Fusion Drive: 1TB or 3TB? (Lightroom related)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pete78, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #1
    That's pretty much the only thing I can't decide on!

    As I recently got more into photography with the purchase of an Olympus OMD EM5, I plan on installing and using Lightroom on my new iMac. This will be my first installing Lightroom on any of my computera, so I am not very familiar with the program, though I have read up on it (the catalog system, etc..) and have seen it in action before.

    Ideally, I would probably go with the 3TB Fusion since the price difference is not too bad compared to the 1TB and I wouldn't need an external for a while, but on the other hand I don't want to hamper myself in the event I need to install Bootcamp to run certain software for work. As you know, currently Bootcamp is NOT possible on the 3TB. This has me leaning toward the 1TB Fusion.

    If I go with the 1TB (install Lightroom and put the catalog file on the 1TB) and use an external drive to store my photos, would I lose speed/performance compared to if I had all the Lightroom program, the catalog file and all of the photos on the same 1TB? I want Lightroom to run/load as smoothly as possible. Could you recommend a good external for this particular purpose?

    Any help would be appreciated, especially with folks that are familiar with Lightroom.

    Thanks much!
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #2
    similar position to you , I plan on storing my photos on a thunderbolt SSD drive ( Lacie 256GB rugged, which is £250 on the apple store). This I think will be a faster option then storing on the drive itself.
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    #3
    I'm a part time photographer and I went with the 3TB Fusion drive so I don't have to deal with externals if I don't want to. 1TB is just too limiting for as many pictures that I will have to deal with over time.
    I have no need for bootcamp, so this didn't bother me.

    I will back up the drive via external though.

    I say go 3TB, bootcamp may eventually be supported.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    CaptMike

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    #4
    Same boat with photography and Lightroom/Photoshop

    The plan will be getting the 1TB Fusion. i7, 21.5" w/16GB RAM

    and hope for the best
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #5
    I actually use my 17" MBP for Lightroom. Easier to do it from the couch than being chained to a desk. I ordered a 3TB for the iMac so I can only have 1 external for backup. My MBP has a 128 SSD and the 750 HDD, which I'm considering converting to a Fusion setup if I can fumble through it...
     
  6. macrumors G4

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #6
    Winning option!
     
  7. MacDarcy, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #7
    I want to get the 27" iMac as well. I also plan to use it for photography as well as some light video editing.

    I decided on the 1TB fusion drive.

    But what I want to know is what is the main reason for the $200 price diff btwn the base 2.9ghz 27" iMac ($1,799) and the base 3.2ghz 27" iMac($1,999)??

    Besides the slight diff in ghz(they are both 3.6ghz with turbo boost by the way)...I only notice that the $1,999 iMac has a faster GPU with 1gig of VRAM as opposed to 512mb.

    They are both i5 and identical in every other regard. Is the GPU worth the extra $200 for what I am doing?

    I'm not gonna get the i7 versions cause from all the specs I read, the speed compared to the i5 is barely noticeable.

    What would be more beneficial for photo & video editing? Bumping up to an i7 for $180 more? Or bumping the GPU to the 680mx with 2gigs of VRAM for $135 more? Thanks
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #8
    I want to get the new 27" iMac. I plan to use it for photography as well as some light video editing.

    I decided on the 1TB fusion drive.

    But what I want to know is what is the main reason for the $200 price diff btwn the base 2.9ghz 27" iMac ($1,799) and the base 3.2ghz 27" iMac($1,999)??

    Besides the slight diff in ghz(they are both 3.6ghz with turbo boost by the way)...I only notice that the $1,999 iMac has a faster GPU with 1gig of VRAM as opposed to 512mb.

    They are both i5 and identical in every other regard. Is the GPU worth the extra $200 for what I am doing?

    What would be more beneficial for photo & video editing? Bumping up to an i7 for $180 more? Or bumping the GPU to the 680mx with 2gigs of VRAM for $135 more?

    Thanks!

    Can't wait to order mine. :)
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    #9
    If you can afford it,
    by all means go with Fusion 1tb (fast booting, launching apps, etc.), but store all media files in an external SSD.

    The performance benefit can be enormous when browsing library, especially considering that at 15mb+ per photo space gets eaten up quite rapidly and it's very unlikely the 128ssd gbs you get with the Fusion will bring you anywhere.

    If you can't afford an external SSD, i'd still suggest you go for an external fast drive in which to store your catalog.
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #10
    I plan to get a 3tb fusion drive for lightroom & elements and will use VMware fusion 5 for any windows stuff (I'm not a windows gamer)
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    #11
    You might want to check and see if VM works for Windoz on the 3T Drive. Bootcamp will not work on drives larger than 2TB which may mean others may not work as well. I don't know myself.
     
  12. Ebvette, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #12
    I am a professional photographer, and this is the first iMac that I just purchased, the 27'', got full blown out version (purchased my own Memory 32G), I go the 1T Fusion, as I do not want something like the 3T, because if you get use to putting all your eggs in one basket, and the basket breaks, well you know what happens, so I stay with the 1T and use backups both a External Drive and storage on CDs/DVDs. I have been using LR since version 3, and love it. What I did purchase, on recommendation, was an external G-Technology 2TB G-DRIVE High-Performance Hard Drive. You can use LR as a primary photo processesing application, but you do have many limitations that require you to have something like Elements, or CS6. I just do not need CS6 for the work I do, so I try to keep it simple.

