Recommended computer for lightroom/ photoshop?


Jul 25, 2011
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#1
Hi guys,

My lightroom is really slow. I like to mouseover multiple presets to 'play around' to see what I think looks best. This part of the post-processing, to me, is almost as fun as taking the picture itself. Not to mention firing up the Nik plugins at times, for more experimentation.

Any suggestions what sort of computer I should get to optimise this speed? I've been reading that CPUs are the most important, then ram. Lastly is GPU. Do most people here buy laptops, desktops, or get a custom-build computer? Any advice in general?

Thanks in advance..
 

SkyStrike

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#2
do you mind to share your current desktop setup?

Even for my previous computer (Core 2 duo, 4gb ram on Win XP 32bit) can mousehover multiple presets to play around without much lag.
 

Jul 25, 2011
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#3
Just using my laptop- sony VPC Z1. If so, that's good- maybe all I need is a cheap desktop..
 

Jul 25, 2011
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#4
BTW, the biggest problems are not presets. It's cloning and adjustment brush in lightroom..
 

SkyStrike

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#5
cannedpineapples said:
BTW, the biggest problems are not presets. It's cloning and adjustment brush in lightroom..
That's what I think too... If you are considering a desktop, a machine with quad core and 8 GB ram should do the trick.
 

fmeeran

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Nov 5, 2010
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#6
I'm running it on my desktop with hexacore 3 ghz processor and 16 gb of ram. Runs pretty smooth. :p

Actually it runs ok on my laptop with i5 and 4gb ram. I'm sure that would be enough.
 

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Jul 25, 2011
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#7
How much would a comp like that set me back by?

My laptop is also an i5 with 8gb ram... but it is definitely not instant.
 

SkyStrike

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#8
How much would a comp like that set me back by?

My laptop is also an i5 with 8gb ram... but it is definitely not instant.
If your laptop is running i5 and 8gb, are you using a 64bit version of Windows? If no, change it to 64bit. If yes, check your running services. I would assume there are alot of background service eating up your ram and processing power..

A computer of i5 + 8gb + other necessaries stuffs (Gfx card, HDD, DVD-writer ... ..) ~ Can range from $650-$800.
 

tecnica

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Dec 26, 2004
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#9
my PC is an i7 2600k(overclocked) + 8GB RAMs, LR pops up in an instant, the moment i launch it. i had my editing softwares all installed in my solid state drive(SSD).

actually i5 is more than enough, reason for slow response may be due to bottlenecking caused by the mechanical hard disk drive(HDD).
 

Jul 25, 2011
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#10
Thanks, this is very helpful. I actually found that switching from graphics card to intel graphics improved performance- probably because the graphics card was using some of the system's free ram. Also disabled some other programmes to see if things improve. Mine is 64 bit windows, so should be able to use all 8gb.

Question though about the best way to keep files. I now believe the bottleneck may be my files and catalog being kept on an external hard drive, which i access via a usb 2.0 drive (this computer has no usb 3.0). I have an internal SSD drive, but it's only 128gb. My Lightroom is installed on this though. What's the most recommended way to store files, for best speed? Can I, for example, just keep a portion on my hard disk, then move them out when I am done with them? Sorry, quite a newbie to this.. Not sure how to use the catalogs properly.
 

tonyep

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Mar 22, 2012
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#11
Thanks, this is very helpful. I actually found that switching from graphics card to intel graphics improved performance- probably because the graphics card was using some of the system's free ram. Also disabled some other programmes to see if things improve. Mine is 64 bit windows, so should be able to use all 8gb.

Question though about the best way to keep files. I now believe the bottleneck may be my files and catalog being kept on an external hard drive, which i access via a usb 2.0 drive (this computer has no usb 3.0). I have an internal SSD drive, but it's only 128gb. My Lightroom is installed on this though. What's the most recommended way to store files, for best speed? Can I, for example, just keep a portion on my hard disk, then move them out when I am done with them? Sorry, quite a newbie to this.. Not sure how to use the catalogs properly.
Lightroom is not GPU accelerated hence GPU makes the least impact on performance. It relies most on CPU then RAM.

Only my catalog, settings and caches are stored internally in my computer. The rest of the files, RAW & Videos are stored externally on a NAS, connected via LAN.
 

