Author Topic: Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM  (Read 5458 times)

Offline thawley

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Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM
« on: October 03, 2008, 02:59:21 PM »
I've seen a number of threads about ideal cache settings, but none with similar RAM or hard drive quantities to mine. Generally, I've been happy with cache at 10240, but today I did a huge image search that pretty well brought things to a standstill.

Please let me know how best to optimize settings for the following...

System:
Mac Dual 2.7 G5
8GB RAM
1 TB system drive
1 TB image drive
OS 10.4.11
Photo Mechanic v4.5.3.2
Shooting with a Canon 1D Mk-II

I use PM for ingest, keywording, initial culling and searches of JEPGs & CR2 files. (Soon to be converting to DNG workflow.) Once I separate keepers from the tossers, I import only the good stuff into Lightroom.

I want to optimize the system for maximum speed for those two pieces of software only. The only other software that "might" run at the same time is iTunes and FTP. This computer is my image processing workhorse. Everything else is done on a laptop: web, email, billing, writing, contact management, etc...

Appreciate any suggestions you might have for maximizing performance.

Thanks

Online Kirk Baker

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Re: Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2008, 03:26:51 PM »
I've seen a number of threads about ideal cache settings, but none with similar RAM or hard drive quantities to mine. Generally, I've been happy with cache at 10240, but today I did a huge image search that pretty well brought things to a standstill.

Please let me know how best to optimize settings for the following...

System:
Mac Dual 2.7 G5
8GB RAM
1 TB system drive
1 TB image drive
OS 10.4.11
Photo Mechanic v4.5.3.2
Shooting with a Canon 1D Mk-II

I use PM for ingest, keywording, initial culling and searches of JEPGs & CR2 files. (Soon to be converting to DNG workflow.) Once I separate keepers from the tossers, I import only the good stuff into Lightroom.

I want to optimize the system for maximum speed for those two pieces of software only. The only other software that "might" run at the same time is iTunes and FTP. This computer is my image processing workhorse. Everything else is done on a laptop: web, email, billing, writing, contact management, etc...

Appreciate any suggestions you might have for maximizing performance.

Which cache are you setting at 10240?  The Memory cache or the Disk cache?

I'd recommend a Memory cache of 1024 and a Disk cache of 1024 as well.

Adding more won't pay off that much.

-Kirk

Offline thawley

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Re: Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2008, 03:41:37 PM »
I was using 10240 for both.

Is there any advantage to reserving more than 1024 on the disk cache volume?

Anything else I can do to speed things up?


Online Kirk Baker

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Re: Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2008, 05:52:22 PM »
I was using 10240 for both.

Is there any advantage to reserving more than 1024 on the disk cache volume?

No.  Having a really large Disk cache doesn't speed things up much at all and it can slow down startup and shutdown of PM.

Quote from: thawley
Anything else I can do to speed things up?

Other than adding a RAID array or using an Intel Mac instead of a G5, nothing.

Is there some sort of speed issue?  You only mentioned a slow search.  How many hits were returned in your search?  Were you sorting by Filename or something else?

-Kirk

Offline thawley

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Re: Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2008, 08:09:27 PM »
Other than adding a RAID array or using an Intel Mac instead of a G5, nothing.
Yeah, I was kinda expecting that to come up. But the G5's gonna be with us a while longer. I've got a 1D-MkII and a PowerBook G4 to replace/upgrade first. My next Mac tower will have to be a tax deduction for another year.

How does a RAID help? Any links I should check out? I have a 4x250 RAID I got a few years ago for storage. But its been replaced with a single 1TB drive. I have been thinking of dismantling it. If it can be re-tasked for a better PM/LR optimization, I'm all ears. (I'm pretty ignorant about RAID stuff. I just used this thing when 500g drives roughly equaled my mortgage payment...)

Quote
Is there some sort of speed issue?  You only mentioned a slow search.  How many hits were returned in your search?  Were you sorting by Filename or something else?
Generally speed is not an issue with PM. (Though LR can always use help.) The search I did earlier today was a keyword search over the 1TB image drive that returned over 3000 images. I'm sure going thru 3000+ images at 100% is asking a lot from a searched contact sheet. Its not a normal part of my workflow. But I'm always eager to maximize whatever I can.

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Re: Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2008, 09:49:16 PM »
Other than adding a RAID array or using an Intel Mac instead of a G5, nothing.
Yeah, I was kinda expecting that to come up. But the G5's gonna be with us a while longer. I've got a 1D-MkII and a PowerBook G4 to replace/upgrade first. My next Mac tower will have to be a tax deduction for another year.

How does a RAID help? Any links I should check out? I have a 4x250 RAID I got a few years ago for storage. But its been replaced with a single 1TB drive. I have been thinking of dismantling it. If it can be re-tasked for a better PM/LR optimization, I'm all ears. (I'm pretty ignorant about RAID stuff. I just used this thing when 500g drives roughly equaled my mortgage payment...)

Quote
Is there some sort of speed issue?  You only mentioned a slow search.  How many hits were returned in your search?  Were you sorting by Filename or something else?
Generally speed is not an issue with PM. (Though LR can always use help.) The search I did earlier today was a keyword search over the 1TB image drive that returned over 3000 images. I'm sure going thru 3000+ images at 100% is asking a lot from a searched contact sheet. Its not a normal part of my workflow. But I'm always eager to maximize whatever I can.

RAID arrays that are striped (various modes are striped, some with redundancy, some without) generally have a much faster throughput for reading and writing data than a single large disk.  Faster disk access means faster processing.

When you upgrade that PowerBook G4 to a MacBook Pro you'll find that it is faster than your G5 desktop.  The Intel Macs are really that much faster than you're used to.

-Kirk

Offline thawley

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Re: Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2008, 09:11:12 AM »
Thanks for the replies Kirk.

(And curse you for luring me to eBay this morning to see what my used G5 might fetch if I sold it to help pay for a new MacBook Pro...)

Offline thawley

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Re: Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2008, 10:51:35 AM »
When you upgrade that PowerBook G4 to a MacBook Pro you'll find that it is faster than your G5 desktop.  The Intel Macs are really that much faster than you're used to.
Straying off topic (but what the hell, I started the thread...), can anyone give me a sense for how much faster the current 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo [Add $250.00] MacBook Pro is over the standard 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo? 

What does that extra $250 buy me speed-wise in the realm of Photo Mechanic & Lightroom? Would I notice an obvious difference?

Online Kirk Baker

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Re: Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2008, 12:40:44 PM »
When you upgrade that PowerBook G4 to a MacBook Pro you'll find that it is faster than your G5 desktop.  The Intel Macs are really that much faster than you're used to.
Straying off topic (but what the hell, I started the thread...), can anyone give me a sense for how much faster the current 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo [Add $250.00] MacBook Pro is over the standard 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo? 

What does that extra $250 buy me speed-wise in the realm of Photo Mechanic & Lightroom? Would I notice an obvious difference?

I'd save the $250.00 and put it towards third-party RAM upgrades.

The speed difference wouldn't be that large.

-Kirk

Offline Photo_op

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Re: Best Cache/System Settings for 1TB drive w/ 8GB RAM
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2008, 04:02:53 AM »
Put the $750 towards an internal 7200 rpm drive if you want performance increase.
MacMini, 8 Meg RAM, OS X 10.8.2, PM 5, Lightroom 4.2, Sony 580, Fuji X10