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Author Topic: SSD and Lightroom ! how fast can it get ? my results !  (Read 8661 times)
Happyfish
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« on: August 15, 2010, 03:47:40 AM »
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OK firsts off sorry some who know me  know I cant write to save my life !
this is long but good solid info I put together so sorry if its hard to read Smiley

some things I heard before I started this ? that I wanted to get my own answers for

I kept hearing people say stuff with no real data etc.. and the info was all over the place ?

put everything on one SSD and then move your originals back to another drive when done ?
you have to do a raid 0 or SSD are useless ?
you only need to have the cache on a SSD ?
you only need the catalog on the SSD ?
you need to have catalog on one and cache on another ?

so I got a few SSD and here we go

test catalog:mix of images in the catalog around 6000 and 1200 per folder mix of 5D and 5DMKII files for the test I stuck with 5D files previews made 1:1 using LR latest RC of 3.2

computer used: mac 3,1 identifier so 8 core 2.8 14GB memory
OS: Snow leopard boot into 64 bit
HD setup
main storage is
Areca 1222X with battery module setup as Raid 6 on the Areca are 8 750 GB seagate 7200.10 ( (ST3750640AS)
SSD two of the 100 GB Mercury Extreme Pro RE (OWCSSDMXRE100)
why these ? until OS X supports trim and really these and the OCZ vertex 2 are the ones to beat right now ? since they are close enough in price and I have had good luck with OWC I am going to stick to these !
(the SSD are running off the extra two SATA ports inside)
for raid 0 I did testing on block size of 32 & 64 & 128
ended up with 32 ? I thought it would be 64 or 128 but it made no difference (which it can sometimes)
also using Bridge testing which was minimal testing more just how the cache acted but 32 was the quickest since it does do lots of small stuff so with the choice of 32 or 64 being the same in LR but 32 being quicker overall easy choice !
(also have 4 1TB hitachi inside on sleds 1-4)



ON TO LIGHTROOM and SSD !

also this is about setup of SSD not regular HD ? so dont expect data comparing to regular HDs since this can be all over the place depending on what people have ? it was to decide how to get the most out of SSD and LR
the times below are what I found on my machine and sure you can crunch the numbers in your head with what you have going now and decide if its worth it ? I hope this helps you decide how many to get and how you might use them ?
also I say test things on your system ? cause it might be different but this should help enjoy !

first I thought my jump to Snow Leopard and 64 bit was a good hit of performance so if you are suffering ? it might be worth looking into more ? make sure you have lots of memory though !
running SL under 64 bit for me has made a improvement and since PS and 64 fly on many things I am staying with this setup !
from my early tests with 10.5.8 and LR 3.0 the switch to SL and 64 bit and RC 3.2
was about 2x as fast for me

a little rant ! LR should be instant from image to image ! if C1 V3 could do it ? why cant Adobe do it now ? OK rant over

The biggest thing for me and others I am sure is the dumb waiting for the sliders to get to white so you can use them !!!!
the loading text ? not as big a deal but those dumb sliders !!!!!!

this is more about performance in Dev mode than anything !
since Lib mode is pretty quick already

I did a ton of testing in every setup of catalog, cache & original file location that I could think of
which included:
SSd as Raid 0
SSD as two single drives
running one hitachi as a single HD but I short stroked it to 100 gigs (so it would be the same size as my SSD and quicker)
also did a Raid 0 with two short stroked hitachi to replicate the SSD in raid 0
and of course my raid 6 setup

from my own testing my thoughts are:
1) the most important is the cache location
2) the catalog location is not that important
3) it really did not matter where your original files are located ?
which is really good to know cause you can keep them on large less expensive HDs and not worry about it !!!

