SSD vs HDD for my photo/video storage

New Here ,
Jul 13, 2016 Jul 13, 2016

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My SOON to be system:

CPU - Intel i7-6800K Broadwell-E (mildly overclocked to 4Ghz)

RAM - 32GB Gskill Ripjaws 4 F4-2666C 15Q-32GRR (red) - 8GBx4pcs

Vcard - Asus Geforce GTX960 (soon to be GTX 1070 or 1080 or 1080Ti)

Mboard - Asus X99 Deluxe USB 3.1

Power Supply - Corsair AX 860i Power Supply

Case - Phanteks Evolv Tempered Glass edition

CPU cooler - Noctua D15s

Monitor - BenQ BL3201PH (4K monitor) 32"

Calibrate - Xrite i1 Display Pro

Windows 10 - 64bit

Drives:

Samsung 850 PRO SSD 512GB - OS/Programs/Cache/Cache database

Samsung 950 PRO SSD M.2 NVM PCI-Express 512GB - Video Project files/Scratch Disk/Preview

Western Digital Enterprise Class WD Re+ 6TB - Videos / Photos storage files

Western Digital Black 4TB - Backup

Question:

1) If I buy a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD and place my Photos storage there, would there be a significant speed upgrade when I use Lightroom in the Library tab when I browse through the photos in Grid view and Thumbnail at its largest size? I have 1000+ photos and I want to be able to browse through it a bit fast. Would the speed increase be significant or only minimal since I am already using a Western Digital Black/RE already? If the speed increase is in the importation of files only then I am not interested. I want the speed upgrade to be in the browsing of photos.

2) Would using 1:1 in previews make the browsing I want faster? Or is the previews only if you zoom in? Does Lightroom use the 1:1 preview in Library/Grid view/large mode?

Note: I can't test it yet right now on the system stated above since my system is not yet done. I am still waiting for some parts as they are not yet available here in the Philippines.

Thanks.

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

LEGEND , Jul 14, 2016 Jul 14, 2016
1) If I buy a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD and place my Photos storage there, would there be a significant speed upgrade
No. There is only a trivial speed difference, you will never notice.Put your photos on the slowest disk you have, you will not notice a difference. Do not put photos on a fast disk. See Will an SSD Improve Adobe Lightroom Performance? | Computer Darkroom Disk speed also does not improve speed of importing either.
2) Would using 1:1 in previews make the browsing I want faster? Or is
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LEGEND ,
Jul 14, 2016 Jul 14, 2016

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1) If I buy a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD and place my Photos storage there, would there be a significant speed upgrade

No. There is only a trivial speed difference, you will never notice.

Put your photos on the slowest disk you have, you will not notice a difference. Do not put photos on a fast disk. See Will an SSD Improve Adobe Lightroom Performance? | Computer Darkroom

Disk speed also does not improve speed of importing either.

2) Would using 1:1 in previews make the browsing I want faster? Or is the previews only if you zoom in? Does Lightroom use the 1:1 preview in Library/Grid view/large mode?

Yes. And you can also select an option to never delete the previews, so the previews remain present in case you return to these photos in a year (for example). Put your catalog file and previews on the SSD.

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New Here ,
Jul 14, 2016 Jul 14, 2016

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dj-paige - thanks for the reply.

Do you really think its necessary to use 1:1 in previews or would Standard be enough? What I want to speed up is the browsing in Library Mode - Grid View - Largest Thumbnails. I do not really "zoom in" so using 1:1 might not really benefit me at all compared to Standard previews.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 14, 2016 Jul 14, 2016

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You can get all kinds of opinions on what others think, but you will still never know until you try for yourself and compare. Cried the different preview sizes and compare performance and then decide what works best for you.

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New Here ,
Jul 14, 2016 Jul 14, 2016

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Jim - I think you missed the Note I placed in my original post stating that I cannot test things yet since I haven't finished building my computer. I am trying to explore options before finalizing my build.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 14, 2016 Jul 14, 2016

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You're right. I missed that point. But there is no way I know of that anyone can tell you with certainty what the difference in performance will be. Quickly looking over the specs for your new computer, it would appear that  it should handle Lightroom extremely well. But performance has to be evaluated on each individual computer. I have seen reports on this forum of extremely high end computers that perform very poorly when trying to run Lightroom.

I can tell you that you aren't going to gain any real performance from Lightroom by having the images on a SSD. I have installed a SSD for my system drive, and have all of my software installed on that drive. And I have intentionally imported images to that drive and have not seen any increase in performance when compared to a "standard" 7200 RPM hard drive.

I don't use 1:1 previews because I do most of my work in the develop module. And 1:1 previews are not utilized there. So, again, you'll have to see how well your computer performs once you get it built. As far as I know, there is no crystal ball that will tell you exactly how your computer will perform, even when providing all of the specs.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 14, 2016 Jul 14, 2016

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What I haven't seen mentioned is that putting the catalog and previews on a dedicated SSD will improve performance in my experience. Disk reading can be a bottleneck and the catalog and previews are accessed almost continuously. Since I have placed mine on a dedicated Thunderbolt drive performance has picked up markedly.

So my configuration is:
MBP's with SSD's for OS/apps

LaCie Thunderbolt Drive for catalog and previews

Multiple USB drives and 12TB Pegasus Thunderbolt for files....

With this and smart previews I can plug and play any computer with Lightroom easily.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 14, 2016 Jul 14, 2016

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Good point. I, too have my catalog and previews on the SSD drive. Doing that did improve performance. However, my experience is that having the images on that SSD drive doesn't seem to make any difference in performance.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 15, 2016 Jul 15, 2016

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Geoff the kiwi wrote:

What I haven't seen mentioned is that putting the catalog and previews on a dedicated SSD will improve performance in my experience.

This was indeed mentioned in the first reply

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 15, 2016 Jul 15, 2016

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Thank you Paige I am ordering new glasses!!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 15, 2016 Jul 15, 2016

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jomsjoms wrote:

Do you really think its necessary to use 1:1 in previews or would Standard be enough? What I want to speed up is the browsing in Library Mode - Grid View - Largest Thumbnails. I do not really "zoom in" so using 1:1 might not really benefit me at all compared to Standard previews.

Standard Previews are all you need for browsing images in the Library module at less than 1:1 view (i.e. Fit view up to 1:2 view). I suggest using the default 'Auto' setting in the Catalog Settings with 'Medium' Preview Quality, which is actually a very high-quality image.

The key to preventing performance issues in the Library module is to make sure the Standard Previews are kept up-to-date. LR does not "automatically" update the previews after images have been edited in the Develop module. It rebuilds them one-at-a-time as they are viewed in the Library module, which will slow down browsing considerably. The solution is to "manually" rebuild the Standard Previews after each editing session by selecting ALL images in the folder(s) just edited, go to menu Library> Previews, and select 'Build Standard Sized Previews.'

While LR is rebuilding Previews in the background you should be able to do work in LR with slightly reduced performance. This is dependent on system configuration, which in your case should be fine with the exception of your 4K monitor. There have been many reports in the forum of performance issues in the Develop module from users with 4K monitors. GPU acceleration is supposed to help prevent this, but not always. On my system it speeds up the Basic panel controls, but slows down all of the local controls (Adjustment Brush, etc). I'm using a 2560x1440 monitor with 21Mp raw files with no real issues on my modest 2011 HP desktop. Just be aware that LR 6.6 and CC 2015.6 has a memory leak issue, which can slow things down after editing a number of image files. For now I suggest using LR 6.5.1 as outlined here: How do I roll back to an earlier Lightroom release? | The Lightroom Queen

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