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Does a large catalog slow down Lightroom Classic?

New Here ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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I've seen commentary by people who appear to be expert Lightroom users, giving contradictory information about large catalogs in Lightroom Classic. Some say 100,000 images in a catgalog is totally fine, and others say that Lightroom starts slowing down when you hit 10,000.

 

I have LR 6.14 on a desktop PC with about 46,000 images in the catalog. The PC is running Windows 10 and has 24 GB of ram and a quad core CPU. The catalog is on an internal SSD drive. It sometimes get pathologically slow, for example taking 10 seconds to click on an image when selecting it in the Grid view. Sometimes it seems to just go out to lunch for minutes with the program winking out and reappearing, unresponsive until it settles down.

 

On the other hand, scrolling in Grid view is usually responsive.

 

I have the graphics accelerator suppor turned off becuse LR crashes more often with it on (yes, I have the latest drivers).

 

 

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

LEGEND , Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

 

 

Video card is an AMD Radeon R9 270. Driver version 22.19.172.769 (Windows says it's the latest)

 

Windows updates is the wrong way to insure hardware is up to date. Windows used to try and do that, but now days that does not occur. You would need to get the driver from AMD.  And your AMD supporting app is also old.

 

However, that GPU is what, nine years old? Turning use GPU on will probably cause more harm than good. You need to experiment with that to find out. And back on v6.14, if you do it ha

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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Anyone that states 10K images is a lot and LR starts slowing down is no expert. 

Disabling GPU due to its bugs that crash LR will of course slow down many, many operations depending on the OS/version of Lightroom Classic (GPU usage is a moving target from version to version). 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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A catalog with 46,000 should perform as well as one with 40 files. In fact, there are customers with 1m plus files with perfectly working catalogs. 

 

If you haven't already done so, then checkout this Adobe help document that describes some steps to improve performance https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/kb/optimize-performance-lightroom.html

 

I would also suggest that if you have Virus Checker running, then make sure that the Lightroom catalog, previews, etc are excluded from same the VC can cause significant performance hit.

 

 

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New Here ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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I hadn't viewed that particular help page, but I have followed other ones.

It appears to have a mistake, saying that you can tell whether it's running in 64-bit under Windows by looking at the title  bar. It's not there, but the Lightrooom System Info says that the Applicatiopn architecture is x64.

It says to have 20% free on the catalog drive, but that shouldn't matter on an SSD since there is no disk arm movement to optimize.

 

I have now made a few changes including turning off auto generating XMP files, increasing the Preview file size to be the next size up from my monitor width. I increased the camera raw cache size.

 

Note, I have dual monitors.

 

Next I'll try to reclaim some space on the SSD.

 

There is one other thing to consider. The images are stored in a folder within Microsoft OneDrive. It shouldn't matter, though, because I'm not altering the originals -- but those XMP files might be an issue.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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>  Note, I have dual monitors.

 

Lr performance has always been poor when using two monitors. Note that I'm being very generous when I describe it as poor. A more appropriate word would be rubbish, but then again I have a very low tolerance of anything that reduces performance from what I know is possible.

 

 

 

 

 

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LEGEND ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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Correlation is not causation! Yes, you have 46K images and yes, the response is slow. These are correlated. However, one is not the cause of the other.

 

In fact, the idea that catalog size can cause slowness is generally not supported by any knowledge of how databases work and how Lightroom Classic works. In other words, these two are almost surely unconnected based on any known principle.

 

There are plenty of other reasons why LrC can have slow responses, as pointed out by others.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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quote

I have LR 6.14

By @kevind47146453

 

There have been many performance optimizations in the seven (I think) years since Lightroom 6 was released. It is possible that some catalog-related slowdowns are the result of code that has been fixed since. The GPU is used a lot more in the current Lightroom Classic 12, but that is a separate issue from catalog database performance where I don’t think the GPU is used even today.

 

I’ve been using a catalog with over 100,000 items in the last few major versions, now about 144,000 images and videos, and on my MacBook Pro laptop with an Apple Silicon M1 Pro processor, I have no major complaints about performance. (It’s slower on my 2018 Intel Core i5 quad core laptop, but usable.)

 

Although not perfect, with every version they have addressed one performance area and then another. GPU acceleration was expanded between versions 7 and 10. Export is now much faster because it was GPU accelerated in version 11. The performance of scrolling in the Folders and Collections panels was optimized in recent versions. The formerly painfully slow Spot Healing Brush was rewritten in version 12 and is now faster and higher quality. Lightroom 6 is a great and non-subscription application, but based on performance on current hardware, I would not want to go back to it.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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Some inquires

 

  • What GPU make/model?
  • What GPU driver version?
  • How much VRAM?
  • How much free space in percent on the hard drive your catalog is in?
  • Where do you keep your photos?
  • Whete do you keep the Camera RAW CACHE (what hard drive)?  (this would effect Develop, not Library)
  • How large do you allow the Camera RAW CACHE to get? (this would effect Develop, not Library)
  • In your Windows OS, Power settings, set to high performance (if not a laptop)? Sometimes Windows updates will foul that up.  ( 12 Simple Tips to Speed Up Windows )

 

 

 

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New Here ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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Video card is an AMD Radeon R9 270. Driver version 22.19.172.769 (Windows says it's the latest).  I have Radion Software Version 17.7. Memory is 2048 MB GDDR5.

