You have the latest updates, that's why your update fields is greyed out. It only becomes active when there is a new update available for PSE.
Your problem is linked with the latest version of ACR for Elements (13.0). The interface has been seriously changed in the full Photoshop version and Elements is following. The new interface has been seriously criticized in the feedback forum for Photoshop, especially the crop tool. It's worse for Elements because the help file has not been updated to document the new way the tools are working.
I also have a Win 10 computer with 8 GB RAM. I did not notice any loss in speed in general and especially when batch editing many files. However, like you, I consider that the crop tool is unusable even if you manage to understand how it is meant to be used. As I also have Photoshop with ACR 13.2 on the same computer, I can compare the speed of use in Photoshop and Elements ACR. The speed is normal in Photoshop. According to the feedback forum, Photoshop uses the GPU to manage the crop tool as well as other sliders. There is no sign of GPU use with Elements.
This has been discussed in previous posts.
Other users with more powerful computers seem to manage the crop tool nearly correctly.