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Author Topic: Will fast disks speed up lightroom?  (Read 5721 times)
Gurglamei
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« on: November 21, 2007, 01:49:48 AM »
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I am buying a new PC for my photo work.  

I have decided for a quad core processor and 8 Gb of RAM.  Will I gain much extra performance in Lightroom by choosing faster than standard disks for my Lightroom library?  

A standard disk is a 500 -750 GB WD disk, and the faster disks are WD Raptors og SAS-disks.  Should i go for Raid 0?

I don't care if the computer takes time to boot and load the programs. I am only conserned about performance when running Lightroom.
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mahleu
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2007, 03:06:52 AM »
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A faster scratch disk should speed it up, I would use a raptor for that but I don't think you'll see much improvement in lightroom buy getting a faster OS hd, but it might start a bit quicker.
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Anyone selling a 1DSIII or 6D cheap?
ranjans
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2007, 09:42:04 AM »
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Short answer is no.

LR has some fundamental speed & workflow issues & I hope they are addressed in future versions soon.
LR was made so you can buy new machines for it,
it was not made keeping the existing computer configurations prevalent at this time.
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Schewe
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2007, 01:16:34 PM »
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Short answer is no.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=154699\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Wrong...Lightroom is a very intensive I/O application in that it's always reading and writing small bits of data from disk. As a result a faster drive WILL help speed up general Lightroom functions such as reading/writing XMP metadata, adding keywords (to large groups) and anything else where Lightroom has to do extensive database work.

It won't help preview generation too much as that's processor intensive not I/O intensive. Same thing with exporting.

But, in general, faster drives is better for Lightroom! Oh, and Lightroom unlike Photoshop doesn't actually use/need a "scratch disk"...
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stevecoleccs
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2007, 02:17:10 PM »
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I just (as in yesterday)  bought one of the fasted RAID HD in the market, it's a 4 drive
RAID 5 configuration using SATA connection - my older drive was a internal Seagate drive.

After changing over the files & lightroom to the very fast RAID 5 HD, lightroom runs the same.
Same processing, metadata, previews etc...same, same, same.

No difference.  Period.

I'm running a G5 Dual with 2 gigs of ram.






Quote
I am buying a new PC for my photo work. 

I have decided for a quad core processor and 8 Gb of RAM.  Will I gain much extra performance in Lightroom by choosing faster than standard disks for my Lightroom library? 

A standard disk is a 500 -750 GB WD disk, and the faster disks are WD Raptors og SAS-disks.  Should i go for Raid 0?

I don't care if the computer takes time to boot and load the programs. I am only conserned about performance when running Lightroom.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=154619\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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John.Murray
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2007, 02:39:15 PM »
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I just (as in yesterday) bought one of the fasted RAID HD in the market, it's a 4 drive
RAID 5 configuration using SATA connection - my older drive was a internal Seagate drive.

After changing over the files & lightroom to the very fast RAID 5 HD, lightroom runs the same.
Same processing, metadata, previews etc...same, same, same.

No difference. Period.

I'm running a G5 Dual with 2 gigs of ram.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm not suprised!  Comparing a the performance of a single drive to RAID-5 doesn't really make sense.  The sole advantage of RAID-5 is fault tolerance.  The fact that your single SATA controller is having to stripe, assemble/re-assemble data (under driver control -  which is software running on YOUR CPU, NOT the controller) during each disk I/O operation is going to slow things down . . .

ANY computer will benefit from a FASTER hard drive subsystem - the difference will be across the board - immediate and noticeable.

Here's an interesting article about Intel's latest onboard SATA controller:

[a href=\"http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=484]http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=484[/url]

hope this helps - John
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 02:46:08 PM by Joh.Murray » Logged

barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 03:45:59 PM »
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The interesting thing about hard drives, is they tend to not have massive increases in speed, year to year models etc. They tend to improve a bit each time, not huge steps..