SkyStrike

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#12
Thanks, this is very helpful. I actually found that switching from graphics card to intel graphics improved performance- probably because the graphics card was using some of the system's free ram. Also disabled some other programmes to see if things improve. Mine is 64 bit windows, so should be able to use all 8gb.

Question though about the best way to keep files. I now believe the bottleneck may be my files and catalog being kept on an external hard drive, which i access via a usb 2.0 drive (this computer has no usb 3.0). I have an internal SSD drive, but it's only 128gb. My Lightroom is installed on this though. What's the most recommended way to store files, for best speed? Can I, for example, just keep a portion on my hard disk, then move them out when I am done with them? Sorry, quite a newbie to this.. Not sure how to use the catalogs properly.
For BEST speed, do everything on your SSD...but then, after you are done, you will need to move your stuffs to the storage folder. which I find it troublesome. I suggest you may want to read up on some of the "Lightroom Optimisation" or "Finetune Lightroom" and "SSD optimisation" topics (The link at the below shows the speed of various combination of lightroom and catalogs and files in different location).

For what I'm doing now is Catalogs on my SSD, 10gb preview data, Raws and XMP files on my another HDD. SSD to turn off paging.

Edit: Found the link -> http://www.computer-darkroom.com/blog/will-an-ssd-improve-adobe-lightroom-performance/
 

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dodgethis

Senior Member
Nov 15, 2011
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#13
Thanks, this is very helpful. I actually found that switching from graphics card to intel graphics improved performance- probably because the graphics card was using some of the system's free ram. Also disabled some other programmes to see if things improve. Mine is 64 bit windows, so should be able to use all 8gb.

Question though about the best way to keep files. I now believe the bottleneck may be my files and catalog being kept on an external hard drive, which i access via a usb 2.0 drive (this computer has no usb 3.0). I have an internal SSD drive, but it's only 128gb. My Lightroom is installed on this though. What's the most recommended way to store files, for best speed? Can I, for example, just keep a portion on my hard disk, then move them out when I am done with them? Sorry, quite a newbie to this.. Not sure how to use the catalogs properly.
Process all your images on the SSD then move everything to the external drive for storage. It's really not that troublesome. There are always trade-offs for conveniences.
 

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Jul 25, 2011
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#14
Thanks a lot for that link. Basically shows that it's a wash. But whether the results are the same on an external HDD is a different matter... I'm trying with my USB 3.0 drive now.

BTW, I think I know the problem now. It's the new LR4. Lots of folks, even with really new computers, are commenting that adjustment brush and (especially) clone tool are next to useless in LR4. Glad I'm not the only one..
 

Jul 25, 2011
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#15
Process all your images on the SSD then move everything to the external drive for storage. It's really not that troublesome. There are always trade-offs for conveniences.
Thanks. Another noob question. How do we do this?? It took a long time for me to even figure out how to have everything in a single external drive. What you are suggesting is probably the best workflow, but I have no idea how to do it...
 

SkyStrike

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#16
Basically,
1) load the pictures from the SD/Flash card to the computer, place your pictures on the SSD drive.
2) Import the pictures that are residing on the SSD into the lightroom.
3) After you are done PP with the photos, move them in Windows Explorer. (e.g. from C Drive to D Drive)
4) Then back in Lightroom, locate the missing folder (since you have moved the photos to a new location pointing it from C Drive to D Drive).
 

Jul 25, 2011
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#17
Basically,
1) load the pictures from the SD/Flash card to the computer, place your pictures on the SSD drive.
2) Import the pictures that are residing on the SSD into the lightroom.
3) After you are done PP with the photos, move them in Windows Explorer. (e.g. from C Drive to D Drive)
4) Then back in Lightroom, locate the missing folder (since you have moved the photos to a new location pointing it from C Drive to D Drive).
Can you move to and then locate an existing folder on D Drive? Or does it have to be a new D Drive folder for each batch?
 

SkyStrike

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#18
You can move it to an existing folder, but if the folder is already imported into lightroom, you may need to use the "Synchronize" instead of locate missing folder. If the existing folder is not imported into lightroom before, just do it like the normal locate missing folder
 

Jul 25, 2011
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#19
You can move it to an existing folder, but if the folder is already imported into lightroom, you may need to use the "Synchronize" instead of locate missing folder. If the existing folder is not imported into lightroom before, just do it like the normal locate missing folder
If I synchronise, all my develop settings will be kept?
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
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#20
how is the adjustment brush in LR4 causing problems?
 

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