I am sure like most of you we want the best bang for our buck and dont want to buy what you do not need !
I decided to buy two SSD since its the only way I could truly test them out and I have not seen a good write up on the benefits yet ? people just say OH its quicker ? well quicker what does that mean ? so with two SSD I decided to say whats the best way and could someone get just one or do they need two or ?

running your OS off a SSD is nice things load fast things are snappy programs load quick interfaces seem to pop out with no delay etc.. but does this help overall production time ? I might say yes it does less waiting is good ? but how much does it help ? who knows this would be harder to test also once PS is loaded once its quick the next time I need it so is LR etc. things like Mail is for sure quicker overall I think this is a nice bonus and makes it seem like the computer is running quicker ?
if you cringe at load times do the upgrade ? if not I would say skip this
me I think I am sold on my OS on a SSD its just a nice luxury

I wish I had 2 more SSD to test with
OS one one and raid 0 in 3 drives for cache catalog ?
2 sets raid 0 ?
ANYWAY!

so how did I test ? shot a movie and used the time code
Each time I started a new catalog and did import build 1:1 previews thought this way its all even and fresh start every time with a group of images out of a large catalog took averages 3x and came up with my numbers
and then I repeated this with 2 dif catalogs to compare one was a well used catalog and as long as I optimized it times were in line with my new catalog

some things I noticed the HD times were all over the place where the SSD times were much more tight and consistent

the chart is in seconds (centiseconds) or seconds to 0.01 seconds
figure this will show you just how close it really all is with SSD
to sliders means the sliders are white and you can start adjusting !
"Loading" text is that loading you see you now can check focus etc..


so as you can see ? its pretty hard to go wrong with any setup you decide they are all way way closer than I thought ?
my first round of testing I swore the raid 0 cache setup was way faster ? funny how your mind works Smiley

I am not sure how things will go with YOUR catalogs ? and everyone has dif amounts in theirs etc..
also I dont have super slow super full drives ? so if you do get some new ones !
my catalogs are on pretty fast setups so I am not sure how that effected the outcome on the catalog on HD outcome using AJA I get Write: 1316.93 MB/s Read: 789.45 MB/s with the 128 MB test
and Write: 445.53 MB/s Read: 402.55 MB/s with the 4 gig test

so as some of you know we have a company that does raw as part of designing albums along with PS work so I have a catalog for each client and I end up doing a lot of work in LR so every bit of speed I can get I will
my own photos I use C1 mostly :
and I can say C1 is faster using SSD by a good amount !
my personal fun snapshot family stuff is in LR with over 30,000 images and it moves along nicely


I think for those looking for a boost can really get away with just one SSD and maybe even get it in a smaller size if budget is tight ? but remember if you use it for LR and PS and Bridge you might want to look at the 100 so you can have enough room set 50 for LR and let bridge and PS manage themselves with whats left


I am sure others will have other results ? but since I could find no info anywhere it seemed that was solid other than
"Its much quicker now"
thought some numbers of how fast my machine is would help Smiley

hope this helps some of you Smiley
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2010, 04:36:09 AM »
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Thanks for sharing the results of your tests. It'll save time and money for those tempted by SSDs.
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Francois
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2010, 05:03:16 AM »
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Hapyfish
Thanks for this test.
I work on about the same computer and use 1 system drive on SSD 9 OWC 100 GIG- the same ) and have a raid 0 - two harddisks of 1 TB)  for the data.
16 gig ram CS5 OSX 10.6.4. 64bit...

Question - have you any idea what I could change to make Photoshop etc go even faster? ( without buying a mac pro 2010)
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Pieter Kers
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Happyfish
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2010, 05:23:17 AM »
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only thing I can think of is the scratch going to the SSD ? I have not tested it as my boot also ? not sure how that would effect it ?
SSD are strange beasts for sure and throw some things out the window
so unless you got a dedicated SSD for scratch and use itfor things like LR or try your scratch point it to the SSD ? but first check if you hit the scratch much ? that might help you know a bit more


wish I had the answer Wink
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2010, 11:42:02 AM »
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only thing I can think of is the scratch going to the SSD ? I have not tested it as my boot also ? not sure how that would effect it ?
SSD are strange beasts for sure and throw some things out the window
so unless you got a dedicated SSD for scratch and use itfor things like LR or try your scratch point it to the SSD ? but first check if you hit the scratch much ? that might help you know a bit more


