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Hard Drive Upgrade Advice

kearneyimages

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Hi,
I am currently storing all my images on a WD 3TB 5400rpm drive. I am finding LR performance slow and I need to upgrade this drive as it’s 5 years old.

I am looking at the WD Black Performance Drive and am wondering if this is a good upgrade and would make any performance improvements?

My system:-
MacPro 2009 which has been upgraded
3.46 GHz 6 core Intel Xeon
64GB 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM
Radeon RX580 8GB graphics.
Samsung 1TB SSD for op system and program files.

All help appreciated.
Thanks
 
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Welcome to the forum. Generally, the primary things that impact drive performance are the interface, the drive cache (on platter drives), the RPM (on platter drives) and the drive technology (platter vs. SSD vs. NVMe). If you need less than 2-4TB and have funds, an SSD or NVMe drive will buy you a decent amount of performance, especially if you have a fast port. If you need storage, then a platter drive with a large cache and 7200 (or possibly even 10k) RPM will offer you good performance, again depending on the port you are using. WD Black drives have had a decent reputation for performance and I use one to store my images, but it is getting filled up and needs to be upgraded. I think that you could do a whole lot worse than a WD Black. The questions that I cannot answer are if this is an internal drive, or if it is an external drive? If the latter, is it taking advantage of your fastest ports?

--Ken
 

kearneyimages

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Welcome to the forum. Generally, the primary things that impact drive performance are the interface, the drive cache (on platter drives), the RPM (on platter drives) and the drive technology (platter vs. SSD vs. NVMe). If you need less than 2-4TB and have funds, an SSD or NVMe drive will buy you a decent amount of performance, especially if you have a fast port. If you need storage, then a platter drive with a large cache and 7200 (or possibly even 10k) RPM will offer you good performance, again depending on the port you are using. WD Black drives have had a decent reputation for performance and I use one to store my images, but it is getting filled up and needs to be upgraded. I think that you could do a whole lot worse than a WD Black. The questions that I cannot answer are if this is an internal drive, or if it is an external drive? If the latter, is it taking advantage of your fastest ports?

--Ken
Hi Ken,
Thanks for the reply. This is an internal SATA drive.
I need the storage size as I already have 2TB on my existing drive.

Anthony......
 

mcasan

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You can get a 4TB SSD SATA for $400-500 on Amazon. You can also get two 2TB SSD SATA drives and run them as RAID 0 for around $400. But the potential speed is killed by the slow SATA limitations. For top speed you want an NVME SSD connected to the motherboard.
 

kearneyimages

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You can get a 4TB SSD SATA for $400-500 on Amazon. You can also get two 2TB SSD SATA drives and run them as RAID 0 for around $400. But the potential speed is killed by the slow SATA limitations. For top speed you want an NVME SSD connected to the motherboard.
Hi,
I presume that I can’t add an NVME SSD to a 2009
MacPro?
Anthony.....
 
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Hi,
I presume that I can’t add an NVME SSD to a 2009
MacPro?
Anthony.....
I strongly doubt it given the machine's age, but you need to look at what type of expansion slots you have on the motherboard to be certain.

--Ken
 
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An 11-year-old Mac isn't going to give you good LRC performance, no matter how fast the drive that holds your images. CPU speed makes a bigger difference than drive speed. That said, putting your catalogue on a fast drive of some sort will certainly help.
 

kearneyimages

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An 11-year-old Mac isn't going to give you good LRC performance, no matter how fast the drive that holds your images. CPU speed makes a bigger difference than drive speed. That said, putting your catalogue on a fast drive of some sort will certainly help.
Hi Hal,

This is the spec as I upgraded the motherboard, graphics card and RAM two years ago.
3.46 GHz 6 core Intel Xeon
64GB 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM
Radeon RX580 8GB graphics.
Samsung 1TB SSD for op system and program files.

It was cruising nicely until the last few LR updates.
 
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Ah, not an 11-year-old Mac at all. The memory is a bit slow by today's standards, but the CPU sounds OK. Will your catalogue fit on the SSD? That could be a cheap speedup, and it's easy to try.
 

mcasan

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If you have the needed slot you can put in an IDE SSD board.

