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Check the contents of the source folder. Lots of folks are reporting problems where pictures and videos are in the same folder. In those cases, putting the pictures and videos in separate folders works around the problem.
Thanks ManiacJoe (ACP), that was the problem. Video Raw HD video files are very resource hungry and when mixed in with images they bog the system down. Now that most DSLRs produce video as well as images, I have modified my workflow to separate the two file types before importing only the images into Lightroom. Video files go straight to a project sorting folder where Prelude or Premiere Pro deal with them. Working with multimedia requires separating the various digital media prior to importing them into various management applications.
There is also a difference between cache size and RAM allocation, as cache is setup on physical media storage, not in RAM. I believe it is more efficient to set the cache to a different drive from the operating system drive. Would it be better on the source media drive?
As a general rule for disk caches (not necessarily Adobe related), you want the cache on a different drive from the source files.
Ok, so I don't want the cache on the same drive as the source files. I don't want it on the same drive as the operating system files either—this is a SDD with limited space and if the cache is too big the application bogs down. So I am left with using another volume on the portable USB drive where my source files reside (not quite on the same drive!).
Interestingly, I have the same problem with Adobe Bridge. With Bridge, I now I have two caches; one in the default location on the O/S drive for use when the portable drive is not available, and one on the portable drive...I had to get into the practice of setting which one to use through the preference options at startup.
I no longer have a problem with Lightroom, because I no longer add video files to the catalogue. Now my problems are with Bridge, as Bridge deals with pre-sorting and batch renaming of downloads for both image and audiovisual media.
One download could easily be 30GB when video is involved. This represents numerous files, however in theory I could have one file of 30GB if I left a video camera recording for a long duration. I know the size of the cache is proportional to the number of files in a target folder, but I am not sure whether it is modified by the size of each file?
Of course Bridge problems of locking up or ignoring options selected could be the result of other processing problems yet to be determined...