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Thread started 07 Apr 2013 (Sunday) 00:57
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"SSDs are not the magic bullet that some would have you believe"

 
philmar
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Apr 07, 2013 00:57 |  #1

http://www.computer-darkroom.com …be-lightroom-performance/ (external link)

"SSDs are not the magic bullet that some would have you believe" - Ian Lyons


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Apr 07, 2013 03:41 |  #2

True. However they do make for a more responsive system that feels faster. They have more bandwidth and lower latency that helps many applications. I wouldn't like to work without one.


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Apr 07, 2013 09:38 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #3

I wish you put more info in the post title. The article pretty much says that in apps that are mostly CPU/RAM intensive I/O speed isn't that important. At work I've had an opportunity to run tests on the server with eight 7200RPM HDDs and then replace the storage array with six SSDs. In that case and for my applications SSDs were absolutely the magic bullet I needed.


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Apr 07, 2013 09:39 |  #4

The article is specifically speaking of lightroom.
I can;t speak to that, and I also agree that with todays 64 bit OS and apps, we finally break the 4GB RAM limit, and that makes a huge difference.

But the basic premise for SSD remains,.
The biggest bottleneck in working with Data of any kind on a computer is the hard drive. They get faster every year, yet trail miles behind the Motherboard channels, RAM, CPUS etc..
Hard drives just can not keep up with everything else.

So, it stands to reason that anything you do to open up that bottleneck, is going to have advantages.
In many cases, going to faster storage can provide a huge benefit in performance.


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philmar
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Apr 07, 2013 10:25 |  #5

DiMAn0684 wrote in post #15799848 (external link)
I wish you put more info in the post title. The article pretty much says that in apps that are mostly CPU/RAM intensive I/O speed isn't that important. At work I've had an opportunity to run tests on the server with eight 7200RPM HDDs and then replace the storage array with six SSDs. In that case and for my applications SSDs were absolutely the magic bullet I needed.

I put the title in quotes because I was quoting someone else's title. So they aren't my words, they're someone else's. I looked at the link once again and I see it isn't the title of the article. So the title came from a link on the Adobe Lightroom Forums site. So the context the title was created was in an Adobe forum about Lightroom so I can see why it can appear misleading out of that context. Good point.

The reason why I posted it is because I have been contemplating a new PC build and have been reading the forum threads lately. I've read the orthodox view that SSD drives are a good component of a new build. I've been considering building a 2 SSD drive (1 for OS & apps plus a smaller one for scratch disk) and so I went to the LR forum site for more info. Then I ran across this article that seemed to fly in the face of most of what I've read here. I'm a photo hobbyist, not a PC wizard so I thought I'd post it here to get the reaction/analysis of bigger brained people than I.

So where would I see the advantages of SSDs over HDDs while in LR? ...when I am rendering a RAW? importing new RAWs to my catalogue?, switching between modules? when it is loading a preview? I wonder if the advantages are not all that great and if it is something significant more for measurebators.


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philmar
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Apr 07, 2013 10:29 |  #6

tim wrote in post #15799301 (external link)
True. However they do make for a more responsive system that feels faster. They have more bandwidth and lower latency that helps many applications. I wouldn't like to work without one.

Thanks for your response. I value your input in this forum. You put proper perspective to the 'build the best most expensive rig possible" advice. For that reason I was most interested in your reply to the article as I noticed you had a 2 SSD build. Do you think there is any perceptible difference in having a separate SSD scratch drive over keeping everything on the same OS & apps HDD (assuming it is large enough and doesn't get full)?


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philmar
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Apr 07, 2013 10:31 |  #7

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #15799850 (external link)
But the basic premise for SSD remains,.
The biggest bottleneck in working with Data of any kind on a computer is the hard drive. They get faster every year, yet trail miles behind the Motherboard channels, RAM, CPUS etc..
Hard drives just can not keep up with everything else.

So, it stands to reason that anything you do to open up that bottleneck, is going to have advantages.
In many cases, going to faster storage can provide a huge benefit in performance.

I totally understand the premise. That's why the article so caught my eye.
No doubt I'll use one SSD but I am just trying to figure out whether I need a separate SSD for PS, LR and Windows scratch/cache like I currently do with my multi-HDD set up.

So you don't use LR?


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Apr 07, 2013 10:55 |  #8

I just moved my catalog of roughly 60k images from an Intel X25 g2 80gb SSD to a 7200rpm HD becasue I could simply not fit the catalog and previews on the ssd anymore.

I haven't noticed anything different in the Develop module but the library module is slower when displaying a folder of a couple hundred 5D2 raw files. It's just sluggish and LR doesn't respond immediately to hotkeys. But where I noticed it's significantly slower is when searching the metadata of thousands of images at once. It takes much more time to display the correct images and for the library to update. Overall the library module is definitely more sluggish.

I'm planning on getting a 250GB SSD at some point to move the catalog file, previews and raw cache files to. At least for me it's worth it. I don't like it when LR lags.

For clarification, the OS and all programs are still running off an SSD so the only thing which has changed is the location of the catalog and previews.




  
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Apr 07, 2013 11:30 |  #9

I have 24GB of RAM on my PC and good amount allocated to Photoshop, so I'm basically NOT doing any I/O to SSD/Hard Drive except for initial image acquisition and saving.

