External SSD for Lightroom Catalog?

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CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,204
External SSD for Lightroom Catalog?

I am running Lightroom Classic on my 2017 5K Retina 27 inch iMac with 24 GB RAM. I have almost 300,000 images in one catalog and my Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata file is typically 150-200 GB. Unfortunately my computer's internal SSD is only 512GB, so I find that Lightroom often runs slowly. I have tried periodically deleting my Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata, but this is not an optimum solution.

Now that external SSDs are getting less expensive, does it makes sense to move my LR Catalog and previews, etc, to an external drive connected through the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port?

If so, what size should I buy? Would a 500GB drive be sufficient if all I use it for is the Lightroom Catalog?

And do I need a Thunderbolt drive or will USB-C 3.2 or 3.2 be fast enough?

Thanks and stay well....

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