LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

Started Jun 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,723
Re: LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

Stephen Elms wrote:

So I'm getting a new iMac (27", i7 with 1TB Fusion Drive) plus a USB 3.0 external HD. Would I be best to store my catalog file on the Fusion drive and the actual image files on the external USB 3.0 drive? I'm trying to determine the best location for these files that will make LR run quickest.

Any input would be appreciated.

The general advice is that LR's catalog, previews, and ACR cache should be on your fastest internal drive. SSD is of course best.

Source image files can be wherever convenient and you have capacity for them. External USB/Firewire/Thunderbolt or GigE networked drives are OK. Obviously opening access in LR's Develop Mode will be faster if they are on an internal drive, but the main speed benefits in LR are as above for the catalog and previews since those are accessed continually in normal use. The catalog file is written every time you move a slider. With LR5 should you upgrade to that, and Smart Previews, that again is a reason to keep your previews on internal drive.

[ I am not expert on the caching logic in a fusion drive vs the size of your catalog and previews/ACR cache and its constant access as to what benefit you will gain in LR, but I presume it is somewhat faster that a conventional HDD. I have only a 500GB 7200rpm HDD, and set my ACR cache to 50GB (because I jump in and out of many folders in my typical LR workflow). My catalog is then around 1.6GB and my previews are 60GB - for 116k images. ]

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