Question SSD for pictures

aldaia

Distinguished
Oct 22, 2010
525
7
18,995
1
One of my hobbies is photography. I have plenty of DSLR RAW pictures that I store and process (into jpeg or intermediate tiff sometimes) RAWS are about 20-30 Mb, intermediate tiffs weight 100-150 Mb and the final .jpeg about 5-12 Mb

Right now I have a fast NVME SSD with OS and Apps with plenty of space (about 40% free space), but not enough to store all the pictures. My pictures (that I do backup) are stored in an older HDD in the same system with other stuff (that I don't backup). I have a second (even older) HDD where I backup both, my NVME data and my pictures.

I feel that:
  1. soon I'll need a bit more space for pictures
  2. processing and transferring the pictures in the HDD, is sometimes a bit slow, but not always (compared with doing so in the NVME)
  3. since HDD is old I think renewing the storage will increase reliability.
I was wondering if adding cheap 2TB sata SSD (the cheapest i've seen recently in my country is Patriot P210 2TB, but that may change) will be fast enough for my photoprocessing needs. Considering that I just read/write move around full files of the sizes mentioned above). I know that dramless SSDs are slower, but considering I write/read/move multi MB files maybe that is not an issue.
The alternative is to buy a newer, bigger, HDD, that will address points 1 & 3, but will probably do nothing on the performance side (it may even be possible that new bigger HDDs are even slower).

Thanks in advance.
 
I'd certainly use an SSD rather than an HDD if at all possible.

The only reason to stick with HDD is if you cannot afford SSD at your chosen capacity.

In the US, there are a lot of choices for SSDs at 2 TB capacity for less than 200 dollars. Some under 150. I'd think standard 2.5 inch SATA would be fine for your purposes.

At 4 TB, an SSD may be too expensive...around 320 on up.

Not sure I would go with the cheapest I could find unless forced by budget. I'd consider Crucial MX500 or maybe one of the WD Blue series. Look for reviews of any SSD you might purchase.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
159,357
12,668
176,090
24,405
I do this specifically.
6x SSD, each 1TB, basically each one with its own purpose in life.

OS and applications (980 Pro)
Photo work (660p)
CAD (SATA III)
Video (SATA III)
Games (SATA III)
random junk (SATA III)

My Photo drive (1TB Intel 660p) is running out of space. I need to offload some older stuff to the bis NAS space.
 
One of my hobbies is photography. I have plenty of DSLR RAW pictures that I store and process (into jpeg or intermediate tiff sometimes) RAWS are about 20-30 Mb, intermediate tiffs weight 100-150 Mb and the final .jpeg about 5-12 Mb

Right now I have a fast NVME SSD with OS and Apps with plenty of space (about 40% free space), but not enough to store all the pictures. My pictures (that I do backup) are stored in an older HDD in the same system with other stuff (that I don't backup). I have a second (even older) HDD where I backup both, my NVME data and my pictures.

I feel that:
  1. soon I'll need a bit more space for pictures
  2. processing and transferring the pictures in the HDD, is sometimes a bit slow, but not always (compared with doing so in the NVME)
  3. since HDD is old I think renewing the storage will increase reliability.
I was wondering if adding cheap 2TB sata SSD (the cheapest i've seen recently in my country is Patriot P210 2TB, but that may change) will be fast enough for my photoprocessing needs. Considering that I just read/write move around full files of the sizes mentioned above). I know that dramless SSDs are slower, but considering I write/read/move multi MB files maybe that is not an issue.
The alternative is to buy a newer, bigger, HDD, that will address points 1 & 3, but will probably do nothing on the performance side (it may even be possible that new bigger HDDs are even slower).

Thanks in advance.
I think a little more information about the workflow process is needed. Are you manually opening these up, saving into an intermediate format, working on them, then saving the final output? If so, then you don't need a high performance storage drive for the files. If you're running a script that applies a set of effects and letting the computer do its thing, then it makes a better case for needing faster performing storage, but it also depends on if the intermediate files are also kept or not, how many are generated at a given time, and where those intermediate files are being stored.