 

The internal SSD that the Catalog is on is abouit 87% full. The photos are on an internal 7200 RPM hard drive that ie less than half full. The system de-frags weekly IIRC.

 

The camera raw cache is on the same SSD as the Catalog. It's maximum size is 1 GB. It's not a laptop and I don't see the "power mode" setting that I have on my tablet PC.

 

I have now added my Lightroom Catalog folder to the Windows Security exceptions list.

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New Here ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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Details:

Lightroom version: 6.14 [ 1149743 ]
License: Perpetual
Language setting: en
Operating system: Windows 10 - Business Edition
Version: 10.0.19045
Application architecture: x64
System architecture: x64
Logical processor count: 8
Processor speed: 3.5 GHz
Built-in memory: 24527.1 MB
Real memory available to Lightroom: 24527.1 MB
Real memory used by Lightroom: 655.1 MB (2.6%)
Virtual memory used by Lightroom: 783.9 MB
GDI objects count: 470
USER objects count: 1487
Process handles count: 3378
Memory cache size: 367.9MB / 5875.7MB (6.3%)
Maximum thread count used by Camera Raw: 5
Camera Raw SIMD optimization: SSE2,AVX,AVX2
Camera Raw virtual memory: 74MB / 12263MB (0%)
System DPI setting: 96 DPI
Desktop composition enabled: Yes
Displays: 1) 1920x1080, 2) 1920x1080
Input types: Multitouch: No, Integrated touch: No, Integrated pen: No, External touch: No, External pen: No, Keyboard: No

Graphics Processor Info:
AMD Radeon(TM) R9 270

Check OpenGL support: Passed
Vendor: ATI Technologies Inc.
Version: 3.3.13476 Core Profile Context 22.19.172.769
Renderer: AMD Radeon(TM) R9 270
LanguageVersion: 4.50


Application folder: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Lightroom
Library Path: C:\Users\xxxx\Lightroom Catalog\Lightroom Catalog.lrcat
Settings Folder: C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom

Installed Plugins:
1) Canon Tether Plugin
2) Facebook
3) Flickr
4) Luminar Neo
5) Nikon Tether Plugin
6) Topaz Photo AI

Config.lua flags: None

Adapter #1: Vendor : 1002
Device : 6811
Subsystem : b041002
Revision : 0
Video Memory : 2029
Adapter #2: Vendor : 1414
Device : 8c
Subsystem : 0
Revision : 0
Video Memory : 0
AudioDeviceIOBlockSize: 1024
AudioDeviceName: Headphones (Logi Z407 Stereo)
AudioDeviceNumberOfChannels: 2
AudioDeviceSampleRate: 44100
Build: LR5x8
Direct2DEnabled: false
GL_ACCUM_ALPHA_BITS: 0
GL_ACCUM_BLUE_BITS: 0
GL_ACCUM_GREEN_BITS: 0
GL_ACCUM_RED_BITS: 0
GL_ALPHA_BITS: 8
GL_BLUE_BITS: 8
GL_DEPTH_BITS: 24
GL_GREEN_BITS: 8
GL_MAX_3D_TEXTURE_SIZE: 2048
GL_MAX_TEXTURE_SIZE: 16384
GL_MAX_TEXTURE_UNITS: 8
GL_MAX_VIEWPORT_DIMS: 16384,16384
GL_RED_BITS: 8
GL_RENDERER: AMD Radeon(TM) R9 270
GL_SHADING_LANGUAGE_VERSION: 4.50
GL_STENCIL_BITS: 8
GL_VENDOR: ATI Technologies Inc.
GL_VERSION: 4.5.13476 Compatibility Profile Context 22.19.172.769
GPUDeviceEnabled: false
OGLEnabled: true
GL_EXTENSIONS: GL_AMDX_debug_output GL_AMD_blend_minmax_factor GL_AMD_conservative_depth GL_AMD_debug_output GL_AMD_depth_clamp_separate GL_AMD_draw_buffers_blend GL_AMD_framebuffer_sample_positions GL_AMD_gcn_shader GL_AMD_gpu_shader_int64 GL_AMD_interleaved_elements GL_AMD_multi_draw_indirect GL_AMD_name_gen_delete GL_AMD_performance_monitor GL_AMD_pinned_memory GL_AMD_query_buffer_object GL_AMD_sample_positions GL_AMD_seamless_cubemap_per_texture GL_AMD_shader_atomic_counter_ops GL_AMD_shader_stencil_export GL_AMD_shader_stencil_value_export GL_AMD_shader_trace GL_AMD_shader_trinary_minmax GL_AMD_sparse_texture GL_AMD_stencil_operation_extended GL_AMD_texture_cube_map_array GL_AMD_texture_texture4 GL_AMD_transform_feedback3_lines_triangles GL_AMD_transform_feedback4 GL_AMD_vertex_shader_layer GL_AMD_vertex_shader_viewport_index GL_ARB_ES2_compatibility GL_ARB_ES3_1_compatibility GL_ARB_ES3_compatibility GL_ARB_arrays_of_arrays GL_ARB_base_instance GL_ARB_bindless_texture 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GL_NV_depth_buffer_float GL_NV_explicit_multisample GL_NV_float_buffer GL_NV_half_float GL_NV_primitive_restart GL_NV_texgen_reflection GL_NV_texture_barrier GL_OES_EGL_image GL_SGIS_generate_mipmap GL_SGIS_texture_edge_clamp GL_SGIS_texture_lod GL_SUN_multi_draw_arrays GL_WIN_swap_hint WGL_EXT_swap_control

