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Catalog question

Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
69
Lightroom Version
11.3
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
  2. macOS 12 Monterey
I’m moving from Windows to a Mac computer.
On the Windows PC the Catalog is on the C Drive and all the photograph files are on the D Drive. It’s a single catalog.
The Photograph files are in Year main folders and date of shoot sub-folders.
When moving to the Mac I will have one internal drive and also an external drive and plan to keep the latest two years’ photograph files on the internal drive and the older years on the external drive.
The external drive will be something like a Samsung T7 SSD (unless someone has a better suggestion) so although read and write speed is OK I don’t think it’s going to be blistering like a 40GBS thunderbolt connection. To get this I think I’d need an external drive housing with thunderbolt connection and an internal SSD drive housed.
I was going to create a catalog for each year but when reading up how to split a catalog in The Missing FAQ it indicates that there are only a few occasions where this is recommended.
Will I need at least two catalogs with the photograph files split between an internal and external drive?
What‘s the best way to organise this please?
Every year I’ll be transferring a year fromthe internal drive to the external one.

Thank you for any advice.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
23,755
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I'd stick to one catalog, but the photos can be spread over multiple drives, that's no problem at all. Each drive will show up as a separate volume in the Folders panel.

How blazing fast do you actually need it to be? Generally only volume editors (like those editing for lots of different wedding photographers) actually need blazing fast. For most people, an external drive is fine for the photos, as long as the catalog's on fast storage.
 

Gnits

Senior Member
Premium Cloud Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Messages
1,592
Location
Dublin, Ireland.
Lightroom Experience
Power User
You may find that the T7 gives you more than enough disk i/o.. Enclosures are not simple devices, specs probably refer to peak i/o rather than sustained copying and enclosures may have a variety of drives installed, which themselves may be slower than your T7.

An advantage of an enclosure is that you can daisy chain Thunderbolt devices.

I agree with Victoria re catalogs... you need to a have a very good specific reason to justify multiple catalogs.

The only concern I have is that the T7 max size is 2 TB .... you may be opting for a smaller one (I use the 1 TB for backing up in the field) ... but as time goes by these drives are likely to get bigger, faster and cheaper (per TB).
 
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
69
Hi Victoria,
Thank you and that simplifies things a lot, one catalog it is.
As to how blazing fast, I don’t know. I don’t have massive volumes but the recent individual raw files are large and I also edit in Photoshop. I suppose the answer is as fast as I can get without breaking the bank and whilst keeping it pretty simple. As far as I can tell from basic research, to get really fast I would need a thunderbolt connection and I’m not sure whether there are any external SSD drives (that don’t need a separate housing) that have this connection. Size wise I was thinking 2TB but I could get away with 1TB for the next couple of years.
 
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
69
You may find that the T7 gives you more than enough disk i/o.. Enclosures are not simple devices, specs probably refer to peak i/o rather than sustained copying and enclosures may have a variety of drives installed, which themselves may be slower than your T7.

An advantage of an enclosure is that you can daisy chain Thunderbolt devices.

I agree with Victoria re catalogs... you need to a have a very good specific reason to justify multiple catalogs.

The only concern I have is that the T7 max size is 2 TB .... you may be opting for a smaller one (I use the 1 TB for backing up in the field) ... but as time goes by these drives are likely to get bigger, faster and cheaper (per TB).
Hi Gnits, thank you and I was replying to Victoria as you made your post.
2TB would be better but 1Tb would suffice for the next couple of years.
I just found this SanDisk Professional G-Drive which is beyond what I have been thinking of paying, but not by a considerable margin.
Would transfer speeds for editing direct from the external disk (Lightroom and Photoshop) be noticeably faster than with a Samsung T7 please?
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
13,735
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
I have my photo library on an external Samsung 2TB T7, which I actually view as being OTT for photo storage. I doubt you would ever notice a speed difference with images on the T7 versus images on a TB connection (possibly a minor difference could be during the initial import, but that's about it).
 

Gnits

Senior Member
Premium Cloud Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Messages
1,592
Location
Dublin, Ireland.
Lightroom Experience
Power User
I put together a PC build with very close to top spec possible. I was still disappointed with Lr performance. I had the latest motherboard, with the fastest bus speeds and bandwidth and kept my catalog and current images on Nvme M2 Ssd with i/o of 1000s MB/ sec,
. Cannot remenber the exact spec off hand.

There are overheads that will always dull performance. Lr needs time to do its thing, and needs to interact with a database, which needs time to complete its tasks., et al. So, we are never going to see performance stats from the hardware side reflected in the end user experience. Doubling disk I/o does not double say the refresh the speed of an image on a screen. It will make some improvement, but not in a linear way.

Enclosure are large and ideal for large volumes, but if you can work with the current capacity of T7 type solid state drives then go for it.
 
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