Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › H264 from Contour HD › “Scratch” drives are a second
"Scratch" drives are a second drive for the software to render to to avoid reading and writing to the same drive at the same time. It helps avoid software crashes. Typically you would order a desktop or laptop with two drives for that. You might check though Tricky because my wife has the same laptop you just ordered and she has two drives in it. You might have room for a second drive in your laptop and then just have to instal it, which isn't hard. I've replaced thedrives in her Dell XPS 15 before.
I have two drives in my MSI laptop in a raid 0 config but it is partitioned so that the software can read and write without bottle necking and crashing. Even though a lot of software is utilizing the GPU for rendering some heavy effects, it is still a good idea to reder to a scratch drive. USB3 isn't as fast as and estata drive in the computer but I've set them up on single drive laptops for people and it's usualy fast enough to eleminate crashes. You just want to make sure your external is at least 7200 rpm just like a HDD.
So its more of a efficiency and function thing than just storage.