 

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LEGEND ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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Video card is an AMD Radeon R9 270. Driver version 22.19.172.769 (Windows says it's the latest)

 

Windows updates is the wrong way to insure hardware is up to date. Windows used to try and do that, but now days that does not occur. You would need to get the driver from AMD.  And your AMD supporting app is also old.

 

However, that GPU is what, nine years old? Turning use GPU on will probably cause more harm than good. You need to experiment with that to find out. And back on v6.14, if you do it have 4K and beyond, turning that on will accomplish nothing.

 

The internal SSD that the Catalog is on is abouit 87% full.

 

So, less than 20% free. LrC needs that drive to be 20% free, some say 25% free. Performance degrades at that point. Just the type of poor performance you are seeing.

 

Make sure that you have a trust worthy backup of your catalog. This should be on a different hard drive. Then return to your current drive. Any jink on it? Perhaps older catalogs, perhaps from Lr 5, 4, 3?

 

By the way, we're is your backup? Should never be on the same drive as the working catalog, and it is often recommended to have at least two on separate drives (of which one gets locked up in case of theft), external drives are great for this (in a proffesonal office, a third backup on a external drive might be rotated off site in case of natural disaster). A backup on the same drive as the working catalog just begs for that drive to go kaput (karma), thereby destroying both the working catalog and the backup, have you bribed your house gremlin lately? And eats up free space where you need it.

 

The photos are on an internal 7200 RPM hard drive that ie less than half full

 

So plenty of room for the photos,  and the drive would not be turned off (an issue during exports, publishing, etc). Note that the photos can be on any physical hard drive, no performance hit on slow vs fast drive for them.

 

The camera raw cache is on the same SSD as the Catalog. It's maximum size is 1 GB

 

Location good, on a Windows PC competition with the Windows paging file (by default on drive C) causes performance hits. And both the catalog and the Camera RAW CACHE can take advantage of a SSD drive.

 

Size very bad, trying to remember back to v6.14, that was probably the default. Current default is 5 GB, also way too small. The larger your catalog is, and especially the more humorous the number of photos you are currently working on, the larger that CACHE needs to be, think more like 20 GB as a starting point.

 

I don't see the "power mode" setting that I have on my tablet PC.

 

Much like a laptop, a tablet PC lacks the power supply, and lacks the cooling, to support that, hence not at all surprised that it is not offered. 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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The camera raw cache is on the same SSD as the Catalog. It's maximum size is 1 GB

Location good, on a Windows PC competition with the Windows paging file (by default on drive C) causes performance hits. And both the catalog and the Camera RAW CACHE can take advantage of a SSD drive.

 

Size very bad, trying to remember back to v6.14, that was probably the default. Current default is 5 GB, also way too small. The larger your catalog is, and especially the more humorous the number of photos you are currently working on, the larger that CACHE needs to be, think more like 20 GB as a starting point.

 

 

Camera Raw cache is only used by the Develop module!!!!

 

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New Here ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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AMD software just barfs and says my product is too old. Not supportted.

 

I'll try to pair down the SSD to under 80%, but I can't see any reason a solid-state drive being over 80% full should be an issue.

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Contributor ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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LEGEND ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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" but I can't see any reason a solid-state drive being over 80% full should be an issue."

 

See "Make sure that you have a large enough hard drive and enough free space" in:

https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/kb/optimize-performance-lightroom.html

 

 

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New Here ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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LATEST

I did a significant cleanup on my SSD drive (including removing 9 GB of old versions of the AMD graphics driver). The pathological slowness seems to have abated (although it has had quiet periods before).

 

Thanks for all the other comments and tips.

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