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Bruce in Philly
Currently Being Moderated

LR4 not using enough RAM - Make it more aggressive/faster?

Mar 28, 2012 6:22 PM

Tags: #catalog #raw #lr4

I know this is a really odd question, but I just built a new machine and installed 32GB of RAM.  My desktop widget denotes that I never use more than 5.6GB, I would like LR4 to use more to go faster.  Why won't it?

 

As I write this, I have LR4 open, Firefox 10, Skype, Foobar (music player), and Outlook 2007.  With all of this open, the total RAM being used is 5.6GB.  Closing or opening other apps does not affect LR4 performance in any way.  I know, a good problem to have - but why won't LR use more RAM to go faster?

 

Performance symptom:  5D MkII RAWs, Develop module.  Click on one pic, takes about 3 seconds to snap, next pic the same etc etc.  Go back one and it is instant.  Go back one more and I am back to 3 second rendering.  Why won't LR4 keep these things in memory when I have so much idle?  It appears to only hold the pic you are working on and the last one only.

 

I know this is odd as most want LR to use RAM efficiently.... I say fine, let it be slothful and take advantage of all that room.  Is there a "sloth slider" in there somewhere?  ;-)

 

My rig:

Win 7 Pro x64

Processor:  i7-3930K  3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)

Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011

Ram: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 32GB (4 x 8GB)

C: Three (3) 7200RPM drives RAID 0  (catalog is here in default loc)

I: Dedicated, small 7200RPM drive on Southbridge dedicated for application caching (I have allocated 50GB RAW cache there in LR)

 

In short, I have a screaming fast machine.... why isn't my rendering faster?  I built this specifically for LR4 (old machine was really old).  Again, I know I am complaining when most are struggling with long times but I will tell you, if I can't get this thing faster, don't waste your money on RAM and super processor as LR may not be able to take advantage of it.

 

Ideas?

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 7:19 PM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    It'll use what it needs.  More memory is only faster if you were running out and paging before adding it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 9:30 PM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    I think you have wasted a lot of money.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 10:39 PM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    Bruce in Philly wrote:

     

    As I write this, I have LR4 open, Firefox 10, Skype, Foobar (music player), and Outlook 2007.  With all of this open, the total RAM being used is 5.6GB.  Closing or opening other apps does not affect LR4 performance in any way.  I know, a good problem to have - but why won't LR use more RAM to go faster?

     

     

    Uh huh...Develop doesn't really suck a lot of ram, but it does suck a lot of rocessor clicks which you are stealing by running other apps in the background. And regarding the HDs, well, those don't sound very fast (how did you create the RAID 0, hardware based or software based?) and fast drives help LR performance since so much ends up happening between the app and the HDs.

     

    32gigs of ram is fine if you are working high rez multi-layered files in Photoshop, but LR just doesn't need a lot of ram. It needs processor clicks (with multiple cores) and fast HDs...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 10:35 AM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    Try to disable noise reduction during developing and apply that afterwards. That did the trick for me!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 10:41 AM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    What do you have your camera RAW cache set to?  Is it the default 1 GB? Get an SSD and put the cache there and set the cache to 100 GB.  That will have more results than this windmill tilting you're going at.

     

    RAM disk?  3 drive RAID 0?  Crazy.  You're increasing the odds of losing your data colossally (unless you're doing a full backup hourly, which will slow things), for small increases in performance with what you're doing.

     

    It sounds like Lightroom benchmarking is the new Quake 3 benchmarking for you ;-)

     

    Also... how often are you actually changing files in develop and lettting them render?  Think about your workflow: With 1:1 previews you can do all your rating/keywording/etc. there.  ONLY AFTER you've gotten down to your specific set of photos to work on, should you go to Develop and start doing so.  And then spend a lot more time working on them than you do switching between them.  Workflow will increase your "performance" with Lightroom 100x over throwing more hardware at the problem.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 11:01 AM   in reply to CatOne

    What size monitor(s) and what preview settings are you using in LR's Catalog Settings?

     

    Also check out Lee Jay's LR4.1 tips here:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4450385#4450385

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 11:12 AM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    Bruce in Philly wrote:

     

    I know this is a really odd question, but I just built a new machine and installed 32GB of RAM.  My desktop widget denotes that I never use more than 5.6GB, I would like LR4 to use more to go faster.  Why won't it?

