11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2015 5:42 PM by duglst

    separate small ssd for initial download and editing?

    duglst Level 1

      I'm building a new computer and am wondering if I should get a cheap small SSD to be used mostly for downloading, sorting and editing new pics. Later I would transfer the keepers to an HDD. New Samsung Evo 850 120Gb SSD's are only $67 now!

      When I download I like to render all the pics to 1:1 so that I can quickly pixel peep during sorting. I have been downloading them to a hard drive and the 1:1 rendering can take a while if I've had a busy day shooting.

       

      The new computer will be fast with a 4.6Ghz four core CPU (i4790k). My OS and other software will be on a 500Gb SSD. I think I would rather have a separate SSD for downloading pics because it will probably get more read and write abuse. If it fails it is relatively inconsequential. On the other hand, the 500GB SSD will be three times bigger than I need for now. Maybe I should try downloading to it for a while and then decide if I want a separate SSD or not. However, I think having the pics on a separate drive than the LR software would be faster but much faster?

       

      Does this sound like a good idea? Will downloading to an SSD be much faster than to a HD or is USB 3.0 or the CF card the limiting factor? I have yet to try USB 3.0 and I'm getting a new computer partly to upgrade to 3.0.

       

      Hopefully these questions aren't too boring and at least I hope I pleasantly surprise someone with how cheap SSDs have become.

       

      Thanks!

      Doug

        • 1. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          My own personal opinion is that I don't like to move images after they have been imported. If you move from within Lightroom there is a chance that some images don't get moved. And moving using the operating system, while efficient, can sometimes get confusing.

           

          Someone conducted a test a while back and it was determined that having the images on a SSD did not provide any performance advantage. If you install Lightroom on your existing SSD and then place your images on a "standard" internal hard drive or USB external hard drive I think you would get good performance.

          • 2. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
            Joshua Cohen Level 3

            I think this is the relevant link:

             

            http://www.computer-darkroom.com/blog/will-an-ssd-improve-adobe-lightroom-performance/

             

            If you don't feel like reading it the gist is that is worth it to put your application, catalog, CR cache, and previews on an SSD but not your image files.

             

            Also preview generation has little to do with file i/o and everything to do with CPU.

            • 3. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
              web-weaver Level 5

              I think you would not get much improvement from initially downloading the photos on a SSD.

               

              You say that the rendering of 1:1 preview can take a while - that is also my experience. But Lr can do that in the background while you do something else. Also, I believe that the time it takes to render 1:1 previews is not so much an issue of writing speed but more one of CPU.

               

              I would second Jim Hess' opinion that it is best practice to download images to the location where they will reside "forever".

               

              You could possible see an improvement in speed if you would put your Lr catalog on a SSD - but not the one where the OS and Lr reside.

               

              Lr can get bogged down if you do a lot of editing in a short time. Lr writes to and reads from its catalog constantly (each step that you do in the Develop Module is immediately written into the catalog and then read back). This creates a lot of traffic between Lr, the OS, the HD where the catalog resides, the location where the Raw cache resides, and possibly the HD where your photos reside.

               

              In my opinion you would get a boost in performance if you have several HDs on your machine:

              HD 1: your C-drive with the OS and Lr

              HD 2: another internal HD where the Raw cache resides - it doesn't have to be so big. If you have Photoshop you can also put the Scratch disk there.

              HD 3: a small internal SSD where the Lr catalog resides - and nothing much else, particularly no photos!

              HD 4: A huge RAID 1 external drive for the photos - with a fast connection speed.

               

              This set-up divides the constant reading and writing between several HDs.

              • 4. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
                Joshua Cohen Level 3

                web-weaver wrote:

                 

                I think you would not get much improvement from initially downloading the photos on a SSD.

                 

                You say that the rendering of 1:1 preview can take a while - that is also my experience. But Lr can do that in the background while you do something else. Also, I believe that the time it takes to render 1:1 previews is not so much an issue of writing speed but more one of CPU.

                 

                I would second Jim Hess' opinion that it is best practice to download images to the location where they will reside "forever".

                 

                You could possible see an improvement in speed if you would put your Lr catalog on a SSD - but not the one where the OS and Lr reside.

                 

                Lr can get bogged down if you do a lot of editing in a short time. Lr writes to and reads from its catalog constantly (each step that you do in the Develop Module is immediately written into the catalog and then read back). This creates a lot of traffic between Lr, the OS, the HD where the catalog resides, the location where the Raw cache resides, and possibly the HD where your photos reside.

