Art and Photography

Fastest lightroom process with SSD and HDD combo?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 6th, 2017 2:54 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Jan 21, 2017
895 posts
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Fastest lightroom process with SSD and HDD combo?

Hey guys I currently run my os off a SSD and run my lightroom editing off files from my external drive.

Needless to say it is slow as hell..

I plan to get a 4tb HDD but should I run the files off the hard drive or SSD? And what is the best file management process so you can take advantage of the speed of SSD and storage capacity of the regular hard drive? Thanks guys
8 replies
Deal Guru
Jun 15, 2012
14333 posts
8186 upvotes
Southern Ontario
My active RAWs sit on the SSD, then they're moved off to a server when I'm done. What's your CPU/GPU?

There's also a setting under Performance to click on/off "Use Graphics Processor" to see if there is an improvement.
[OP]
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Jan 21, 2017
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How do you then move them to the server?

The raw file too? Wouldn't you then lose the link to lightroom in case you want to make future edits?
Deal Guru
Jun 15, 2012
14333 posts
8186 upvotes
Southern Ontario
DPR2017 wrote: How do you then move them to the server?

The raw file too? Wouldn't you then lose the link to lightroom in case you want to make future edits?
Yes both the edited jpg's and RAWs get moved to my home server over wireless AC, a QNAP with 4 x 3TB HDD's in RAID redundancy (which is used for more than photos).
My important media and documents are additionally backed up on a 2TB portable HDD, one at home, and one at my work avoiding the need to pay for 3rd party cloud services, although the last 2 need to be updated manually.
And if there's a fire at both places, I'm screwed lol.

My QNAP can be accessed remotely outside my home, but I rarely re-edit. So yes, when I do, I just transfer the file(s) back to my computer and Lightroom recognizes it's there again.
I can still see my edited pic in Lr, it just says "This file could not be found" if the RAW isn't sitting on the computer.
Last edited by AncasterRFD on Feb 4th, 2017 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Nov 21, 2008
1351 posts
240 upvotes
North Vancouver, BC
LR is heavily dependent on CPU performance. The GPU is used for only a couple features that aren't typically used for basic post processing.

You can put your catalog on a faster drive, but for post processing the only performance improvement is going to come from a faster processor.
Last edited by robertz on Feb 4th, 2017 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
8280 posts
2020 upvotes
Toronto
LR likes a good CPU and lots of RAM. Good graphics card doesn't help performance much if any.

OP, how do you connect your external drive to your computer. If USB, that's your bottleneck - especially if it's USB 2.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 30, 2003
5803 posts
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Toronto
  • CPU is the most important factor for speed
  • Don't add sharpen / noise reduction (until very last thing).
  • Use SmartPreviews to speed it up
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Dec 10, 2004
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It's CPU,yet SSD does help at least in the test I did when I was reinstalling it. I switched from a hard drive to SSD and overall performance increased. Everything was more snappy. I'd estimate about 10% difference between hdd and SSD. If you have old catalogs, sometimes they can slow down your system so it's nice every year or so to just delete all the old catalogs(manually) and it will speed things up as well. When importing, do a full render. It will take a long time,but then going from image to image will be very fast during editing.
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