Lightroom Classic: Best place for catalog when moving to RAID 0 Setup

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  • Updated 1 month ago
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I'm running 2015 5K iMac with a 4GB video graphics, 32GB RAM, 3TB Fusion Drive and 4GHz Core i7. Running the Creative Cloud Lightroom and Photoshop.

I'm moving all of my content over to a Thunderbolt RAID 0 and a separate Thunderbolt drive to backup the RAID.

For the best working experience, should I also move the Lightroom catalog(s) to the RAID or leave it on the iMac?

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Posted 1 month ago

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Ralf Bruechmann

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Hi Seshat,

you should leave the catalog on the iMac for 2 reasons:

1. the RAID 0 is less "safe" then the fusion drive in terms of error- prone
2. Adobe recommends the catalog to stay allways on an "internal" drive

If you want to move to RAID system to another Mac to work on a different place, a good way would be to safe the catalog inside a cloud-sync-folder of your choice (like iCloud or Dropbox).
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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For best performance you want the catalog on your fastest drive. If the RAID 0 system performance is close to the 3TB Fusion drive then there shouldn't be any issue moving the catalog folder to that drive. However, I would keep the Camera Raw Cache on the 3TBĀ  Fusion drive.
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Carlos Cardona

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Mac IT Pro for 25 years.

I agree with Ralf, RAID 0 is too risky to leave your catalog on. I have a 21" Late 2015, i7, 16GB RAM iMac, with photos on Areca RAID 5 (6 SAS drives, 12GB/s), and it's PLENTY fast. Don't forget to do daily RAID backups!
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Yes, RAID 0 will be on a constant backup. Also, currently all of my content and catalog is monitored by Backblaze for constant backup.

Do you also leave your PS Scratch Disk assigned to your iMac?