Working with Lightroom on internal drive bad?

Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022

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Hi friends. I have heard that running lightroom off your internal drive is bad for the SSD. Is this true? Is it better to run off a usb external drive or thundebolt 2 drive?

 

Thx in advanced for yout thoughts 

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Advisor ,
May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022

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No, that is not true. Lightroom Classic should be run on your internal SSD because it is almost always the fastest drive in a system. To save space on the internal drive, you can have your imported images saved to an external drive of adequate size. SSD is preferable but spinning hard drive will work just fine. That's because Lightroom Classic does not access the original image files after import except for printing and exporting. (Maybe a few more things like making previews when you zoom into 100%)

Note: The image files are not located in the Lightroom Catalog.

Kenneth Seals

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Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022

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Very interesting and great answer thank you! 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022

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+1, simply not true. 

There are advantages to running it off an external (SSD or otherwise) that is dedicated to all the photos, catalog, presets etc. But you can run this on an internal SSD if you have the space and want to. 


Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022

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Thank you for this answer. What I am wondering is if it's bad for the internal drive. I keep reading that the internal ssd should be used as little as possible in general.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022

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@Batteristafoto wrote:

Thank you for this answer. What I am wondering is if it's bad for the internal drive. I keep reading that the internal ssd should be used as little as possible in general.


 

That is based on the fact that the type of memory used in an SSD has a finite number of writes, which ultimately puts a hard limit on its lifetime. But to understand that lifetime fairly, you have to ask yourself how quickly you would actually get there.

 

The advice was passed around when SSDs were new and immature. But SSDs have come a long way, so today, it requires a much larger amount of data writing to wear out an SSD, so high that most people will never experience it. It’s generally accepted that you will probably choose to replace an SSD long before it reaches its write limit.

 

What about tests? One notable test was done a few years ago, where researchers measured the amount of data SSDs could take before they they finally stopped working:

The SSD Endurance Experiment: They’re all dead

 

Excerpt:

The SSD Endurance Experiment represents the longest test TR has ever conducted. It’s been a lot of work, but the results have also been gratifying. Over the past 18 months, we’ve watched modern SSDs easily write far more data than most consumers will ever need.

 

The type of SSD used in today’s Macs has been in use since roughly 2015, and that gives you an anecdotal way of checking those results. Look through the Mac news for the last few years, as those SSDs pass 7 years in service: Is there any evidence, have there been any consistent reports, that the SSDs used starting around 2015 are now dying in large numbers due to “overuse” or “wearing out”? I don’t think that evidence exists. So even in computers where you can’t replace the SSD, most users need to upgrade the computer long before the SSD dies.

 

It’s not really something you have to worry about if you’re just photo editing, where 95% of the time the computer (and the SSD) waits for you to decide which button to push next. And when Lightroom Classic does write something it’s just updating a cache or preview of a few megabytes and then stops again to wait for you. Wearing out an SSD is a possibility if your computer edits video all day long, or some other activity where it writes very large amounts of data to storage, more or less continuously for many hours at a time, for many days at a time, for many years. That does not describe photo editing.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022

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I should add that there is some real advice about SSDs that you should follow and pass on: 

 

Never let an SSD get close to full.

 

A nearly full SSD won’t have room to do its necessary housekeeping to stay fast, so it could slow down the SSD and therefore everything you run on it. Buy an SSD capacity that lets you maintain a lot of free space at all times, to leave room for when various applications (including Lightroom Classic and Photoshop) need to set up large temp/cache/preview files.

 

For some people, that is the reason to not keep their photos on the internal SSD: If they bought a Mac with internal storage capacity that would be too full if they moved all their photos into it, then they should keep those photos on external storage.

 

So there can be a reason to avoid the internal SSD, but the reason is not wearing out the SSD, it’s needing to maintain enough free space. Which also means, if you can keep all your photos, with room to grow, on the internal SSD and there is still 100–200GB or more of free space available, then don’t worry about it, go ahead and use the internal SSD.

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Community Beginner ,
May 21, 2022 May 21, 2022

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Thank you very much for these excellent tips! many greetings from Brazil! 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 21, 2022 May 21, 2022

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My "main" internal hard drive is a SSD  And I have Lightroom Classic and Photoshop installed that drive. My images are imported to a spinning drive. There really isn't any benefit to having the images on a SSD because once they are imported and previews are generated that images themselves are not accessed. Nothing is written to the master images under normal circumstances. My configuration has proven to work well for me for quite some time.

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