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Lightroom Catalog and SSD question

Engaged ,
Feb 27, 2023 Feb 27, 2023

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My Lightroom Catalog is about 7gb and is stored on an external mechanical drive. My images are stored and backed up on a Synology unit. Contemplating buying an external SSD for the catalog OR moving the catalog to my internal SSD that has 350gb of free space. I suspect I would see an apprciable increase in speed with the catalog on an SSD but is the internal or external SSD going to make any significant difference?

{Windows 10)

 

Bob

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Community Expert ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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Based on my own experience a few years ago, I would say that while you might be able to notice some difference, I doubt very much that it would make a significant difference.

 

What might be an issue, however, would be the size of the catalog and it's previews folder(s). Have you checked the size of the total catalog folder to make sure it fits comfortably within say 250GB, as you'd need to keep at least 100GB free for working space. In my case, the reason I moved my catalog folders from the internal SSD was because I couldn't keep enough free space on the SSD to allow LrC to operate smoothly, so I moved them to an external USB3-attached SSD and I don't recall any particular problem. Depending on your system specs, of course, you might be able to connect an external SSD via a faster port, which would be even better.

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Engaged ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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Total folder size is under 9gb so working space should be fine. Is the best way to "move" the catalog to my internal SSD, to simply export from Lightroom to the new location?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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9GB seems low, especially if the catalog file itself is 7GB. 

 

However, you don't export the catalog to move it....simply copy the catalog folder to the chosen location on the internal SSD (typically within the user Pictures folder), then double-click on the catalog file to launch LrC and it should "set" the preferences to ensure that it uses that catalog on future restarts (you should check the Preferences>General tab to verify that the correct catalog has been set in the "Default Catalog" section).

 

See this article for more detail: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/find-move-rename-catalog/

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Engaged ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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Yes...the correct catalog is shown in Preferences, however, in my case the folder it's is stored in has some old catalog info as well.

HeirloomBob_0-1677598593762.png

To ensure a smooth transfer, would I select all files that have Lightroom Cat 2021-v12 in their name and copy them to a new folder on my internal SSD? In my case, Lightroom Cat 2021-v12 Helper.lrdata, Lightroom Cat 2021-v12 Previews.lrdata. Lightroom Cat 2021-v12 Smart Previews, Lightroom Cat 2021-v12.lrcat-data, Lightroom Cat 2021-v12.lrcat, Lightroom Cat 2021-v12.lrcat.lock, Lightroom Cat 2021-v12.lrcat-shm and Lightroom Cat 2021-v12,lrcat.wal.

 

On closer analysis, I was out to lunch on file sizes. Assuming the total is a reasonable size and would still allow sufficient free space after copying to the SSD. If the size is too large, I would go with an external SSD. instead.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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The last 3 (lock, shm and wal) are temporary files which should disappear when LrC is closed, they'll reappear each time you launch it again. 

 

If you have "Store presets with this catalog" checked in the Preferences>Presets tab, then you'll also want to move the "Lightroom Settings" folder. The Backups folder really should be stored on a different drive, it's dangerous to have the catalog backups on the same drive as the master catalog. You can change the location for catalog backups when you next initiate a catalog backup when exiting LrC.

 

Move all the files/folders which have "2021-v12" in the name, anything that doesn't have that in the name can be left behind or deleted.

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Engaged ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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Perfect thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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Agreed. Moving the catalog from a spinning disk to an SSD will indeed make a significant difference. External SSD or internal SSD much less.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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What is the actual concern here? Is your concern speed? Some things in Lightroom Classic can be sped up by a faster disk, while other things in Lightroom Classic cannot be sped up by a faster disk. If the concern is speed, please state clearly what actions in LrC are slow.

 

Or is the concern disk space? (you said you have 350gb free, so that doesn't sound like it).

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Engaged ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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Speed primarily, LR is sluggish in spite of a good video card and sufficient RAM. With use, responsivenes diminishes although it is restored by closing and reopening LR. Just thought moving the catalog to an SSD might be an improvement.

 

Bob

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LEGEND ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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quote

Speed primarily, LR is sluggish in spite of a good video card and sufficient RAM. With use, responsivenes diminishes although it is restored by closing and reopening LR. Just thought moving the catalog to an SSD might be an improvement.

 

Bob


By @Heirloom Bob

 

I specifically asked what actions are slow in Lightroom Classic. I don't see an answer to that question. As I said, some problems can be fixed with a faster disk, other problems cannot be fixed by a faster disk.

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Engaged ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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File export is slow for one.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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quote

File export is slow for one.


By @Heirloom Bob

 

Unlikely that this is caused by disk speed. What else is slow? Instead of mentioning one item that is slow, please give us the whole list of actions that is slow.

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Explorer ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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I would never dare place my catalogue on an external disk. That puts you just one tiny cable glitch away from a corrupted catalogue, and it is slower than any internal disk. Lightroom writes all your editing opertions to the catalogue. It's the most write intensive part of the system, so put it on the fastest internal disk available.

 

Thor Egil Leirtrø
https://thoregilphoto.com

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LEGEND ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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Is there a tiny cable that could "glitch" when the catalog is on an internal disk?

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Explorer ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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Huhh?

The unreliable cable would be a problem with an external disk only.

Thor Egil Leirtrø
https://thoregilphoto.com

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LEGEND ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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@Thor Egil Leirtrø wrote:

Huhh?


 

Not sure what's confusing you: the inside of your computer has fallible cabling too - that's DJ's point, and he's absoutely right.

 

Oh - and from the community guidelines:

 

* Website addresses or links in signatures will be considered spam and a breach of the community guidelines, which could lead to your account being banned.  

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Explorer ,
Feb 28, 2023 Feb 28, 2023

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@Keith_Reeder  So this is supposed to be a funny-forum now? Don't be daft. When have you ever heard of an internal cable falling off? Never.

But that happens every day with external disks. That's why you never put a database on an external disk. The risk is too big.

Thor Egil Leirtrø
https://thoregilphoto.com

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