                 

                In my opinion you would get a boost in performance if you have several HDs on your machine:

                HD 1: your C-drive with the OS and Lr

                HD 2: another internal HD where the Raw cache resides - it doesn't have to be so big. If you have Photoshop you can also put the Scratch disk there.

                HD 3: a small internal SSD where the Lr catalog resides - and nothing much else, particularly no photos!

                HD 4: A huge RAID 1 external drive for the photos - with a fast connection speed.

                 

                This set-up divides the constant reading and writing between several HDs.

                I'm not certain your opinion is supported by facts. I believe you would be better served if HD1, 2 and 3 in your example were a single SSD of sufficient capacity. Remember that larger SSDs almost always outperform smaller ones and a decent SSD is sufficient to remove file I/O as a bottleneck for photo processing tasks. Video would be another matter. As for HD 4 I would say RAID 5 over RAID 1. Don't forget backup in your plans!

                • 5. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
                  duglst Level 1

                  Thanks to all three of you!  I love it when there is consensus like this.

                   

                  On my current computer I have been doing it somewhat as you suggest with an SSD with OS and LR and LR Catalog, a HD for files and an external drive for back up.

                   

                  Thanks to your advice, with the new computer I will put the OS and LR and Catalog on an SSD.

                  My photos will be downloaded to an HDD and I they will stay there. That is safest and easiest.

                  I will put the Raw cache files on a small SSD that will be attached to an M.2 port on the motherboard. I will put my CS5 scratch disk there too (and maybe some non Photo related stuff that wouldn't be accessed during editing. M.2 is a new potentially fast access memory port. The SSD connects directly to the motherboard.)

                  I will back the primary HDD up to a separate HDD in the computer and that drive will occasionally be backed up to an external HD.

                   

                  One last question. How do I find the Raw Cache files? I don't remember hearing about them before?

                   

                  Thanks, Doug

                  • 6. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
                    duglst Level 1

                    Thanks, Joshua. Before writing my previous reply I hadn't read the link on your first post. Thanks for all of that info.

                     

                    I'm really surprised that the SSD wasn't faster in your tests. When I get my new computer running I will do a comparison of downloading pics to the SSD vs to the HDD and rendering them. My test won't apply to the question of having separate drives but it will be interesting to compare the speed of a new fast CPU and fast SSD and having the pics on the SSD vs a 7200 rpm HD.

                    • 7. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
                      web-weaver Level 5

                      duglst wrote:

                       

                       

                       

                      One last question. How do I find the Raw Cache files? I don't remember hearing about them before?

                       

                      Thanks, Doug

                       

                      In Lr go >Edit  >Preferences  >File Handling tab. In the bottom third of this tab you'll see <Camera Raw Cache Settings>. Set the maximum size to about 75 GB if you have a lot of Raw-files and if they are large, i.e. from a full-frame Camera. Press on <Choose> to select a location for the Cache other than the default location.

                      • 8. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
                        Joshua Cohen Level 3

                        duglst wrote:

                         

                        ...faster in your tests...

                        Just to be clear, those weren't my tests, although my experience bears them out. Certainly do your own if you would like.

                         

                        web-weaver wrote:

                         

                        Set the maximum size to about 75 GB if you have a lot of Raw-files and if they are large

                        It of course depends on your workflow but to me 75GB is a lot, and there is overhead managing the cache not to mention that it does LR no good if the cache is so large that it is often stale. From my googling and experimenting 1000 X the size of your RAWs is a good rule of thumb.

                        • 9. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
                          trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          ....and the system configuration that works best with LR6 remains to be determined!

                          • 10. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
                            Joshua Cohen Level 3

                            trshaner wrote:

                             

                            ....and the system configuration that works best with LR6 remains to be determined!

                            All too true! And with that it should be noted that the link I posted is from 2011 (updated 2012) using LR3 and Windows XP!

                            • 11. Re: separate small ssd for initial download and editing?
                              duglst Level 1

                              I noticed that the data was a little data and that is why I was wondering if faster computers and faster and cheaper SSD's make it worth revisiting download and storage options.

                               

                              I hope LR6 arrives before I start buying parts for my computer but I doubt if it will make much of a difference in my plans. I do have high hopes for it though.