11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2017 3:03 PM by scotth4068054

    External Hard Drive for Lightroom

    scotth4068054 Level 1

      Hello, new Lightroom user here.

       

      I'm looking to set up Lightroom as efficiently as possible and would appreciate input from the community as to the most effective route. I use a 27" iMac, 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2048 MB RAM, and currently keep everything on my internal hard drive.

       

      Previously, I used Aperture and kept my library, ~80GB, on my hard drive and never experienced a hiccup. (I also have a (Apple) Photos library there, ~110GB.

       

      Would I achieve better performance in the long run with my catalog and/or photos on an external hard drive? I currently have two external FireWire 800 hard drives connected over Thunderbolt in excellent condition that I would prefer to use for this (provided they are fast enough for the task). I've read about the benefits of USB 3 and Thunderbolt, however much of it has been inconclusive.

       

      I can provide additional information, if needed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

       

      Thanks in advance,

      Scott

        • 1. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
          JoeKostoss Level 4

          I keep my photos and a backup copy of my catalog on an external hard drive connect with a USB3; the working copy of my Catalog is on my computer hard drive (27" iMac).  I don't think you will see a difference either way in performance by using an EHD, but it sure will clear up space on your internal hard drive.

          2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
            scotth4068054 Level 1

            Excellent, thank you. I currently have half my 1TB internal drive free, and that's with the photo libraries on them. I was just researching some G-Technology USB 3 drives and they are a reasonable price.

             

            Would my existing FireWire 800 drives be fast enough to keep the photos on? I shoot with a Canon 6D, RAW, and only a dozen or so photos weekly. My edits are basic, no major retouching work, HDR, or anything else.

            • 3. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
              Bob Somrak Level 5

              You might get the answer to your question in this Video by Terry White  where he tests the same drive on Firewire 800 and USB3

               

              http://terrywhite.com/firewire-800-vs-usb-3-which-is-faster/

               

              I keep my Library, Previews and Photos on an External Lacie SSD on Thunderbolt and it works GREAT.

              I did the same test with the same software he is using on my Lacie SSD on Thunderbolt and got these results

               

              Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 11.26.38 AM.png

               

              And this is the internal Mac SSD

               

              Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 11.32.03 AM.png

              2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
                Bob Somrak Level 5

                As a side note, I have done an "Export as Catalog" of the Photos and Catalog to a 48MB/s (relatively slow) SD card (formatted as EXFat in the computer) and used it to edit photos on another machine and I worked WAY better than I thought it would.  In fact I really didn't notice any speed reduction at all.  These were 27 inch iMacs,  one a 2010 and one a 2015 retina.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
                  Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Good advice above.

                  The thing is that there is not a lot of reading of files on the external so speed of those is not critical.

                  What is is where the catalog is and you have an SSD for that and that should be fine. I think your best thing would be to double the RAM to 16GB if you can - that will make a real difference....

                  Personally I use two MBP's and so keep my catalog on a LaCie Thunderbolt but not SSD drive and my images on external USB and Thunderbolt drives. This allows plug and play on any Mac!!

                  2 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
                    scotth4068054 Level 1

                    It's been three weeks since I posted and used that time to study Lightroom and look into discs. Unfortunately, Lightroom has been giving problems with activation on a valid subscription so I haven't been able to use it much.

                     

                    Tanuj Sandal, I'm the OP and I didn't mark anything as the correct answer. I'd appreciate if you were to uncheck it and give me, the OP, the freedom to choose what I deem correct.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
                      JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I don't think the activation problem you are having has anything to do with where your images are stored. I have my catalog and Lightroom on an SSD, my images are on conventional internal drives as well as external drives. There seems to be something not right with the Creative Cloud Application Manager. I have been having to sign out and sign back in sometimes almost on a daily basis. It's not a big deal, but just a bit annoying.

                      • 8. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
                        scotth4068054 Level 1

                        Hi JimHess. The activation issue is not related to the image location. I was mentioning that I couldn't work in LR due to the activation due. The Develop module, I believe, was deactivated because my current account (which ends in December) was registering me as a trial user.

                        • 9. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
                          Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          As a Moderator I have unmarked it as correctly answered.

                          • 10. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
                            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            It sounds like you might be having the same issue I have been experiencing. Once every few days I have to sign out using the Creative Cloud Application Manager and sign back in. If your subscription doesn't end until this next December there is no reason you should be using a trial version now.

                            • 11. Re: External Hard Drive for Lightroom
                              scotth4068054 Level 1

                              Yes, the same problem. Something about the registration server when CC phones home. Had CC support on the phone a few times [fixing] the problem (which remains unfixed). Since it can't phone home it tells me that the software will run in trial mode until I purchase a subscription. This is a huge problem with Lightroom since I can't use the Develop module when it gives me the error. I log out of CC, restart, shut down and log back in again…some combination of those activities shakes it back into recognition. Sometimes it takes a few days.