Using SSD with Lightroom

18 posts
21 March 2015
eosfan
Photographer
eosfan
Hi all,

I am considering adding an internal 250GB SSD to my 4 year old MacPro (16GB RAM) but have no experience and little knowledge of SSDs. At the moment I use the "standard" internal HDD for program files, an internal 2TB Western Digital Red HDD for image files and an external 3TB Buffalo drive for backing up image files and catalogs.

If I do buy an SSD, am I right in thinking that its best use would be for holding the catalogs?

Thanks

Dave

Posted 21 March 2015
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
Yep, there's plenty of guidance on the internet on how best to use SSDs with Light room.

Posted 21 March 2015
paule
Photographer
paule
May have a google at that...

I currently have my cat' on an SSD along with the swap / cache area...

Previously I had them on spinning disks and LR would pause between modules: Library to Develop.. now it doesn't

New release, v6 due imminently.

Posted 21 March 2015
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Can't speak from a Mac point of view but buying a cheapie SSD (64GB) for my Lightroom catalogues on my PC made a world of difference, especially since my PC's a dinosaur (only 4GB or RAM and a first generation quad core CPU).

Posted 21 March 2015
Edited by RedChecker 21 March 2015
DJ200
Photographer
DJ200
I have a 500gb SSD that holds Lightroom, PS CS6 and the LR catalogue. All works a treat, and super fast too. Using Windows 8.1

Regards
David
Posted 21 March 2015
Edited by DJ200 21 March 2015
Chandos
Photographer
Chandos
Sandisk Extreme Pro is currently one of the best SSD around with 10 years guarantee.

Posted 21 March 2015
eosfan
Photographer
eosfan
Well you've all convinced me, I've ordered the bits!

Thanks for all the replies

Dave

Posted 21 March 2015
DJ200
Photographer
DJ200
Chandos

Sandisk Extreme Pro is currently one of the best SSD around with 10 years guarantee.


Yep, that's what I got.

Posted 21 March 2015
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictu..
Also on a sandisk ssd 120gb, it runs windows and ps ever so fast. It was handy to use a bit of software called paragon migrate to mirror the c drive across into the new ssd. That way, if you have a problem you can still boot from the old hard drive too.

Posted 21 March 2015
Edited by profilepictures 21 March 2015
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
They basically work best where there's any sort of random access. So booting is given a massive boost as the system boots endless hundreds/thousands of driver & library files. Lightroom catalogues are also good examples as it contains all of the thumnails etc in a massive database.

Although they'll still be better than mechanical drives, the performance boost won't be as significant for things like video editing (or at least the processing) as it's primarily CPU oriented and the data's simply streaming steadily from the drives.

One word of warning... it's good practice never to fill up an SSD (or indeed get anywhere near close to filling it up). It's all to do with what's called wear-levelling and how the drives protect themselves from damage (because as we know, flash memory has finite write cycles).

Posted 22 March 2015
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictu..
I didn't entirely understand wear on the ssd as a concept, but sandisk drives come with a bit of software designed to optimise their use and indicate percentage life left, which is a step ahead of conventional drives in terms of planning at least.

Posted 22 March 2015
EllessePhotography
Photographer
EllessePhoto..
Don't forget the Samsung 850 pro, about the same price and guarantee as the Sandisk, but with better longevity. The Sandisk can take up to 80TB (that's 22GB per day), while the Samsung is 150TB (that's for the 256GB variant, the 512GB & 1TB can handle 300TB). If you are using an SSD with constant read/writes, the Samsung wins hands down. I have both in my PC and the Samsung is a little faster in my opinion.

Posted 22 March 2015
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
profilepictures

I didn't entirely understand wear on the ssd as a concept, but sandisk drives come with a bit of software designed to optimise their use and indicate percentage life left, which is a step ahead of conventional drives in terms of planning at least.


Wear-levelling will keep overwriting on top of all of the free space (rather than simply the first deleted files).  If you've got little free space it will obviously keep overwriting on top of the same bit of memory more often and you risk the memory 'locking' (which is what happens with flash memory).

If you've got enough SATA connectors and power connectors, IMO simply buying a cheap (and arguably disposable) dedicated SSD specifically for the task of LR catalogues (or PS scratch files) is a sensible move.  You can get a 60GB drive for ~£35, or 128GB for £46, a no brainer in my book and ample space on the drive to keep its usage low (mine's typically at around 40% used)

As for brands, they're pretty much all good.  I've owned Sandisk and Samsung, used Corsair and Kingston at work and people swear by Intel drives (they're often the most expensive)
Posted 22 March 2015
DJ200
Photographer
DJ200
This may be of use to help you decide where to put your various files...http://www.computer-darkroom.com/blog/will-an-ssd-improve-adobe-lightroom-performance/
Posted 23 March 2015
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
DJ200

This may be of use to help you decide where to put your various files...http://www.computer-darkroom.com/blog/will-an-ssd-improve-adobe-lightroom-performance/


A bit naff as all they seem to be doing is working on 300 files that are presumably in the same folder within the catalogue.

For me (albeit on a PC), one of the most awkward things prior to putting the catalogue on the SSD was browsing through large folders as it took some time to load the thumbnails and was even more awkward going to browse other folders within the same catalogue, the whole thing was pretty sluggish simply to use as there were often pauses on the system while manually working on images.  The introduction of the SSD in my case made all of the browsing between folders very snappy and I no longer have to keep stopping what I'm doing to wait while working on individual images.

I can't comment on batch processing as I normally walk away when I have the need to do that, and besides, as I said earlier regarding SSD benefits over HDD, it's unlikely it will give a huge benefit for something like that as you're streaming large files back/forth and for the most part will be CPU based.  Browsing a catalogue will involve huge amounts of random reads/writes as it's effectively a database of sorts and is perfect for SSD utilisation.
Posted 23 March 2015
Edited by RedChecker 23 March 2015
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