Lightroom Performance Advantage on MacPro: Separate or Partitioned SSD's?

Started Apr 30, 2013 | Discussions
JayMitch
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Lightroom Performance Advantage on MacPro: Separate or Partitioned SSD's?
Apr 30, 2013

Hey Folks

Looking to boost MacPro system performance with Lightroom and want to transfer my LR catalogues to an SSD.  I am currently running Mac OS and applications from a single SSD with my catologues on a separate WD Caviar Black HD.  Considering switching to a larger and faster SSD, then partitioning it to OS/applications on one section and Lightroom catalogues on the other.

Are there any performance gains to be achieved by running the OS/applications and LR catalogues on physically separate drives, or will a single partitioned drive suffice?

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webfrasse
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Re: Lightroom Performance Advantage on MacPro: Separate or Partitioned SSD's?
In reply to JayMitch, May 1, 2013

JayMitch wrote:

Hey Folks

Looking to boost MacPro system performance with Lightroom and want to transfer my LR catalogues to an SSD.  I am currently running Mac OS and applications from a single SSD with my catologues on a separate WD Caviar Black HD.  Considering switching to a larger and faster SSD, then partitioning it to OS/applications on one section and Lightroom catalogues on the other.

Are there any performance gains to be achieved by running the OS/applications and LR catalogues on physically separate drives, or will a single partitioned drive suffice?

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Totally pointless operation on an SSD. Forget everything you know about disks. It does not apply to an SSD.

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Mikael

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Merlijn53
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Re: Lightroom Performance Advantage on MacPro: Separate or Partitioned SSD's?
In reply to JayMitch, May 1, 2013

JayMitch wrote:

Hey Folks

Looking to boost MacPro system performance with Lightroom and want to transfer my LR catalogues to an SSD.  I am currently running Mac OS and applications from a single SSD with my catologues on a separate WD Caviar Black HD.  Considering switching to a larger and faster SSD, then partitioning it to OS/applications on one section and Lightroom catalogues on the other.

Are there any performance gains to be achieved by running the OS/applications and LR catalogues on physically separate drives, or will a single partitioned drive suffice?

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Same disk, other partition is useless, your current configuration is faster.

You can use a second ssd, or even better a pci-e ssd, like the owc mercury accelsior, or a raid 0 of 3 or 4 hd's (and a reliable back-up)

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mihama01
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Re: Lightroom Performance Advantage on MacPro: Separate or Partitioned SSD's?
In reply to JayMitch, May 1, 2013

If you swap your HD for a new SSD and keep the older SSD as is then keep your current partitioning scheme. If you replace both older SSD and HD with new SSD then use one single partition. It is more efficient in terms of space to have a single partition.

Then use your older HD as a time machine backup in an external case.

Sorted!

S

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Jen Yates
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Re: Lightroom Performance Advantage on MacPro: Separate or Partitioned SSD's?
In reply to JayMitch, May 2, 2013

JayMitch wrote:

Are there any performance gains to be achieved by running the OS/applications and LR catalogues on physically separate drives, or will a single partitioned drive suffice?

Partitioning an SSD or HDD will make ZERO difference to speed.

You will never get better speed by taking data off of a SSD and storing it on a HDD.

So don't partition your SSD and store everything on it. It's easy to arrange, flexible and fast as fast can be.

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Jacques Cornell
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SSD for performance, partition for backup
In reply to JayMitch, May 3, 2013

JayMitch wrote:

Hey Folks

Looking to boost MacPro system performance with Lightroom and want to transfer my LR catalogues to an SSD.  I am currently running Mac OS and applications from a single SSD with my catologues on a separate WD Caviar Black HD.  Considering switching to a larger and faster SSD, then partitioning it to OS/applications on one section and Lightroom catalogues on the other.

Are there any performance gains to be achieved by running the OS/applications and LR catalogues on physically separate drives, or will a single partitioned drive suffice?

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I've done exactly this with Aperture libraries. Moving them from a hard drive to an SSD definitely made Aperture perkier. As others have noted, there's no speed advantage to partitioning the SSD. There is a non-speed advantage to partitioning, though, and that is that you can easily backup your data separately from your OS and apps. Putting only OS and apps on a smaller boot volume requires less space for Time Machine and system clones. And, putting libraries or catalogs on their own volume makes it easy to have multiple backups.

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noirdesir
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Re: SSD for performance, partition for backup
In reply to Jacques Cornell, May 4, 2013

Majikthize wrote:

There is a non-speed advantage to partitioning, though, and that is that you can easily backup your data separately from your OS and apps.

Except for SuperDuper and TM, every backup program can have a folder as source (and destination), you don't need to have your data on separate volumes to set up separate backups.

Putting only OS and apps on a smaller boot volume requires less space for Time Machine and system clones.

