Edit photos of firewire800 RAID

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by peroddmund, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. peroddmund macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2012
    Is a firewire800 Raid (read write speed ~70MB/s) fast enough to edit large raw photos (30-50MB)?
  2. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    It depends on a number of factors, but it is really something that only you can judge for yourself. Everyone's tolerance level is different.

    For a number of years, my "at work" computer was a PM 4.1 and I spent most of every day editing images in Ps. The images were stored on external hard drives connected to either the PM's FW800 or USB2 interfaces. It was a productive arrangement except when I was dealing with upsampled files with lots of layers and smart objects, where the file sizes would get significantly over 500mb and occasionally getting into the 1-3gb range. Things would be a bit slow when opening and saving those monsters. Working on 20" x 30" 300dpi images in the 100-300mb range never seemed to be a pain.
  3. peroddmund thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2012
    Great, thanks for the feedback. The "editing" will be mostly apple photos and maybe Luminar, so it sounds like will be alright. I'm trying out the setup today for the first time, so I'll post an update here on how it works.

    FYI: it's an old 2009 iMac I'm upgrading with 16GB ram and SSD drive, plus an external FW800 raid for storage of photo library.
  4. admwright macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    I agree. When our iMac was working all the user files were on a FW800 drive and I never had a problem with the speed. Actually the Mini that replaced it was noticeably slower and I put that down to the internal disk only being 5400 rather than a faster 7200.
  5. peroddmund thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2012
    OK, here's some updates after trying it:

    Disk speed is about 70MB/s which is actually slower then the old HDD where the photos was stored before (~100aMb/s). But the increased storage space makes it worth it.

    I have loaded the system on an internal SSD and the photo library on the external FW800 drive, and it works just fine.

    The photo library is about 10,000-20,000 pictures hop that range from 5MB-30MB per picture, and editing works fine as well.

    What doesn't work fine is playing full hd movies in photos from the external drive. There are noticeable stuttering when playing the movie, and I guess interface speed is the reason for it.

    Luckily the external drive supports esata, so we can use that for a speedier connection when connecting to a newer Mac supporting thunderbolt.
  6. RuNerOk macrumors newbie


    Jul 27, 2017
    If you use ssd for OS and hdd for photo, then you can use any hdd with speed more than 50mb/s)
  7. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    The problem is Photos.app, I believe the library database must live together in the same volume as the entire original RAW directory, which means his database is also on the FW RAID despite having a much better suited internal SSD for that task. OP would have an easier time if he was using 3rd party like Lightroom to manage those separately.
  8. peroddmund thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2012
    Not sure if I follow the conversation here, but for information:
    System and Photos.app are stored on the internal SSD while Photo Library is stored on the FW800 external RAID. I guess this is why 1080p videos are stuttering because the FW800 interface isn't fast enough. The reason the photo library is stored on the external drive is the size of it, which is close to 1TB and growing. The SSD is only 240GB with 100+ available storage.

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