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Author Topic: Fusion Drive: Catalog & Previews Files Location  (Read 1353 times)
John Caldwell
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« on: May 18, 2013, 04:19:05 PM »
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In 10.8, how can we instruct the OS to assign SSD real estate to the LR Catalog & Previews files, rather than to devote mechanical drive space to the Catalog? As I understand it, we give up most or all of the SSD drive component advantages of the Fusion drive unless the Catalog lives in the SSD domain. True?

Many thanks,

John Caldwell
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 10:09:29 PM by John Caldwell » Logged
Manoli
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 04:50:06 PM »
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You may find these two articles helpful -

http://macperformanceguide.com/Fusion-partitioning.html
http://www.computer-darkroom.com/blog/will-an-ssd-improve-adobe-lightroom-performance/

If you partition the drive, as Chambers suggests, create a folder on the SSD and then go
Lightroom>Catalog Settings>Location and set your new chosen location.
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 10:33:24 PM »
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Excellent, Manoli. Thanks.

John-
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Manoli
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 05:59:01 AM »
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Pleased you found them helpful, John.

All best,
Manoli
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CatOne
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 08:50:10 PM »
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I would strongly recommend *not* partitioning the Fusion drive as Lloyd mentions.  You're giving up a lot for little gain.

OS X will put move frequently accessed files to the SSD portion.  For Lightroom, it is extremely likely that the catalog will end up (well, actually, it will *stay*) on the SSD, and that your master files will eventually be moved to the hard drive portion of things.  The system does a very good job of this; trying to outsmart it will also paint yourself into a corner should Apple improve things.
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 12:34:26 AM »
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I would strongly recommend *not* partitioning the Fusion drive as Lloyd mentions.  You're giving up a lot for little gain.

OS X will put move frequently accessed files to the SSD portion.  For Lightroom, it is extremely likely that the catalog will end up (well, actually, it will *stay*) on the SSD, and that your master files will eventually be moved to the hard drive portion of things.  The system does a very good job of this; trying to outsmart it will also paint yourself into a corner should Apple improve things.

Thank you for this perspective. One concern I had along these lines is that the lrcat and lrdata previews files appear to the unaided eye as one file. But they are not really one file if one reveals contents. I know nothing of how the OS would handle these components in the instance of Fusion SSD/HD technology. Is there any concern that the catalog and previews components are not kept together in their native "package", some straddling the SSD/HD boundary, and that we in turn loose efficiency we might gain if the Catalog and Previews lived, in total, on a SSD?

I ask only out of ignorance and I appreciate all the responses offered thus far.

John Caldwell

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Manoli
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 12:24:48 PM »
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FWIW, I also had a long look at the fusion drive technology. As a rule I try and keep my setup as simple as possible and prefer to be OS independent. As CatOne correctly says , if you go the fusion route you're adding a degree of black-box technology for little gain given that eventually you'll never be 100% certain where the Lr cat files will reside.  Added to which, fusion drives have only 128gb of SSD storage with 5600 rpm hard drives.

I decided to bite the bullet, avoided fusion and added an SSD (256gb) to a Mac mini, which I use for OS and applications only, and keep all 'data' files externally on a thunderbolt 4TB Raid-1 (7200 rpm). For the time being haven't felt it necessary to move the Lr catalogue files to the SSD but have that option should I need to at any time in the future.

Personally , I'm really pleased with the outcome, I've gained a layer of built-in data backup (Raid-1) and a substantial speed boost thanks to both the SSD and 16gb RAM. As a final bonus Apple make a thunderbolt to FireWire 800 converter, giving me an additional option as to how to connect the hard drives. Although FW800 is only half the theoretical max throughput of thunderbolt, I can't say I've noticed any real speed differential when it comes to Lr usage.

Manoli
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CatOne
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 10:23:03 PM »
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Thank you for this perspective. One concern I had along these lines is that the lrcat and lrdata previews files appear to the unaided eye as one file. But they are not really one file if one reveals contents. I know nothing of how the OS would handle these components in the instance of Fusion SSD/HD technology. Is there any concern that the catalog and previews components are not kept together in their native "package", some straddling the SSD/HD boundary, and that we in turn loose efficiency we might gain if the Catalog and Previews lived, in total, on a SSD?

I don't know whether Fusion operates at the file level or the block level.  I suspect the latter, which would mean it could split files across the two disks without incident.

I don't think there would be any performance issue with having the catalog on the SSD and the previews on the hard drive, though if you were regularly viewing folders the previews would likely be on the SSD.

Really, though, I don't think it's worth too much hand-wringing about.  There are two things I'd state in broad terms:

1) Fusion drives are an excellent mix of speed and capacity, at a low price.  Let them do their thing, and you'll be pleasantly surprised.  Just because Photoshop users are used to endless meddling about scratch disks, etc., doesn't mean it's not a waste of time when dealing with Lightroom, and things like Fusion drive :-)  Everyone worries about getting 100% of possible performance gain, when in fact if you leave things alone and do nothing, Apple has a solution that gives you 99% of it without the need to think about one single aspect of it.

2) You should always have a good backup plan.  Time Machine would work well, and in the case of a house fire, an offsite backup like BackBlaze or Crash Plan Pro is good as well.
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