Sorry to cross-post here. I posted this in Bridge Windows yesterday and have had no response. I reckoned that Camera Raw experts might have their own opinions, so it was worth a shot. Please ignore, if you've already seen it.
I've built up a large number of raw files over the last few years, and I'm now finding certain operations slow. I wonder if anyone can give me any advice on improving my current setup - which is:
* My Windows XP PC is a decent spec, with two hard drives, and is about a year old.
* The "photo" drive is partitioned in two. The first partition (32GB) holds caches, including Bridge CS4 and Camera Raw 5. The second partition (434GB) holds about 10,000 Nikon NEF files, organised in folders by shoot and by year, and a load of other camera images in separate folder hierarchies.
* I work on XMP files, which are stored alongside their raw files.
* I keyword the images using Bridge. My keywords work using several hierarchies in a "tree" system.
* I have several Smart Collections set up in Bridge. These produce several thousand results and work quite slowly now.
* I like to filter the Smart Collection results using the Filter panel, but this now takes quite a long time to appear.
I've already optimised the PC to the limit, and after compacting and defragging, I don't think I can improve the performance any more. Is the bottleneck in my CS4 configuration?
When a Smart Collection searches by camera, is it scanning the Bridge cache?
Would I be better to use a central Camera Raw database than sidecar XMP files? Is it easy to convert from one to the other, or do you have to start from nothing? (I have several thousand XMP files!)
The Bridge Cache Size setting is very vague, does anyone have any recommendations?
Sorry to ask so many questions in one go. Eagerly awaiting your advice.
I had a quick play with the ACR settings, to see what happened. As far as I can tell, changing to Camera Raw database on an established sidecar system has no effect. Changes are still made to sidecar files. I'm guessing that the database is only used for raw files with no associated sidecar file.
This effectively means that I'm stuck with sidecars on all my existing photos. To be honest, I'm a little relieved, as I don't like the idea of putting all my settings in one database. But it can't be good for performance.