My current computer is sort of adequate running LR 4.1, but that is all. My computer is 2.5 years old so I have been planning to get a new one anyway, but I have held off because I have seen many posts from people who have bought/built new, high spec computers and many of them have worse LR performance than I do. So, clearly, just having a high spec computer will not necessarily mean I will be better off. It seems I must be very careful and get just the right combination that works well with LR and it doesn't even have to be so high spec. That's good for me.
I am currently using a Win7-64 17.3" laptop with i3-330m, 4gb, 500gb hd. I changed to 8gb a couple of months ago, but after a month I started getting tons of blue screens so I took the new memory out and put the old back in and all is fine again. The 8gb didn't seem to help any with LR 4.1 anyway since I didn't notice any performance difference. Even with only 4gb I have never seen total memory usage with LR and Firefox (multiple open tabs) push memory usage up past about 85% of the 4gb and usually it is more like 70%. I am talking about at the bottom of the Task Manager window where it says, for example:
Processes: 75 CPU Usage: 6% Physical Memory: 59%
Even if I also have PSE 9 open also it only on rare occasions for very short periods spikes up to about 95%. I never do batch processing though. Processing Canon 60D, Sony A700, Olympus E-M5, and Panasonic G3 raw files.
It seems a bit of a crapshoot these days with LR 4 since I see many people who have high spec systems, but some of them have terrible performance problems. Other people get good performance. I wish Adobe would tell us exactly which brands, model numbers, etc. we need to buy to get the good performance since sometimes I see that even rather mid spec computers sometimes get good performance and better than some of the high spec computers. It seems there are certain mysterious combinations of components that LR likes and some combinations it doesn't like. My 2.5 year old laptop, which these days is sort of low-mid spec, is not too bad with LR 4 -- not as bad as some of the high spec people. I just don't want to buy something new, higher spec and then discover LR is worse with it.
I want to get another 17.3" laptop since I need something that is reasonably mobile because I live part-time in various places. What specs do I need to make it worthwhile to make the LR experience enough better to be worth the trouble and money? I don't need the best, high-end, especially since I have read so often that many of those computer have worse LR performance than even my old one. i5? AMD? SSD or hybrid hd?
Also, does anyone know if LR works better under Win8? Most new computers will start having Win8 on them this fall.
I forgot to mention that, of course, I have read this already:
Bear in mind that most laptops have poor screens for colour editing. A TN screen really isn't much use for judging colour, as the colour rendering varies with the angle of view. Some have reasonable screens - my Dell XPS15 with the 1920x1080 display isn't bad - but I don't do serious editing until I get home and can work on a desktop with a monitor with IPS technology.
From all the posts I have been reading here about LR 4 performance I hadn't seen anyone suggest that screen type might be the cause of some people's poor performance. Especially since most of them are using desktops. As for why I am using a laptop, well I already explained that.
I haven't gotten any replies so does it mean that no one knows what to get that will be sure to give me better performance than my current computer? Normally for other software this isn't a difficult question so something is strange in this case with LR 4.
I want to get a new computer in the next month or two (could wait for Win8 if it would provide better LR 4 performance) and I am worried about getting a new, higher spec computer and be one of the very unlucky souls who end up with a close to unusable LR. My current computer and LR 4.1 performance is not good, but not so bad. The main thing is that the sliders are usually not laggy with my current computer so I can use LR.
I have about 50k OOC photos in the catalog. They are Olympus E-M5 raw, Panasonic G3 raw, Canon 60D raw, Canon 30D raw, Canon 300D raw, Sony A700 raw, Sony A100 raw, KM 7D raw, Minolta D7i raw, Canon 300D jpeg, Sony A100 jpeg, KM 7D jpeg, and Minolta D7i jpeg going back over a decade.
Unfortunately, it's a crapshoot. There doesn't seem to be any particular brand or configuration that works "all the time". And I think that is why you haven't had a lot of response. I'm still using a Windows 7 32-bit desktop, 4 GB RAM. Everyone will tell you that I am terribly underpowered. But I'm satisfied with my performance is a Lightroom 4.2 RC.
Jim, thanks for replying. Someday you will have no choice and will have to get a new computer though. What will you do then? Maybe by then Adobe will have fixed the LR problems, but if it hasn't you might get an i7, 16gb, SSD or hyperdrive and find that the LR performance is much worse than your current old system. That is my problem right now. I would like to get an i5 or i7, 8gb or 16gb, maybe SSD or hyperdrive, but from all that I have read on various forums it might be a total waste of money and effort since LR may be much worse. Hell of a situation. All that new, faster hardware should guarantee much better performance or, worst case, no better performance.
Adobe, please reply and tell me what I need to get to be sure of better performance. Thank you.
As far as I know, the official word from Adobe is contained in the "system requirements" statement. And that pretty much outlines the minimum requirements for running Lightroom. I don't work for Adobe and I don't know any of the people who do. But my observation is that they are working on the problem because I experienced a performance improvement when I installed the 4.2 RC. And this is a user-to-user forum. Several Adobe employees participate here on occasion. But Adobe has never commented on progress nor have they ever announced when or if updates, improvements, changes will be released.
I've got a 2 gig dual core with 4 gig RAM and a 1 gig video card and
performance of LR4.1 is appalling. I simply don't use it now and as I
was refused a refund I hold out every hope that one day they'll code it
so that it works better than it does now.
Here are the system requirements for LR 4:
From what I have seen in all the posts here and on the LR feedback forum the people who are having problems are well, well above the LR system minimum requirements. If Adobe knows that that only a specific set of hardware components works well then I wish they would tell us since that list above doesn't seem to be all that useful for all the people with problems. Maybe all the Adobe software developers use identical computers and the same software configuration set up by Adobe IT and LR works well on their computers. It would be better for them to be using many types and configurations of computers, I think. I suppose they are all in Silicon Valley so I suspect there are people with LR 4 problems who also live there. Maybe they should get together with some of them to see what is causing the problems.
Here is the Adobe LR feedback forum:
There is a post in another thread that is about what I am concerned about with a new computer:
"OK ADOBE THIS ONE IS FOR YOU - I just bought a brand new top end Dell computer - Factory install then added lightroom. SO new computer, use, catalog.... Still slow and slower with more use. Since you want to blame this on my system, software, drivers... why dont you tell us EXACTLY what system will run Lightroom? because I have now tried 3 computers."