But you have to set up backups for every volume separately which is extra work

And, putting libraries or catalogs on their own volume makes it easy to have multiple backups.

Again not needed except for TM and essentially SuperDuper.

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noirdesir
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Re: Lightroom Performance Advantage on MacPro: Separate or Partitioned SSD's?
In reply to Jen Yates, May 4, 2013

Jen Yates wrote:

JayMitch wrote:

Are there any performance gains to be achieved by running the OS/applications and LR catalogues on physically separate drives, or will a single partitioned drive suffice?

Partitioning an SSD or HDD will make ZERO difference to speed.

You will never get better speed by taking data off of a SSD and storing it on a HDD.

So don't partition your SSD and store everything on it. It's easy to arrange, flexible and fast as fast can be.

Yeah, the best advice with SSDs is to put as much data on it that fit on it. They don't slow down as they get full.

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Daniel Lauring
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Re: Lightroom Performance Advantage on MacPro: Separate or Partitioned SSD's?
In reply to noirdesir, May 4, 2013

noirdesir wrote:

Yeah, the best advice with SSDs is to put as much data on it that fit on it. They don't slow down as they get full.

At least the new ones, with proper working trim don't.  The old ones could get flakey when they started to get fuller and really slow down.

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Jacques Cornell
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Re: SSD for performance, partition for backup
In reply to noirdesir, May 4, 2013

noirdesir wrote:

Majikthize wrote:

There is a non-speed advantage to partitioning, though, and that is that you can easily backup your data separately from your OS and apps.

Except for SuperDuper and TM, every backup program can have a folder as source (and destination), you don't need to have your data on separate volumes to set up separate backups.

Yes, of course, you're right that your data folders can easily be backed up regardless. But, TM and bootable clones only work at the volume level.

Putting only OS and apps on a smaller boot volume requires less space for Time Machine and system clones.

But you have to set up backups for every volume separately which is extra work

Not much extra work there. Just add a second destination volume to TM prefs, and tell your cloning app of choice to copy one volume to another. Well worth it if your OS or boot drive goes south and you need to boot from a clone to troubleshoot. I also like to keep a clone of my old OS for a while after I upgrade to a new version, in case any bugs appear and I need to revert.

And, putting libraries or catalogs on their own volume makes it easy to have multiple backups.

Again not needed except for TM and essentially SuperDuper.

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noirdesir
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Re: SSD for performance, partition for backup
In reply to Jacques Cornell, May 4, 2013

Majikthize wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

Majikthize wrote:

There is a non-speed advantage to partitioning, though, and that is that you can easily backup your data separately from your OS and apps.

Except for SuperDuper and TM, every backup program can have a folder as source (and destination), you don't need to have your data on separate volumes to set up separate backups.

Yes, of course, you're right that your data folders can easily be backed up regardless. But, TM and bootable clones only work at the volume level.

I still don't see any advantage in creating extra volumes for anything unless you:

  1. Are wedded to do your backups with SD (and want a different schedule or destination for OS and data), or
  2. Expect to need to have to erase he volume with the OS (because if it only contains the OS the restore is faster).

Nobody needs a 'bootable clone' of the data volumes because a data volume is obviously not bootable anyway. The only reason I can think of that you mention bootable clones only working at the volume level (when advocating separate data volumes) is because you use a backup software that only (or most easily) works at the volume level.

And why you say that TM only works at the volume level is also unclear to me. I think you conflate 'is customised by excluding stuff not by including stuff' with 'only works at the volume level'.

But you have to set up backups for every volume separately which is extra work

Not much extra work there. Just add a second destination volume to TM prefs, and tell your cloning app of choice to copy one volume to another. Well worth it if your OS or boot drive goes south and you need to boot from a clone to troubleshoot. I also like to keep a clone of my old OS for a while after I upgrade to a new version, in case any bugs appear and I need to revert.

I don't see how having bootable clones of your boot volume (or keeping one for a little bit longer) requires you to (or are facilitated by) (a) backup your data separately or (b) put your data on a separate volume.

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Jacques Cornell
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Advantages of a small boot partition
In reply to noirdesir, May 4, 2013

noirdesir wrote:

Majikthize wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

Majikthize wrote:

There is a non-speed advantage to partitioning, though, and that is that you can easily backup your data separately from your OS and apps.

Except for SuperDuper and TM, every backup program can have a folder as source (and destination), you don't need to have your data on separate volumes to set up separate backups.

Yes, of course, you're right that your data folders can easily be backed up regardless. But, TM and bootable clones only work at the volume level.

I still don't see any advantage in creating extra volumes for anything unless you:

  1. Are wedded to do your backups with SD (and want a different schedule or destination for OS and data), or
  2. Expect to need to have to erase he volume with the OS (because if it only contains the OS the restore is faster).

