Best harddrive configuration for CS6 - editing from external HDD?

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
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AlexNewstead
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Best harddrive configuration for CS6 - editing from external HDD?
Mar 31, 2013

Hi,

I'm interested in people's thoughts on editing images in Photoshop that are stored exclusively on an external HDD.

I have a new iMac with 32Gb ram and the fusion drive, (3Tb hdd - 128Gb SSD).

The OS and applications such as CS6 will be kept on the internal SSD.  I will not store any other files on the internal drive to ensure the rest of SSD and therefore 3Tb HDD section is kept free. (I simply bought the 3Tb option as it was a good price and will help maintain the mac's value when I come to sell it in the future).

I plan to use 2 external HDD's, both 7200rpm with 32Mb cache.

The 1st would be around 500Gb, (with a partitioned segment for scratch - if neccessary), connected via USB 3 or thunderbolt and would be used to dump my RAW files (just stills - around 20-30Mb) fresh from a shoot. I would then edit the 'keepers' in CS6, from this drive and save the finished files as Jpegs on the 2nd drive, which would be 2Tb, connected via USB 3 where they would stay.  I would back up from the 2nd drive and clear the 1st in preparation for the next shoot.

My other option is to use the internal drive of the mac to dump the RAW files and edit from there before saving to external but I'd rather keep it as free as possible for Photoshop as I probably will not be using a separate scratch disk.

How do people think an external HDD would perform while editing images in PS as stated, would it be much slower than internal drives and would it be much more advantageous using HHD's with 64Mb cache or swapping 1st drive for an external SSD on which to edit from?

It seems to be a case of editing from internal SSD which photoshop is also running on and scratching to, or taking a performance hit using external HDD - but how much of a hit in reality??

Also any suggestions on brands? I've been looking at LaCie D2, WD My book studio or Seagate Backup plus.

Many thanks for your time - I know I  waffled a bit!

Cheers, Alex

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