I cannot suggest people go out and buy raptors though, they really are not very good value, and are not much faster than normal HDD's

I have a twin HDD system, LR on the main OS HDD, photo files on the other. LR is running pretty well overall, 1.3 appears a bit faster.

There is room for more tweaking etc, and more work on speed would be welcome. But dont expect to see a monster increase in LR, just by replacing your couple of years old HDD's, aint gonna happen.

Back to the OP, 8Gb of ram is a tad overkill, even for a hardcore pc user.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 03:49:07 PM by barryfitzgerald » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2007, 04:35:49 PM »
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After changing over the files & lightroom to the very fast RAID 5 HD, lightroom runs the same.
Same processing, metadata, previews etc...same, same, same.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

How are you evaluating the speed? Export isn't I/O limited, so I wouldn't expect to see any difference. Preview generation is again, processor intensive, not I/O intensive. Where I would expect to see speed improvements would be in updating XMP metadata for say, several hundred images or in reading in new metadata for modified images. Those are the tasks that are I/O limited.

Also note that the data blocks that are generally thought to be "bigger is better" for Photoshop scratch disk and large image use (and video) is actually the opposite for databases where small block is better/faster. I tend to split the differences.

Also, as said, RAID 5 isn't known for it's pure, raw speed. RAID 0, just stripped, no parity, would be a lot faster...

When I set up my "monster machine" I made the decision to forgo parity (and a degree of safety) by using a 3 drive, internal stripped (RAID 0) internal for working files. Because of the risk of the stripped drive failure I also do automated, nightly backups via Retrospect to a mirrored external array. That way, I only really risk one day's work and have a two dupe backup externally. Then, from time to time I'll backup the external drives to my NAS RAID 5 networked drive...

If you want to speed up Lightroom (and Photoshop) the order of importance is;

1st-CPU speed, the more cores, the better (well, up to say a max of dual, dual core. quad cores are currently memory starved for big app use like Photoshop)

2nd-Ram. While Lightroom is still a 32 bit app and thus can't address more than 4 gigs max (actually I think Lightroom currently is limited to 3 gigs max), part of the issue with ram is system paging when the system runs low of free ram (including situations where the free ram is fragmented). And, unless you re running XP or Vista 64 bit, or Leopard, there's really not a compelling story for gong beyond 4-6 gigs. The Mac Pro towers and Vista 64 CAN make good use of more ram, but until we get 64 bit apps, it won't help apps s much as it will help the system and running multiple apps.

3rd-Disk I/O. The final potential speedup is disk I/O. This will also provide the least bang for the buck however...at best you'll be looking at maybe 5-10% improvements in those functions that are I/O limited...that said, Photoshop, running with it's scratch disk on a really fast RAID 0 stripped multiple array WILL improve Photoshop performance in those situations where you are working on really big images or lots of images open at once. Adobe has done some speed tests for Photoshop, see: [a href=\"http://blogs.adobe.com/scottbyer/2007/09/photoshop_world.html]Photoshop World - Heavy Lifting[/url] written by Photoshop engineer Scott Byer.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 04:41:35 PM »
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I'm not suprised!  Comparing a the performance of a single drive to RAID-5 doesn't really make sense.  The sole advantage of RAID-5 is fault tolerance.  The fact that your single SATA controller is having to stripe, assemble/re-assemble data (under driver control -  which is software running on YOUR CPU, NOT the controller) during each disk I/O operation is going to slow things down . . .

ANY computer will benefit from a FASTER hard drive subsystem - the difference will be across the board - immediate and noticeable.

Here's an interesting article about Intel's latest onboard SATA controller:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=484

hope this helps - John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=154762\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thank you for that Blog, John.  (And the ones it links to.)  I was looking at some of the cheap AMS hardware he works with in one of those blogs.  Now I think I'll go for it.
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Gurglamei
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2007, 05:21:30 AM »
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Thank you all!  This has been a great help, and I belive I have learned a lot.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 05:22:18 AM by Gurglamei » Logged
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