Lightroom and SSD

Explorer ,
Feb 24, 2019

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Im getting new computer that will have SSD, and trying to decide what size of SSD.

Am I correct that its good to have the LR catalog on SSD?

What about the Library images themselves?   (I import with 'copy to DNG' from an "original' folder what is basically my archive), is there any performance gain in having that on SSD?  

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LEGEND ,
Feb 24, 2019

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Photo files should go on regular spinning hard disks and not on SSD.


Catalog should go on SSD.

Will an SSD Improve Adobe Lightroom Performance? | Computer Darkroom

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 24, 2019

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As dj alludes there is not much gain from having your images on the SSD. Biggest gain comes from camera raw cache, catalog, and previews on the SSD. However, with SSDs bigger is better and there are varying kinds. Some can do terabytes/second nowadays. So go as big and as fast as you can afford.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 24, 2019

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Are you really going to notice the difference between transferring a photo from disk to LR a "terabytes/second" versus whatever the speed of a spinning HD transfers the same photo at? Are fractions of seconds really worth extra money?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 24, 2019

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No but in my experience SSDs always turn out to be too small pretty quickly. Consider you need to keep them empty >30% of the capacity for performance and just the preview database of my typical Lightroom catalog being 100's of gigabytes, the typical 250GB SSD is way to small and 500GB is at the edge of acceptable.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 24, 2019

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I agree with dj_paige that for most users with most operations, it will be hard to notice the difference between photos on a hard disk and photos on an SSD.  Even putting the catalog on an SSD has diminishing returns on machines with adequate memory, since the operating system and SQLite end up caching it in memory.

However, I've noticed a few areas where I benefit from keeping everything (catalog + photos) on an SSD, where LR or the system is limited by total bandwidth or latency of access to disks rather than by CPU (the usual situation with LR).  Batch reads and updates to metadata seem to go faster, especially for JPEGs, where LR often ends up rewriting the entire JPEG to do a metadata update.  (I set Automatically Write Changes to XML for belt-and-suspenders last-ditch recovery in case my backups fail, and to make it easier to back out of batch changes when LR undo is not available or I notice the error too late for undo.)  Exports of originals go faster, since no rendering is involved and the exports are little more than file copies.  And the Mac's Time Machine incremental backups go faster after importing gigabytes of new photos or batch metadata updates.

But I'm sure I'd be reasonably satisfied with the performance of hard disks instead of SSD. The main reason I got a large SSD was to keep all my active work on my Macbook without lugging around an external drive.

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Explorer ,
Feb 24, 2019

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I'm thinking about performance while editing etc, not the initial transfer.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 24, 2019

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It definitely matters. I store my most recent months of images on my internal 1TB SSD which clocks at over 2 TB/second and have my older images on a fast USB-c RAID array with spinning disks so much better speed than a single spinning disk but still you only get in the few hundred MB/s range. You can easily notice the difference in speed when editing between images on either system especially when stepping through many images. It is pretty obvious. Neither is slow and I am sure the biggest speedup is in having the catalog on the SSD and the images' location only makes a small difference.

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Explorer ,
Feb 24, 2019

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I'm going with the 512 GB SSD on the "more is more" principle (probably tripling the available space for things like LR catalog, I think about 100 GB goes to "system").

I do notice on my current computer (no SSD, 8 GB RAM) that LR does bog down from time to time, even switching between images.

The comment about putting catalog etc on there but not the images makes sense.   Image library is probably too big anyway (at 285 GB; catalog is about 35 GB w previews, if Im looking in the right place).

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Explorer ,
Feb 24, 2019

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Oh, I forgot to add, thanks to everyone for the help!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 24, 2019

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The other reason it might bog down is having only 8GB of memory. If you can upgrade that it will probably make quite a bit of difference.

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Explorer ,
Feb 24, 2019

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Yeah the new machine will have 16 GB  RAM.  ( and better GPU with more VRAM).

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LEGEND ,
Feb 24, 2019

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RichardFlack  wrote

Im getting new computer that will have SSD, and trying to decide what size of SSD.