     

    As I write this, I have LR4 open, Firefox 10, Skype, Foobar (music player), and Outlook 2007.  With all of this open, the total RAM being used is 5.6GB.  Closing or opening other apps does not affect LR4 performance in any way.  I know, a good problem to have - but why won't LR use more RAM to go faster?

     

    Performance symptom:  5D MkII RAWs, Develop module.  Click on one pic, takes about 3 seconds to snap, next pic the same etc etc.  Go back one and it is instant.  Go back one more and I am back to 3 second rendering.  Why won't LR4 keep these things in memory when I have so much idle?  It appears to only hold the pic you are working on and the last one only.

     

    I know this is odd as most want LR to use RAM efficiently.... I say fine, let it be slothful and take advantage of all that room.  Is there a "sloth slider" in there somewhere?  ;-)

     

    My rig:

    Win 7 Pro x64

    Processor:  i7-3930K  3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)

    Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011

    Ram: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 32GB (4 x 8GB)

    C: Three (3) 7200RPM drives RAID 0  (catalog is here in default loc)

    I: Dedicated, small 7200RPM drive on Southbridge dedicated for application caching (I have allocated 50GB RAW cache there in LR)

     

    In short, I have a screaming fast machine.... why isn't my rendering faster?  I built this specifically for LR4 (old machine was really old).  Again, I know I am complaining when most are struggling with long times but I will tell you, if I can't get this thing faster, don't waste your money on RAM and super processor as LR may not be able to take advantage of it.

     

    Ideas?

     

    Can't afford a Porsche then?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 11:29 AM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    RAM has to be seen in context of your other hardware components. Your system cannot us emore RAM than what the processor is able to put through. If the processor is running at max in-/output then more RAM just sits idle.

    I would also assume that the bottleneck in your system are with the hard drives, the read / write times are probably maxed out.

    In Win 7 Pro you can check the performance of your components. Go >Control Panel >System >View amount of RAM and Processor speed >Windows Experience Index.

    You will see different numbers for processor, memory, graphics, and primary hard disk. The higher the number thne better the speed.

    On my system the primary hard disk shows the lowest number, so that is the bottle neck. Since all of your hard drives are identical, all of your hard drives will have the same performance number as your primary disk.

     

    Frankly, you have way too much RAM *). I have 12 GB and it is rarely maxed out. It would have been better if you had invested in SSD drives which are much faster than spinning drives.

     

    A system is only as good or fast as its slowest / weakest component. It simply doesn't make sense to go overboard with one component only.

    If I were you - and if I had the budget - I would get at least one SSD (for primary disk) and I would get a more prowerful processor. i.e. Xeon.

    With processors it's not only speed that counts, equally important is data through-put.

    It's just like with a water pipe. You can have a very small-diameter pipe and run it with high pressure. But you won't get as much water through it as when you use a large diameter pipe.

     

     

    *) in relation to your other components.

     

    Message was edited by: web-weaver (footnote added)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 3:47 PM   in reply to web-weaver

    web-weaver wrote:

     

     

    If I were you - and if I had the budget - I would get at least one SSD (for primary disk) and I would get a more prowerful processor. i.e. Xeon.

    With processors it's not only speed that counts, equally important is data through-put.

    It's just like with a water pipe. You can have a very small-diameter pipe and run it with high pressure. But you won't get as much water through it as when you use a large diameter pipe.

     

     

    It's already been established that SSDs add marginal improvement in LR's performance and the OPs  i7-3930K 3.2GHz processor is already at the very high-end performance level:

     

    http://www.computer-darkroom.com/blog/will-an-ssd-improve-adobe-lightr oom-performance/

     

    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

     

    I'd say there are other issues at work here and spending another $500 to $1,000 in hardware upgrades is not the solution.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2012 9:28 AM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    I have no doubt that you are seeing an improvement when "working" in the Develop module using an SSD for both the Camera Raw cache AND your raw image files. What I do doubt is that the SSD is speeding up your original complaint of merely "browsing" images in the Develop module (with no additional adjustments made).

