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Processing files off an external SSD drive?

JoeB94

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Good Morning,

I am totally new to the world of Post processing and Mac & I have a new 21.5 inch iMac with a 1TB fusion HDD drive, which I am going to be using for my new photography hobby.

Now the OS, processing software (Adobe Lightroom Classic) & catalog is on the internal HDD drive, but I wondered if I was to use an external usb SSD drive to store the actual photos/ RAW files and then process them off the external ssd rather than the internal drive, would this make processing them faster & smoother? I’m not a big fan of filling up the internal drive with storage I like to keep that free for OS & program files..



Many Thanks Joe :)
 
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The Lightroom catalog should ideally be on the fastest hard drive. The location of the images is not that important. The question of course is which drive is the fastest in your case. SSD is definitely faster than Fusion, but an external drive is usually slower than a similar internal drive, so the SSD speed advantage might be cancelled out by the connection. Maybe you should test that first. There is a free utility in the Apple App Store called 'Blackmagic Disk Speed Test'.
 

JoeB94

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The Lightroom catalog should ideally be on the fastest hard drive. The location of the images is not that important. The question of course is which drive is the fastest in your case. SSD is definitely faster than Fusion, but an external drive is usually slower than a similar internal drive, so the SSD speed advantage might be cancelled out by the connection. Maybe you should test that first. There is a free utility in the Apple App Store called 'Blackmagic Disk Speed Test'.
Hi Johan thank you for this, very much appreciated. That is a good point about the external connection that I hadn’t thought about, so yeah I will give the speed app a look at.
:) Thank you.
 
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FWIW, a year or so ago I moved my catalog/previews off my MBP's internal SSD to a USB3-connected external SSD. I know that the internal SSD is capable of much faster data transfer than the external SSD, but I really do not see much, if any, performance impact.
 

JoeB94

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FWIW, a year or so ago I moved my catalog/previews off my MBP's internal SSD to a USB3-connected external SSD. I know that the internal SSD is capable of much faster data transfer than the external SSD, but I really do not see much, if any, performance impact.
Morning Jim thank you for this,
I suppose I just need to decide whether its really worth the extra cost as a posed to a decent standard external HDD drive, and also whethere there are other benefits that still make using and external SSD drive worth it?

Manu thanks agai, very much appreciated :)
 
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I suppose I just need to decide whether its really worth the extra cost as a posed to a decent standard external HDD drive, and also whethere there are other benefits that still make using and external SSD drive worth it?
As long as you have plenty of room on the internal drive, I would not spend money on an external SSD. Buy a large capacity spinning external drive for Time Machine backups. That is way more important.
 

JoeB94

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As long as you have plenty of room on the internal drive, I would not spend money on an external SSD. Buy a large capacity spinning external drive for Time Machine backups. That is way more important.
Ahh thank you for the tip, I think I’ll do just that :) Also about the Time Machine too, I have read so much about 3rd party cloning etc that I just want to keep things simple & I got the Mac because I read that thr time machine was sufficient and key :) As well as it’s better editing performance :)
 
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wondered if I was to use an external usb SSD drive to store the actual photos/ RAW files and then process them off the external ssd rather than the internal drive, would this make processing them faster & smoother? I’m not a big fan of filling up the internal drive with storage I like to keep that free for OS & program files..
There is no harm storing the image files on an external disk drive. The SSD EHD won't be any faster in terms of performance than the internal fusion drive.

If your EHD connection is via a TB3 cable, then the connection can be as fast as a typical bus mounted drive. If that is the case, there is no reason to keep the catalog file and previews folder on the SSD.

Some things to consider though about Lightroom . After Import it only rarely accesses the original RAW files The previews and Smart Previews get used most and the Originals only come into the picture when exporting or making prints. So in that regard it does not n=matter where you store the originals after your initial develop cycle. I in-tort to my 1TB internal drive on my iMac , process and after about a bonth or so I will move the originals off to a n EHD. If I do need an new export or print, any pause in accessing the original RAW for the process is not noticeable for processes that are "fire and forget"
 

JoeB94

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There is no harm storing the image files on an external disk drive. The SSD EHD won't be any faster in terms of performance than the internal fusion drive.

If your EHD connection is via a TB3 cable, then the connection can be as fast as a typical bus mounted drive. If that is the case, there is no reason to keep the catalog file and previews folder on the SSD.

Some things to consider though about Lightroom . After Import it only rarely accesses the original RAW files The previews and Smart Previews get used most and the Originals only come into the picture when exporting or making prints. So in that regard it does not n=matter where you store the originals after your initial develop cycle. I in-tort to my 1TB internal drive on my iMac , process and after about a bonth or so I will move the originals off to a n EHD. If I do need an new export or print, any pause in accessing the original RAW for the process is not noticeable for processes that are "fire and forget"
Thank you very much for this advice, very much appreciated. I think from what everyone is saying I’m better of saving some money and just getting a standard EHD for storage purposes :)
 
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Thank you very much for this advice, very much appreciated. I think from what everyone is saying I’m better of saving some money and just getting a standard EHD for storage purposes :)
I would put the price money into getting a TB3 EHD as all other connections are slower and outmoded. SSDs have a little longer life than spinning disks but no other advantage as an EHD.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

JoeB94

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I would put the price money into getting a TB3 EHD as all other connections are slower and outmoded. SSDs have a little longer life than spinning disks but no other advantage as an EHD.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Thank you for this, I think that is what I will do :) With that in mind do you have any recommendations? Also do you use any online storage for photos files (not system backup) as an extra back up? Or do you stick to external drives?

Many thanks :)
 
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Thank you for this, I think that is what I will do :) With that in mind do you have any recommendations? Also do you use any online storage for photos files (not system backup) as an extra back up? Or do you stick to external drives?

Many thanks :)
I have two that have served me well. My recommendation is a 3.5" with an external power supply. If you do not need a portable drive. https://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Thunderbolt-External-Drive-Desktop/dp/B06XYDL5CP/ref=sr_1_2_sspa

Amazon.com: G-Technology 6TB G-Drive with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Desktop External Hard Drive, Silver - 0G10491: Computers & Accessories
 

JoeB94

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Tom75

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Hi,

I am using a 27 inch iMac with internal SSD and fully agree with the above comments.

I always had my catalog stored on the internal SSD which is perfect and fastest I think. Until some time ago I had also all the images stored on the internal SSD but when I ran into space problems on the internal disk I decided to go for a solution with storing all the image files on an external HDD. Since I also need anyway another external drive for the time machine backups and didnt want to have loads of separate drives standing around, I bought an "Akitio THUNDER3 Quad X" Thunderbold 3 case.


In this I put two 4TB HDD, one for the images and the other one for the time machine backups and in case I am getting space problems again, there are still two slots free for two additional disks and if you want you can also put an SSD in there. In addition you have the advantage when the drives get old, you just replace them with new ones.

Its most important to have always a backup because its not a question if a drive will crash, just when it will :)

Regards,
Tom
 
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