I am about to install Premiere Pro on a laptop with 500gb SSD and 750gb HDD, how can I optimise it in terms of where to install the OS, other apps and where to put the video files. I also have an external drive where I store footage, am not sure if that should come into the mix.


  • Noticed from the response I should have added a few more details. Processor is 2.4gh , Graphics card is Nvidia GTX 770 3gb with 16gb RAM. I bought this to replace my ageing MacBook which is talking forever to render. – ocube Jun 19 '14 at 13:09

The question is whether disk performance is critical in your normal workflow, in which case you'd want to place the footage on the SSD.

I have a similiar setup with Sony Vegas and I observed that, disk performance is rather uncritical during rendering, because it's always the processor that's the bottle neck. But your situation may differ from that. Especially, if you have a very fast CPU and a very slow HDD.

Alternative 1:

The following configuration works well for me:

  • OS on SSD to have fast boot time
  • Vegas/Premiere on SSD to have fast startup time
  • Video footage on HDD to have all footage in a single location.
  • External drive for backuping your footage
  • All other stuff: where-ever there is room left. Just make sure there is enough storage for your videos on HDD. 750GB fill up very quickly with HD footage ;-)

Disadvantage: May be slow with fast CPU's and slow drives. Project opening times may be slow as well.

Advantage: Fast boot and programm start. All footage in one place.

Alternative 2:

Of course, if OS+Premiere+Video fits to the SSD, put it there. This will give you the fastest experience. Plus the option to have a very fast backup to the HDD and a second slower backup to the external drive.

Advantage: Fast. Double backup.

Disadvantage: Not much storage for footage.

Alternative 3:

Put OS+Premiere to SSD and video to HDD. Place the one project that you're currently working on to SSD. This configuration is also very fast, but I sometimes experience issues with moving projects across the drives, so I try to avoid that.

Advantage: Fast.

Disadvantage: Possibly issues with moving footage/projects around.

  • Seems Alternative 2 makes will be the solution. Storage is not much of an issue for me as I always remove projects to a backup location once am done. Thanks – ocube Jun 19 '14 at 13:08

I personally run my OS off of my HDD (primarily from lack of room on my SSDs) and run my Adobe suite, temp files, swap files, project files and media files all off the SSD.

In order of importance, I would say swap files, temp files, media files, project files, Adobe software, OS. Put as many as you can on the SSDs.

An SSD has no seek time, so multiple accesses from one don't really matter unless they are all accessing at the same time. Super ideal would be to either link multiple SSDs in RAID0 to allow for higher throughput or simply split the files that will frequently be used at the same time across different SSDs. For example, swap files on one and media files on another. This split is only needed on relatively large files where lots of reads and writes will be preformed though since it only matters if you are able to max out the data rate of the drive.

  • Funny, the exact opposite to my answer. It seems to be a question of the technical details of the system, the projects, the workflow and of personal taste after all. – nwsp Jun 18 '14 at 13:39
  • Not really, it is a question of how often things need to be accessed randomly. You are correct that during rendering it doesn't matter much since files are accessed sequentially, but when editing, you are randomly accessing files and scrubbing, so the editor has to jump around in large files. This makes fast random access for the media files highly critical. The only reason media files weren't top of the list is that they tend to take a lot of room compared to swap and temp files and those are both often randomly accessed as well. – AJ Henderson Jun 18 '14 at 13:47
  • Having the OS on the SSD is nice for boot performance, but does fairly little once the kernel is loaded in to memory. Same about Premiere, for the most part the program will be loaded in to memory and after that, you get the occasional access, but it's rare enough it is a fairly minor concern. – AJ Henderson Jun 18 '14 at 13:49
  • True, once the system is loaded there is no difference. But I just love the system to come up in ten seconds, and I would never want to get back to the old days. Whenever I experience performance issues during edit or rendering, it's always the CPU, never the HDD. Although my CPU is not too bad (Xeon@3.4GHz) and I don't have a RAID or anything. I assume what you'd have to do is to load everything to the HDD, do your workflow and keep an eye on the task manager. If the HDD hits the ceiling, you know you better move something out to the SSD. – nwsp Jun 18 '14 at 14:25
  • @nwsp - it will also depend on the file formats and bit rates you are working with. If you are working with groups of pictures, then in addition to random data access in scrubing, it also has to decode most of the group of pictures, which makes it CPU intensive as well. Moving to All I or non GOP based formats increases the storage load while decreasing CPU load. – AJ Henderson Jun 18 '14 at 14:38

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