On a side note, larger capacity HDDs typically have better performance than smaller ones. The reason being larger capacity ones have higher data density, which means the head can pick up more data per revolution. The last I checked, HDDs have gotten up to 300MB/sec in sequential read performance now.
 

aldaia

Distinguished
Oct 22, 2010
525
7
18,995
1
Thanks to all for your answers I try to answer them all.

As for the workflow is mostly as you say, manually opening RAW files and processing them manually. Occasionally I save some or several into an intermediate format, working more on them , then saving the final output. Eventually the intermediate files are deleted (although they can stay on the computer for weeks or months) leaving only the camera RAWs (which are like the negatives) and the final results for personal viewing, sometimes online sharing and occasionally printing them.

2TB is enough for 5-6 years and by then probably things will be quite different (maybe in 5 years we can have a 10TB SSD for $30 ;))

Prices change over time and I plan to wait either for Prime day or Black Friday which may change the equation. Anyway I put current prices for comparative purposes of SSDs under consideration
Patriot P210 2TB is 147,80 €
Crucial BX500 2TB is 155,99 €
This 2 I think are dramless

Better SSDS are:
MX500 2TB @ 171,99 €
Samsung 870 QVO 2TB @ 179,69 €

I know that dramless are slower in some circumstances. However I'm wondering if for my needs in Photo work which basically means reading/writing/moving multi Mbyte files it would make any difference the extra price.
 
If you can afford an SSD, then go for it, but I don't think you need one based on the description of your workflow process. If you're only working on a few files at a time, then storage performance isn't going to be much of an issue.
 

geofelt

Titan
I think your first priority should be to establish some sort of EXTERNAL backup.
Photos are one thing that can not be readily recovered.
For that purpose, a HDD will do very well.

For any processing locally, you really can't beat a SSD...... ANY SSD.....

I would favor SSD devices from those who make all of the parts.
Samsung and Intel would be my first choice.
You really don't want to deal with any strange issues.

A SSD with no moving parts will be the most reliable.
But, the cost per gb is higher.
Here is a report from Puget systems on hardware reliability.
 

aldaia

Distinguished
Oct 22, 2010
525
7
18,995
1
If you can afford an SSD, then go for it, but I don't think you need one based on the description of your workflow process. If you're only working on a few files at a time, then storage performance isn't going to be much of an issue.
Actually it is an issue, processing 10 (150 Mb) tiffs into a single HDR for instance I do have to wait for the HD to read them all. I expect that not to be an issue with an SSD.
 

aldaia

Distinguished
Oct 22, 2010
525
7
18,995
1
I think your first priority should be to establish some sort of EXTERNAL backup.
Photos are one thing that can not be readily recovered.
For that purpose, a HDD will do very well.
Don't worry about backups, I'm on the paranoid side :tearsofjoy:
  1. I backup my pictures on a second internal HDD in same system
  2. I also backup them on an external HDD that I keep in a different room of the house
  3. And I also backup them on amazon photos
 
Actually it is an issue, processing 10 (150 Mb) tiffs into a single HDR for instance I do have to wait for the HD to read them all. I expect that not to be an issue with an SSD.
If you're using a TIFF as an intermediate file and you're only working one output at a time, you could store the TIFFs in the NVME drive you currently have and save the final output to the HDD. Most of that saving process is going to be on the CPU anyway to convert the working image into the final format. Then periodically you just wipe the TIFF folder.

Also you have to think about how often you're doing this. If loading is an infrequent thing in the process, then storage performance is going to have a smaller impact on the overall time spent in the process.

Again, you do whatever you think is best.
 

aldaia

Distinguished
Oct 22, 2010
525
7
18,995
1
What is your current motherboard? Often you can find budget NVME drives, for not much more than a SATA one.
I already have my NVME slot taken by a 512 Gb NVME where I have OS, Apps and important (non-pictures) data. SATA will be my second SSD, which for storing and processing pictures will be more than enough.
 

aldaia

Distinguished
Oct 22, 2010
525
7
18,995
1
Case closed. On amazon prime day amazon made me an offer I couldn't refuse
25% discount on 2TB BX500 I know its not as fast as MX500 but price was closer to HDD than to SSD.

