Ok, I bought an external drive for my cache. I set it up as pictured below. I changed my max cache from 200 and 100. to see if 200 was still staying on my laptop.
The play back is quicker. Yes, it did help, some, but look at the external drive. It made a lot of folders and when I delete my cache from my AE preferences, nothing went away.
Did I have set up improperly?
No, I don't think so. It looks like you have it right. AE makes those files automatically when caching. Just make sure you put your cache in a location where you are okay with a lot of space building up. You can always clear it at the end of projects.
One more question on this topic. The external SSD has 1T of space. Why do I put a max. disk cache size in preferences if I have 1 T on the external drive? Should I put a very high number like 900GB?
Put as much as you can. If you use that SSD for other files than just cache, I'd recommend somewhere like 300-400 GB. If you use it solely for caching, feel free to allocate all of it. The more the better.
Perfect! The answer I was looking for!
I would not go over about 70 or 80. AE won't use it, and the more you have, the longer it takes to purge. You still have to purge fairly often.
The quality of the cable to your external drive makes a huge difference in performance. Cheap USB-C cables are up to 10 times slower than a good Thunderbolt 4 cable. The quality of the SSD is also critical. A lot of them top out at about 10.
You should look up and download the Black Magic Design Speed Test app. I use it all the time to check drive and transfer speeds.
Hummmm... I will look into this!
All is great. What a difference! Thank you for the advice!!