Photoshop and Lightroom Discussion

Bigfoot

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Hi there. I have a build in the pipeline also mainly for Lightroom but on a lower budget than yours. Overall your specs look pretty good to me. Photoshop will like the 8 core CPU but Lightroom won't really see a significant gain past 4 cores. Your RAM is plenty too and will make them both happy. However I might ponder a different drive setup perhaps:

I would consider a bigger 1st M.2 Drive - you would like to have your OS and Lightroom/Photoshop on here so everything can load quickly. 256 GB I don't think will give you much room to spare if you are adding anything else in there. 512GB minimum would be my recommendation.

Lightroom likes having it's Catalogs and Scratch Disk on a separate, fast drive. You could certainly use the SSD for that if you wish. A second M.2 is another option - and is what I went for. Previews and catalog data can then be grabbed quickly when needed. The SSD will work too, but obviously is nowhere near as fast as the M.2 drives. (Bear in mind that on that Motherboard, the first M.2 slot is PCIe 4.0 which is super fast, but the second M.2 slot is PCIe 3.0 via the Chipset which means it works no faster than about 3,500 MB/s - so don't waste money putting any drive faster than the one you already have selected in there.)

With the SDD, just consider how much room you really need. 1TB can fill up quickly if you are using RAW files. It's easy enough to add extra storage later if you need to, but cheaper and easier to do it now with a bigger SSD or even a HDD if you can. For original files or for general use documents and so on, the speed of the drive really isn't as big a deal.

So I personally went for a three drive setup - two M.2 drives and one HDD.

Just food for thought - and there are many more on here more capable of giving better advice - so wait and see what they all say first also!!
I am interested in your selection of drives. My PC is in pre-production and currently has 2x500GB Samsung 980 Pros, a 2TB SSD and a 4TB HDD. My thought was to use one of the 980s for OS and programs and the other as as scratch drive. My photos and catalogue are destined for the SSD and everything else for the HDD. Could I do better? My current ancient machine has 2 slow HDDs, and struggles to run PS. I don’t want to derail the thread, but I thought the discussion might also be useful for the OP.
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I am interested in your selection of drives. My PC is in pre-production and currently has 2x500GB Samsung 980 Pros, a 2TB SSD and a 4TB HDD. My thought was to use one of the 980s for OS and programs and the other as as scratch drive. My photos and catalogue are destined for the SSD and everything else for the HDD. Could I do better? My current ancient machine has 2 slow HDDs, and struggles to run PS. I don’t want to derail the thread, but I thought the discussion might also be useful for the OP.
I think that’s sounds pretty good really Bigfoot.

But when it comes to photo files the primary use for me at least is writing them from your memory card into your internal disk. After that you most likely won’t interact with the files all that much as you’re working on previews from that point on. I use SDXC cards for my camera which are UHS-II. This gives Max read speeds around 300MB/s (more like 260MB/s sustained read) which isn’t that much faster than a high RPM HDD can write - and a lot slower than an SSD can, so I personally felt using an SSD for them was a bit of a waste really - mostly because I am so budget limited. No point having a super fast drive and then stick a slow card into it! Of course things will change down the road and I expect cards will get faster and faster.

The catalog files are tiny by comparison. All depending on your preview settings of course. Typically around 500-600 times smaller than the size of the associated original files. So say 250,000 raw photos at 30MB each would need 7.5 TB of storage - but the catalog size would be around 12GB!! So I’m happy with them on my second M.2 drive.

Every other general use file I have are all generally small like word docs and so on a apart from the very odd video - so an SSD or HDD will have them accessed more or less as quickly time wise no matter what.

I went for two 500GB M.2’s like you (but MUCH slower cos my wallet is small!) and a 2TB HDD. First M.2 for OS and some core programs. Second M.2 for catalogs and scratch disk and all my other programs and games (which isn’t many). HDD for everything else.

I would intend to add an SSD or add/replace the HDD down the road depending on needs.
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I should add that I am the same as you - my current PC frustrates me with LR and PS. I have a back up external hard drive which is USB 3.0 but it plugs into my USB 2.0 PC. I have a SATA III internal SSD but a SATA II mobo interface. So even my good peripherals are choked to death.

USB 3.0, SATA III and M.2 will probably make my head explode whenever I see it all arrive at once!! 🙂
 

Bigfoot

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I think that’s sounds pretty good really Bigfoot.

