I just got my first Apple Silicon product, an Mac Mini with an M1 processor, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB internal SSD. Since there has been some talk (possibly alarmist) of M1 computers having excessive internal-SSD wear-inducing write operations, I'd like to know where to distribute Premier resources (source files, cache files, exported files, etc. ) on an M1 machine--assuming I also have either 1 or 2 external SSDs--to minimize write operations to the internal SSD. Although the answer may only be of theoretical interest if the internal SSD eventually outlasts me, I'm willing to take a speed hit if it means a substantial increase in internal-SSD longevity. And do the recommendations given for Premier also apply to After Effects?
Editing, Hardware or GPU, How to, Performance, User interface or workspaces
I can't (quickly) find any reliable SSD M1 Mac Mini specs ... but it's possible there's an M.2 SSD in there. If that is the case it will be very fast. A 'garden variety' external SSD probably (likely) will not reach these speeds.
But depending on what you want to do you may get by with a single decent SSD with a thunderbolt 3 connection. And you may be able to house all your Premiere Pro files on this drive. In particular the files you want to offload to the external drive would include your cache files and preview files. You might also have two external SSDs and keep programs files on and previews on one and cache files on another. Or invest in a blazing fast raid drive and put everything there. Comes down to how much you want to spend. If the Mac Mini SSD is shortlived (and I've not heard this) then external drives would be the go, unless you just take the risk and keep regular backups to a slower/cheap external drive in case something goes wrong?
I use a Macbook Pro with M.2 4TB internal and keep all current projects on the internal drive (both PP & AE) and just offload to slower drives for backups. In my freelance environment we have (PC's) on very fast and huge shared storage and nothing stored locally and multiple fast drives (raid) each for source media, cache, previews. though this is a TV network.
But frankly, I would see how things go with the internal drive.
After Effects does not need (generally) as fast storage as Premiere Pro, but it does also write cache and preview files (like Premiere Pro)