 
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I was about to mention what mcasan said. Those OWC solutions put a fast NVMe SSD on a card that you plug into one of your card slots, for more direct access to the main bus, for much higher throughput than the four SATA drive bays or any of the external ports.

They are not cheap, but…you also might not need them. Since your original question was where to put your original images, I am not confident that spending all the money on an NVMe card will make much difference. All my images are on a hard drive. For performance, it seems more important to put the catalog, previews, and Camera Raw cache on SSDs, because those are what Lightroom Classic reads and writes more frequently. If you already keep the catalog and previews on an SSD then you’re probably doing the best you can.

If you still want to replace that hard drive because it's 5 years old, then a WD Black or other 7200RPM class HD should be a good choice.
 

kearneyimages

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Ah, not an 11-year-old Mac at all. The memory is a bit slow by today's standards, but the CPU sounds OK. Will your catalogue fit on the SSD? That could be a cheap speedup, and it's easy to try.
I was about to mention what mcasan said. Those OWC solutions put a fast NVMe SSD on a card that you plug into one of your card slots, for more direct access to the main bus, for much higher throughput than the four SATA drive bays or any of the external ports.

They are not cheap, but…you also might not need them. Since your original question was where to put your original images, I am not confident that spending all the money on an NVMe card will make much difference. All my images are on a hard drive. For performance, it seems more important to put the catalog, previews, and Camera Raw cache on SSDs, because those are what Lightroom Classic reads and writes more frequently. If you already keep the catalog and previews on an SSD then you’re probably doing the best you can.

If you still want to replace that hard drive because it's 5 years old, then a WD Black or other 7200RPM class HD should be a good choice.
Hi,
I must ensure that I have the catalog etc on the SSD and I will see if that makes a difference.
I explored the NVME options and it is very expensive. I will do the necessary checks and any moves required.
The WD black drive might be an option then.
Thanks.
 

kearneyimages

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Hi,
I have checked on LR setup and the catalogue and previews are on the SSD.
I ran a disk speed test on my current 3TB storage drive and I attach same.
I also ran a speed test on a WD Black 6TB drive I recently installed for video file storage and I also attach that. I can see that it is much faster than my existing 3TB drive. Would the 4TB Black drive with that level of performance make a difference?
I upgraded tonight and it seems faster, maybe I'm dreaming.

Thanks for the great advice.
 

Attachments

  • 3TB WD Speed Test.png
    3TB WD Speed Test.png
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  • 6TB WD Black Speed Test.png
    6TB WD Black Speed Test.png
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Joined
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Hi,
I have checked on LR setup and the catalogue and previews are on the SSD.
I ran a disk speed test on my current 3TB storage drive and I attach same.
I also ran a speed test on a WD Black 6TB drive I recently installed for video file storage and I also attach that. I can see that it is much faster than my existing 3TB drive. Would the 4TB Black drive with that level of performance make a difference?
I upgraded tonight and it seems faster, maybe I'm dreaming.

Thanks for the great advice.
If all of the drive specs are the same between the 4TB and 6TB Black drives (and they are of the same generation), then they should give you similar performance. This will help a bit, but again, it specifically depends on where things are slow. I would suggest changing drives if you need more space or if the drive is due for replacement due to age/use. I am not sure that it is going to give you as much of an increase as you are looking for based on the numbers you have provided.

--Ken
 

kearneyimages

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If all of the drive specs are the same between the 4TB and 6TB Black drives (and they are of the same generation), then they should give you similar performance. This will help a bit, but again, it specifically depends on where things are slow. I would suggest changing drives if you need more space or if the drive is due for replacement due to age/use. I am not sure that it is going to give you as much of an increase as you are looking for based on the numbers you have provided.

--Ken
Hi Ken,
I have that drive in use for about 5 years so maybe it’s time to change it regardless. I have a good backup strategy on-site as well as Backblaze but it may be best to change it now.
Anthony.....
 
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Hi Ken,
I have that drive in use for about 5 years so maybe it’s time to change it regardless. I have a good backup strategy on-site as well as Backblaze but it may be best to change it now.
Anthony.....
Replacement schedule are very personal, and the only thing that we tend to all believe is that all drives will fail at some time. So, if your budget can handle a replacement drive, then it is probably not a bad thing. And it can be used later if you get a new machine.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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