Internal HDD almost Full... Move photos to Thunderbolt Drive?

PilotBradPilotBrad Major grinsPosts: 339Registered Users Major grins
edited August 9, 2013 in Digital Darkroom
The 1TB internal HDD in my iMac is nearing capacity and I am on the verge of purchasing a 6TB external Thunderbolt drive (probably Lacie 2Big). I 'll move ~850GB of raw files to it and I want to run it in RAID 1 (mirrored) mode.

Theoretically the Thunderbolt connection is faster than the Sata connection to the internal HDD, but I am curious if anyone has any real world experience with this, especially running in RAID 1? If you've moved your photos to a Thunderbolt drive, has the performance in Lightroom been the same, better or worse?

With that in mind, would you recommend leaving the LR Catalog file(s) on the internal HDD or moving them to the external drive as well?

Comments

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,434Super Moderators moderator
    edited July 22, 2013
    You want your image RAW files and your catalog files on the same hard drive. That way you never have to wonder where your d***pictures are.

    Your Thunderbolt enabled files storage should perform just fine. I use an external Raid array via eSata for my 5 year old Power Mac and it works just fine as well. Thunderbolt will be even better, and when the new Mac Pro arrives, that will be my next desktop machine as well, with the Thunderbolt II Raid array.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • perronefordperroneford Major grins Posts: 550Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 23, 2013
    I keep no photos or catalogs on my internal iMac drive. Bad idea in general. Of course, 1TB for me is about 2-3 months of work.

    Currently, I use G-Tech 4TB drives. Each is mirrored and one is primary, the other backup tied together with Time Machine. When I bought my first set of these drives, Thunderbolt drives had not yet been delivered. When I bought my current set, Only a few options were available, and they were in the $699 each price range. I am due another set next month, and am weighing my options of Thunderbolt. Franky, I am not sure it's going to buy me much. The slowest part of my process is getting my cards onto the computer, and that cannot yet happen via TBolt. The heavy lifting of creating previews, and other things LR and Photoshop do are all down to internal drive speeds, memory, and the graphics processor.

    To each their own, but for me TBolt looks like an overpriced choice for me at this time. Perhaps your workflow is different than mine.
  • mercphotomercphoto Bill Jurasz Posts: 4,550Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 23, 2013
    Thunderbolt is damn fast but its pricey too. You have to decide if you need the performance boost over USB 3.0 or not and whether you want to spend the money. But if performance is what you are worried about, there are no performance worries with Thunderbolt.

    A friend is running a new Mac Mini server with a Thunderbolt connected Pegasus RAID primary drive system that daisy chains to a Thunderbolt RAID for the backup. Yes, he's running RAID on both the primary file system and as the backup file system. He's very happy with the speed.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
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  • PilotBradPilotBrad Major grins Posts: 339Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 23, 2013
    pathfinder wrote: »
    You want your image RAW files and your catalog files on the same hard drive. That way you never have to wonder where your d***pictures are.

    Thanks!
    mercphoto wrote: »
    You have to decide if you need the performance boost over USB 3.0 or not and whether you want to spend the money.

    USB 3.0 is not an option for me, so Thunderbolt it is. Thanks!
  • PilotBradPilotBrad Major grins Posts: 339Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 9, 2013
    Just a quick follow up, I finally did purchase the LaCie 2Big 6TB Thunderbolt drive and boy is it fast compared to my internal HDD.

    I did a little testing in using the Black Magic speed test app and I was getting ~325 MB/s write and ~360 MB/s read in RAID 0 mode. After converting the Drive to RAID 1 mode, I see write read speeds around 130-160 MB/s respectively. Even in RAID 1 mode, this is a decent improvement from the 60-80 MB/s I get with my internal HDD.

    In a few weeks I am going to install a SSD and move OS X and my apps over to it... then I should really be flying.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,434Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 9, 2013
    Good to hear, and thanks for the follow up note.

    Glad to hear your Thunderbolt connection is a true success. I am looking forward to Thunderbolt II this fall.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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