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Old Dec 22, 2012, 04:26 PM   #1
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Fusion Drive with Lightroom/Photoshop

I asked this over on the iMac section as well but figured I may have luck in this section:

I am planning on getting the new 21.5" iMac but am stumped about this Fusion Drive. I see the benefits of being able to load Lightroom and Photoshop faster, but my question is this: If I store all of my image files on a standard USB external drive, am I losing the benefits of the fusion drive? I understand I would be better to have my images on an external SSD or Thunderbolt but that's not an option for me at this time (I shoot weddings and would fill up an external SSD in no time). Is my USB external drive going to be a huge bottleneck when editing images, transferring files etc?

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Old Dec 22, 2012, 05:45 PM   #2
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Make sure it's a USB 3.0 external drive for best performance. I have not used USB 3.0 so I don't know how much of a bottleneck if any it will be.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 06:42 PM   #3
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I use LaCie thunderbolt drives to provide large LR storage and fast disk read/write. When I get back from a shoot the files on the the rMBP's SSD. Once edited I use LR to move them to the external drives for storage. Always use LR to move the files so it knows where they are located.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 07:53 PM   #4
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No personal experience to relate with Fusion, but in theory, as long as your Photoshop scratch disk is assigned to your Mac's startup disk (the Fusion drive), editing performance should benefit from Fusion, regardless of what drive you use for image storage.

File Open and Save won't be improved - those functions will be determined by the speed of your external drive.

See the following for more details:

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Old Dec 22, 2012, 09:19 PM   #5
Laird Knox
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I recently created a new Lightroom catalog on an external drive and it is working well. I am editing 36MP RAW files but have built the system specifically for photo editing. It is an i5 with 16GB RAM, a boot disk on a pair of striped SSDs and a 2GB video card. So I know the system isn't a bottleneck.

The biggest issue I had was finding a reasonably priced USB 3.0 drive. Most of the less expensive units use 5400 RPM drives. I finally found a good deal on a 7200 RPM drive and it works great.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:32 PM   #6
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Thanks guys!
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