But when it comes to photo files the primary use for me at least is writing them from your memory card into your internal disk. After that you most likely won’t interact with the files all that much as you’re working on previews from that point on. I use SDXC cards for my camera which are UHS-II. This gives Max read speeds around 300MB/s (more like 260MB/s sustained read) which isn’t that much faster than a high RPM HDD can write - and a lot slower than an SSD can, so I personally felt using an SSD for them was a bit of a waste really - mostly because I am so budget limited. No point having a super fast drive and then stick a slow card into it! Of course things will change down the road and I expect cards will get faster and faster.

The catalog files are tiny by comparison. All depending on your preview settings of course. Typically around 500-600 times smaller than the size of the associated original files. So say 250,000 raw photos at 30MB each would need 7.5 TB of storage - but the catalog size would be around 12GB!! So I’m happy with them on my second M.2 drive.

Every other general use file I have are all generally small like word docs and so on a apart from the very odd video - so an SSD or HDD will have them accessed more or less as quickly time wise no matter what.

I went for two 500GB M.2’s like you (but MUCH slower cos my wallet is small!) and a 2TB HDD. First M.2 for OS and some core programs. Second M.2 for catalogs and scratch disk and all my other programs and games (which isn’t many). HDD for everything else.

I would intend to add an SSD or add/replace the HDD down the road depending on needs.
That is some useful information to think about. I wasn’t sure if the catalogue should be on the same drive as the scratch disk. I thought having it on a separate SSD might be faster, but could well be wrong. I hadn’t thought about all the work on LR using previews. I do generate standard and 1:1 previews on import, so drive speed for raw photos is maybe not an issue.
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
That is some useful information to think about. I wasn’t sure if the catalogue should be on the same drive as the scratch disk. I thought having it on a separate SSD might be faster, but could well be wrong. I hadn’t thought about all the work on LR using previews. I do generate standard and 1:1 previews on import, so drive speed for raw photos is maybe not an issue.
Yes as a rule the raw photos aren’t really referenced again much at all by LR if you have generated previews.

To some extent I don’t think scratch disks are all that relevant if there is plenty of RAM, and I wouldn’t worry about separating them from anything else. Just make sure it’s in a fast drive.

1:1 previews take up more room. You can set how long they are retained for - or just delete them if you are short on storage - through Lightroom preferences. Catalog settings I think - will have to check again later.

I don’t build 1:1 previews during import as I delete a lot of photos as I triage them first. Once I have settled on my keepers and possible keepers, then I generate 1:1 previews before i start editing them. My 1:1 are set to auto delete after a week as I find I have done most, or all, of my work by then.

if I am accessing and editing photos much later than that, when the 1:1 previews are gone, it is always on an individual image basis - as in I am not going back to look at and work on dozens or hundreds of images - so generating the 1:1 preview I need then takes very little time as it’s just a single file or two.

I guess you’ll have to think about your own workflow to decide what’s best, but the above works well for me and should still be efficient and neat on my new machine (I hope!)
 
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NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
One other thing more for any others reading here I guess than for Bigfoot - the advantage of having your OS one one drive and your catalogs and raw files elsewhere is that if you ever need to reinstall your OS - either for a major update or for troubleshooting - nothing else is affected. There isn’t a huge transfer and backup drama to do.

If instead you just shove everything into a single huge drive, then headaches will ensure if your OS ever sits down on you.
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I am interested in your selection of drives. My PC is in pre-production and currently has 2x500GB Samsung 980 Pros, a 2TB SSD and a 4TB HDD. My thought was to use one of the 980s for OS and programs and the other as as scratch drive. My photos and catalogue are destined for the SSD and everything else for the HDD. Could I do better? My current ancient machine has 2 slow HDDs, and struggles to run PS. I don’t want to derail the thread, but I thought the discussion might also be useful for the OP.
@Bigfoot - sorry about the thread abuse here - I only just realised that up above you said you have two Samsung 980 M.2 drives. They are rated at 6,900 MB/s read and 5,000 MB/s write. If you have the B550 motherboard than one of those M.2 drives will run at PCIe 4.0 which will of course work great - but the second will only run at PCIe 3.0 which is limted to about 3,500 MB/s maximum.

Keep that in mind with your M.2 drive selection perhaps?? You could save some money with a 970 in the 2nd M.2 drive which would be better suited.

All depending on your motherboard of course......and you future plans......
 

Bigfoot

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
@Bigfoot - sorry about the thread abuse here - I only just realised that up above you said you have two Samsung 980 M.2 drives. They are rated at 6,900 MB/s read and 5,000 MB/s write. If you have the B550 motherboard than one of those M.2 drives will run at PCIe 4.0 which will of course work great - but the second will only run at PCIe 3.0 which is limted to about 3,500 MB/s maximum.

