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How do I best set up a new PC that has a couple of SSD's to optimize LR?

CrabbyGuy

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For Christmas, I made a list of computer components and I have all I asked for plus a 250GB SSD. (The other one is 500GB.) I also got a 3T red WD drive and an external 3T drive for backups.

I think that the 250GB SSD is the biggest question. What part of LR should go there? Or should I connect the two SSD's and make them my C: drive?
 
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One my Windows desktop I have 2 x 250gb SSDs, plus several other internal spinning disks. I used one as the system drive (C:/) and the other as the "Lightroom" drive (i.e. catalogs, previews, and ACR cache). Pictures were on the largest internal spinner.

Although there is little evidence that having LR catalogs on an SSD gives a major performance increase, there is some evidence that it does help in some of the Library functions. So by all means put the catalog and previews on one of the SSDs (but don't expect miracles), and use the other for the system drive (where of course it will make a significant difference).

Deciding which SSD to use for which application depends on how big you expect your catalog and previews to grow versus how much "stuff" you'd typically have on the C: drive (e.g. music, videos, documents, maybe picture exports from Lightroom, etc.). Do the sums and decide accordingly.
 

chris02

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I have put the catalogue and previews on a ssd which I added to my laptop a few weeks ago, images remain on the hard drive, jury out on performance changes.
 

smcf

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tspear

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CrabbyGuy

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There is a great deal of contradictory information out there on using SSDs with LR. I think that much of the disagreement is that most of the Adobe articles were written three to five years ago when SSDs were smaller, slower, and far more expensive.

I would appreciate a critique of what I plan to do with these two Samsung SSDs based on information that has been written in the last year or two. Both SSDs will be run under Samsung's Magician software (specifically for their SSDs). Both SSDs are model 840EVO.

1. Larger (500MB) SSD will be for Lightroom except for images which will be on a 3TB WD Red HDD. Although fine tuning is possible, I have heard that LR 6 will be out in March and the architecture could be changed. The amount of improvement for running LR 5 on an SSD is reported to be significant if not thrilling. I know that the amount of writing to this SSD will limit its life, but there is a three-year warranty on this SSD and I think these things will be pretty cheap by Christmas 2017.

2. Smaller (250MB) SSD will be for OS (Windows 7 X64 for the foreseeable future), Chrome, Office, anti-malware, etc. Everything that will be stored from these will go onto a 1TB WD Red HDD which will also hold applications not used very much.

3. I will run an external USB3 3T HDD to run backups. Key images will go into the cloud as well via Amazon Prime (if this works for LR) or some other software interface.
 
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I don't know of any specific critiques written in the last year or two (but only because I haven't looked for any!).

However, 15 months ago I upgraded my existing desktop to add 2 x 240gb Intel 530 SSD drives. Prior to that I had 4 x internal drives: OS/Programs on 1, LR Catalogs on 2, ACR Cache on 3, Image files on 4. That system was initially built in 2010 and had served me very well.....the only reason for the SSD upgrade was because I was envious of the performance my son was getting on his newly built system with a pair of same SSDs for OS and Programs.

I used the SSDs to replace both the OS/Programs drive and the LR Catalogs drive, and recycled one of the replaced 7200 drives to use for Docs/Music/Videos etc (to keep the System drive just for OS and Programs).

As expected I saw significant improvement in system boot time, and program start-up time. I did NOT see, nor did I really expect to see, "significant if not thrilling" performance gains in Lightroom running performance. This may be because performance was pretty good before that, so it's difficult to see where the improvement would come from. The logical place for any improvement would be in the Library module, as the Ian Lyons article suggested, but it's really difficult to judge. Moving from image to image in Library (thus reading from the preview cache on the SSD) was already quick to the point of there being no lag, so how does an SSD improve that? Maybe running library filters in a large 100k+ image catalog would benefit, but my main catalog is only around 10k images, so filtering is already fully responsive (it's the same when running a friend's 70k image catalog). And in Develop, most of the activity there is CPU/RAM with disk reads from the non-SSD images drive. Exports and Preview rendering are mostly CPU-intensive, so very little to be gained there.

Sure, if you have the catalog on a slower drive, such as an external drive, then there should be some benefit.....though I would suggest that anyone experiencing "thrilling" performance enhancement would have been running a below-par system.

I'm not saying you won't benefit from your SSD upgrade plan, just trying to set expectations to avoid major disappointment. I certainly don't regret doing the upgrade, as the system is much slicker, but mainly in the OS and program start-up.
 

tspear

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Jim,

Use Task Manager to see where you are constrained when you feel Lr is slow. If might be CPU, it might be disk.... no way to know.

Tim
 
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