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Which Drive should Lightroom be installed ?

Discussion in 'Lightroom Installation & Performance' started by Sergey, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Sergey

    Sergey New Member

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    Hello Friends ! first post here )
    I just got my new system from Cyberpower , I have chosen 500Gb M2 solid state drive as fastest drive for the Lightroom and a 2Tb regular Hard drive for storage , also I have 250Gb SSD that came free with a purchase of the 2Tb drive . Cyberpower installed the windows on the SSD instead of the faster M2 drive so my question is Does it matter at all ? And where should I install Lightroom ? I use it pretty heavily and wanted the fastest communication of lightroom with original RAW files . What would my best set up be with the 3 drives that I have for the Lightroom, the catalog, original files, and the finished work.
    Thank you very much for your help !
     
  2. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    The smaller SSD for the OS is probably the best choice. The free space on that drive is where your working storage (/TEMP) files will reside. Reserve that drive for programs and OS related data. LR will make extensive use of this working storage. Next storing all of your user data except for the image files but including the LR catalog file and previews on the M2 SSD will give you the best LR performance. The image files won't be accessed often after the initial develop stage and can be on a slower I/O that you find with the 2TB SATA drive.
     
  3. Ferguson

    Ferguson Linwood Ferguson Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    The issue of where to install windows is mostly about what else will go there (or should go there) and will it fit along with windows.

    I would start with the idea that Windows would benefit from being there; the system overall will run faster as it does its windows-y things that are often invisible, libraries (e.g. .net stuff), accessing background services (and virus scanning their files), etc.

    However, where ever your C drive is will also become the default location for everything else. 500GB is a lot of space, but if everything else goes there by default, it will start to fill up. So you have to watch the size. That they put windows on a 250G drive means you can only get better going to the M.2, though.

    You also need to know if your computer CAN boot from the M.2 drive. Some cannot, depends on the mother board and bios. Does it list it in the bios boot menu?

    As to what should go on the M.2, it depends on space needed, but things that benefit from fast disk include the preview cache (which normally is on the same drive as the catalog, but can be moved with a bit of hacking; there is no menu option to relocate it though), windows temp files, the ACR cache and video cache if you do video, and the catalog itself more or less in that order of priority. The problem is the preview cache is very large if you have a decent size catalog (it starts small, but it grows over time without settable limit based on what you view). If your system is memory poor, I would also put the page file on the M.2 or at least SSD.

    The 250GB SSD can also be used as a cache for the hard drive, depending on the type of motherboard Sata controller. I have not personally done this outside of experimenting, but Intel controllers (for example) will automatically stage files in and out of the SSD based on which are most actively in use. It MIGHT be useful to use it that way for the image cache, so that images you are actively working on migrate (as a copy) to SSD for faster access. This of course only if M.2 is used for system, catalog, etc.

    Bottom line, if it were mine, I would move the OS to the M.2 if the system will support it, and then use the SSD for overflow for heavily used files from the M.2 drive. Now moving it is not for the feint of heart as you cannot just copy it and boot from windows, you need a special program to do so. They sometimes come with the M.2 or SSD drives, or you can search for ones to move the system volume (I have personally not done it -- I always take the opportunity to reinstall windows and clean house).

    Postscript: I wrote mine before seeing Cletus' answer. In retrospect it is worth emphasizing that not moving the system disk is certainly a lot easier. I don't give him "better" ;), but easier is certainly true; just watch the space as 250GB is not a lot now-a-days.
     
  4. Sergey

    Sergey New Member

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    Thank you Cletus D Lee and Ferguson ! I am not very good about computers and just recently started getting into this research because I wanted to make my own system but it gave me a bit of a head spin :) I think I specifically asked Cyberpower to install the OS on the M2 drive but they didn't , I guess I should call them and find out if my motherboard supports M2 drive in it's full potential and why didn't they install windows on it . it's a pain to send the system back .
    Thank you again for all the information - I've learned a lot and actually still soaking it all in )) might take me a bit of time .
     
  5. Ferguson

    Ferguson Linwood Ferguson Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Personally I'm not sure I would ship a computer back (probably at your expense) to change it. As you just saw, an argument could be made for either arrangement. Now if they had installed windows on the spinning drive....
     
  6. Sergey

    Sergey New Member

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    Hello ! so I was away and now back to my computer and editing.
    I still have some questions.
    I am leaving windows where it is on the SSD and I need help to figure out where to place other stuff .
    here is what I have :
    1. SSD 250G - installed : Windows and Lightroom ( not planning to install much of anything else here, maybe a program or two )
    2. M2 500G - empty . Do I need to reinstall Lightroom in here or do I just move Lightroom catalog, back ups and previews here ? Please explain in details how to move and what files I am not good at this, or is there a tutorial on how to move lightroom stuff to a different volume ?
    3. 2TB spinning drive - empty. Do I store my raw files and finished work here or any of them need to be on the same drive with Lightroom catalog ?
    Thank you so much for your help !!!
     
