LrC slow (Develop and Export) despite good specs

New Here ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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First of all - thanks for having me in the forum!


A friend visited me and we compared our pee-pee's - he has a brand new Macbook Pro, I have a windows machine (specs below). We decided to try and export the same catalogue of files and see where it gets us. So... without further ado, my specs:

Intel Xeon E5-1650 v3 @3.5GHz
32 GB of DDR4 ram @ 1064 MHz
Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 6GB
Win10 Pro
100 GB of free space on system disk
M.2 hard drive

The infamous Macbook Pro:

Apple M1 Max CPU
64GB ram
MacOS 12.0.1

The test subject was a group of 150 5d mk4 RAW files, fully postprocessed, exported as JPGs of full quality and 240 dpi.

My PC did this in 6 minutes 49 seconds.
The Mac did it in 1 minute 29 seconds.

Aside from that, LR on the Mac just runs smooth - the sliders react immediately, the effects are seen just as they are applied, everything seems to run the way it should.
My LR is choppy, takes a few seconds to apply some of the more intense adjustments and loads the computer heavily when importing or exporting (loud cooler noises etc.).
I don't even dare to compare import times.

So, my question is twofold.
1. Is my computer correctly optimized and is this the performance I should expect from such specs? If not, what is my bottleneck?
2. Are the Macs really that much faster and should I consider purchasing, say, an iMac mini and use it as my Lightroom workhorse?

Thanks for your input!

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LEGEND ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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In my opinion, this isn't a Mac vs Windows thing. It is a CPU speed issue. Your CPU is 7 years old. The Mac M1 has a CPU that is probably less than 1 year old. More than likely, the Mac M1 CPU runs rings around your Windows CPU. More than likely, a new Windows machine with a very fast CPU will give similar performance.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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on the Windows PC

 

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.

 

Also:

The hard drive the catalog is on, hiw much free space in percent %, and I do mean percent.

The hard drivevthe photos are on, how much free space in GB (yes % for catalog, GB for photos, their is a reason)

 

 

 

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Guide ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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Most of these processes should be more GPU dependent, but Classic hasn't yet been updated or modernized to take advantage of the huge gains that would occur if they implemented better GPU support. 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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quote

Most of these processes should be more GPU dependent, but Classic hasn't yet been updated or modernized to take advantage of the huge gains that would occur if they implemented better GPU support. 


By @Earth Oliver

 

Please explain the relevance of this statement to the problem being discussed in this thread, where the same task performed on two different computers winds up taking different amount of time.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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quote
quote

Most of these processes should be more GPU dependent, but Classic hasn't yet been updated or modernized to take advantage of the huge gains that would occur if they implemented better GPU support. 


By @Earth Oliver

 

Please explain the relevance of this statement to the problem being discussed in this thread, where the same task performed on two different computers winds up taking different amount of time.


By @dj_paige

Classic hasn't yet been updated or modernized to take advantage of exactly what tasks; fully, partially or not at all? Does Adobe publish this; news to me?


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

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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It is known that Lightroom Classic does not use the GPU for exports (it’s almost all CPU), and the complaint is that Lightroom Classic could export it faster if it did. The basis of the complaint is that Capture One is said to use the GPU for exports and that is the reason it can export the same number of images noticeably faster than Lightroom Classic, from what I’ve heard. It’s just a branch of the more general complaint of when will Lightroom Classic use our powerful GPUs for something other than just the Develop module…

 

Although the complaint is legitimate, it does nothing to help explain the difference posted here since Lightroom Classic is the same application used on both computers.

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Guide ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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The point being that they listed their PC GPU, which is a great one, but unfortunately does nothing to assist with what is often the most time consuming task: exporting. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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@Propi wrote:

1. Is my computer correctly optimized and is this the performance I should expect from such specs? If not, what is my bottleneck?


 

Hard to say without seeing times against other PC laptops. You have lots of RAM, fast storage, and a powerful GPU. But for export it isn’t a GPU issue because Lightroom Classic doesn’t use the GPU much for export; it primarily uses the CPU. One factor there is that your laptop is putting 6 Xeon CPU cores up against 10 M1 Max cores (which are actually 8 high-performance cores doing the exports, freed up a little more by handing OS and low-priority tasks to 2 high-efficiency cores).

