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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

DPP Solutions: Scratch Disk Fever

How a Thunderbolt drive cured a most debilitating condition

This Article Features Photo Zoom

G-Technology G-RAID
I reconfigured Photoshop's settings to unburden my system hard drive, sent the Scratch Disk data to my Thunderbolt drive and relaunched Photoshop (any changes you make in the Performance settings take effect after restarting). Success! Photoshop relaunched quickly, stability returned to all of my open apps, and after a minute or so of the system drive grinding away at dumping all of what Photoshop had piled on, it, too, settled down.

If you hear your system drive working too hard, inspect those Photoshop Performance settings. There are some other useful tools in there, not just for Scratch Disk selection, but also RAM allocation, cache controls, which can be optimized depending on the types of files you're working with, and the ability to reduce or increase the number of history states that are available (which also affects scratch disk use).

Western Digital MyBook
Don't use your system drive as your scratch disk; consider these Thunderbolt drives to bear the burden instead. It's an investment in your own productivity, and they can do double-duty as a backup drive, too.

G-Technology offers a selection of Thunderbolt drives. The G-RAID with Thunderbolt is a dual-drive RAID system available in capacities of 4 TB or 8 TB. A RAID-ready drive is especially nice if you plan to use the drive as a backup. List Price: $599 (4 TB); $799 (8 TB). www.g-technology.com

Western Digital's My Book Thunderbolt Duo is a dual-drive RAID model in 4 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB configurations. The design makes it easy to swap out drives if one fails. Estimated Street Price: From $499. www.wdc.com

If your studio manages a massive library and could use a storage upgrade, consider the LaCie 5big Thunderbolt Series. The 5-bay system is available in 10 TB, 20 TB and 25 TB capacities, ideal for photo and video archiving. List Price: $999 (10 TB); $1,999 (20 TB); $2,499 (25 TB). www.lacie.com

Buffalo DriveStation Mini
If you don't need a RAID configuration, Seagate's single-drive Backup Plus Desktop Drive with Thunderbolt can be had in 3 TB or 4 TB models, and are priced competitively on a per-gigabyte basis. List Price: $349 (3 TB); $449 (4 TB). www.seagate.com

Buffalo's DriveStation Mini Thunderbolt models are pricey, as they use fast solid-state drives (SSD). They're also very compact if desk space is at a premium. Capacities start at 256 GB and reach 1 TB. List Price: $549 (256 GB); $749 (512 GB); $1,099 (1 TB). www.buffalotech.com


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