Nobody needs a 'bootable clone' of the data volumes because a data volume is obviously not bootable anyway. The only reason I can think of that you mention bootable clones only working at the volume level (when advocating separate data volumes) is because you use a backup software that only (or most easily) works at the volume level.

And why you say that TM only works at the volume level is also unclear to me. I think you conflate 'is customised by excluding stuff not by including stuff' with 'only works at the volume level'.

But you have to set up backups for every volume separately which is extra work

Not much extra work there. Just add a second destination volume to TM prefs, and tell your cloning app of choice to copy one volume to another. Well worth it if your OS or boot drive goes south and you need to boot from a clone to troubleshoot. I also like to keep a clone of my old OS for a while after I upgrade to a new version, in case any bugs appear and I need to revert.

I don't see how having bootable clones of your boot volume (or keeping one for a little bit longer) requires you to (or are facilitated by) (a) backup your data separately or (b) put your data on a separate volume.

Let me explain.

My MBP has a 500GB SSD and a 750GB HD. The SSD is partitioned 125GB for Boot and 375GB for Data. The HD has a 125GB Boot Clone volume, a 250GB TM volume, and a 375GB Data Backup volume. If I did not partition, I would not be able to have both TM and clone backups internally.

Similarly, I can have additional clones and TM backups on other drives, and they take up only 125GB and 250GB each. If I didn't partition, each Boot clone would take up 500GB, and each TM would take 750GB (I allocate 150% of source to TM). This allows me to keep clones of my old 10.6 and 10.7 boots on an old leftover 250GB drive.

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noirdesir
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Re: Advantages of a small boot partition
In reply to Jacques Cornell, May 5, 2013

Majikthize wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

Majikthize wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

Majikthize wrote:

There is a non-speed advantage to partitioning, though, and that is that you can easily backup your data separately from your OS and apps.

Except for SuperDuper and TM, every backup program can have a folder as source (and destination), you don't need to have your data on separate volumes to set up separate backups.

Yes, of course, you're right that your data folders can easily be backed up regardless. But, TM and bootable clones only work at the volume level.

I still don't see any advantage in creating extra volumes for anything unless you:

  1. Are wedded to do your backups with SD (and want a different schedule or destination for OS and data), or
  2. Expect to need to have to erase he volume with the OS (because if it only contains the OS the restore is faster).

Nobody needs a 'bootable clone' of the data volumes because a data volume is obviously not bootable anyway. The only reason I can think of that you mention bootable clones only working at the volume level (when advocating separate data volumes) is because you use a backup software that only (or most easily) works at the volume level.

And why you say that TM only works at the volume level is also unclear to me. I think you conflate 'is customised by excluding stuff not by including stuff' with 'only works at the volume level'.

But you have to set up backups for every volume separately which is extra work

Not much extra work there. Just add a second destination volume to TM prefs, and tell your cloning app of choice to copy one volume to another. Well worth it if your OS or boot drive goes south and you need to boot from a clone to troubleshoot. I also like to keep a clone of my old OS for a while after I upgrade to a new version, in case any bugs appear and I need to revert.

I don't see how having bootable clones of your boot volume (or keeping one for a little bit longer) requires you to (or are facilitated by) (a) backup your data separately or (b) put your data on a separate volume.

Let me explain.

My MBP has a 500GB SSD and a 750GB HD. The SSD is partitioned 125GB for Boot and 375GB for Data. The HD has a 125GB Boot Clone volume, a 250GB TM volume, and a 375GB Data Backup volume. If I did not partition, I would not be able to have both TM and clone backups internally.

Ok, that of course changes things, to have laptop-internal clones and TM backups you do need additional volumes. But I don't think anybody could have gleaned from your earlier posts, so it was worth it to ask you back why you gave your original advice and make it clear in which circumstances it applies.

But are you aware that you already have a few local TM snapshots even without doing anything? As long there is free space on your boot volume, OS X will create those while no dedicated TM destination is connected.

Similarly, I can have additional clones and TM backups on other drives, and they take up only 125GB and 250GB each. If I didn't partition, each Boot clone would take up 500GB, and each TM would take 750GB (I allocate 150% of source to TM).

I don't follow. A clone is a large as the original dataset not the size of the volume, if you only have, let's say, 200 GB of files on your boot drive, you can clone that drive to a 200 GB volume or a larger volume with empty space left on it.

And the size of the TM backup is also given by the amount of data (and how long a history you keep), not by the size of volume(s) that is (are) backed up.

This allows me to keep clones of my old 10.6 and 10.7 boots on an old leftover 250GB drive.

I also have a 500 GB SSD in my laptop plus a 1 TB HDD, with the SSD holding about 460 GB of files and HDD about 500 GB. I have four clones of my boot drive, two on 500 GB drives/volumes, and two on smaller drives (a 200 and 250 GB drive). I simply excluded my Pictures folder for those, as without it, everything fits on 200 GB. And then I backup my Pictures folder to another HDD.

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