Working on LR and Photoshop directly from NAS

I want to setup a Synology NAS so I can edit directly from. I want to be able to edit RAW files as well as some 1080p and 4k videos occasionally (Lightroom, Photoshop, Resolve) My main concern is it being slower than my current PC setup. I’d like to also move to a NAS as my storage is on multiple hard drives at the moment.

My current setup is using a PC and WD 10tb black hard drive connected internally via SATA. The internal WD Black drive gets around 200-230mb second speeds.

Whilst I see a lot of people use NAS for huge data storage, I don’t see many discuss using and working directly from it. Before I commit $ I’d like to know if my setup plan would be adequate for my needs?

I’m looking at the DS1522+ so I can expand when needed. It also has a 10GB upgrade option which I assume I’ll need as 1GB would be too slow to edit 50mp+ raw photos, Lightroom and Photoshop? I would of course need to buy a 10gb switch and a PCI 10gb card for my PC. I plan to populate the bays with 10tb Seagate ironwolf drives in a SHR1 configuration or RAID 5. I’d initially fill the bays with only 3 drives, adding more as needed.

Would this setup allow me to work directly from.thr NAS without bottlenecks? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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You are going to get similar speeds to the directly connect SATA drive off the NAS if you are directly connected over 10gbe but with 1gbe you are likely to only get 100-125MB/s. I don’t know what your tolerance is for loading assets but 1gbe can work for photo but its slow for video. Going with SHR lets you add drives as you can so that is a bonus. You could direct connect the 10gbe to the pc to defer the initial cost of a switch if you have a long enough cable to make it work for you.

Thanks for the information. I have a huge Lightroom library and I’m not sure how fast a 1gb connection will be when say scrolling through the media library will be compared to my internal desktop HDD. That sounds promising regarding photo editing off a 1gb connection though. Regarding connecting the NAS directly to the PC to save buying a switch right away, is this easy to do with regards to IP setup? I assume the NAS wouldn’t be online then and couldn’t download apps/update? Could I just create a wireless connection to the NAS for updates etc and have a direct connection like you speak of? Also would the DS1522+ be adequate in terms of processor etc or should I look at something else?

While a 1gbe would be half as fast as the drive that is local, the 10gbe connection directly connected would be as fast or faster if you have more spindles serving the same request as the local drive.

you can still have the nas connected to your network for network wide access but for the purposes of editing on your main system at 1gbe, and you could direct connect at 10gbe with manually assigned static ip’s on both the synology and the computer to the 10gbe interfaces then editing the hosts file on the main computer to reference the nas on the 10gbe ip. (eg. your main network is, you could setup the nas and your computer on and edit your hosts file to call the nas on say

With my Creative Clients, they usually have all 10GB networking (25GB on the Synology) and two storage pools;

1st being an all SSD RAID10 volume where all active work in LR, PS, IL, ID and Premier Pro is done and when completed, it’s moved from the High Speed Storage too;

2nd storage pool which is all Synology 14TB HDDs for general access for account managers etc.

That’s an office fit out though but might give you some ideas

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So one thing to note on that. Lightroom actually makes small previews of each image and stores in the Catalog Previews.lrdata file next to your .lrcat catalog file. When scrolling through the entire library on Lightroom (the grid view) the NAS itself is irrelevant in speed. (note these are different then the 1:1 previews and are never deleted)

When you are editing and open an image in the develop module of Lightroom, Lightroom grabs a copy of the entire image from the NAS and stores it in RAM. So if you have a 50MB raw file and a wired 1GbE connection that will still load in well under a second.

The biggest place when you may feel the slow down not going 10GbE is when you are actually importing from your cameras card. If you are using a SD card you are not missing too much, but if you have a fast computer and using CFexpress type B media then you would be leaving some performance on the table when importing from the card to Lightroom


Thanks for your input and ideas. Do you umean 2.5GB on the synology?

How have you found editing in LR on 1GB comparted to 10GB?

Thanks Will, that is interesting to know that a 1GB setup might still be more than enough for my needs. Is it something you have clients ask for - that is setup a NAS to be able to use as storage and to work from via PC. Just wanting to be sure this is the way to go before spending. I am looking at the DS1522+

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No, 25GB. Otherwise there would be a major bottleneck if the Synology was 1GB and everything else was 10GB.

Thats a solid unit! I would recommend only filling 3/5 drive bays to start. This way as you need more space you can upgrade without having to dump your original investment! Plus as time goes on you can always upgrade to 10GbE

Please do share your latest thoughts from your experience. Would love to hear your comments on the 10gbe difference if you’ve tried and wether you’re using SHR1 or RAID 5 and why…

Happy to say after months of now working with this setup the workflow is smooth and excellent. Direct working from the NAS to computer is a breeze with the 10GBe setup. I use SHR and haven’t seen any issues, the more drives you add the more read/write speed you will see.

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Can you share some specifics on your setup? I am very happy to hear about your positive results.

My scenario, 2 photo editors currently using numerous SSD’s and HDD’s. Totally inefficient. I just purchased a 1621+ and have 2 - 16tb and 1 - 12tb HDD’s to install. i will also be installing a couple smaller nvme drives to help with cache speed. I will be using a 10gb NIC on the Synology, a 10gb Unifi switch and 2 laptops with 10gb NICs. I want to keep all my photo/video data on the NAS and allow the 2 photo editors to access the files direct on the NAS.

how do you have your’s setup? Is your LR Catalog on the local computer or on the NAS? Do you know if 2 users can share 1 LR Catalog, or should they each have their own LR Catalog? ANd should it be on the local laptop or the NAS?

Glad to hear your have had success in your NAS deployment.