. I think I will not install the disk, put photoshop, vegas and Windows on the SSD, with media files and the scratch disk file going to the spinpoint.
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