Sure. To clarify, I’m not talking about builds in local development. Those work exactly the same in either case.
For CI/CD builds, however, using Netlify with Large Media shortens the build time in two ways: by cloning a smaller repo, and by avoiding resizing the same images in every build.
A CI/CD server needs to clone the repo to run the build. Netlify clones Large-Media-enabled repos with
GIT_LFS_SKIP_SMUDGE=1, meaning it pulls the tiny pointer files instead of the large asset files. Fewer bytes to move means a faster clone during the build.
Second, if you’re handling image resizing outside of the build (as you would with Netlify’s image transformation, though this principle would also apply to other image handling services like Cloudinary or Imgix), you don’t need to resize them during the build. Less to build means less build time.
To be clear, I’m not saying this is a complete replacement for Hugo’s image resources. Like anything, it depends on the situation. For example, if you had a photo gallery site with a very large number of very large images, regularly added to the repo at full size but frequently viewed on small mobile screens, Netlify Large Media could be a good solution for that.
On the other hand, if your image needs are more in “normal” range, and you want to perform other transformations that Hugo offers, Hugo’s image resources could be a better fit. Another thing worth noting is that you determine which files are tracked by LFS/Large Media. This means you could enable Large Media to handle non-image files like audio, video, and PDFs, and handle your images with Hugo.