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Drive speed

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Ian Watson:
How fast is fast enough?

Every nerd just thought, "Too fast is not fast enough!"  ;D

I have no immediate need for an external drive as the primary home of my photographs. However, the topic has been on my mind lately and I am curious. Solid state drives offer plenty of speed but capacity can be expensive. Hard drives offer plenty of capacity at low cost but tend to be used in RAID to boost speed.

For editing still photographs with Lightroom and Photoshop, how fast is practicable? At what point do other bottlenecks get in the way of faster drives?

Steven Paulsen:
Over the winter I put together a small, fast rig for post and storage. I bought a Dell 3430/i7,8700/32gb/4gb, gpu with 3 M.2 drives, a ss, 2.5" and a questionable 3.5" 4tb, spinner,

Try an M.2, NVMe solid state drive and get a 10gps enclosure, ($20.) If your present pc has USB.3.0 and even an internal SSD, the external rig is almost identical fast. Matched with a machine with USB 3.1 and later, transfer speed makes my head swim. Two to six gigs per second, I found a new toy.

Beware, the drive market is bottoming out. Dont get fooled because there is a HUGE difference in drive longevity with Total Bytes Written. A high quality 2tb revision 3, or4 drive is around $100, now.

And dont forget..............have fun.

Birna Rørslett:
For image [long-term] storage and retrieval: any connection or device providing gigabit speed (in practice > 100MB/s) will do more than well enough. Thus storage to an external drive or NAS is all right.

For image processing: a local drive of the fastest kind supported by your machine. You ideally want the image to load at a blink of an eye :)

Ian Watson:
Thank you, Steven. After my recent attempt to upgrade the SSD in my iMac, I will leave building computers to those with actual talent  ;D

There is a decent selection of portable NVMe drives, so there is no need to roll my own. I use one for my off-site backup and it is indeed swift. My curiosity was more to do with how fast one needs rather than can achieve. A bit like how fast can one drive when commuting.

Fun will never be forgotten!

Ian Watson:
Thank you, Birna! That is exactly what I wanted to know.


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