Thanks to all four your help.
 

aldaia

Distinguished
Oct 22, 2010
525
7
18,995
1
I would like to report back after testing the SSD under real work conditions, just in case its useful for someone in a similar situation.

I found that processing and transferring pictures with the BX500 (a cheap dramless SSD) is noticeable faster than doing so in my old HDD (that was the expected outcome). Also, I haven't noticed any difference with doing the same in my faster NVME.
In summary for picture processing, jumping to SSD made a nice difference, but spending more on a faster SSD adds nothing.
 
Reactions: USAFRet

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
159,357
12,668
176,090
24,405
I would like to report back after testing the SSD under real work conditions, just in case its useful for someone in a similar situation.

I found that processing and transferring pictures with the BX500 (a cheap dramless SSD) is noticeable faster than doing so in my old HDD (that was the expected outcome). Also, I haven't noticed any difference with doing the same in my faster NVME.
In summary for picture processing, jumping to SSD made a nice difference, but spending more on a faster SSD adds nothing.
That is a typical outcome.

The jump from HDD to SSD (any SSD) is huge.
Between the different flavors of SSD? Not so much.
 

aldaia

Distinguished
Oct 22, 2010
525
7
18,995
1
Actually It's well beyond the typical outcome.
Remember this SSD is used exclusively for storing, reviewing, displaying and processing pictures. My particular use-case benefits a lot from BX-500 strengths and is unaffected by its weakness:
  • My workload is dominated by reads with not much write activity, which is good for endurance. I estimate no more than 1-2 TBW per year out of 720 TBW for the 2TB BX-500
  • Both reads and writes are 100% sequential.
  • Write/read size is always big enough to peak sequential read/write throughput.
  • Write size is never big enough (by several orders of magnitude) to fill the SLC cache buffer.
Basically my workload stays 100% of the time in the peak performance region of the SSD and there is no way i can use it's write allowance in all my lifetime. I can't expect any better.

That is a typical outcome.

The jump from HDD to SSD (any SSD) is huge.
Between the different flavors of SSD? Not so much.
 

Joe Gallo

Distinguished
Nov 26, 2015
129
4
18,715
9
for your main onboard storage anything ssd will have great speeds. You will get a bump for using m2 nvme (on pcie gen 3), and then another for using dram, and then a further for using pcie gen 4. People will say it’s not a tangible difference but it is. The people who say that aren’t in graphic design or other work related tasks. They’re games who see 2 seconds of load screen missing. They don’t know the pain of painstakingly slow files to open in PS or AE, or loading in a massive CAD document

Just a couple quick tips

make sure your motherboard is capable of using these connections.

And dram only helps when you’re recalling the same file or files over and over, it won’t speed up your read write times much.

For your deep storage. Unless you want to get into raid configurations, I’d just stick with a hard drive or a hybrid drive for deep storage. As for updating you hdd unless you want something fancier or you have a 5200rpm they will almost never fail. You don’t need to upgrade


with this knowledge you can now focus on the bigger priority of choice and not something that can be sorted, what brand and series will you find reliable?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
159,357
12,668
176,090
24,405
People will say it’s not a tangible difference but it is. The people who say that aren’t in graphic design or other work related tasks. They’re games who see 2 seconds of load screen missing. They don’t know the pain of painstakingly slow files to open in PS or AE, or loading in a massive CAD document
Actually, you can't make assumptions like that.

I am not a gamer.
CAD/video/photo work mostly.
I have 3 levels of SSD in my system - Samsung 980 Pro, Intel 660p, and various SATA III SSD. All 1TB each.

On the back end of the work process, I see almost NO difference in rendering out and saving a video of various length, or a large CAD file.
 

Joe Gallo

Distinguished
Nov 26, 2015
129
4
18,715
9
On the back end of the work process, I see almost NO difference in rendering out and saving a video of various length, or a large CAD file.
I do all of those things as well haha, your optane would preform similarly to a 980 pro that makes sense. As for the differences of other data drives they are there.

