Photoshop scratch disc

  wescliff 08:29 10 Apr 14
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My PC is an "all in one" therefore has no space for a second Internal drive. I have a 1tb Seagate usb2 external. Is there any reason why this cannot be used as the scratch disc for Photoshop CC provided it's always connected. Grateful for any advice.

  Ian in Northampton 09:28 10 Apr 14

I think that's feasible. The only issue is likely to be that an external drive will be slower than an internal drive, which slightly defeats (but doesn't entirely defeat) the object of the exercise.

  john bunyan 09:44 10 Apr 14

I have PS CS5. I have my main disc partitioned 100gig for system and programmes and balance for data. I do, actually, have a second disc for frequent data backups. I use my data partition (which has plenty of space) as the primary scratch disc, and the C partition as the secondary one. Maybe worth thinking about partitioning? I think it would be fine to use the usb - why not as a secondary? If you have a lot of RAM I don't think they are often used unless you have many photos (more than6) open at once.

hssutton is the "Guru", if he is reading this!

  hssutton 10:25 10 Apr 14

A question first of all. Are you using large files and seeing a slow down in performance? If not why would you need a scratch disk.

In my case I edit large 200Mb plus Tiff files and use two SSDs drives as scratch disks, this plus 16Gb ram makes my PC very fast. Now as for an external drive (something I've never used) the jury is out, as you will see if you search "photoshop scratch disk" So I would suggest you try it out as there is nothing to lose and maybe you may gain some speed. Personally I'm inclined to agree with Ian, but there's no harm in checking it out. From what I read there my be a problem if you are using CS5, I use CS6 so cannot help in this respect.

10 minutes later. I have just run a test using a 1 terabyte external drive, I've just edited a 28Mb raw file converted to Tiff using Lightroom. Edited in CS6 Using layers and Nik filters and noticed no slow down in performance This particular image finished up as a 37Mb Tiff file. So I would definitely give it a try.

  Ian in Northampton 10:31 10 Apr 14

john bunyan: you raise an interesting point about scratch disks. My understanding was that, to be of any use, a scratch disk needed to be a separate drive, as the point of a scratch disk is to have one set of disk heads moving from program-related tasks, and another set of heads for data related tasks. Partitioning would use the same heads for both types of task, so in theory, you wouldn't see any performance improvement compared with not partitioning at all. I may be completely wrong, of course.

  hssutton 10:41 10 Apr 14

Ian when I first started using Photoshop many years ago I also did the same as John. Selecting 'C' as primary scratch and the partitioned section as secondary scratch disk, but as my file sizes escalated to 200+Mb files this method didn't work to good. Must admit though to building a PC dedicated to Photoshop and as I said preciously my machine handles anything I throw at it.

  wescliff 11:17 10 Apr 14

Drive is already partitioned, but in reality using another partition is still using the same disc, and this is the point of placing the scratch disc elsewhere. I have 8gb ram and in practice files come nowhere near this size and the efficiency marker hardly ever reaches 100%. However I also use Lightroom, Nik and OnOne Photo Suite and these can have a significant effect on file sizes when used together, hence my insurance really of providing a scratch disc away from the internal drive even if it is hardly used. My main worry about the external method is the event of Photoshop failing to pick it up when starting and getting "confused." Many thanks for the replies. I will give it a try and see what happens.

  hssutton 14:57 10 Apr 14

I also have OneSoft, but just the plug-in version Perfect Effects 8. Will give it a whirl this evening, but I don't expect a different result. As I said previously CS6 sees my Ex. drive so see no reason why your version should be any different. Even if it did not see your Ex. Drive you would be no worse off

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