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

Started Jun 21, 2013 | Discussions
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Stephen Elms Regular Member • Posts: 148
LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

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.

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Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,512
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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Edvinas Senior Member • Posts: 2,811
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.

Keep everything on Fusion drive.

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Edvinas

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Stephen Elms OP Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

Thanks for the replies guys.  The Fusion drive is only 1TB and less than 1/4 of that space is actually the SSD.  That being said I cannot keep all of my images on that drive as I have well over 1TB of images.

Grump Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

You should store your catalog on the fusion drive.  Since your photos won't all fit you could import new photos to the fusion drive by default.  Keep them there until you're done processing.  Then move them to the external drive for archiving.  All within LR of course!

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Dave

Stephen Elms OP Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

That makes total sense, so I'd keep my "working files" from a specific shoot on the Fusion drive and then just move them to the external when done...Does anyone know if you can manually select the actual Fusion portion of the Mac drive to store files?  I thought with the Fusion drive, it looked after all that stuff automatically....

Jeff Charles Veteran Member • Posts: 7,514
Re: LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

Stephen Elms wrote:

That makes total sense, so I'd keep my "working files" from a specific shoot on the Fusion drive and then just move them to the external when done...Does anyone know if you can manually select the actual Fusion portion of the Mac drive to store files? I thought with the Fusion drive, it looked after all that stuff automatically....

This study - Will an SSD Improve Adobe Lightroom Performance? - is worth looking at.

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Jeff
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Grump Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

You have no control over where the files reside.  It will use all the of SSD before it starts putting files onto the HD so the until you go over 100GB or so it's going to be all SSD.  After that, it automatically moves the least accessed files to HD and the most accessed files to SSD.  It does the moving when the computer is idle as I recall.  If you use LR regularly chances are good the catalog will stay on SSD.
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Dave

Grump Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

I may have misread your question.  The fusion drive and the external drive will be two separate drives to you and the OS so you can decide what goes on each drive.  You can't control how files get placed within the fusion drive itself.
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Dave

Stephen Elms OP Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

Thanks Grump that answers my question and confirms what I thought.  That link was also great and very helpful.  Thanks a ton guys.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,593
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 Fusion drive will be much quicker than the external drive on USB 3. Move your files to the Fusion drive, especially when editing. For long term storage and if you have a huge amount of image files you could place those files on an external drive after editing them.

Stephen Elms OP Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: LR4 - Where To Store Catalog and Image Files on New Mac

Ya that's what I am going to do (thanks guys!).  I'll create a folder in my LR Library for working files and place that folder on the Fusion drive.  Then when I'm done editing them I'll simply move them to my other folders on my external drive.

It's all clear to me now

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