Best hardware in 2022 to run Lighroom.

Explorer ,
Sep 07, 2022 Sep 07, 2022

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I built my PC to run Lightroom and Photoshop around five years ago. It was a powerful computer for its time. I had an Intel 7700k with 64gb of DDR 4 ram, and the library sits on an NVME Samsung SSD. The GPU is at GTX 1070 ti Nvidia and the motherboard is using AI overclock to push the CPU up to 18%.

 

This system was great a few years back but it is really lagging now. I simply scroll over images in Lightroom and Taskmanager shows the cpu load jumping to 50%. I'm not sure what's going on here but Adobe hasn't improved performance. They've added features (where are useful) But performance has only gotten worse.

 

I don't mind upgrading my hardware to keep up with the more powerful features but the performance benefit needs to substantial (in the order of 30%) at the very least.

 

What CPU or (computer build) can accomplish this in late 2022? I can't seem to find any solid data to compare what I currently have to what is being offered today.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 08, 2022 Sep 08, 2022

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There's no easy answer on that except, "Get the fastest gear you can afford".

Some thoughts though - just my 0.02:

- GPU with dedicated memory 8GB recommended

- 32GB RAM

- A fast variant of Intel i7 or i9

- All on M.2 (NVME) SSDs (ideally separate drive for the photos which makes sense anyway)

You already have some of that, and yes LrC is (and will stay) a slow application.

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 08, 2022 Sep 08, 2022

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@F. McLion wrote:

You already have some of that, and yes LrC is (and will stay) a slow application.

 


 

Above is not an experience shared by all users.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 08, 2022 Sep 08, 2022

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Fastest CPU and GPU you can afford. SSD for catalog, regular HD is fine for photos. 16GB RAM minimum, more if you will be running multiple programs at the same time (or more if other programs you use require more than 16GB).

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LEGEND ,
Sep 08, 2022 Sep 08, 2022

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Please post your System Information as Lightroom Classic (LrC) reports it. In LrC click on Help, then System Info, then Copy. Paste that information into a reply. Please present all information from first line down to and including Plug-in Info. Info after Plug-in info can be cut as that is just so much dead space to us non-Techs.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 08, 2022 Sep 08, 2022

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@help!!!!!!!!!! wrote:

Intel 7700k with 64gb of DDR 4 ram…I simply scroll over images in Lightroom and Taskmanager shows the cpu load jumping to 50%. I'm not sure what's going on here


 

Looking up the Intel 7700K, it seems to have 4 cores running at 4.2GHz. The main difference over time is that current CPUs have at least double the cores. That could impact the experience you describe when scrolling images.

 

When you scroll through Grid view in Library, or the Filmstrip, in order to see images, previews/thumbnails must exist. If they don’t yet exist, they appear blank until they’re built. If they aren’t built or are not up to date with current edits, Lightroom Classic will build current thumbnails/previews as soon as it can. This is why CPU use goes up when scrolling, and this is where the cores come in. More cores should allow more thumbnails to be built in parallel, so in theory they should show up faster with a newer 8–12 core CPU. But CPU usage will be high until A) thumbnail/preview generation finishes or B) Adobe employs GPU acceleration for thumbnail/preview generation, which many of us wish for.

 

I just tested it again now…when scrolling through images with unbuilt thumbnails, CPU usage of all cores approaches maximum, but when scrolling through images where current thumbnails already exist CPU usage drops to 10-30%. CPU usage cannot be near zero, because even if previews are built, LrC still has to get busy loading hundreds of them on demand as you scroll.

 

This can be affected by whether Generate Previews in Parallel is enabled in the Performance preferences in Lightroom Classic. If it is on, all the cores in current CPUs should be used more fully. (People turn that off if they want to leave more cores available for other applications.)

 


@help!!!!!!!!!! wrote:

The GPU is at GTX 1070.


 

Lightroom Classic has been increasing use of GPU acceleration, and recently enabled it for export. If you frequently do large bulk exports, your next graphics card should have at least the minimum of 8GB graphics memory for best results with export GPU acceleration. When I looked it up it looks like the 1070 already has 8GB.

 

Your NVMe SSD is good and should not be a bottleneck.

 

I know this is completely irrelevant to the hardware being discussed, but on my MacBook Pro powered by a midrange M1 Pro SoC (8-core CPU, and a 10-core GPU fully supported for Lightroom Classic graphics acceleration), it’s not perfect but I’m usually quite satisfied with Lightroom Classic performance, it’s much more responsive than on any past computer I’ve used. So I think it’s possible for a current system to work well. I would expect a similar improvement with a current Intel Alder Lake or AMD processor, but hopefully some experienced PC users will comment on that.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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Is it fluid and snappy when your navigating through images? (more obvious in fullscreen).
For me, on Mac Studio whith 20MP images... it's not. In full screen sometimes I have to wait more than a second between hitting the key an displaying the right image. In fact, I never have in my life (haha, since Lightroom 4) have a satisfying experience when scrolling thru images! Am I really the only one ?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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@Matthieu- wrote:

Am I really the only one ?


 

You are not the only one. Many Mac and Windows users still complain about performance, even when other users say it is much improved. There is still not a clear answer as to why.

 


@Matthieu- wrote:

Is it fluid and snappy when your navigating through images? (more obvious in fullscreen). For me, on Mac Studio whith 20MP images... it's not. In full screen sometimes I have to wait more than a second between hitting the key an displaying the right image.


 

It feels great most of the time. Like I said, there are not many scenarios left where I feel I am waiting for Lightroom Classic more than I should.

 

But I think it’s also important to ask exactly when the slowness happens, because for me it depends on the module and the state of the previews. Some viewing modes are definitely slower than others. I saw that you asked these questions in another thread already, and because this thread is supposed to be about PC hardware recommendations, in the other thread I posted a longer answer to your Mac question with my understanding of each viewing scenario. And I do agree there that full screen is a slow viewing mode, because I don’t think Adobe has optimized that view as much as the others.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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Thank you very much Conrad, I will continue in the other thread 🙂

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