11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 16, 2017 10:19 AM by johnrellis

    Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?

    D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

      Given all the recent threads on Lr performance - and the standard response of underpowered or poorly optimized system - I think it's time to get specific.

       

      Let's look at an i7 class machine, 4 cores, with SSD system drive, 16-64 GB RAM, and a non-4K/retina display running with GPU off. This should be a high performance system without any complicating factors. It should just fly, and probably does with other software. A lot of people here should have such a system. Let's further assume high resolution files, at least 24 MP, but 36 is probably realistic for most.

       

      How long does it take, in the Develop module, to switch from one image to the next, and that next image to snap into sharp focus and be responsive? How long does it take in Fit View, and how long does it take in 1:1 view?

       

      This single metric seems to be a good parameter for something like an "objective" assessment of "slow" vs "fast". It should concentrate on pure processing speed.

       

      I get the impression that one person's unbearably slow is another person's lightning fast - it all comes down to working habits. Do you process one image at a time, slowly and deliberately? Or do you load up a complete shoot of 350 images, with a production deadline two hours away?

       

      ----

       

      I have two systems, both with a few years on them, but lean and meticulously maintained. My work system is an i7-3820, SSD system drive, second SSD Lr catalog and ACR cache. After working for an hour or so, I get timings of up to one second fit, 2 seconds 1:1.

       

      Then I have a really old i5-750 machine at home (one of the then few 4 core i5s). System SSD, but catalog on spinning drive and ACR cache on C. It's considerably faster, with timings 0.3 fit and 1 second 1:1.

       

      So clearly, this is not about system specifications. Something else is up. The work machine used to be a lot faster IIRC, and the present performance is enough to drive me up the wall at times. Yes, I'm in the latter category with large shoots and looming deadlines.

        • 1. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          When you figure out what the real issue is, please advise the Adobe development team. This has been an ongoing issue for years. Not just with the current version of Lightroom. It seems to me that sometimes when users set out to build or design the perfect high-speed performance computer sometimes compatibility of all parts isn't considered. I have nothing to base this on other than my own experience. I'm using a very modest i5 computer, 8 GB RAM, integrated graphics (no graphics card) and I don't have any performance issues that bother me. I don't feel that I am doing things slowly and deliberately. When I switch from one image to another it switches immediately. The adjustment sliders respond immediately. Because I don't have a graphics card and my computer is several years old, I cannot use the slideshow module. But that doesn't bother me because I have other  software I can use for slideshows if I need it. If the solution was simple, Adobe would have solved it by now. Surely you can't believe that Adobe would intentionally ignore performance issues in an effort to drive customers away. There are a lot of variables at issue when trying to support two platforms, multiple operating systems and countless different computer configurations.

          • 2. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Yes, but that's the point. I wasn't sketching a perfect, bleeding edge monster machine above - I'm talking about basic and sensible workhorse systems, but in the upper end of the spectrum - built to work efficiently, not impress anyone.

             

            I don't believe anything, and certainly not that Adobe intentionally ignores performance issues. I'm sure they're doing all they can.

             

            But I do believe it's less than helpful to tell people with these problems that there's nothing wrong with Lightroom and it's because their i5s are underpowered. They know better. An i5 can stitch Photoshop images at 30 000 x 10 000 pixels without lifting an eyebrow. An i5 is no slouch.

             

            I think most people just want to see the problem acknowledged as real, not their own fault for having a substandard system when they know they don't.

             

            I do see that performance tends to deteriorate over time, on both large scale, over years, and small scale, during a working session. So what kind of debris is building up and clogging the pipeline?

            • 3. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I have learned not to suggest that nothing is wrong with their system or with Lightroom. In fact, I tend to ignore most of the performance questions because I don't have an answer. It is frustrating. I'm wondering if maybe these performance issues are one of the reasons that Adobe is starting to look in another direction. It seems to me that Lightroom has not reached its intended market. It was initially promoted as software for professional photographers. But it hasn't met the demands like it should have, I don't think. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what evolves.

              • 4. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
                johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                What are the display resolutions on the two systems you compared? 

                • 5. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
                  D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Both are single screen 1920 x 1200. So no, that doesn't explain it either.

                   

                  Make no mistake, I love this software. It's the perfect answer to my workflow needs. It's brilliantly designed from the bottom up and makes my life a lot easier already.

