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Best locations for temp cache files

Contributor ,
Jun 20, 2020 Jun 20, 2020

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Steve, I typically record to one external drive and, later, back-up files to a second external.

 

Thus far, I've had my temp cache locations set just the opposite: the primary temp cache on the second external drive and the secondary temp cache location on the first external drive.  I do have a tendency to overthink things, thus, my idea was have the primary cache located in a place other than where the audio is being written.

 

For maximum efficiency and reliability, where would you recommend the temp cache files be located?

 

Thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 20, 2020 Jun 20, 2020

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Depends whether it's a laptop or a desktop. If it's on a desktop machine, the ideal location for temp files is on an internal drive of their own. On the DAW here there is one SSD which is sacrificial, effectively, and just reserved for temp files - for whatever software requires them. If it's on a laptop and you can't do this, then make sure it's got a reasonable size drive in it, and create a separate partition for them. It's always better to have them as internals rather than as externals, unless you can be absolutely sure that there are going to be no USB interruptions.

 

The reason that the SSD is regarded as sacrificial is that with all SSDs, their life is limited to the number of write cycles they will stand, and temp files can use up a lot of those. Keeping the drive separate means that if it crashes, then it's easy to replace without losing any other data.

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Contributor ,
Jun 20, 2020 Jun 20, 2020

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This is a desktop computer (and no SSD). So, are you suggesting I use the desktop computer's HD for BOTH the primary and secondary temp file caches?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 20, 2020 Jun 20, 2020

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There's nothing to stop you. In fact, I don't have a location set for secondary temp files at all - haven't done for years. It's only the primary location that's important.

What second temp.JPG

 

If you have a desktop computer, the chances are that you haven't used all the SATA slots available. Four is quite a normal number for most MOBOs, and if you've used one for the C: drive and one for a CD/DVD drive, you are very likely to have at least one, if not two left over. That's how you connect the second internal drive that there will almost certainly be fixings for, unless it's one of those micro-mini boxes, and they often have an external SATA point anyway, which amounts to the same thing.

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Mentor ,
Jun 20, 2020 Jun 20, 2020

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Rather than record to an external drive I would suggest that recording to an internal SSD drive will give you the biggest boost to Audition as far as responsiveness in both editing and playback

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Community Expert ,
Jun 20, 2020 Jun 20, 2020

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Well that's what happens on my DAW - there are no mechanical drives on it at all.

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Contributor ,
Jun 22, 2020 Jun 22, 2020

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Would an external SSD yield about the same amount of improvement over a mechanical drive?

 

I ask because I'm running a Mac mini which, due to its compact size (7.7" x 7.7" x 1.4"), would require having to remove quite a lot in order to install an SSD. And, if SSDs do, in fact, require replacement more often than a mechanical drive might, I'd like to avoid dissecting the computer if at all possible.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 22, 2020 Jun 22, 2020

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SSDs tend to be smaller, and a lot faster. Whether you could get one in any given computer rather depends on what's in it already, and what provision, if any, there is for expanding it. With a Mac Mini, this virtually doesn't exist - but there is the option of getting a docking station for it which has room for 4 SSDs. Might be worth thinking about.

 

The situation with more modern SSDs is that they are better protected from write failures. They use techniques like wear levelling, etc to achieve this. I haven't had one fail for several years - not even the temp file one. Yes I realise that I'm tempting fate by saying this... 😉 The only thing that you really don't want to do with one is attempt to defragment it. That really would shorten its life.

 

If you have one of the newer Mac Minis, then you probably wouldn't have to go so far to make an improvement - an SSD drive on a dedicated USB-3 or better yet, USB-C Thunderbolt port is going to jog along quite nicely. I don't know how much those ones cost, but I can't imagine that they are that cheap!

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Contributor ,
Jul 26, 2020 Jul 26, 2020

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I've added a SSD on the USB bus as the "work" drive (to write to and read from) and moved the primary cache location to my internal (boot) drive.

 

Would performance improve at all if I were to instead dedicate a USB thumb drive for the cache?

 

Many thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 26, 2020 Jul 26, 2020

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The general principle is that the more you can separate functions that require disc access out, the smoother performance will be, and this applies to all computers. How any one change will affect a Mac, I don't personally know - but it certainly can't do any harm.

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