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working from external drives

Hello All -- My computer is slowly tanking and I'm investigating upgrade alternatives.  One option I'm considering is to store all image files on an external hard drive.  Although I realize storing files on the internal drive would allow for better performance, I wonder if there's a significant slowdown when working from an external drive.  Does anyone have any experience they could share?  Thanks!



  • JC

    I store all my photos and work from an external hard drive and have no issues regarding speed. I use 2 external hard drives, work from 1 hard drive and copy everything to the 2nd hard drive for redundant system.


  • TrevTrev Moderator


    Bit like Quin, I have 6 internal drives, but also 2 external drives.

    1 internal drive is just for the Operating System (no files on this at all)
    1 for OS back up
    1 for Data (My Documents/Images/anything at all including downloaded programs, like PS/LR, any programs I use, so I can reinstall if need be, etc. etc.)
    1 for Data back up
    1 for Photoshop Scratch Disk, empty (helps with RAM)
    1 well, empty, just sits there as a backup's backup if I need it.

    What I would suggest if your computer is getting on a bit, would be to have your current 'project/work' on your main internal drive, then when completed transfer to your external drives (I take it they are the same with 1 being a backup?)

    That way you can probably work that bit faster, since not all systems are the same and you could have a bottleneck reading/writing to an external drive, I cannot say as I don't know your specs.

    My internal drives are SSD, and my externals are normal WD 7200's, so trying to read/write with labour intensive work would be agony, even using the latest USB 3.1 connection, and that in itself is another thing, the connection/speed, Thunderbolt, Macs, Firewire, Sata's, etc. etc. Depends on your connection Justin.

    If your external drives were SSDs then I would say not a problem, but they probably aren't as external SSDs are pretty pricey for a reasonable storage amount of 1Tb or more.

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