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Hardware Acceleration For Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop


You have a point there. Wacom pro tablets are expensive.
I was suggesting a small starter Wacom tablet so his GF can test it. Not all people get into using a tablet and prefer using a mouse. I love my Bamboo, but actually… I rarely use the tablet except for special tasks.

Speaking of mice < briefly > all I will say is I like using my mouse with the 3 dpi settings. I use a normal speed for Windows and gaming, but I have one of the dpi’s set to be a little slower for fine detail work in graphics.


you’re not wrong, there’s valid arguments for both. The reason I included the “lower tier” brands in my post is that a majority of people are unaware that they even exist, and if you do illustration or digital painting, then replacement nibs and pens are a real concern. Wacom uses much less durable plastic for their tips than other brands on their pro devices, and I have friends that wear through an entire replacement package in about 4-6 weeks.

Trackballs, decklinks, midi controllers and 3d-navigators are also underrated peripherals for GD work.

I used to have a cheap midi drum machine remapped to brushes that I would press with my tablet pen like a paint pallette, huge efficiency increase for greasepaint and krita/illustrator.


I am glad you bought the Huion brand to my attention, I hadn’t heard of them yet.

I do admit the Wacom tips wear quickly.
But artists are willing to put up with that because the design of their less durable plastic tips on top of their specially textured tablets are perfectly matched to FEEL just like pencil on paper.

I have always tried to have a tablet or other oddware controllers on my PC’s. AutoCAD used a tablet for pointing and commands. I didn’t like a trackball for graphic’s but that’s individual preference. I would like to try a 3D space navigator because I use engineering CAD to make 3D models.

You seem to like comment on everything, but you missed this one earlier? /s
I ask you to comment on.

I’m not sure if having the scratch disk on D:\ is as important in the age of SSD’s? s e a r c h i n g . . .

From Adobe: Recommendations for setting scratch disk preferences

For best performance, connect the scratch disks to a compatible port that has the highest bandwidth limit of all the available ports. The bandwidth limits for various ports are as follows:

Thunderbolt = 10GB/sec
eSATA = 600MB/sec
PCIe = 500MB/sec
USB3 = 400MB/sec
USB2 = 35MB/sec

To improve performance, set the scratch disk to a defragmented hard disk that has plenty of unused space and fast read/write speeds. If you have more than one hard drive, you can specify additional scratch disks. Photoshop supports up to 64 exabytes of scratch disk space on up to four volumes. (An exabyte equals 1 billion GB.)

If your startup disk is a hard disk, as opposed to a solid-state disk (SSD), try using a different hard disk for your primary scratch disk. An SSD, on the other hand, performs well as both the primary startup and scratch disk. In fact, using an SSD is probably better than using a separate hard disk as your primary scratch disk.

— Scratch disks should be on a different drive than any large files you are editing. —

Scratch disks should be on a different drive than the one your operating system uses for virtual memory.

RAID disks/disk arrays are good choices for dedicated scratch disk volumes.

Defragment drives with scratch disks regularly.


I did cover this. It does convey a benefit under certain, very intensive conditions. I’ve used systems with and without though, and I’d say the usability improvement is in no way worth the money if your base drive is an SSD.
The recommendation to defrag regularly should be a tipoff that this advisory was written pre-ssd-ubiquity, in the same way the steinber recommendations against Hyperthreading were written pre-sandybridge.

That said it does help to have a USB3 card reader if you work with photographs and need fast ingestion or the ability to edit raws straight from your device storage.

Scratch disks really only make sense for video editing or animation any more.


Sorry I missed your reply.

Optimized scratch disks help when working with high res images. Which I do a lot.

What I condensed from the Adobe doc was:

If you have 1 SSD or an SSD and a HDD. Use the standard C:\SSD scratch disk.
If you have a HDD + HDD place the scratch disk on D:\2nd-HDD.
If you have a 2nd SSD place the scratch disk on D:\2nd-SSD for example.
You can have more than one scratch disk
. . . so once you activate the disk, move it up the priority stack to the top.
Try not to save files on the same drive as your scratch disk.

Every little bit helps. I’m using my C:\PCI-e SSD to do Win10, Pshop & scratch disk, cuz it has the bandwidth to handle everything. My Games SSD serves as 2nd scratch disk. My files are saved on HDD.


I Suppose I am spoiled somewhat by ZFS nowadays, Anything Photoshop pulls into the editor from the ssd gets cached in RAM. Still, I don’t think it’s a good value proposition unless you’re doing Large format Raws or Video/3D


At no point was I asking for the OP to invest in a scratch drive. I was just trying to explain my research into current scratch disk functionality.

Things have changed a lot with SSD’s since my training. The normal PC config of SSD + HDD doesn’t need any scratch disk changes. I am a Photoshop user and can confirm that multiple SSD scratch disks speed up Pshop in my daily work. I like to work at high resolution for print graphic design.

All I was try to suggest is, for example my gaming SSD is going to be idle when I’m using Photoshop, why not assign it to be a scratch disk? If you have multiple drives in your PC assign them all as scratch drives! /S


Hah, there are real people that do that.


Is it wise to use an SSD for a scratch disk when you think about endurance? The one I’ve picked only has about 80 TBW endurance. I was thinking a 256 GB boot drive with programs, and a 7200K HHD partition for scratch. Scratch isnt incredibly important for her workload.


That looks nice, I went for a small one here:

My younger sister has one also (She got it for Christmas from my mother at the same time I got her a laptop) and I tried it and it worked really well. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have one of these despite having my Surface Pro 2 to draw on for the reasons.

  • Surface Pro 2 is getting old, had it since early 2014 and it’s showing some significant cosmetic wear aside from the screen I took so much care for. Battery life is starting to slowly fade away too on the tablet, it use to be no problem getting by the day with the tablet, now it’s a challenge. This can give the tablet a break, or worst case I return to conventional laptops I still have something to draw on, although personally drawing on the screen feels better but this is doable.

  • Hard for me to use 2 computers at once really, plus with my monstrous 32" monitor I have limited room on my desk with the tablet. The thing I got is physically smaller.

  • Unlike my desktop (even my secondary APU one), my Surface Pro 2 is not a powerful computer, especially graphics wise, anything serious about performance would be dragging ass on that tablet while my tablet would run rather hot. Hooking this thing up to my far, FAR more powerful desktop would probably help with that, not much though since programs like Krita run fine on my Surface Pro 2, but what if I ran Solidworks or another CAD program with a lot of assets? Cause That’s fairly likely I will be dealing with that.


Like I said, don’t bother unless the build we’re recommending comes up short.

SSDs are the only valid scratch disk media unless you want to put together a RAID0 array and don’t have any NAND in the system in the first place.