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Upgrading laptop with SSD to increase Adobe Creative Suite performance?

Hi guys,

I have a new HP laptop that primarily runs Adobe Creative Suite using Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Premiere and After Effects. It's a quad-core Windows 7 64 bit machine with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB 5400 RPM hard drive. The RAM is maxed out on the machine as is the CPU for all intents and purposes.

Since it has a 2nd hard drive bay, I was pondering the idea of installing another drive to use as the scratch disk and get some performance increases. I'm wondering about an SSD drive in this case and how much benefit I would see by using one of these drives as the scratch disk. But then that got me thinkng whether the SSD drive would be better utilized as the primary drive for the OS and the 500GB drive as the scratch drive? Or is an SSD drive even justified given the price versus just getting a standard 7200 RPM drive.

What's the verdict?

1 Solution
In my experience in Photo editing. I tend to edit pictures up to 12 meg in size.. A 7200 RPM hard drive is more than capable. The amount of RAM and the CPU you are using is more than sufficient for photo editing, even running a few adobe products at once. I cant imagine much of a performance gain with a SSD drive over a 7200 HDD.
There are drastic improvements, even running raptor drives would almost double the speed.  HDD speed is overlooked all to often.
Only you can determine whether an SSD is justified.

An SSD as your primary drive gives you very quick boot times and brining up an app is fast.  However, once the app is up and the file read in, you are running at normal RAM speeds, meaning the only real benefit to SSD is in access.  If your files are large, then the benefits can be excellent.

My Mac laptop boots almost instantaneously with an SSD.

If you decide to go with an SSD, the decision as to whether or not it is the primary drive should probably be based on how large your data files are and how many you have.  SSDs are still smaller than HDDs, so making it primary makes sense if your files need lots of disk space.

You can also make part of the SSD into a partition where you keep current or more frequently used files and move all others to the larger HDD.

Sorry if this is a little chopped up, but I'm writing stream-of-conciousness here.

I hope this helps!
SSD's provide a very noticable improvement in speed which should help your issue. I would use an SSD as the primary system drive (with the scratch and apps on it) with your data on the 500GB. As already mentioned, the load time of opening a file will be the same as now but it should run faster while processing.

Have a look closely at the SSD you are thinking about and find reviews. I think Anadtech and Tomshardware have both reviewed SSD's recently and there is a massive difference in speed depending on the manufacturer and the chips used. The Intel ones are still the king by far, these are also sold branded as Kingston. Samsung based SSD's are on the slower side in comparison and there is another manufacturer whose name escapes me in between who between all three have most of the SSD market. I use Patriot Torqx SSD's myself, they are not as good as the top end Intel's but they are not as expensive either but are still excellent. The Intel/Kingston V+ drives have come down recently and I would probably get one of those if buying now.

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