Question Running Photoshop with a 512GB SSD plus 1TB HDD Desktop

Oct 20, 2019
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Not sure how computers, partitions, etc work. I going to be doing a lot of Photoshop work with files that might become very large with layers, etc. 300MB files may not be out of the question. I am going to buy a new desktop with 32GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD boot drive with a 1TB HDD. My workflow plan will be to keep completed files on external hard drives when I am done with them. Only current camera RAW and active Photoshop files will be in the desktop. My question is how to configure my working folders. If Photoshop and Lightroom or other graphics programs are on the SSD and image files are on the HDD, when I work on them in PS, will I be gaining the advantage of the SSD speed because PS is on the SSD? Or, if I have my file folders on the HDD, will I only get the HDD speed when working with the files because they are stored there? I suppose I could also but a 'working' file folder on the SSD so that only files actually being worked are also part of the SSD.
Thanks for the help.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
I'd ask you to breakdown your SSD purchase into two. I'm also building a similar system where the first SSD(which is an M.2 NVMe drive) is for the OS and apps while the secondary SSD(which will be SATA based M.2) will be used as a scratch disk. If anything you should look towards the same route.

Logically the HDD will serve as the storage drive(not the scratch disk).
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
You can keep mass storage files like the actual picture files themselves on the hdd. With PS being run in the OS environment, it gets run at ssd speeds. The libraries are also flipped at ssd speeds as they are part of the OS even if on a different drive. When you first pull up the picture, the hdd loads it into a temp cache file in windows, so again works at ssd speeds.

So anything you do with any particular picture is worked at by ssd speeds, including saves, as it's first saved through the ssd temp cache, and is filtered to its permanent home on the hdd when it can. It's only the initial first touch that is at hdd speeds as it's copied from hdd to cache.

That copy will stay in cache until the cache gets full and only then will it overwrite older run files with new copies. If you constantly work on the same pictures series, like Joe Blow Wedding, you could setup a temp folder on the ssd, work everything to your hearts content at full ssd speeds for as long as you needed to and at the end save to hdd for permanent storage.

There's 2 kinds of saves. Save ends up overwriting the original, no matter where it was pulled from and Save As which gives you the option to change where you save and in what format.
 
Oct 20, 2019
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Thanks Lutjij, I won't have that option. I either go with the 512SSD/1TB HDD or for another $150, go full 1TB SSD only. Karadjgne, thanks for that input. It looks like the SSD/HDD option will work as I'd hoped.
Thanks for the input.
 

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