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Camera Raw Sluggish in CS5 vs CS4

Mar 27, 2012 6:48 PM

My computer is Windows Vista Home Premium, 64-bit.  Quad Core Q6600, 2.4 GHz, 6gb RAM.


When running Photoshop CS4 with Bridge and Camera Raw, I could change any of the settings, and the preview would update pretty much instantaneously, with no lag.


I updated recently to CS5, with its accompanying new version of Camera Raw, and I find that on this same computer, working with the same Raw Files from my Canon 1D Mark 2, there is a pretty noticeable lag in the preview when changing almost any of the settings.  It's slow enough that it seriously impedes my workflow, and makes me think of returning to CS4.


Within CS5, I have the following Performance settings:


Available RAM: 5349 MB

Ideal Range: 2942-3851 MB

Let Photoshop Use: 3209 MB (60%)


These were the default settings used when it was installed.


Scratch Disks:

I have a separate physical hard drive selected for this, different from the one where the OS is installed.  Only that disk is selected as a Scratch Disk.


History & Cache:

History States: 20

Cache Levels: 4

Cache Tile Size: 128K


GPU Settings

NVidia GeForce 9800 GT/PCI/SSE2

Enable OpenGL Drawing is Checked.


These settings are pretty much the same as in my CS4 installation (both are currently installed on this computer).


Can this be improved?  As I said, this seriously slows down my workflow.




Don Cohen

DLC Photography

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 7:15 PM   in reply to DLC-Photography

    Uncheck the Open GL option in PS.  If the perfromance improves it is a video card/driver problem.  Make sure you have the latest driver.


    Also, you did not state what version of CS5 you are running.  Make sure both Bridge and PS are the latest.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 3:01 AM   in reply to DLC-Photography

    Things to note about ACR6:


    * It's slower when hosted by Bridge for Windows, as it's running 32-bit code.


    * Early versions (6.0, and maybe 6.1) were slower. Upgrade to 6.6 or 6.7RC (available at Adobe Labs).


    * Luminance noise reduction is a massive CPU hog. Set it to 0 in defaults and only use it on finalists.


    * Lens Corrections has a big effect too. Like Luminance noise setting, consider disabling in defaults if your computer isn't new-ish.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 5:48 AM   in reply to DLC-Photography

    DLC-Photography wrote:


    For the record, it's PS CS5 12.1 and Bridge; no updates available.



    * It's slower when hosted by Bridge for Windows, as it's running 32-bit code.


    Are you saying that it'll run faster if I start Bridge from within PS CS5, 64-bit?

    You can determine Camera Raw's version number from Camera Raw Preferences (look in the title bar). 6.7RC is the best version for CS5 so far. You can download it here:


    Bridge is a 32-bit application. Camera Raw is provided as 32-bit and 64-bit plug-ins, and the faster 64-bit plug-in only works when hosted by 64-bit Photoshop (on 64-bit Windows).


    So, hosting Camera Raw in Bridge will use the 32-bit version. From Bridge, opening a raw image with Photoshop will use the 64-bit version of the plug-in (if 64-bit is installed, and the 32-bit version of Photoshop isn't already running).

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 11:00 AM   in reply to DLC-Photography

    There were more problems with Vista than with Win7 OS.  In particular I seem to remember comments that Aero graphic display option caused delay problems.  Guess it overworked the graphic card.


    Might try to go to the graphics options and choose the basic one and see if it makes a difference.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 2:19 PM   in reply to DLC-Photography

    DLC-Photography wrote:


    But it is improved enough with the 2 suggestions mentioned above that I can work fairly efficiently.  Not quite ready for a new computer, though!

    I run CS5 on a Core2 Duo overclocked at 3.5GHz, running the RAM at 1066MHz. RAM size isn't really a factor when using Camera Raw, unless your computer is busy servicing other processes. It's perfectly usable, with no significant lag on the sliders, most of the time. Once you start adding geometric transforms, gradients, noise reduction, etc. it can get pretty sluggish, especially when hosted in Bridge. These things are quite subjective though, so it depends how sensitive you are.

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