View Full Version : External harddrive as scratch disc ?

02 February 2006, 11:48 PM
I just go a 160 gb external harddrive today which I will use to save images and various textures and other tools to free my C drive.

Now I'm wondering if I could use it as scratch disc for PS and Painter at the same time or would that be a bad idea ? I know nothing ....

02 February 2006, 11:51 PM
Youd have more latency.. due to it having to go throught the motherboard and out the usb. So I'd supsect a slowdown compared to your internal one.

It would be best for storage.

02 February 2006, 04:50 AM
More accurately put, USB would be the bottleneck in that situation. USB 1.x transmits at most 12Mb/s which is awful slow. USB 2.x is better but it's dependent upon what spec your USB port is and what spec your USB device is.

In comparison, your internal drive likely pumps at least 25MB/s (and quite possibly more depending on the drive) which is over 200Mb/s.

USB 2.0 can max out at 480Mb/s (60MB/s) but I haven't seen anything that could pump that kind of throughput out.

So, conventional wisdom says that while theorhetically USB 2.0 can reach higher speeds, it's better to stick with internal drives when dealing with any scratch disk.

02 February 2006, 11:45 AM
Is it USB?

I use a Firewire 800 external hard drive as a scratch disk and it is fast enough.

02 February 2006, 10:40 PM
Thanks a lot guys for your help !

My "problem" is that I have C as scratchdisc right now where also all my programs are installed. Now I moved everything that could be moved to the external disc, so that should already clean things up a bit. Not that I really had any trouble so far. Particularly not with PS.

I have another internal harddrive, but it is totally devoted to a very huge Epson tracer and I don't dare use that one as scratchdisc also although it's 80 gb.

Anyway, the external harddrive seems to fonction very well. It's a Iomega 160 gb. It is a h... of a lot quicker than burning cd's ! So so far I'm very pleased.

Thanks again !

02 February 2006, 12:06 AM
Unless you are really low on memory, the scratch disk being on C is not going to be a big performance hit, as the machine should not be relying on it. Having your swap file on C is still going to give you better performance than over USB, IMO.

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02 February 2006, 12:06 AM
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