Join Bryan O'Neil Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video Taking advantage of scratch disks, part of Photoshop: Optimizing Performance.
Scratch disks pick up where RAM leaves off, which is to say when you run out of RAM, you're dependent on your computer's disk, and a scratch disk by default is your boot partition, which is a bit problematic, because it's sharing that disk with your applications and your operating system. So what I'd like to show you is how to add additional scratch disks, and then we'll get into some of the differences between Scratch disks and their various speeds and orientations. So within Photoshop, I'm going to come in here to my Preferences, and come down to Performance.
And, we'll see that by default, our boot partition is our scratch disk. And as I mentioned, this isn't ideal. If I have enough RAM it's not a problem. But, when I run out. I'm sharing that drive with everything else that's going on, all the various applications and the OS. So, I want to take advantage of this second drive, bay two, which obviously has a ton of room. What I'm going to do is I'm going to select that and then, I'm going to highlight this, and with the arrow I'm going to raise that to my primary scratch disk. I can have up to four scratch disks and they can allocate all sorts of information.
So we could have tons of space here. That becomes more important as you either have less memory available or have much, much larger images. Next we're going to talk about the different types of scratch disks and hard drives. When it comes to scratch disks, there are different types of drives. There's the most common, hard disk drive or HDD. Which has moving parts and can be found in most all computers we've seen. Over the past decades and they're available in lots of different sizes.
They can be very large. They're generally inexpensive and some of them can be quite fast. Faster than those are the newer solid-state drives. They don't have moving parts. They're very, very quick. They can read and write information very quickly. They are more expensive and it's still an emerging technology. So, they aren't as common in large sizes or different external orientations. There's also a RAID, which stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. And this is a way of passing information between multiple drives.
And this can be very, very fast, if used with solid state drives. Obviously, but in that there are multiple solid-state drives, this can also be extremely expensive. The advantages to using a RAID for Photoshop would be when using really, really large images or, not having access to as much RAM. So maybe you're on a mobile system or an older computer that just can't support enough RAM. When it comes to scratch disks there are different connection types as well. There's the internal which are very fast.
If you have multiple internal drives by and large those are going to be the fastest methods of allocating a hard drive and those are going to be the ones you want to go with. The other way to do it is to add external drives. And the rule of thumb normally is to go with internal drive over an external drive because the external drives do tend to be slower. If you're going to use an external drive, you want to make sure that you use the fastest interface. Which is to say if you have a USB three port and a USB two port. Make sure you use the USB three port and the correct external hard drive so you can take advantage of the data transfer.
If you have fire wire 400 and 800 obviously you'd want to use 800. Now I mentioned that the internal drives are usually going to be faster than the external. And interface such as Thunderbolt especially combined with SSD external Thunderbolt drive can rival fast internal performance. So what ever different type of scratch disc you opt for just know that in the cases where you run out of RAM. How you set them up and the exact type of drives they are can have a very beneficial effect on Photoshop's performance.
In this installment of Photoshop Insider Training, Photoshop senior product manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes steps through the process of optimizing Photoshop's performance. The course begins with hardware configuration, from processor and memory recommendations to hard drive and solid-state drive (SSD) advice. Next, learn about the Photoshop preferences that deliver the best balance of performance and flexibility. Finally, discover the best way to move and save files and how other applications and even the health of your disk drive impact Photoshop's processes.
- Optimizing a GPU and processor
- Monitoring memory usage
- Keeping an eye on the efficiency indicator
- Reducing image resolution
- Turning off presets and thumbnails
- Exporting without the clipboard
- Closing unnecessary applications
- Repairing your drive