It just depends on the use case to actually see larger returns.

for example going from a 980 pro to 970 evo plus will increase boot times by 2 times. only will boot from about 10-20 seconds to 5-10 seconds. Now most people won’t notice the 5-10 second drop which is why we’re in this situation

it’s just matter of math, if you move something at 1500mbs, then 3000, then 6000, the move from 3 to 6000 will only see a further 25% drop in time from the original 1500
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
159,357
12,668
176,090
24,405
for example going from a 980 pro to 970 evo plus will increase boot times by 2 times. only will boot from about 10-20 seconds to 5-10 seconds. Now most people won’t notice the 5-10 second drop which is why we’re in this situation
Absolutely not.

Boot time is FAR more than just raw sequential drive speed.

Lets consider a total boot time of 30 seconds.
15 seconds of that is the BIOS doing its thing, the other 1/2 Windows and the drive.

Now, lets postulate we reduce the second part of that 30 seconds. Cut that 15 seconds in half.
(970 EVO to 980 Pro doesn't just that, but just for giggles here)

That leaves a total boot time of 22 seconds.
The first 15 secs of the BIOS time is completely unchanged.
The second part goes down to 7.5 secs.

Total time from the power button....22.5 secs.
Not "15".

This also relies on the incorrect assumption that the PCIe 4.0 980 Pro is "twice as fast" as the PCIe 3.0 970 EVO.
The sequential benchmark numbers are indeed twice as fast.

But that's not where most of our work and files are.
Random 4k is instead.
And benchmarks between the various levels of SSD are not that much different in the 4k realm.


Even more ridiculous would be a comparison between a 980 Pro and a SATA III SSD.
According to your thought, the 980 Pro is ~10 times as fast as the SATA III?

So the "boot time" would go from 40 seconds to 4 seconds?
Not even close.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YoRKQy-UO4

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DKLA7w9eeA

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ9LyNXpsOo
 

Joe Gallo

Distinguished
Nov 26, 2015
129
4
18,715
9
Those videos seemed to validate me to be honest, the first video showed 3 drives booting the gen 4 booted 20% faster than the 3.5”, and

Those boots seemed pretty optimized to me, go look up a couple guys booting their drives on YouTube. You’ll see 970 evos plus varying from 16secs to a little over a minute, you’ll see most 980 pros in the 10-50 seconds. You’ll also see tons of guys booting 3.5”s in the 30sec to 2 minute range. The ones that tended to be lower directly mentioned optimization. I was just looking into this as the drive I purchased was a 970 evo plus. The Drives in the video we’re the aorus gen4, 860 evo 3.5, and a 970 plus. The aorus gen4 is closer to performance of the Plus(gen3) than it is the pro(gen 4). And that’s reflected in the boot times. It’s got to be apples to apples. You can’t put a lower end 12th gen cpu against a 12900k and say there’s no point in getting the 12th gen all together.
in the third video you see a decent drop off in transferring files between all but the gen3 vs 4 again two similar drives. the performance is right there. And as I said in games there would be a second or two loading time differences.

I’ve seen the Linus video before, and did some extra research just Incase as Linus is the sponsor king, that’s when I looked directly into a 980 pro and a 970 evo plus.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
159,357
12,668
176,090
24,405
Those videos seemed to validate me to be honest, the first video showed 3 drives booting the gen 4 booted 20% faster than the 3.5”,
Yes.
Faster

But not the 10x faster that the sequential benchmark numbers would suggest.
Or even double, which "just matter of math " would seem to be the result of PCIe 3.0 vs 4.0.


Run some benchmarks on various type SSDs, and look at the Random 4k numbers.
Not the sequential.
The different flavors of SSD aren't that far apart.

(and SATA III SSDs are 2.5", not 3.5")
 

Joe Gallo

Distinguished
Nov 26, 2015
129
4
18,715
9
Yes.
Faster

But not the 10x faster that the sequential benchmark numbers would suggest.
Or even double, which "just matter of math " would seem to be the result of PCIe 3.0 vs 4.0.


Run some benchmarks on various type SSDs, and look at the Random 4k numbers.
Not the sequential.
The different flavors of SSD aren't that far apart.

(and SATA III SSDs are 2.5", not 3.5")
Look at the numbers I quoted for real world boots if you take the bottom top or the averages you will see a 50% drop and then a second 50% drop on boot times, meaning that you will only see a 25% drop over the gen4 from gen 3.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS