I have a new system and am in process of setting up LR3. I need advice on where to store files to optimize system performance.
Internal 1TB drive for OS and programs. I have the Lightroom program stored on this drive
DAS storage w/3 1.5 TB drives in raid 0. I have the raw images stored on this drive.
I am uncertain of where to store the LR catalog - on the images drive or the OS/program drive?
Running Win7 64 bit.
Thanks for your help!
I assume the DAS is connected via eSATA.
Wrt to the LR catalog there are two aspects to cover:
The catalog with its preview files (and presets) and the Cache directory(actually the CR cache directory).
Regarding the catalog:
It can be that storing the LR Catalog on the DAS is the faster option, but i am in doubt if it is noticable, unless you use the previews in Library mode often and extensive (zoom-in/out). Note: The presets are normally under the "C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom", but as an option can be stored with the catalog (in its folder structure).
Regarding the cache:
You also need a cache, this holds the previews you use when in the Develop mode (the previews you see in the Libray mode are stored in the catalog folder structure)
This folder is best on the DAS for the best performance (This cache path is set in the Lightroom preferences panel, and the cache size should be made quite big, go for 50GB or more.)
Be aware though that RAID-0 will provide faster disk i/o but at the expense of increased risk of disk-failure (the raid-0 is seen as one "disk"). So do set up a proper back-up. A minimum would be to create a regular backup of your catalog to your OS drive, you can use the backup option of LR for this.
Wrt to the image files:
RAID-0 gives a better performance, but depending on the file-format of your original image files it is more or less noticable.
If camera-specific raw's, you will notice it only during import, once imported it does not really matter as LR does not use the original raw's for read/write once imported. If so selected, metadata is also real-time written in XMP sidecar files, but these are small, and i doubt if it is noticable during LR use.
If DNG or TIFF or JPG, this may differ, as metadata is stored in those files, then when metadata is saved to those files from LR, the performance during development may be noticably better when these files are in a RAID-0 drive.
Again, for security against loss, do set up a proper back-up!!!
There is a commonly accepted rule of thumb: 3-2-1: 3 copies (1 working, 2 backup copies), 2 different storage systems used, 1 copy off-site; This should give you the best protection against fatal loss of images and catalog.