I have all my images from my current project on an SSD and I edit off of that. I also have another SSD for caching, etc. Makes a HUGE difference in specific areas, but now while editing.




  
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110yd
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Apr 07, 2013 11:31 |  #10

Hopefully I can add some facts to your search for the Holy Grail on SSD's. I have a first gen I7-930 that I use as the photo editing rig. When I originally built the machine I installed 6 GB of RAM and a 1 1/2 TB 5900RPM Seagate Drive. I had been pretty happy with the performance of the machine except for the disk transfer rate. The hard drive was a major bottleneck. The windows performance index rating went from 5.9 to 7.4 by installing a Samsung Pro 840 SSD. I placed the OS and the Photo editing software on the SSD and could not be happier with the increase in speed. I am still sorting some things out, regarding placement of CACHE, but the over all performance increase was worth the price of admission.

Hope this helps,

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Apr 07, 2013 11:39 |  #11

philmar wrote in post #15799983 (external link)
...

So you don't use LR?


I am the dubious owner of an upgraded LR4 license,.

When LR1 came out I was quite happy with the workflow I had, (RAWShooter, and or BibbleRaw) and I was also in possession of the most powerful computer on earth! Okay, exaggeration :) but SkyNet was a monster fire breathing photo editing machine, with a pair of Dual core possessors, 64 bit OS with 8GB of RAM back when 4 GB was the limit, and a solid state drive made of real SDRAM (not this slow arse nand poopoo)
Sounds slow to average today, but this was well ahead of it's time bleeding edge.

LR1 come along and it was a fat pig of an app that was the ONLY app I could run on my 3D rendering monster that would make it seem slow. Nect to Bibble, DPP or C1, it was like watching grass grow. And all that cataloging,. I had been shooting and archiving RAW files for a decade before Adobe decided they needed to organize my life, and using the OS file structure happily since DOS. I do not need another layer of BS between me and my files.

So no, I have yet to warm up to LR. And it is no surprise to me that the speed elixir of choice, namely opening the data storage bottleneck has minimal impact on the beast that is LR.


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Apr 07, 2013 15:19 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #12

philmar wrote in post #15799977 (external link)
Thanks for your response. I value your input in this forum. You put proper perspective to the 'build the best most expensive rig possible" advice. For that reason I was most interested in your reply to the article as I noticed you had a 2 SSD build. Do you think there is any perceptible difference in having a separate SSD scratch drive over keeping everything on the same OS & apps HDD (assuming it is large enough and doesn't get full)?

I didn't get two SSDs for performance, I got it so I can more easily image my OS drive to create a working clone every few months with DriveImageXML. I doubt I get much of a speed up, if any.

If I had images on one drive and cache on another it might speed up slightly over a one drive system, but maybe not too.


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Apr 07, 2013 16:37 |  #13

This is an older article, (march 2012) and there is little mention of what compute he's running the test on, bit it would appear to be an old Mac Pro with a Q series Zeon.
There is also no mention of whether the system is being CPU limited, which is very possible.

My old Q6600 used to get CPU limited before it got disc limited, the i7 2600 was getting disc limited before it got CPU limited.
It now has 2 SSD's in it, one for the OS and programs and one for the LR catalog, previews and cache.
There isn't a magic bullet level of effect, but LR is snappier and easier to work with. Actual export and import times are not that different, but moving around the catalog, loading previews and searching occurs much faster.
I have a second machine running an i7 3770 with no SSD, and it is noticeably slower at these tasks.

The biggest improvement you can still make in LR performance is to get the fastest CPU you can and separate the photos from the catalog and cache onto separate discs.

I have noticed a huge difference in Premier Pro however, which also uses the 2nd SSD for cache and scratch.


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Apr 07, 2013 23:31 |  #14

110yd wrote in post #15800134 (external link)
The windows performance index rating went from 5.9 to 7.4 by installing a Samsung Pro 840 SSD.

Any SSD even if it was the same speed as a standard 7200rpm would raise the index rating simply because that index rating is a gimmick. Microsoft wants people to upgrade systems just about yearly which in turn nets them more sales of Windows. So it basically detects certain hardware flags and prevents specific types of hardware from getting high marks on purpose.

My mother has a first gen i7 and gets a 7.9 on her CPU and 5.9 on her 7200rpm drive. I have a third gen system that nets the same 7.9 score cap which a $50k supercomputer would get. Yet my WD 64mb cache 7200rpm drive scores 5.9 which is the same exact score given for my slower Spinpoint 5400rpm 32mb cache drive.




  
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Apr 08, 2013 09:50 |  #15

The reason for the 5.9 is that seek + settle time is the barrier on spinning magnetic media and for random I/O it is effectively insurmountable.

Actual physical I/O rates for sequential I/O on modern drives get close to or exceed 100MB/sec; while SSDs can do double that or better there are few applications that can take actual advantage of the difference.

The difference between an effective zero seek time and one of 10-15ms (including settling), however, is very real. This means that no more than 100tps for a random I/O workload can be achieved and the smaller each I/O is the more penalty is embedded in that. SSDs have no such barrier since they have no seek time delay.


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"SSDs are not the magic bullet that some would have you believe"
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