I have been using Elements for over 10 years and love the organizer. The last version I bought was 14 and it just seemed that everything was too slow so I abandoned it. It would lag when scrolling around or loading the program in general. I do have a 10 year old i5-2500 CPU and 16 GB of RAM so I am wondering if the CPU is the bottleneck or the hard drive. I have about 500 GB of 25,000 photos stored on a regular HD but my OS is on an SSD. Is the CPU the problem or is the hard drive? Would having the catalog file stored on the SSD help, or would only having all of the photos stored the SSD help? Or upgrading the CPU? I do intend to purchase Elements 2021 if I can get this to speed up, as I have been trying the trial version.
Technically, your computer's CPU does not meet the minimum requirements for Elements 2021. That does not mean it will not work with the latest version, but some features may not. Since you have downloaded the trial version, you can see for yourself what will and won't work.
As for speeding up the Organizer, I would only suggest moving the catalog to the SSD. Are your photos on an external or internal drive? It would be better to have them on an internal drive, but that may not make a big difference. A faster CPU will definitely improve performance for Elements 2021, particularly with respect to media analysis.
Just to give you a guide for performance: I have a very fast CPU and SSD. My catalog contains almost 200K photo and video files. Photos and videos are on separate internal hard drive partitions. Opening the catalog from a cold boot takes about 10 seconds. A second launch takes about 5 seconds.
I have them on an internal 4GB 5400 hard drive. Once you are launched, can you move around pretty quickly without lag when you search, click on tags, etc.? I don't mind if it takes time to launch, but there would just be lag and temporary hangups while navigating. So storing that catalog on the SSD will speed it up you think?
About the catalog location:
There is the theory and what you really get.
The theory is on one side that an SSD is much faster than a conventional internel drive, which is faster than an USB3 external drive, which is faster than a USB2 one.
On the other side, most of the time the catalog is read from the memory (RAM), (minimum requirement 8 GB, 16 seems ok for me). If you don't have enough space to work, the data are read from the scratch disk, which is also very fast if located on a large enough SSD. So, it may not be so important where to store the catalog if you have enough RAM and a big enough SSD (500 GB ?)
As I have only an 8 GB RAM on an equally old I5 processor and still no SSD, I can't give a reasonable comparison.
My suggestion would be for you to copy your catalog folder in an external USB drive, in a conventional internal one and to compare the responsiveness of the computer for two kinds of organizer edits:
- database intensive: assigning a test keyword and remove it from a big catalog
- mixed database and files: writing metadata to files, recreating the thumbnail cache.
Optimizing the scratchdisk should also make editing faster.
Once you are launched, can you move around pretty quickly without lag when you search, click on tags, etc.?
As I said, I have a pretty high-end machine. It has a 12 core/24 thread 4.0 GHz CPU, a very fast m.2 pci-e version 4.0 SSD, 64GB RAM, and a mid-range GPU. A click on a tag brings an instantaneous response. Scrolling through a large catalog is smooth as silk.
Michel, over the years, I have made numerous comparisons. I would agree that placing the catalog on an SSD may not make a meaningful real time difference. But with high read/write operations, I have found a definite difference between an external and internal drive. This is probably most noticeable in backup and restore operations. And this is particularly relevant to the catalog folder itself because of the many thousands of very small text files (json and xmp etc.) which weigh down the copying of files vs. larger media files. Of course, there are many variables also between different external drives including whether they are plugged in to a header on the front of the computer vs. a more direct connection to the MoBo on the back.
And just to round out the discussion, doing a fresh install of the OS can create large improvements in program performance.