 


@Propi wrote:

2. Are the Macs really that much faster?


 

The answer to that question has changed radically in the last 14 months or so. Before then, for many years, the answer was no, Macs aren’t really that much faster. Traditionally it was not hard to find a Windows laptop that was faster for less money, especially if the PC had better cooling than the older ultrathin MacBook Pros, allowing less thermal throttling for higher sustained performance.

 

It started changing in late 2020 when Apple released the first Apple Silicon Macs using the M1 processor. The M1 has significantly higher performance per watt than Intel/AMD, so it achieves similar performance at much lower wattage, avoiding so many heat and power issues that for the last year, the entry level M1 MacBook Air has been able to beat similarly priced Windows laptops, and it doesn’t even have a fan.

 

A couple months ago, Apple released the next wave of M1 processors called the M1 Pro and M1 Max with significantely higher multi-core and GPU scores, and put them into new MacBook Pro designs with optimized cooling. That sort of took the gloves off so those MacBook Pros are even more competitive, turning in results like what you witnessed against your friend’s Mac. The margin against the latest Intel/AMD laptops is somewhat less than what you saw, but it is still there. If you want to see a comparison against a more current Windows laptop, MaxTech tested Lightroom Classic on a MacBook Pro M1 Max vs a Razer Blade Advanced 15 with an RTX 3080 GPU. In their test exporting fifty 42 megapixel raw files, the score was:

Razer Blade: 1 minute 54 seconds

MacBook Pro M1 Max: 1 minute 21 seconds

 

(The Razer did beat the Mac in the Super Resolution test, which is interesting…against other Windows laptops the M1 Mac usually wins that one.)

 

 

If you want to read how Apple acheived this, the general tech site Anandtech has a pretty good writeup: Apple's M1 Pro, M1 Max SoCs Investigated: New Performance and Efficiency Heights.

 

One place where Intel/AMD laptops are still superior is if they have a powerful GPU and you do work where raw GPU power is used most of the time, like in gaming and 3D. Or for those who require being able to upgrade some internal components. But for CPU-intensive tasks like Lightroom Classic export, it’s hard to beat the M1 Pro/M1 Max right now.

 


@Propi wrote:

…and should I consider purchasing, say, an iMac mini and use it as my Lightroom workhorse?


 

You could. If you just wanted to try it out, you could get the current Mac mini M1. But if you want performance like you saw with the newer M1 Max processor in your friend’s MacBook Pro, you might want to wait.

 

The current Mac mini, released over a year ago, uses the first generation M1, while your friend’s MacBook Pro uses the latest M1 Max. Apple is halfway through a two-year transition from Intel to Apple Silicon, so Mac desktops are not yet fully migrated to the latest M1 processors. Rumors are strong that the Mac mini will eventually get upgraded to an M1 Pro or Max in the next few months.

 

Another reason to wait is because of the new Alder Lake processors from Intel, which have impressed many. If those new CPUs make it possible to have a compact NUC-type PC that could perform like an M1 Mac Mini, maybe you could stay on Windows. But chances are they will use more power and run hotter than an M1.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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One factor there is that your laptop is putting 6 Xeon CPU cores up against 10 M1 Max cores (which are actually 8 high-performance cores doing the exports, freed up a little more by handing OS and low-priority tasks to 2 high-efficiency cores).

 

I point out again that the real comparison should be stated as:

 

One factor there is that your laptop is putting a Xeon CPU that is 7 years old with 6 cores and are much slower than the new M1 chip — which kind of makes the number of cores irrelevant, in my opinion, a 7 year old CPU will never be able to keep up with a new M1 chip.

 

I agree with your comparison of the M1 chip to the top of the line new Intel chips today, except that I also point out that top of the line Intel chips will provide a fine Lightroom Classic experience. Probably the M1 exports and imports faster, but actually using the software for other tasks, I doubt there will be a noticeable difference.

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