1) Am I correct that its good to have the LR catalog on SSD?

2)  What about the Library images themselves?   (I import with 'copy to DNG' from an "original' folder what is basically my archive), is there any performance gain in having that on SSD?  

1) YES Catalog on SSD

2) First a question.

Do you currently use LR on your older computer?

If you do there is NO reason to Import anything into LR on you new computer. You COPY over the catalog you are using on your older computer and open it on the new computer. Along with that you COPY over, in the same folder structure, all you images to the new computer. "IF" you currently have all your images on an External drive and that external is the WORKING location for your images on your old computer and you have to do is connect the external drive to the new computer and make sure it gets and retains the same drive letter it had on the old computer.

No reason to put images on the SSD.

To be on the safe side you should have at least a 500GB SSD. If you can afford it get a 1TB SSD. Or get the smallest and cheapest SSD option from the computer maker and then buy a 1TB SSD from someplace like NewEgg and replace it yourself. If you are building the system yourself then use a 1TB SSD to start with.

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Explorer ,
Feb 24, 2019

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@ JSM

1.  Yes that's the plan.   I guess I need a complete list of all the folder / files that relate to this, ie excluding the Library images.

2.  Yes I do.  Sorry for the confusion, my reference to importing earlier was just to clarify my regular work flow.   I was assuming that I 'copy' (or recover from backup) the image library (and catalog for that matter) to do the migration.

One complication I am trying to avoid.  My current set up has what I think is the catalog folder on c: drive, and the Library is on external USB (3.0)  E: drive.   The new computer will have 2 internal drives not one, and I think that's going to lead to drive letter reassignments when I hook all the external drives up.   I should probably post another thread about the migration itself to avoid thread drift here.  I have few questions about the migration, searching in the forum hasn't found exactly what im looking for.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 25, 2019

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RichardFlack  wrote

One complication I am trying to avoid.  My current set up has what I think is the catalog folder on c: drive, and the Library is on external USB (3.0)  E: drive.   The new computer will have 2 internal drives not one, and I think that's going to lead to drive letter reassignments when I hook all the external drives up.   I should probably post another thread about the migration itself to avoid thread drift here.  I have few questions about the migration, searching in the forum hasn't found exactly what im looking for.

So when you get the new computer, just change the letters on your drives, so that the drive with the photos is E:

That's what I did when I got my new computer. Took me less than one minute.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 25, 2019

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You can do as above, "Change the Drive Letter" of the second internal drive. It's quit simple to do, Google Change drive letter on Windows.

But if you are going to do that it is something you should do the first time you start your new computer.

Or you could leave it as D:\ and copy all your images to it then in LR "Find missing folder/files"

http://www.lightroomqueen.com/lightroom-photos-missing-fix/

Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders

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New Here ,
Oct 24, 2020

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I have been dealing with 120 different catalogs that total 1.5 TB. My 2019  MacBook Pro has 8 TB ssd. I have had my catalogs on the mbp and my photos on a 36 TB G-Raid Thunderbot 3 drive. 

for some reason, over the years I have noticed that the LR catalogs will hang on the ssd drive. When doing faces and similar intense operation. Especially if my catalogs are big. Over 50,000 images. 

In my experiments over time, I have noticed that my catalogs would slam through the processes when they reside on the raided hhd drives. They are somewhat slower, but it seems that the spinning disk will get the job done and not "hang". It is a bit slower, but more reliable in my opinion. 

So over the years I have kept my catalogs on my laptop ssd and my photos on hhd's. 

just last night, I finally decided that ssd is not the best for Lightroom.  There is something wrong with the way LR works with ssd's. Yes, most things work and they work fast on an ssd, but then when you do big operations... you get the hang. This has happened to me from 2015 up and to now. Anyway, I am reorganizing my catalogs to sit with the photos and it feels good. Everything in one place and I know that even the the hhd is slower, it's much more reliable. 

There can be waiting on the hhd... but it's not hanging. 

has anyone else experienced similar experiences?

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