Internal/External Storage via Thunderbolt options for Photos

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sperdynamite, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. sperdynamite macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2011
    I am configuring my iMac and as we all know I save a lot of scratch by going with a smaller SSD internally. The real question for me though is about performance with Lightroom. I am a wedding photographer so at any given moment I'll have likesay, 3000 raw images to cull and edit, deliver and archive. I'd like the best performance for the buck. Obviously what's best would be to edit active projects on a 1TB SSD but this is expensive. I COULD get a smaller internal SSD and edit via a 7200rpm external USB3/TB drive, or SSD. But my question is, is that worth it? When deal with a catalog of images would I see significant speed gains when using an SSD in LR? Or would I simply see those gains when importing images. Exporting seems fairly processor intensive so IDK if that bottleneck would also benefit by having an SSD.

    So basically, my question is, when editing images in LR, would I see 'significant' speed gains in actual workflow, by storing my active projects on an SSD? Or is a 7200 RPM drive fast enough to keep up with everything else that's going on. At minimum I will have a 512gb SSD internally for my system.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Two things to consider,
    First as a wedding photographer, where your business depends on your photos, I'd look to a RAID solution to help with data reliability and have a backup routine to back that up.

    Secondly, I think the speed improvements on editing images in LR will be more constrained to the CPU then on a spinning disk. I think you'll see the biggest speed impact is when the previews are rendered.
  3. sperdynamite thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2011
    Oh, all files are archived to a RAID and an offsite cloud storage. I'm only talking what I consider active projects. Once files are delivered, I replace my archives with the delivered files, in both RAW and jpg, with DNG selects going to a cloud folder.

    Perhaps I'll just go with the 512gb internal model then, with a TB HDD for misc files and active projects. My RAID and Time Machine are both USB 3.
  4. sperdynamite thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2011
    Just to answer my own tread I've done a lot of google searching and most users have not reported significant speed improvements by having their library stored on an SSD. So, there it is!

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