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I'm contemplating setting up my MacBook Air as a video editing machine. If I do this, I'll upgrade to a 256 GB SSD, and I should be able to keep around 100 GB or more free for video editing. The video files would of course be stored externally, but save purchasing some expensive Thunderbolt RAID device (which I suppose is gradually becoming more of an option), it will be slow for read/writes.

How can I have a set up where I take advantage of my SSD's speed for a scratch disk/cache for FCP X, but still have the TB(s) of storage of externals? I don't want to have to be moving files constantly back and forth, this is about saving time not wasting it.

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One very simple solution would be to keep your original media on an external volume, but create your events and projects on your SSD.

When you import files into FCP X (assuming you're not importing directly from a camera), you can uncheck the box labeled "Copy Files to Final Cut Events folder". This merely creates links to your original files on the SSD, instead of copying them into the event. But since intermediate files like optimized/proxy media and various caches are located within the event's folder, they will live on your SSD. The same goes for projects.

Have you actually tried working from an ordinary hard drive yet? I have both an SSD and an HD in my MacBook Pro, and I actually keep all of my FCPX data on the regular hard drive. I mainly work with video from a DSLR (H.264-compressed 1080p), so disk performance isn't as critical as it would be for higher bitrate material. Of course, your needs likely differ if you really do have terabytes of video!

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