Laptop and scratch disk

Posted By
Sep 5, 2007
I have searched for answers to this. There seem to be many, but all dealing with other issues. So, I thought I’d ask it.

My concern is that I’m upgrading my laptop so I will be able to work in CS3 "on the road." I’m getting:
Gateway NX860XL
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
2 GHz, 667 MHz
2 Gig RAM
160 GB HD, 5400 rpm
nVidia 7900 256 MB graphics card

So, my question concerns how do I set up a scratch disk. Because there is only the one internal drive, and because everything else on this forum indicates that an external USB-connected drive used as a scratch disk will only slow things down, I’m assuming I will have to use the one internal drive for both my OS and as my scratch disk, even thought Adobe recommends against this.

I am thinking that if I keep my data on an external drive rather than filling up my internal hard drive, I might be OK.

I am also thinking I should partition my internal hard drive, setting up a partition for the scratch disk. Would that help? And if so, what is the size I should use?

I already feel that the hard drive I’ve ordered is too slow, and that a 7200 RPM drive would be a lot better. I’m looking into changing that. Would that improve the scratch disk performance? (logically, it seems like it would)

So, I guess I’m just looking for suggestions on this, wondering how others have worked it out, and what works.


How to Master Sharpening in Photoshop

Give your photos a professional finish with sharpening in Photoshop. Learn to enhance details, create contrast, and prepare your images for print, web, and social media.

Sep 5, 2007
Providing you are not doing any heavy duty processing everything will work fine if you just nominate the internal drive as scratch disk. That’s what I have on my laptop.

Partitioning won’t bring much if the disk is kept defragmented.

In general, higher rpm means faster. (Look at the specs.)
Sep 5, 2007
am thinking that if I keep my data on an external drive rather than filling up my internal hard drive…

What John said.


Your "work in progress" should be on the internal drive for quicker read/write times. Regularly move finished files to the External for storage. This way you can keep the main HD uncluttered. A hard drive works fastest when it is less than half full.

Defrag regularly. A couple of times a week and especially after you’ve archived off a large number of files.

Set your Windows Paging File (Virtual Memory) to a fixed size. Min=Max=4GB.

Must-have mockup pack for every graphic designer 🔥🔥🔥

Easy-to-use drag-n-drop Photoshop scene creator with more than 2800 items.

Related Discussion Topics

Nice and short text about related topics in discussion sections