     

    The Develop module uses the Camera Raw cache for imaging and my 5D MKII raw cache images are typically about 500 KB. Time to read and write 500KB with a single 7,200 rpm HDD (50MB/s+ transfer speed) is about 0.02 seconds. Time to render in the develop module is 95%+ processor related. For example, compare my Windows 7 system to your current system:

     

    My system                                    Your System

    i7-860 2.8GHz (Passmark 520)       i7-3930K 3.2GHz (Passmark 13,585)

    12GB Memory                               32GB Memory

    1TB Hitachi 7,200 HDD (~80MB/s)  480GB SSD (~400MB/s)

    1920 x 1080 monitor                      ????        

    3.0 sec. LR Develop browse time    1.5 sec. LR Develop browse time

     

    Your processor performance is about 13,585/520 = 2.4x that of mine, but your SSD is 400/80 = 5x faster! Yet your LR browsing is only 2x, which correlates well with the Passmark processor spec difference.

     

    With the above system I am very happy with LR4.1 final's speed when processing my 5D MKII 21Mp raw files, even with 3.0 sec Develop rendering. I typically spend a few minutes on each picture in the Develop module, so an additional 3 seconds is not an issue. For "browsing" I use the Library module, which is like "greased lighing" on my modest system.

     

    I know there are many, many other people with much higher performance systems who are complaining in the forum of poor performance with LR4. That is why I said there are other issues, such as degradation when using very high display resolution (2,560 x 1,600) and dual displays. I'm sure there are other reasons yet to be identified.

     

    I just wanted to set the record straight that at least one person in this forum is getting good performance with LR4.1 on Windows 7 using a modest system (HP HPE-170t desktop $1,250 including the 25" monitor).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2012 11:22 AM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    Bruce in Philly wrote:

     

    Maybe there is much more IO going on that just the RAW file transfer.  Windows or even LR may be doing a ton of IO moving programs around ...

    Keep in mind that Lr constantly updates the catalog, so there is a lot of read- / write cycles going on. When you work in Lr in the Develop Module everything you do is immediately saved to the catalog and read back for display. The amount of data might not be very much for a single develop step but - as you add more develop steps - the drive where the catalog resides is constantly reading / writing.

    Now if you have <Save changes automatically to XMP> checked, there are additional read / write cycles for the drive where your photos reside.

     

    Therefore it is preferred that the catalog and the photos are on different (physical) drives.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2012 12:43 PM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    Bruce in Philly wrote:

     

    Ok, so different drives to avoid I/O contention?

    Yes, exactly.

     

     

    Bruce in Philly wrote:

     

     

    What is "automatically to XMP" all about?

    Writing changes to XMP is an option in Lr.

    You can save to XMP automatically by going >Edit >Catalog Settings > Metadata tab and check the box <Automatically write change sinto XMP>.

    You can save to XMP manually by using Ctrl. + "S" (letter S on keyboard) or

    a) in the Library Module going > Metadata > Save Metadata to File, or

    b) in the Develop Module going >Photo > Save Metadata to File.

     

    What it does:

    You know that Lr saves everything in its data base = the catalog. The catalog is a file that is separate and in a different location than your image file.

    In addition you can save to XMP which saves the changes to your image file. In the case of a Raw image file a xmp-file (side-car file) is created; in case of a JPG, TIFF. PSD the Lr changes are written into (the header of) the file - but not into the image pixels!

    This XMP-option makes it possible that other Adobe programs (that can read XMP-files) can read the Lr changes and display them - for instance Adobe Bridge.

    Also, Adobe Bridge can write XMP-files that Lr can read - via <Read Metadata from file>.

    If you don't use another Adobe program that is XMP-capable (XMP is not necessary for Photoshop CS ...) then you don't need the option of <Save Metadata to XMP>. *)

     

    *) PS: although it can be a life-saver when your catalog is corrupt and you don't have a backup.

     

    Message was edited by: web-weaver: footnote added

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2012 11:58 AM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    Bruce in Philly wrote:

     

    Great stuff, thanx.  I am opting to not activate this due to a few things:

    That makes sense in your workflow.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2012 8:57 AM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    Hello everyone !

     

    For me this theme is very interesting. Thank you !

