NVME SSD or SATA 2,5 for PC build?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
edispics
edispics Veteran Member • Posts: 4,400
Re: Photoshop
1

Since you mentioned Photoshop in your post, here is Puget's take

What type of storage drive should I use for Photoshop?

There are three main types of drives you might use for a Photoshop workstation: SSD, NVMe, and the traditional platter drive. Of these three, traditional platter drives are the slowest but are extremely affordable and available in much larger capacities than SSD or NVMe drives. Due to this, they make excellent long-term storage drives, but are not ideal for OS or scratch drives.

SSDs are several times faster than a platter drive but are also more expensive. These drives are excellent for a wide range of tasks such as holding your OS and applications, storing projects, and as scratch drives.

NVMe drives come in two flavors (M.2 and U.2), but either one will be significantly faster than even an SSD drive. They are about 30% more expensive than an SSD, but in return are up to five times faster! However, in most cases you will not see much of a performance increase with an NVMe drive since a modern standard SSD is already fast enough that it is rarely a performance bottleneck. These drives can be used as an OS and application drive to make your system boot and launch programs a bit faster, but in most cases they are a luxury item for Photoshop.

What storage configuration works best in Photoshop?

While you could get by with just a single drive, we recommend at least a two drive configuration depending on your budget and desired performance level:

  1. Primary Drive - OS/Software (SSD) - Includes your operating system and the base Photoshop installation. An SSD is highly recommended as it will greatly improve how fast the OS and programs startup, but there is usually not much of a performance benefit to upgrade to a faster NVMe drive.
  2. Secondary Drive - Project Files (Platter/SSD/M.2 NVMe) - If possible, it is a good idea to keep your photos and catalogs on a secondary drive. For most users even a platter drive should be more than fast enough, although a SSD tends to be snappier and will often smooth out your workflow.
  3. Optional Tertiary Drive - Scratch Drive (SSD/M.2 NVMe) - Most of the time, having your scratch files on your primary SSD should be just fine, but if your work involves heavy use of the scratch space, it may be beneficial to have a dedicated drive just for those files.

Can you work with Photoshop files directly from an external drive?

Technically, you could keep your projects on an external drive and work directly from that drive. However, this is one of the most common causes of performance and stability issues we hear about from our customers. We highly recommend copying all your files to a local drive before working on them. External drives are terrific for backup and archiving, but not ideal to work off of.

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