SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

Started Jan 30, 2013 | Discussions
arie Regular Member • Posts: 423
SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

Whenever I process RAW photos it takes a long time and my guess is that it would take a lot less time with an SSD drive. Does anyone else use one for their photos? For under $200, it seems like it's worth the extra speed.

OCZ Agility 240g

ADATA XPG 256g

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Sonyshine
Sonyshine Senior Member • Posts: 8,781
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?
1

Invest in memory before you splash out on a hard drive.

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(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 393
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

Sonyshine wrote:

Invest in memory before you splash out on a hard drive.

We need to know a bit more about your system, but more memory is an excellent starting point in any case. SSD will give you a slight increase in boot time for program and is now the standard in video production.

You could ask your question on the PC talk or MAc Talk forum, they may be more knowledge there than here.

Frenske Veteran Member • Posts: 4,180
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?
1

Nope it should not make much of a difference. The processing of pictures depends on the your processing power and your memory, not on your harddrive. Saving the file to disk is a relatively a small part of process.

As said before the simplest, cost-effective way to increase the speed is to increase your memory. At least 4GB is usually recommended.

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Rand 47 Contributing Member • Posts: 597
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

jydurocher wrote:

Sonyshine wrote:

Invest in memory before you splash out on a hard drive.

We need to know a bit more about your system, but more memory is an excellent starting point in any case. SSD will give you a slight increase in boot time for program and is now the standard in video production.

You could ask your question on the PC talk or MAc Talk forum, they may be more knowledge there than here.

And, it would help to know what software  you use for DAM and post processing.

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Rashkae Senior Member • Posts: 1,176
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?
2

arie wrote:

Whenever I process RAW photos it takes a long time and my guess is that it would take a lot less time with an SSD drive. Does anyone else use one for their photos? For under $200, it seems like it's worth the extra speed.

OCZ Agility 240g

ADATA XPG 256g

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*loading* the RAW file will be a bit faster, but other than that, 240GB is a drop in the bucket if you shoot a lot.

My setup uses a 256GB drive for OS and PS, 2x1.5TB (RAID1 for redundancy) for my files storage, and 32GB of RAM. I set up 16Gb of the RAM as a RAMDisk, and tell PS to use that as the scratchdisk.

That's how you get a setup to fly!

OP arie Regular Member • Posts: 423
my h/w

Sorry, including my h/w setup would be helpful.

Win7, 4Gig RAM

Win benchmarks

  • Processor: 7.2
  • Memory: 7.2
  • Graphics 7.6
  • Disk: 5.9

Sounds like RAM would be a better investment than SSD at this point.

arie wrote:

Whenever I process RAW photos it takes a long time and my guess is that it would take a lot less time with an SSD drive. Does anyone else use one for their photos? For under $200, it seems like it's worth the extra speed.

OCZ Agility 240g

ADATA XPG 256g

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OntarioJohn
OntarioJohn Senior Member • Posts: 1,959
Re: my h/w

You should, according to MOI (not the Moi2), have the Max Memory you can stuff in that will work.

I have an iMac (why buy an a99 and scrimp on a computer?).  I have lenses that cost more than my new Mac.  (My first on too.)   I just went to 16GB and it made a huge difference.

Then again I've been schooled by Gary Friedman and shoot JPEGS a LOT.

That's an argument that comes and goes also.

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Archer66 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,590
Re: my h/w

arie wrote:

Sorry, including my h/w setup would be helpful.

Win7, 4Gig RAM

Do you have 64bit or 32bit Windows ?

If you have 32bit Windows then there is no point to add memory, Windows can't use it.

OP arie Regular Member • Posts: 423
Re: my h/w

Archer66 wrote:

arie wrote:

Sorry, including my h/w setup would be helpful.

Win7, 4Gig RAM

Do you have 64bit or 32bit Windows ?

If you have 32bit Windows then there is no point to add memory, Windows can't use it.

64bit - Why bothers with 32 if you're on Win7!?

Though I must admit, it took me a while to go from my beloved 32bit XP SP3 to Win7, but it's was a good upgrade.

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Chris Doc New Member • Posts: 11
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?
1

arie wrote:

Whenever I process RAW photos it takes a long time and my guess is that it would take a lot less time with an SSD drive. Does anyone else use one for their photos? For under $200, it seems like it's worth the extra speed.

OCZ Agility 240g

ADATA XPG 256g

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1500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you knew that people were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow. -MIB

The links you gave are for laptop SSDs.  Are you using a laptop?

Usually you would configure your SSD to be your operating system (OS) drive and have a large capacity hard drive to hold your pictures.  Laptops don't typically have 2 hard drives slots.  So I'd say that if you have a laptop and only have space for 1 hard drive then I wouldn't recommend an SSD because it won't be large enough to hold all of your photos.

If you do have a laptop with only 1 hard drive I'd suggest you take a look at backup solutions before you look at SSDs.  (Assuming that you are a photo enthusiast and have a lot of invaluable data on your hard drive.)  Hard drives are usually the 1st thing to go on computers so you should have some sort of backup solution.

I run a desktop system w/ 8 GB of RAM, a 240 GB SSD as an OS drive, a 1 TB media drive for photos, videos and music and a 1 TB backup drive that syncs the media drive and selected files on the OS drive nightly.

