A custom workstation computer has different needs than a custom gaming PC. There are obvious differences in the big three components that people prioritize when building a custom computer – processor, graphics card, and RAM. However, storage is something that is often overlooked because it doesn’t have the same appeal as parts that have the most control over performance. Just like workstations need professional GPUs and CPUs, the storage should be tailored to the system.
The operating system is stored with other applications on an SSD. Most often, they have M.2 drives because of their optimal read/write speeds. The PC will constantly be accessing the OS and editing applications while in use, so having the fastest device possible for housing them makes the most sense.
The second SSD is for scratch disk storage. Many editing applications have what is known as scratch disk space. This allows the PC to use the scratch space when all of the available RAM capacity is being used, which temporarily stores files in the scratch space that the CPU needs to quickly access. It can significantly reduce the time spent on projects with large file sizes that easily exceed RAM capacity.
The nature of how the scratch disk is used means that it will likely fail before the other drives, which is why keeping the operating system and other files separate is important. Once the scratch does fail, the system will stay up because windows is on a different drive.
The final piece of a three-tiered storage solution is the hard drive. HDDs are slower than SSDs because they rely on a spinning disk to access data. Where the HDD is superior is price. They are significantly less expensive per gigabyte, so it makes sense to use them for storing long-term files that aren’t accessed as often. Opting for larger capacity drives maximizes the value of using a hard disk.