SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives and in many cases can be noticeably faster than the older style drives. In some cases (most commonly working with RAW footage) even an SSD is not fast enough, so we recommend using the newer M.2 (flash storage) style drive which are around three times faster than a standard SSD.
In general, we recommend a two to four hard drive configuration depending on your budget and desired performance level:
Primary Drive - OS/Software (SSD) - Includes your operating system and the base applications installation. An SSD is highly recommended as it will greatly improve how fast the OS and programs startup, but there is usually not much of a performance benefit to upgrade to a faster M.2flash drive.
Secondary Drive - Project Files (SSD/M.2 Flash) - If possible, it is a good idea to separate your project files and disk cache onto a secondary drive. For most users a standard SSD will work fine, but if you work with RAW footage there can be a large performance benefit to using a M.2 flash drive.
Optional Tertiary Drive - Dedicated Media Cache/Scratch (SSD/M.2 NVMe) - Using a dedicated SSD for your media cache and scratch files can at times improve performance when playing and scrubbing through compositions. Upgrading to an even faster M.2 flash drive can give some performance gains, but the difference is more pronounce in other applications like After Effects.
Optional Storage Drive (Platter) - For long term storage where the high speed of SSDs is typically not required, a larger traditional platter hard drive is a good choice as they are still much cheaper per GB than SSDs.