                   

                  But the speed issues are real. Those who come here with it shouldn't be brushed off. There may be do's and dont's that make a difference, but none of them "explain" it. Taken together, however, they may turn a frustrating experience into a workable one.

                   

                  Maybe it's just how parametric editing works. After all, every adjustment is calculated from scratch, there's no half-baked file in waiting. I do have a Capture One subscription, mainly for comparing, but I feel it's not a fair comparison until I manage to transfer my whole catalog and duplicate the whole environment. Even in C1 there's a pronounced wait state - it's not instant, as in finger-snapping instant.

                  • 6. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
                    wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                    every adjustment is calculated from scratch

                    Victoria Bampton makes mention of this in her series of blogs about Lightroom performance-

                     

                    https://www.lightroomqueen.com/lightroom-performance-complete-series-optimizing-lightrooms -speed/

                    • 7. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
                      Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                      Have you tried putting the i7 system into Max performance mode and then even gone into the Advanced Power option to disable all the MB and Intel Speed step settings?

                       

                      With all the newer systems the one way they increase battery life, Notebooks, Lower heat and power consumption is to limit the CPU speed to something very low. Supposedly the CPU ramps up at a moments notice to its Max Ghz but that isn't always the case. I have my main desktop set to not limit the CPU speed at all, never turn off hard drives, never turn off USB ports and use Max Power all the time. I also have it overclocked.

                       

                      On my notebook which is also a i7 CPU I do have it set to Balanced performance as about the only thing I do on that is view images, CAD work, email and browse the internet.

                      • 8. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
                        D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                        Victoria Bampton makes mention of this

                         

                        Yep, that sums it up very well. I have a feeling that's a big part of it and maybe we should all just lower our expectations a tiny bit. But why does it hit some harder than others?

                         

                        When I signed up for the Capture One subscription, I had the best intentions of really getting to the bottom of this. But somehow there's never time, and it would require running two separate catalogs that should be reasonably well synchronized. I just can't handle the logistics of all that, and so I can only preliminary conclude that Capture One doesn't seem to be immune to this either. How much I can't tell.

                         

                        I was also put off big time by Capture One's deliberately crippled DNG support. They make all the usual sounds, but it quickly becomes obvious that it's just <not invented here>, and it reinforces their carefully constructed "secret sauce" marketing image (which is BS, I should add). They could do it if they wanted.

                        • 9. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
                          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Have you tried putting the i7 system into Max performance mode

                           

                          These are both desktops and both are already set that way.

                           

                          But I never overclock anything, it's all running at stock speed. My aim has always been stability and reliability, and that's how these systems are put together to begin with. Well-proven components that are known to work well together, often a generation behind just to be sure to avoid unexpected issues. I need these things to work, not show off.

                           

                          The i7 never peaks that I've seen. The load is remarkably well distributed over the 8 virtual cores (that's 4 physical), so much so that it was commented upon when I posted a couple of Task Manager screenshot here once. The i5, however, seems to hit the ceiling from time to time. Not much, just the occasional bump. But that doesn't seem to slow it down.

                          • 10. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
                            Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                            My current desktop, built in March of 2011, started off with an i5 CPU and was upgraded to the i7 about 1.5-2 years ago. It has always been over clocked from day one. The 2.4 i5 to 3.4 and the 2.8 i7 to 3.6. I have never had any reliability issues. I've been overclocking Intel CPUs for 15+ years starting with a Celeron back in the early 2000s.

                            • 11. Re: Lr speed on high-end systems - what's the bottom line?
                              johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                              I think it's pretty clear from the long-running discussion in the official feedback forum that LR has a problem when there are more than 4 cores, at least on some architectures: Lightroom: Slow performance on Xeon CPUs | Photoshop Family Customer Community  .  A number of people have reported that limiting the number of cores available to LR using "start /affinity" has significantly improved performance.

                               

                              I know that Adobe has, over the years, put in a fair amount of effort to make LR more responsive by more effectively utilizing multiple cores. Doing this well in complicated application across a diversity of architectures is hard, and it requires expert systems engineers; I seriously wonder if Adobe has any assigned to the LR team any more, based on the kinds of long-standing issues that remain unaddressed for years.