But if you already have a solution in place to handle your media then I would suggest getting an SSD.  They are the single best upgrade you can make to your computer.  You can't do anything else to your computer for that price that will give you a better performance increase.  There is no difference in time of starting a new program and minimizing a program that is already open.

Archer66 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,590
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

Chris Doc wrote:

arie wrote:



OCZ Agility 240g

ADATA XPG 256g

The links you gave are for laptop SSDs.

Huh ?

Chris Doc New Member • Posts: 11
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

Archer66 wrote:

Chris Doc wrote:

arie wrote:



OCZ Agility 240g

ADATA XPG 256g

The links you gave are for laptop SSDs.

Huh ?

After seeing your comment I checked newegg and I guess 3.5" SSDs aren't used anymore.  I bought mine a 2 years ago and I had a choice of 2.5" or 3.5".  I guess things change fast w/ SSDs.

Yemble Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?
1

arie wrote:

Whenever I process RAW photos it takes a long time and my guess is that it would take a lot less time with an SSD drive. Does anyone else use one for their photos? For under $200, it seems like it's worth the extra speed.

OCZ Agility 240g

ADATA XPG 256g

When partitioned correctly, SSD can make a HUGE difference to the performance of a PC and especially a laptop. I have a mixture of SSD, fast SATA HDs and a Synology NAS with low power WD Red drives. I do all of my photo editing on SSD and then back up to the NAS. I have both OCZ Agility 4 and Vertex 3 SSDs plus an older Crucial S300. The Vertex is probably for PCs, but the Agility is ideal for a laptop.

The price of SSDs is dropping, but IMHO they are worth buying at any price.

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Rexel99 Regular Member • Posts: 423
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

I replaced my laptop HD with an SSD, I got a 512Gig one as my laptop only has space for a single drive.

For everything involving booting and running applications (Lightroom and Photoshop) the SSD makes a huge difference. Also it is cooler and less power hungry... advantages.

For the opening of images into LR or PS the process appears to take about the same time, RAW takes a while to open and the 100% LR preview still pauses for a few moments. Importing and exporting to JPG again is about the same speed.

Other than this I think the whole image flipping and tagging is a bit quicker and more fluid but it's marginal.

OK, I got an HP Dv6, 4 core i7 with 8G ram.

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Jeadm Senior Member • Posts: 1,678
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

Well I assume you mean that you want to increase the access times on the files you're working on.

You can do that, but remember SSDs are really not a cost effective means of actually storing or backing up media.  Plus you should know that doing a lot of writing back and forth to the SSD will meaningfully shorten it's life.  To keep things simple let's just say there are things Windows (7+) does to minimize the back and forth writing to an SSD for that reason.

I run an SSD but only as a system drive, using hard drives for the back and forth stuff.  Installing an SSD as a system OS drive should increase the speed of your PC substantially.  I personally wouldn't use it for media.  If you have no prior experience with an SSD I would dedicate one for your operating system first, then go from there.  You can always add another to store your pictures while you work on them...?

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OntarioJohn
OntarioJohn Senior Member • Posts: 1,959
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

There are faster hard drives, but first max the memory, set up your hard drive partitions, defrag your drive(s), and check your swap space.  Look for fast hard drives at newegg or tiger direct.

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Jeadm Senior Member • Posts: 1,678
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

OntarioJohn wrote:

There are faster hard drives, but first max the memory, set up your hard drive partitions, defrag your drive(s), and check your swap space. Look for fast hard drives at newegg or tiger direct.

System RAM is important, the more the better (assuming 64 bit OS).

The only reservation I have about your suggestion is the last sentence.  Whenever possible I try to source my hard drives locally now.  It's actually the only item I don't order online anymore.  I must have purchased hundreds of these in my lifetime (either for myself or system builds) and I've literally only ever had drives fail that were bought online.  I suspect shipping is just rough and takes a toll.  If they're not outright DOA they fail prematurely.  Of course it isn't all drives ordered online, but it's still higher than it should be IMO.

My worst luck is with Seagate; best luck with Western Digital and Hitachi.  Old Samsung used to be good, but now that their hard drive division was bought by Seagate, I have my doubts.

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Sam_Oslo
Sam_Oslo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,022
Nope, SSD drive is no worth it
1

You should get a good 3TB HDD for your RAW-files. Something like a Western Digital Black 3TB. You could alternatively get a cheaper Seagate Barracuda 3TB too.

SSD will be a bit faster for loading big (RAW)-files, but it has a couple of drawbacks too. 250MB is too small for storage of big RAW-files. If you move your files from HDD to SSD for prepossessing, it will creates a huge write-activity and it wear out (tears down) your SSD really fast. So this is not a good option unless you have a few RAW-files.

As other said, get more RAM, it's really cheap in these days. Get as much as you can and make  a RAM-disk for your temp-files, it will speed up everything.

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Sam_Oslo
Sam_Oslo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,022
Re: SSD drive for my photos - it's worth it, right?

.. A bit more about the whole system

A good Image-prepossessing system should have:

a fast CPU something like Intel Core i7-3930K  (rather overcloked to 4.5MHz +), 
as much as possible RAM (rataher 4TB dedicated to a  RAM-disk for Temp-file and scrach-files),  
a SSD as OS-disk (for windows and programm installation only), 
and a few big HDD for storage of your shots.

In that order.

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