I was wondering how many people are using a 10000 RPM drive as their OS hard drive. My OS backup drive is dying slowly, and I'm thinking whether or not it would make sense to spend $300 on a faster drive (and use it as the OS drive). Mainly I'd like to speed up Lightroom and Photoshop. Any ideas?
Here's the article:
Also, SSD's can be bought for 100$ these days, so I see no reason to spend 300 on a hdd which is much slower and more expensive.
A $100 drive won't be any good to me as they're 60GB or so. I need a 400GB to 500GB drive, which costs close to $500. Additionally, and this is what I've been hearing around, SSD's die at a waaaay faster rate, which makes it even more unafordable.
The catalog itself isn't 500GB. My catalog lives on the OS drive, which in my case should be roughly 4-500GB with some buffer space. That's why I need a larger drive. In addition to speeding up Lightroom I'd like to speed up other applications, thus, again, the need for a large drive.
I'm getting ready to add another drive to my system, so I'll share some recent research. These web sites are good to compare HDD and SSD performance:
Also check reviews at http://www.newegg.com/. Many of the higher performance HDDs seem to have high DOA and failure rates. Ian Lyons benchmarks indicate moving to an SSD, faster HDD, or even RAID system will not drastically speed-up your "overall" LR performance.
You'll find many reports of LR4 performance issues and other problems from LR forums members using SSDs and even RAID configurations. I'm using a single 7K 1TB HDD with LR and CS5 Design Standard with no significant LR or PS performance issues on my W7 64 bit, 2.8 GHz i7-860 quad core 12GB system with 5D MKII 21 Mp raw files. Clearly there are some other issues affecting performance that have yet to be identified.
I'm not saying higher performance drives shouldn't help LR, but typically LR's performance won't increase the way you expect. It also appears drive failures and data error rates increase linearly by capacity with the larger 2 TB HDDs, and SSDs are even worse, making RAID 1 and RAID 5 configurations a safer choice for system reliability. This is probably a case of design and manufacturing "cost-reductions" made by drive manufacturers to increase sales in a very competitive market. Unfortunately we have to live it until SSD price & reliability improves. I doubt HDDs will go away anytime soon, especially for backup purposes.
In my experience sharing the workload between several drives will give a significant performance boost.
Naturally, faster hard drives (10K conventional or SSD) will speed up performance in any configuration. But as long as prices for 400 - 500 GB SSDs are relatively high and their life expectancy is somewhat iffy, it might be worthwhile considering the concept of sharing the work between several drives.
Here's my system: I have 3 internal hard drives (7200 RPM, 500 GB each), named C, D, E.
On C there is the OS and Lr.
D is dedicated only for paging file (I'm on Windows), Lr cache, Photoshop scratch disk.
E contains the Lr catalog.
Images are on external hard drives.
This setup avoids read- / write competition between OS paging file, Lr cache, Lr catalog, and image files and provides good performance in Lr.
In my opinion, the slow performance of Lr that some people complain about, might be due to
a) cache too small (I have set mine at 75 GB, Adobe recommends 25 GB, but the Lr default is 1 GB);
b) read-/write competition due to the fact that images, catalog, and Lr cache are on one hard drive. Keep in mind that Lr constantly reads from and writes to the catalog. If the images, the Lr cache and OS (with paging file) and Lr itself are all on one drive, the read-/ write cycles for this drive pile up and slow Lr down.
Certainly, a SSD has much faster read- / write times, so it will alleviate the problem of read- / write competition. But as long as they are expensive and have - maybe(?) - short life times, it might be worthwhile to install at least 2 - but better 3 - conventional hard drives and so that the workload can be shared between them.
I took a very similar approach when I was having my currect system built two years ago (i7-930 with 12gb of RAM). In the end I elected for a 4 internal drive (bog-standard 7k drives) setup, more or less identical to yours but with images on the 4th internal drive. Performance has more than matched my expectations, and continues to do so in 4.1, however from various timing tests I've done over the last couple of years it is clear that, as expected, my disk system sometimes struggles to feed data quickly enough to the processor cores to get them maxed out. Just can't do it....
So if I was building a new system today, using Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge, I'd have to seriously think about trying faster drives. If money was no object I think I'd go with SSD for system drive (faster boot and faster app start-up), possibly one other for the ACR cache (interestingly the newer cache method used in LR3 and LR4 means a much smaller cache is now needed, so a smaller SSD would do fine there), then 10k or 15k drives for the catalog and image drives.
But I'd certainly be doing some more detailed research using the Passmark data before I committed...
Yes, I think your configuration would work well and fast.
The only reason why I have my images on external drives is that external drives are
a) very convenient if/when you have to migrate to a new computer;
b) come with large capacities (up to 8 TB) with RAID 1 (mirroring), so my each of images is actually on 2 physical drives.
That's fair enough.
Among my many backups are a locally attached external drive, and a NAS....so migration to a new system would simply involve copying from either of those two backups and a relink of the parent folder.