     

    I would like to find out if a top powerfull & expensive PC will perform better than a high level & not so expensive one in LR. I'm trying to choose between i7 3770 and i7 3820. The 3820 is the entry level to the 4 channel memory transfer.

     

    Bruce, your workstation should be a great performer with a very large amount of RAW files. For example - if you want to load 1000 files or more, that meens 15+ GB and process them at once. It will be really disappointing if LR can not use the hardware.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2012 5:30 PM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    I'd also like to see Lightroom cache renderings in ram when in develop module, to maximize the odds that next photo chosen need not be re-rendered from near-scratch.

     

    Note: As it stands, exactly 4 images are cached in ram (the most recent 4), regardless of ram available.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2012 1:39 AM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    Thank you Bruce,

     

    For me the price of the PC is not so important - as yourself - I'm not buying a computer every day. So I'm sharing your way of thinking. You have build a top level personal workstation, I think. Did you test it's performance with ... 20 GB RAW files loaded to enjoy the 51.2 GB/s Memory Bandwidth ? For me, if that works, here is the reason to choose a 4-channel memory machine when the LR performance is the aim. [No doubt it will be still a great PC for 3D rendering & so on.]

     

    A 3D rendering frantic - a friend of mine & high end PC dealer - claims the combination SSD+HDD, when the SDD is configured to be a cash for the HDD, increases drastically the performance. I just recorded this for later.

     

    Here you could find an interview with Mr.Russell Williams - the PhotoShop top architect:

    ... we should spend a lot of time on bandwidth issues. Photoshop is munging pixels, so the number of times that pixels have to be moved from here to there is a huge issue, and we pay attention to every time in the processing pipeline that happens. Quite often, that’s more the limiting factor than just computation being done on the pixels. In particular, when you have discrete graphics, there is an expensive step of moving the pixels to the graphics card and back...

    All is interesting to read.

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/photoshop-cs6-gimp-aftershot-pro,review- 32461-7.html

     

    Anyway - you have a great PC, I hope you are enjoying it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2012 4:11 AM   in reply to Bruce in Philly

    Bruce,

    I totally understand your need for speed.

    Also looking for ways to boost my  LRv4.1 PERFORMANCE.     Brushes come to mind.

     

    Have a simular set up to you.   i7 ASUS MOBO , 24gb of Tri-channel ram ,  256gb SSD on my OS drive, 3TB Seagate XT on my image drive.  Win7 PRO 64-bit

    My weak link seems to be my ATI RADEON HD4670 512MB , that turns in a Win7 performance index at 6.8 / 6.8  which is by far the weak number.  Is there a card that can give me a bump to say 8.0?

    I also run some Droplets/Actions out to PS CS5.

     

    p.s.  I  "did" notice a Boost in speed in LRv4 when I changed my OS drive (that has the LR cataloge and cache ... and Win7 swap)   to a 256gb SSD.  

    It was way more of a bump in speed vs the upgrade from 6gb tri-channel to 24gb tri-channel.  PS CS5 liked the 24gb of tri-channel more than LRv4 did.

     

    NOW,  I am hopping for someone that  give me a web store link to a Video Card that will give me more SPEED in LRv4.1  at least to Win7 Performance Index 8. ???

    The index bump is find,  but what I really want is to notice a speed increase when working in LRv4.1

     

    Running  Nikon D800 36mp RAWs.   a lot of them.

     

    HG

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2012 6:58 AM   in reply to Hawaii-Geek

    1. Unless Adobe sneaked it in without telling any of us, LR4.X still does not use the graphics card. The Windows Experience Index ifor a graphics card is essentially irrelevant to Lightroom's performance.

     

    2. When Local/Targeted Adjustments were introduced with LR2, complaints about Lightroom slowing down to a crawl and sometimes freezing began to pour in on this forum. Adobe responded by "throwing RAM" at the program and we began to see "Out Of Memory" errors and crashes on 32 bit versions of Windows, as well as huge RAM usage on 64 bit versions of Windows and Macs. Be careful what you wish for. That is the reason that Lightroom limits RAM usage on 32 bit versions of Windows to 716MB. Who knows what the limit is for a 64 bit OS.

     

    3. The camera matters. It takes more processing power, including RAM, to process an image from a 36MP camera than it does a mere mortal camera.

     
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