  7. Ferguson

    Ferguson Linwood Ferguson Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Where lightroom (the programs) are installed is not terribly relevant, and I would leave it right where it is.

    You didn't mention the size of any of your components - how big are your images?

    Assuming a fairly large but not huge set, putting catalog and previews on the M2 drive, images on the 2TB spinning drive seems a reasonable start. Catalog backups could go there as well, but depends partly on your own backup schedule.

    You need a backup plan for images as well as catalogs. The catalog backup built into Lightroom just makes a copy, and by default puts it on the same disk. It's there for corruption issues not disk failures, really. If you can have something backing everything up daily, leaving it on the M.2 with the catalog gets it backed up really fast; if you are backing up everything much less frequently (not good, but common :() then put the catalog backups on the C drive (if plenty of space) or spinning drive so they are separated from the catalog, in case the M.2 drive fails.

    I recommend as above under the assumption you have more images than will comfortably fit on the M.2 drive.

    I would also put the ACR cache on the M.2 drive.
     
  8. Sergey

    Sergey New Member

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    Thank you Ferguson !
    How do I move all those things ? As far as I understand I can't just grab a folder and move it cause then it wont be found by the program at the new location right ? I was looking for a detailed tutorial on this and so far no luck . Could you please suggest where to find this information ?
     
  9. Ferguson

    Ferguson Linwood Ferguson Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    The catalog can (and should) be moved outside of Lightroom. After moving you just click on it to open.

    The ACR cache is specified on the Preferences page (Edit, Preferences, File Handling).

    The catalog backups you specify when the backup runs, there's a prompt there if you want to change it.

    Images themselves are what are best moved inside of Lightroom, at least "best" in terms of simplicity.

    If you have preferences or templates set, where they are depends on your settings, but generally either (1) they are system specific and you need do nothing, or (2) they are in the catalog folder, and you can just move it when you move the catalog - take the whole folder. The folder also contains previews which are OK to move, or OK to just delete (they will be rebuilt as needed, though it will be a bit slower while it does so).
     
  10. Ferguson

    Ferguson Linwood Ferguson Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    I want to say one more time, you need to make sure you have good backups before you start moving things around, and I do not mean just catalog backups, but images and everything else. Anytime humans are involved in moving/changing things on a computer there is always a chance of a mistake, and good, reliable backups are the only protection. It doesn't matter if you are an expert or neophyte, humans make mistakes.
     
  11. Sergey

    Sergey New Member

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    Thank you again for clearing that out for me !!!
    with this new computer I started all new - nothing to back up yet. I finished all my old work and left it on the old system separately in case if I need it .
    So there should be no problems with lost anything - I just need to set everything in the right places and start fresh that's why I was taking my time . I have over a thousand new images waiting to go into this computer )) fell behind a bit ...
    thank you for your help !
     
  12. Ferguson

    Ferguson Linwood Ferguson Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    OK. Have you taken care of all the things related to presets, templates, etc that you might have used? Did they get moved with your user's profile on the system?

    See Lightroom CC / 6 Default Locations - The Lightroom Queen

    most stuff is either with your catalog (in the same tree) and always some in your user profile, but it's easy to miss this in setting up a new computer.
     
  13. Sergey

    Sergey New Member

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    I started all new , I am not a professional I am just learning and only used Lightroom for less than a year. I was experimenting a lot with creating my own presets and now I am just going to recreate improved versions of my stuff that I like and I don't need a lot of my other stuff since my editing technics have changed with experience. So I am getting a fresh new start based on what I've learned so far. I love creating my own presets and filters it's all a part of learning for me.
    I have a full time heavy job but I truly love photography and hope to make it more than a hobby one day.
    I moved everything like you said and all looks good so far :) Thank you !
    I shoot with Nikon D750 raw files around 30Mb , uploaded all new images to the spinning 2T drive , will the Lightroom be saving finished edits quicker if I will save them to the M2 drive instead of the spinning one ? I can later move finished projects/albums to external in order not to take up too much space on M2 I just want the fastest workflow possible when I am editing a lot of pictures in one session.
     
  14. Ferguson

    Ferguson Linwood Ferguson Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Lightroom saves edits into the catalog, not the image (unless the "write XMP" option is selected, which it is not by default, and even then it writes to a tiny "sidecar" file not the image). So the speed of the drive with the image only has very tiny effect on editing, and that is when it reads in the image.

    If you export images to disk, e.g. to use elsewhere or print, the speed of that drive has some effect, but also relatively minor since it writes the file only once, sequentially (there are temp/scratch areas that are also used, but you have them on the M.2 drive). So if you are exporting a LOT of images it may be a bit faster to export to the M.2 or SSD than the spinning drive, but I doubt it is substantial.

    I think all you have done you are likely near the point where the CPU itself is your limiting factor.
     

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