Keep that in mind with your M.2 drive selection perhaps?? You could save some money with a 970 in the 2nd M.2 drive which would be better suited.

All depending on your motherboard of course......and you future plans......
I have the ROG Strix X570, as I have a 5900x selected
 

Bigfoot

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I and @NoddyPilot are derailing the thread somewhat. I would like to continue the discussion about LR & PS and the best setup without taking over thread. Could a friendly mod (e.g. @AgentCooper ) move the offending posts to a new thread in an appropriate forum and tag us both in, so we can can contNiue the discussion, which might also be of interest to other non-gamers?
 

AgentCooper

RIP Julee Cruise ☹️
Moderator
I and @NoddyPilot are derailing the thread somewhat. I would like to continue the discussion about LR & PS and the best setup without taking over thread. Could a friendly mod (e.g. @AgentCooper ) move the offending posts to a new thread in an appropriate forum and tag us both in, so we can can contNiue the discussion, which might also be of interest to other non-gamers?
Done 👍
 

Bigfoot

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I might still amend my build. I am wondering whether a drop back to the 5900x might speed up the build. From benchmarking at Puget Systems it looks like the 5800x performs as well as the 5900x for LR and PS. I might think about reconfiguring the drives. I will look at how big my current catalog is.

As for laughing at your build, you should see my current ancient PC. It cannot run PS from LR and is now very slow. Hopefully I will see a big improvement. I haven’t used PS much at all. Does it use the drives in a similar manner to LR, or are there any other considerations? I have also acquired a few Topaz Labs AI applications, mainly for processing some low light wildlife pictures that have a lot of noise.

You will need to wait before bringing your new rig to my place, as we have 18 inches of snow at the moment and it was -14 last nigh ❄️⛄
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I might still amend my build. I am wondering whether a drop back to the 5900x might speed up the build. From benchmarking at Puget Systems it looks like the 5800x performs as well as the 5900x for LR and PS. I might think about reconfiguring the drives. I will look at how big my current catalog is.

As for laughing at your build, you should see my current ancient PC. It cannot run PS from LR and is now very slow. Hopefully I will see a big improvement. I haven’t used PS much at all. Does it use the drives in a similar manner to LR, or are there any other considerations? I have also acquired a few Topaz Labs AI applications, mainly for processing some low light wildlife pictures that have a lot of noise.

You will need to wait before bringing your new rig to my place, as we have 18 inches of snow at the moment and it was -14 last nigh ❄️⛄
I am similar in that I don’t use PS that much overall - however I do use it for panoramas and HDR sometimes.

My understanding is that PS behaves similarly to LR but will make much better use of the GPU and multi core CPU’s than LR does, so your set up should work nicely. Puget Systems is great for LR and PS benchmarks it seems.

I think we could get carried away with considerations but I think the basic one are to keep the program itself and the catalogs on a fast drive. Your M.2’s would be perfect I think. Original file storage location is at your discretion really.

I am similar also with my existing thing. I have 8GB of RAM and constantly struggle with LR and PS running out of memory where many functions just won’t work. I can’t wait to have 32GB to play with!!

I also upgraded to a 4 core i7 chip which has cut my LR load time to about 20 seconds from almost a minute before the upgrade....

I think we will both be happy with the new performance by comparison!
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
@Bigfoot - I ran a fair few tests for you this evening with my new Machine:

First, in LR I exported 243 full size RAW files to max quality JPEGs - over 3GB worth of JPGs - and it took 2 mins and 5 secs. All CPU cores were at 100% load the entire time and the CPU was pulling around 75W (according to HW Monitor at least). Temperature maxed out at about 69 degrees with my rubbish PCS cooler. :)

Next I imported 12 RAW files into a panorama with PS using the automated photomerge. That took 43 seconds. And surprisingly it put very little load on the CPU. Overall single percentage use on each core with the odd jump to high numbers now and then.

Then I ran them both at the same time - LR doing it's 243 images and PS photomerging at the same time. This time PS took a full 1 min longer to do it's work, while LR carried on with it's job - with everything finished at 2 mins 15 seconds. So PS took much longer to do it's task but LR only took 10 seconds longer.

I ran the last test maybe 4 or 5 times - all times CPU was at 100% drawing 75W and temps around 69-70 degrees. Max RAM usage incidentally was about 14GB for the whole system - mostly because of LR - proving that 16GB is cutting it fine I think!

What surprised me was the low load on the CPU for photoshop but the massive impact running both programs together had on PS in particular. Having said that, for me at least I can't think of any use case where I would be pushing both programs so hard at the same time. My gut says 8 cores would be perfectly fine - and would certainly give a decent improvement on the above results over my 6 core 5600X.

