Best storage strategy for Photoshop

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Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2002 1:29 am

Hi, I'm expanding my hard drive set up and I could use some advise. I presently have a first generation 18 Gig Seagate X-15 (15,000 rpm) on an Adaptec 39160 dual-channel SCSI adaptor. I'm about to add a 36 Gig second generation X-15 on the second channel. I do mostly web work now, with more and more large print projects, and I would like to dabble a bit in video. I'm wondering: should I use the 18 for my start-up disc and the slightly faster 36 for my Photoshop scratch disc (plus moderate storage) or should I do the reverse?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: VooBass on 2002-01-31 00:30 ]</font>
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Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2002 4:22 am

One tip - split your swap space across both drives with the majority of it on your non-system disk.

Bruce
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Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2002 11:33 am

Bruce is right. Keeping system (OS) and apps (in separate, approx. equal partitions if you don't mind the extra work) on the smaller disk, and using the larger for all storage and PS grinding-space would be a fine arrangement. Share the SWAP file across the OS partition and 36-Gig disks.

If you haven't already, I've found Photoshop to respond marvelously to unreasonable amounts of RAM (1024+) - and your new drive will last longer.
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Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2002 12:02 pm

Thanks for the tips! I'm just unclear on one point: splitting the swap space across both drives. With an almost empty 36 gig drive as my swap space why would I need to have more allocated on my start up disc? How does this sound: 1024 RAM, then 6 gigs on the 18 gig X15 for OS and apps, another partition with 5 gigs for project files, and then a 25 gig partition on the 36 gig X15 for the swap space.

Further research suggests using the somewhat lower seek time second generation X15 for the main disc (it's cpu usage seems significantly lower, too). Surely an 18 Gig X15 should be an excellent swap disc. Any more suggestions?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: VooBass on 2002-01-31 14:10 ]</font>
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Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2002 3:09 pm

Win 2000 & XP (in particular, I know not about other OS's) takes advantage of swap file space split between two drives: because Win, when it DOES use swap (virtual memory plus a few other things) space tends to request multiple simultaneous read & write operations: even on a SCSI drive there can be traffic jams: one operation must wait for the disk head to finish the last operation. Because the hard disks (even your beauties) are far, far slower than main memory, this can bog the system down, particularly with large (e.g. photo images) chunks of data, which overflow the disk cache and, breifly, flood the disk, BUT NOT THE SCSI BUS; so splitting up the SWAP file makes more efficient use of the fantastic SCSI 160 MB/s bus.

One question 8 GB + 5 GB - 18 GB leaves you with a 7 GB partition which purpose you don't list. Also, I may be mistaken but I believe because SWAP space re-builds (and erases) after each operation it is not particularly useful to dedicate a partition to it?

If so, you'd be better just storing files (tiffs, etc.) on an un-partitioned 36 drive (say logical G), giving your apps a bit more room (say 12 GB of the 18 drive (say logical F)) and loading the OS in the remaining 6 GB (C:) of the 18, and telling Win to use C and G for swapping.

Bloody long post. Sorry.
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Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2002 3:28 pm

nrobison

Thanks for the detailed followup. I think I understand your explanation. I wanted to keep the 18 Gig drive only half full at most due to speed deterioration as hard drives fill up. Most files I will pass for storage on to a big network drive. I checked out Storage Review and compared the two X15s and the lower seek time second generation X15 would probably be better for the primary disc (it's cpu usage seems significantly lower, too, and it will get a lot more use than the second disc) and then I can use the entire 18 Gig first gen drive to share the swap space. This would seem to be the best of all worlds unless I'm overlooking something.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: VooBass on 2002-01-31 14:29 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: VooBass on 2002-01-31 14:44 ]</font>
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Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2002 3:29 pm

The advantage of using a partition scheme would be to force the swap at the beginning of the drive which will give it higher bandwith since it is on the outer section of the plater.
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Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2002 4:19 pm

VooBass. Your last scheme sounds good. Nice drives.
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