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Slowness - especially in masking

Community Beginner ,
Dec 28, 2022 Dec 28, 2022

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Greetings all - would appreciate tips on this. I run Lightroom Classic on a Mac with 32 GB RAM, 3 Ghz processor, Radeon Pro 555 2 GB graphics card, 2 TB SATA drive of which 1.3 TB are free. I edit Nikon Z9 and D850 raw files. I love the new LrC masking functions but lately have found them extremely slow - sometimes I spend 1-2 minutes staring at the beach ball. Some of my LrC specs:

--Graphics processor is set to AUTO

--Camera raw cache maximum is set to 20 GB

--Import previews are set to MINIMAL

--Automatically write changes to XMP is set to ON

Any thoughts on how I should jiggle these or other settings? Many thanks! 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 28, 2022 Dec 28, 2022

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I'm guessing that adding an external SSD via Thunderbolt connection would make a big difference. Is this a 21" iMac?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 28, 2022 Dec 28, 2022

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Review your system's specs and compare them to the minimum requirements document*: https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/system-requirements.html 

*last revised at the Max 2022 release.

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

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Community Expert ,
Dec 28, 2022 Dec 28, 2022

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Your graphics card memory is on the low side which won't help, 2GB is the minium, while 4-8 is recommended.  @Lumigraphics suggestion of using an SSD will help with file throughput if the catalog is on the SSD, but the weak card is the bottleneck.


Sean McCormack. Author. Magazine Writer. Former Official Fuji X-Photographer.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 28, 2022 Dec 28, 2022

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Thanks - this is good to know. I have a 5-year-old Mac that's already had a faster hard drive and more memory installed. Do you know if I can have a new graphics card put in, or do I have to get a new Mac? 

And if I toggle the "Automatically write changes to XMP" to OFF, will that speed things up? And would I still be able to take raw files that were edited in Lightroom and import them to Photoshop for final tweaks?

--Jim

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 28, 2022 Dec 28, 2022

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Toggling it off can help, but ultimately with the newer features making use of the GPU more and more, it's a losing battle. There's no way to ugrade most Macs-though there are external boxes for graphics cards. I've no experience with them. I've just gone from a 2015 iMac 27 to a Mac Studio and the difference is exponential. 

 


Sean McCormack. Author. Magazine Writer. Former Official Fuji X-Photographer.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 28, 2022 Dec 28, 2022

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AFAIK, no you cannot upgrade the GPU.

You can try disabling Auto write XMP, but I don't think it will have any effect on your Masking issues, and it's kind of a useful feature. The issue, if it's with masking, is the GPU being underpowered. More and more functionality with each release is moving to the GPU, including the newer masking features. 

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

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 28, 2022 Dec 28, 2022

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Thanks guys - this is supremely helpful. Just called the people who boosted the RAM and put in new hard drive on the iMac a couple years ago, and they confirm that they can't install a new graphics card. Very much appreciate your advice - looks like a Mac Studio is in my future.

--Jim

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Community Expert ,
Dec 28, 2022 Dec 28, 2022

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Writing changes to XMP is negligible in terms of performance. You are simply bumping into the limits of your system. I was using a 2015 iMac and upgraded to an M1 Mac mini with a big increase in perfo4rmance with 50MP Canon 5Dsr files.

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