    Here is my iMac Configuration

    •3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    •8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM-2X4GB
    •1TB Fusion Drive
    •NVIDIAGeFrc GTX 680MX 2G GDDR5
    •MAGIC MOUSE+MAGIC TRACKPAD
    •Apple WL Kybd (English)+UG
    •COUNTRY KIT

    I shoot the Nikon D800 which has 36.3MP FX-format CMOS sensor, Full HD 1080p video at 30/25/24p, so its files for each frame shot are very big. I shoot both RAW and JPEG, depending upon the circumstances. Of course shooting RAW takes much more time per photo to process, then the limited JPEG.

    My Del XPS-410 is dying fast, and this is about six years old, and with many problems, but now with Windows V7, its just too slow.

    I use LR4, PhotoShop/Element 11 Premiere, NIK DFINE 2.0m, NIK HDR Efix Pro,
    and several other "Plug Ins". So I need speed, which I think the I7 Processor and 32MB of memorey will provide.

    Like the rest of you I am very anxious to see how good the new iMac is when using it for photograph. So let's keep in touch, as I am very new to this forum and will be on a learning curve the next few months, as I have to now understandthe OS-X and how apple works....
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #13
    All your eggs should be in 1 basket, with another basket under it to catch them if the first one breaks. ;) Now you need multiple basket sets. I decided this time to go with the 3TB Fusion and a 4TB backup drive. I will likely copy things off periodically to my old 2TB drives to keep offsite. Once I started taking pictures of the kids, I got a little crazy about having at least 3 copies of stuff in at least 2 different locations. That is just for the RAW files. The exported jpeg keepers are on dropbox and sprinkled down to every computer I use. I WON'T lose those. ;)
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #14
    I see your point, but I have managed over the years to work with primary and backup, and then offload to a storage media, for physically filing. Creature of habit more than one of technology. Heck I still have file cabinets full of negatives :eek: that I still maintain. I have found burning the CD/DVD allows me disk room and at the same time filing it away physically. Just what I am use to...;)
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #15
    Fair enough. I don't actually have that many pictures; about 300 gig of RAW files which are on my 17" MBP and backed up via Time Machine. My RAW files are only 21 MP from my 5D2 though, not 36 like your D800!

    How do you find the CD method when you go back to them? For some reason I've never trusted burned CD's any more than I would trust a single HDD solution.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #16
    How about this for significantly more storage?

    I went for the 1TB fusion drive but I plan on running all the photos into lightroom from a 3TB external hard drive, one that I will upgrade to thunderbolt from USB 3.0 asap and back up with an identical 3TB external drive.

    Is this a good idea?
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester,UK
    #17
    I went 3tb , I use it for photo and video work amongst other things. My current 1TB is nearly full. I'd go 3TB and get a good backup drive to go with it.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #18
    I have no problem with CD burns, been doing for well over 10 years, and never (knock on wood) have had a failure. But I do keep Passports also for important photos with CDs, backup for the backup....I know little parinoid, but its not like a negative or transparency that I can hold to know I have the photo...
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #19
    I feel the same way. Depending on what the photos are of, you can't replace them in most cases. Drives are cheap. In reality I could probably scrap most of the RAW files once I've exported high res jpegs, but I keep them anyway. :eek:
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #20
    Randy,

    I don't know if you can answer this question, but what is it like using an iMAC to do photo editing? This will be my first apple computer, and I have to admit I am a little concerned about a learning curve here. I purposely did not purchas Aperature 3 and stuck with LR4 simply because one less thing to learn, and from what I read they are almost the same.

    IPhoto, the short time I did use it in the store seems a little confusing to me, especially using crops and never found a Cloning tool. So I got Photoshop/Elements 11 to install, again I am familiar with that software, so not meaning to hijack thread, but being a new Apple person, I am wondering if the iMAC will be user friendly as I try to learn to process photos?
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #21
    I'll send you a PM so we can leave this thread alone.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #22
    In fact I don't really need the confirmation that this is a winning option, I get over TWENTY THREE times the storage space than kaelell's SSD option for the same price.

    And the difference in speed between the two isn't close to 23 times, would an SSD over a thunderbolt HDD even be twice as fast?
     
  23. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #23
    So, are people saying that a 1TB Fusion with the photos on an external SSD will run Lightroom faster / more smoothly than with a 3TB Fusion with the photos on the 3TB Fusion drive?
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #24
    I'm no expert but it seems to me that SSD may be the ideal solution as far as speed is concerned but it isn't practical currently for photography.

    Look at it this way. A 256GB SSD drive costs around £230, if you have a 16GB SD card, (fairly standard) you can fill that card and empty it only 16 times before you completely fill your SSD drive.

    I don't know about you but that's not going to last me very long at all. Until SSD is a lot cheaper I'm going to pass on it for pure storage. For the same price I can get 6TB on two separate external drives and still have £30 left for a thunderbolt cable.

    If I'm wrong here in any way shape or form please let me know.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #25
    I'm no expert either, but I tend to agree with you, that's why I am leaning toward the 3TB Fusion. I guess I could go with the 1TB Fusion + non-SSD externals just to protect against the Bootcamp issue, but I have a feeling that Apple is going to fix the situation so that Bootcamp works on the 3TB (at least that's what I'm trying to tell myself!).
     

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