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Setting up computer to run Lightroom 5

Discussion in 'Lightroom Installation & Performance' started by Martin Ihrich, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Martin Ihrich

    Martin Ihrich New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
    Southern U.S.
    Lightroom Experience:
    Primary OS:
    Windows 7 64-bit
    Lightroom Version:
    First of all "hi" to everyone! I have been reading the forums for some time now and decided to join the community. I am upgrading my machine and have some questions as to where best to locate the different parts of Lightroom. I understand that there are speed advantages to splitting up some of the functiosns on different drives. The drives that will be available for use are:

    #1 WD VelociRaptor 10,000rpm SATA 3 240GB

    #2 WD Black 7,000rpm SATA 2 500GB

    #3 WD Blue 7,000rpm SATA 2 320GB

    #4 WD Blue 7,000rpm SATA 2 500GB

    (All are internal drives)

    I would like to get Lightroom5 set up correctly from the start. Any help from the community here will be greatly appreciated!
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  2. Tony Jay

    Tony Jay Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

    Jun 8, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Lightroom Experience:
    Primary OS:
    Windows 7 64-bit
    Hi Martin welcome to Lightroom Forums!

    Your question is actually a good one but it doesn't only relate to performance but also to digital asset management.

    My suggestion is to load the application to the fastest internal drive that you have.
    (In my case that is an SSD drive but the 10 000rpm drive looks like your best bet but I am assuming that this is an internal drive.)

    My personal suggestion is to keep the catalog and your images on a separate drive that is dedicated to your Lightroom catalog. In fact I would name the drive something like Lightroom_catalog to make it obvious that nothing else should go on the drive.
    Depending on how much photography you do a 1 TB or larger drive may be best.

    If you anything about hard drive technology then you will know that it is only a metter of time before the drive will die so it is crucially, fundamentally important to backup the images and the catalog.
    I have a second interal hard drive to which I do bit-for-bit backups of my Lightroom_catalog drive as well as two external drives to which I also do bit-for-bit backups.

    Whether you elect to follow my suggestions closely or more loosely is no matter the key thing to understand is why one is doing things in a particular way.
    Data integrity and security is as important as performance of the computer system.

    Tony Jay
  3. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

    Feb 1, 2010
    West Sussex, UK
    Lightroom Experience:
    Primary OS:
    Mac 10.11.x El Capitan
    Lightroom Version:
    6.6 / CC 2015.6
    Lightroom License:
    CC Subscription
    My own system, which I had built following lots of good advice from members of this forum back in 2010, ended up being (like yours) a 4 internal drive system, as follows:

    Drive 1: Standard system drive containing OS, Program Files, User Libraries

    Drive 2: Dedicated drive for all my catalogs/previews (yes I have many, most though are for testing purposes and dedicated per all Lightroom versions from 2 to 5.....but only one Master Catalog).

    Drive 3: Was initially dedicated for the ACR cache, which at the time (Lightroom 2/3) needed to be large as the individual cache dat files were large (up to 17mb in some cases). Since then these dat files have reduced significantly, so I now also use this drive for the image files used in my test catalogs.

    Drive 4: My largest drive (1.5tb) and is dedicated for my master original image files only.

    This setup allows separation of most of the key Lightroom elements, though I could add another drive and then use symbolic links to separate the previews from their catalogs (by default they are always in the same folder).

    To date, it runs great, and I've never suffered from any of the performance issues which plagued many users, particularly with LR4. If I was starting anew to design a new system (maybe next year!), I'd probably maintain this level of separation, though I'd probably introduce two SSDs into the mix, one for the system drive, the other for the catalog drive.

    Not saying this is the best or only way of setting things up, with a 4 drive system you have flexibility, and within reason you can fairly easily move things around to find out what's best.

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