wish I had the answer Wink

Quick 2 pennies, using a SSD and dedicating it as a Boot is one upgrade well worth making IMO (Mac Pro user). I also designate the SSD as the first Scratch volume. With CS5 and huge files, and I will tap into the Scratch volume on occasion even with 24 GB RAM. When using a SSD as a Boot (systems and applications only), 100GB is plenty of memory, you will likely use less than 40GB total. SSDs are expensive, and I'm going to stick with high-speed HDs for purposes of storing data as it is far more cost effective. Check out digiloyd.com to get Lloyd Chambers' extensive work on this subject for Mac users, and I mean extensive!

Cheers,

Greg
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Happyfish
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2010, 01:18:55 PM »
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Quick 2 pennies, using a SSD and dedicating it as a Boot is one upgrade well worth making IMO (Mac Pro user). I also designate the SSD as the first Scratch volume. With CS5 and huge files, and I will tap into the Scratch volume on occasion even with 24 GB RAM. When using a SSD as a Boot (systems and applications only), 100GB is plenty of memory, you will likely use less than 40GB total. SSDs are expensive, and I'm going to stick with high-speed HDs for purposes of storing data as it is far more cost effective. Check out digiloyd.com to get Lloyd Chambers' extensive work on this subject for Mac users, and I mean extensive!

Cheers,

Greg
have you tested if having a dedicated scratch(SSD) would be any faster over pointing to your boot(SSD) volume ?

that is the point I was trying to make ? I have a dedicated SSD for my OS and one for my LR Cache/Scratch
I have not tested if one is better than the other Smiley

not sure if you read anything I wrote ? I was saying the same thing but to speed up PS in his case would getting another one as dedicated scratch be faster ? does that make more sense now Wink



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jgbowerman
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2010, 03:19:14 PM »
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have you tested if having a dedicated scratch(SSD) would be any faster over pointing to your boot(SSD) volume ?


Okay, I do better understand, and no, I have not tried dedicating a separate SSD to Scratch. I have over 60 GB free space on the Boot, so I figure it is good enough to have the Boot serve as the first-in-line Scratch, and certainly better than pointing to a dedicated HD. For myself, I'd imagine having a SSD dedicated to Scratch could be faster in those rare instances when efficiency drops below 100%, but I'm speculating and uncertain. Very rarely do I run under 100%. If one has limited RAM, and/or finds efficiency frequently dropping under 100%, going for a dedicated SSD Scratch might be a more cost effective means to increase efficiency and speed as compared to going with more RAM. On the other hand, if one is generally plodding along at 100%, I'd doubt any significant improvement could be had.

Good question, sorry I was not more in-the-loop on your original post.
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Happyfish
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2010, 04:47:01 PM »
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yeah no worries I am used to it Smiley
 sorry I write bad dont get my thoughts across sometimes:) hehehe I skipped english to much in HS and was out taking pics instead Smiley

I am about the same on size I use about 40-50 GB for my boots

SSD are interesting though and great technology
in a few weeks I hope to see if PS cache on boot or on a dedicated makes much of a difference ? since I have two its not on my priority to test Smiley but am curious about things like this

plus with memory like we have on 64 bit and CS5 scratch is becoming less a issue most of the file sizes I end up doing like you are at %100 almost all the time Smiley at least things are moving again in the computer world Smiley

my thoughts also on the plodding along at %100 ? why bother Smiley

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hoffsta
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 04:30:28 AM »
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I just installed a dual 60Gb OCZ Vertex 2 SSD Raid 0 array (120Gb total) thinking it would really speed up my system, particularly Lightroom.

I have found that it's not so simple.