Finally - what really amazed me the overall speed! No surprise there I suppose! Before my new machine arrived I ran a few tests with my old setup - I exported 50 RAW files to JPG and it took 2:21. And I couldn't merge more than 4 RAW files as I would run out of RAM. Now I can export 5 times more files and do a big photomerge in PS - all at the same time - and still finsih quicker!! It's just great!! :D

Anyway, I hope all that is of use! Be proud also that the very first workout my PC got was all for you! :love::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Oh, and my FPS in Assetto Corsa is now at 131 on Ultra settings - a decent improvement on my 15-20 previously! :ROFLMAO:
 
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NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Just for anyone else lurking here - today while using Lightroom alone - and completeing a large photomerge - around twenty 24MP Raw images - the total system RAM in use approach 22GB.

As explianed elsewhere in the forum, it's kind of a strange setup with these programs. Both PS and LR do not give back the RAM they have been allocated until the programs are closed. So in my example above, if I completed the large merge, and then opened the 150MP result in PS, I end up with 27GB of RAM in use of my 32GB total. Not a lot to spare. PS can be set to limit the amount of RAM it uses, but LR can not be so configured. However.....

Once LR had completed it's task, it no longer immediately needs all the RAM that it was allocated when working previously. So performing another task like zooming in and forcing it to build a preview, doesn't cause a problem because it already has plenty of RAM available to it. However, if I push PS too hard then the RAM it needs will be limited and may be forced to use it's scratch disk and might become less repsonsive.

So, in summary, I would say 16GB of RAM would be OK for LR or PS if you inted to only do imports and basic edits without any merges bigger than two or three imgaes.

If you intend to use LR and PS at the same time, or you will be doing anything more intensive in either program - like lots of layers or HDR and so on, then 32GB would be my personal minimum.

If you intend to use both programs heavily at the same time - like merging in LR then transferring to PS where you continue to add layers or further merges while keeping LR open - then I would seriously consider 64GB of RAM.
 

Bigfoot

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Thanks for the update @NoddyPilot . I am still considering upping my RAM to 64GB. I might still drop my processor down to a 5800x from a 5900x to possibly shorten my wait and save a few hundred pounds for almost no difference in performance. How are you finding the setup with scratch drive and catalogue? I was thinking of 2nd M.2 for scratch and SSD for catalogue and photos.
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Thanks for the update @NoddyPilot . I am still considering upping my RAM to 64GB. I might still drop my processor down to a 5800x from a 5900x to possibly shorten my wait and save a few hundred pounds for almost no difference in performance. How are you finding the setup with scratch drive and catalogue? I was thinking of 2nd M.2 for scratch and SSD for catalogue and photos.
To be honest it’s hard to tell in some ways because my machine is so much faster than the old one!!

The scratch disk only becomes relevant if RAM is limited. I have not yet hit that limit so I don’t believe my scratch disk has actually been needed. So I would say if you upped to 64GB, don’t worry about where you put your scratch disk at all!

I have my original photos on my HDD - and it is still so much faster than my previous setup - so importing and writing to disk just is a breeze by comparison. Today I imported 74 RAW files and I giggled at how much quicker it was! My memory card is only rated at 95 MBps read (I actually thought it was quicker than that) - so that’s my bottleneck rather than the disk so HDD is fine for now for me.

My catalog lives on my second M.2 and interacting with it is basically instantaneous. One issue I do see with the HDD is on occasion when starting LR it can take a few seconds to confirm the location of images in the catalog - you know when you might see little ‘?’ symbols beside folders for example. I believe this would be better with an SSD, particularly for big catalogs, and my plan would be to upgrade in future possibly.

But my first plan is to up my RAM when budget allows. One fun and exciting side effect of my new PC is that I can now do things with LR and PS that I just could not do before. I am finding myself out with the camera thinking of taking images or a series of images that I just never would have considered previously. I think I now realise that too little RAM will limit what I can do - whereas the drive configuration will only slow me down a little.
 

Bhuna50

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Just thought I would let you know that I have just merged 21 photos together and this utilised at one point 60% of my RAM so 64GB RAM comes in handy LOL.

This was in Lightroom and was basically a panoramic HDR landscape ( 7 wide - pano - by 3 shots each - for HDRmerge) - I only took this to test how much it would use up LOL - can be seen here:


I also did a slightly smaller version:

LeckhamptonHillP.jpg

It's looking down on Cheltenham from Leckhampton Hill - in the middle in the distance is the GCHQ donut :D
 
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