For the photographer and videographer that is embarking upon a new system build, learn from my experience. Save time and money.
Three types of drives that serves very different purposes.
There are three types of drives: HDD, SSD, and the newest NVMe. They have very specific roles in a build for a photographer/videographer.
HDD - hard disk drive
- Most cost effective in Gb to dollar comparison.
- up to 120 Mb/s read and write speeds
- Should be used for backing up and archival purposes.
- Buy only 7200 rpm drives. They offer the best speed and noise compromise.
- I use them in a NAS so their speeds are limited by the network speed.
SSD - solid state drive
- Fast and reasonably priced.
- up to 550 Mb/s read and write speeds
- Best used as boot drive and scratch drive.
- You can buy up to a 4Tb drive at this time of posting. A drive this size will negate your need for a scratch drive.
- I use them for a scratch drive and to separate my games from my boot drive.
NVMe - non-volatile memory express
- Fastest drives available and extremely expensive when compared to other drive formats.
- 1000 Mb/s to 3500 Mb/s read and write speeds, depending on generation
- best used for a boot or scratch drive.
- You can buy up to a 4Tb drive at the time of this posting. This may negate the need for a scratch drive.
- I use this type of drive as my boot drive. The speeds are negligible in real life use.
My current system
My needs are basic and I still use a tried and true setup for my computer. I use a 120gb SSD for my OS boot drive and program files. I use a 500gb NVMe for my scratch drive. My videos are often 10 minutes or less so no need for a large drive. I also have a 500gb SSD for games (Stress relievers and time wasters). Finally I use 2 3tb HDD in a NAS (network attached Storage) set to raid 1 (mirroring) for archival. This allows me to be sure I have an exact copy of clients finished files in case something goes horribly wrong.
My system experience
My real world use shows that the biggest performance boost comes from upgrading a HDD to SSD. NVMe is marginally faster than SSD in my daily tasks. If your motherboard has the M.2 standard buy a NVMe. If you are running a SSD setup, it may not be worth upgrading to a motherboard that supports NVMe. The biggest gains will come from swapping out your system's HDD with a SSD. I only use HDD for archival purposes. When a SSD or NVMe fails you can't recover files like you can on a HDD. That is the only reason my backup and archival system is based upon the slow HDD technology.