Background: I'm using a 4 core 2.66Ghz Mac Pro with 5Gb RAM. All my image files are stored on a 2Tb 7200rpm SATA drive. Before I installed the SSDs I had the System (OS + Apps) on a dual 250Gb Raid 0 and the Lightroom catalog (1.5Gb) and previews (24Gb) on another dual 500Gb, 1Tb Raid 0 array. Editing was pretty good but I still wanted more speed so I bought the SSDs and reconfigured as follows:

I moved the System stuff (26Gb) and the Lightroom stuff (26Gb) onto the dual SSD raid 0 volume, and then redirected the ACR Cache file (20Gb) there as well. This still leaves over 50gb free space. The image files are still on the 2Tb drive.

Booting the machine and launching apps has been unbelievably fast. Using Lightroom has been the opposite. It actually runs significantly slower now, acting more like my old laptop with a full hard drive. Moving from one file to another in the develop module lurches, toggling the highlight/shadow warnings or the crop tool takes about a full second to cycle, building 1:1 previews for a folder of 100 images might take 45 minutes.

To test the problem, I switched back to the catalog version on the spinning disks and speed was much better. What could be the holdup here, I thought SSDs were supposed to be fast. Especially these ones with 275Mb/sec+ for both read and write and in a Raid 0 configuration, pushing that figure close to 500Mb/sec.

What is it about Lightroom that's bottlenecking the process? What is suggested to get the most out of my current system?
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2010, 10:39:36 AM »
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Using Lightroom has been the opposite. It actually runs significantly slower now, acting more like my old laptop with a full hard drive. Moving from one file to another in the develop module lurches, toggling the highlight/shadow warnings or the crop tool takes about a full second to cycle, building 1:1 previews for a folder of 100 images might take 45 minutes.

To test the problem, I switched back to the catalog version on the spinning disks and speed was much better. What could be the holdup here, I thought SSDs were supposed to be fast. Especially these ones with 275Mb/sec+ for both read and write and in a Raid 0 configuration, pushing that figure close to 500Mb/sec.

What is it about Lightroom that's bottlenecking the process? What is suggested to get the most out of my current system?

The things you describe are primarily CPU bound activities that don't require a lot of disk I/O speed. I would expect to see absolutely no difference in rendering previews between a SSD and hard drive, since it's basically just the CPU doing all the rendering work with very little hard drive reading/writing going on (relative to the time the CPU takes). Scrolling between images in the Develop module or doing just about anything in the develop module is also primarily a CPU activity. It will pull the base file from the ACR cache if you've already had it up in the Develop module once, but the remainder of the image has to be rendered by the CPU for display, just like when you render 1:1 previews.  The ACR cache file size is relatively small (ie. 17MB for a 1Ds III image) so the time it takes to move that from the disk might only be 0.1 second where the time for the CPU to render the image for display is still 1 second.

The areas that I would expect to see an improvement with an SSD would be primarily in the Library display, where you are moving rapidly from one photo to the next in grid or loupe view - AFTER you've rendered previews.

Are you sure that you are seeing slower performance with the SSD's or does it just seem slower because the rest of the system got faster?
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hoffsta
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2010, 01:49:50 PM »
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I just installed a dual OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 120Gb Raid 0 array hoping to see speed improvements on my system in general but also specifically Lightroom as I spend many hours a day there. I moved my OS and Apps, Lightroom catalog (1.5Gb) and previews (24Gb), and the ACR cache file (20Gb) onto the array. This left just about half the drive as free space. The OS sped up unbelievably but Lightroom did get slower. Moving from image to image was not really any different than with the previous HD setup but little things like opening and closing the crop tool or the highlight warning slowed wayyyy down. It feels like I went back to editing on my 5 year old laptop, and yes it is a real, measurable slow down and not in my head.

Since then, I've removed the Raid array, putting the System stuff on one SSD and the Lightroom cache file on another and put the LR library back on a hard drive and I'm almost back to where I started but not quite. Any tips on getting things optimized here? I'd like to use the SSDs to their best advantage but am not opposed to using hard drives when they are going to be faster. I'm running a 4 core 2.66, 5Gb RAM, Mac Pro.
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