Best way of storing my catalogue and Iamges

Joined
May 5, 2011
Messages
48
Location
Greater Manchester, UK
#1
Lightroom Version
6
Operating System
macOS 10.14 Mojave
Hi Folks,

I apologise that this may end up being quite a long post but hope you will bear with me.

I have some questions I'd like to ask about ways of using Lightroom viz a viz storage of images.

I have recently purchased a new iMac, my previous one having had a hard drive on it's way out.

The Spec of my new mac is as follows:

1544014968690.png



The hard drive is a 3tb fusion drive.

My Lightroom catalogue is over 66,000 images.

I have 2 Seagate 4tb external drives. One I use as a total computer backup via time machine, the other I have saved only my photos on.

I did a little research a little while ago into the merits of having one catalogue or breaking down into smaller catalogues. Most advice seemed to favour one catalogue for up to 150,000 images while another went as far as to say only split into smaller ones if one's catalogue went above 4 million images. What are peoples opinions on this, please? I suspect for my collection one catalogue will suit for some years to come yet.

I guess the two scenarios I am looking at for the storing of my catalogue are:

1) Keep the catalogue and images on the Mac's main drive. I was led to believe this would offer the quickest performance by the computer store where I purchased the second of my Seagate drives.

2) Keep the catalogue on the Mac's drive but the actual images on the second Seagate drive.

I had also considered just keeping everything on the Seagate external but the guy at the store suggested lightroom would run noticeably slower doing this.

From my conversation with said chap, I suspect that option 1 above is likely to be the best way.

What would you guys advise as my best option with the gear I already possess.

I did find with my previous Mac that as time went on Lightroom did slow down some and that's why I am looking for possible alternative ways of working. The new Mac is higher spec'd than my previous one so hopefully that will show some difference.

Another question I have is: Are there things I could / should be doing to keep Lightroom running at maximum efficiency?

Any / all other advise, pointers etc will be very welcomed and I thank you for bearing with me on this.

Thanks in advance for any and all replies.

Mike (aka Judderman(
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
126
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic 7
#2
I would keep the catalog on the fastest drive which is probably the internal drive.

Some thing that might improve LR performance :
- Have the Catalog on the fastest drive
- Have the LR cache ( see the preference settings) big enough (at least 10GB) and on the fastest drive
- Exclude the catalog, the preview folder and the LR cache folder from the real time scan of the antivirus

For the photos files, I would keep them of the internal drive if you have enough room. If not, you can keep the latest (say the last 1 or 2 years) on the internal drive for convenience and the oldest one on an external drive.
Having only one catalog will allow you to search for all your photo, even if they are on a disconnected ED.

Of course, in any case you must have a good backup procedure of your catalog as well as your photos.
 

clee01l

Senior Member
Staff member
Moderator
Lightroom Guru
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
13,987
Location
Bellaire, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic 7
#3
I will offer another alternative. I have a fusion Drive and as I understand it, The fusion drive is a hybrid SSD/rotating disk. The Mac has software that automatically migrates seldom used files to the non SSD portion. If you have enough room, and at 3TB it appears that you do, keeping all of the images on the primary fusion drive will yield the best performance. The alternative that I would propose is that with a smaller primary drive, you might want to manually move your image file s that LR is not actively working to a slower disk. This is what I do with my 1TB fusion drive. You don't say, but if the external disks are Thuderbolt2 or TB3 connected, you have the fastest external connection currently possible.

I often state that the only reason to separate catalogs is for business constraints. You do not have a business constraint if you LR is used exclusively for personal use. All of the data is stored in one efficient database file (the catalog file) There are no known limits to the number of images that can be managed by one LR catalog file.
 

Zenon

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
970
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic 7
#4
I back up using one catalogue. Use quick collections and key-wording which was designed for groups and searches. That does not work cross catalogue.

I keep my everything on the HD expect my files which are on a powered external drive. Adobe recommends 20% free space on the HD.
 

Zenon

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
970
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic 7
#5
I back up using one catalogue. Use quick collections and key-wording which was designed for groups and searches. That does not work cross catalogue.

I keep my everything on the HD expect my files which are on a powered external drive. Adobe recommends 20% free space on the HD.
Jeez you can't correct after a while. I keep my everything on the HD expect except my files which are on a powered external drive.
 
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