Using system Drive as Framestore on Mac

Not a Tech Guy over here so forgive me if this might be a stupid question, but: what exactly is it (nowerdays) that’s speaking against partitioning the (super fast) system drive on a Mac and use it as the framestore? I know it’s definitely a security issue but from speed-viewpoint it shouldn’t be as bad as it used to be back in the HDD times!?

It’s more about the lack of options, zero redundancy and filling up your system disk which is obviously super bad. Single points of failure and anything that can fill up your system disk should absolutely be avoided in a production environment. Failures will happen. If you are on a Mac and it all of a sudden doesn’t boot…what’s your plan of attack? This happens more often than you’d think. And nothing is worse than schlepping your Mac into an Apple Store in the middle of a pandemic when supply chains are broken and parts and repairs take forever and freaking out about your multi-thousand dollar project whilst listening to your neighbor complain about their iTunes not syncing.

Some people roll the dice and live without a safety net. Some are belt and suspender types. Some are belt, suspenders, and backup pants types.

Do you backup religiously? If I were to take your flame away from you right now would you be hosed? Would you lose a day trying to get back up and running on another box? Would you lose data and have to redo work? Would that cause your business, your family, or your career hardship? Would you miss a deadline? Would you be on the hook for a missed deadline and having to pay damages? Do you have insurance?

Anyways, I’m an over thinker and am of the opinion that unless you ask all of these questions you leave yourself and your clients exposed. But then again, some artists are using 10 year old Trashcans or iMacs on WiFi with default admin passwords on their router and they are still busy.

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Hi Randy!

thank you so much fur your quick reply, you definitely have good points concerning backup and security, I think I’m pretty conscious on that side as I’m super religious about backups and archiving!

Just wondering if there are any concerns with performance doing this.

Also the risk of filling up you system drive will be eliminated by using a partition, at least that’s what I thought…

Hi. I am on Mac book pro 2019 with 4 gb of internal storage. I have partitioned 2 TB for osx and other 2 as media storage.
My workflow is mostly prores files and I always link.
My sources are backed up on at least two locations besides Mac internal storage.
When I start new project I setup the save location on a Dropbox folder. It is not fail safe but my setups are always cloud saved realtime. In case of a system failure I just have to copy the sources to another system and restore the batch setups from Dropbox .

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I just did a test for how fast my M1 Max system drive was compared to my raid 10 NVME “stone”

Stone gets 1,300 MB (capital M) write, 2.2k read. System disk gets 5,000+ read and write. That is indeed a fast system disk!

That said, 2.2k read is plenty for my needs (I was previously happy with 500 read, which would play 3k Arri in 10 bit no problem).


That’s the worklflow I thought about too, cool to hear that it seems to work for you!

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Wow man, that’s a huge difference! But you re totally right, 2,2k will be plenty enough :grinning: