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05-16-2018, 02:27 AM   #1
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Questions on Lightroom performance optimization

Hello,

Lightroom has been too slow to my liking, so recently I decided to invest a little in hardware upgrade, trying to boost the performance, in order to gain more time when doing PP. I have some questions:

- My PC had 8GB of Ram before (2x2G + 1x4G). I bought 2 new 8GB RAMs. The new rams are more modern, they have higher speed (I don't remember exactly the number), so the question is, should I only use these 2 new Ram, meaning 16GB dual channel, or the more number the better, I can use one 4GB and one 2GB (the main board has 4 slots), making it 22GB total?

- I have one 128GB SSD drive, where windows is installed. What Lightroom files should I leave there? (obviously not the actual photos due to limited capacity, and I don't want to buy another SSD for now, it's too expensive).

Thank you

05-16-2018, 05:54 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Hello,

Lightroom has been too slow to my liking, so recently I decided to invest a little in hardware upgrade, trying to boost the performance, in order to gain more time when doing PP. I have some questions:

- My PC had 8GB of Ram before (2x2G + 1x4G). I bought 2 new 8GB RAMs. The new rams are more modern, they have higher speed (I don't remember exactly the number), so the question is, should I only use these 2 new Ram, meaning 16GB dual channel, or the more number the better, I can use one 4GB and one 2GB (the main board has 4 slots), making it 22GB total?

- I have one 128GB SSD drive, where windows is installed. What Lightroom files should I leave there? (obviously not the actual photos due to limited capacity, and I don't want to buy another SSD for now, it's too expensive).

Thank you
Generally speaking, all RAM on a motherboard should be the same (type,size,speed) for optimal performance. I would only use the two newer sticks, and make sure that they go into the correct memory slots per the motherboard or pc manufacturer's instructions.

As far as what files to keep on the SSD, I would keep all the files that are installed by LR plus the catalog and preview files. You could keep the catalog backups on another drive which might be a smart move in case of corruption or failure.

---------- Post added 05-16-18 at 08:59 AM ----------


Last edited by lsimpkins; 05-16-2018 at 06:01 AM.
05-16-2018, 06:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Hello,

Lightroom has been too slow to my liking, so recently I decided to invest a little in hardware upgrade, trying to boost the performance, in order to gain more time when doing PP. I have some questions:

- My PC had 8GB of Ram before (2x2G + 1x4G). I bought 2 new 8GB RAMs. The new rams are more modern, they have higher speed (I don't remember exactly the number), so the question is, should I only use these 2 new Ram, meaning 16GB dual channel, or the more number the better, I can use one 4GB and one 2GB (the main board has 4 slots), making it 22GB total?

- I have one 128GB SSD drive, where windows is installed. What Lightroom files should I leave there? (obviously not the actual photos due to limited capacity, and I don't want to buy another SSD for now, it's too expensive).

Thank you
Hello Bui,

As far as I am aware you should never combine RAM that have different specifications and speed.
So that means you should only use the 2 newer ones of 8gb (16gb should be enough anyway).

Regarding the SSD, you could keep your catalog, smart previews (if you have them) and cache on your SSD if you have the storage space for it.


Regards,
Jan
05-16-2018, 08:31 AM   #4
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Not sure the RAM will make much if any difference. And I agree with others above they should all be the same. I don't think mixing will cause any issues but I THINK they will all run at the speed of the slowest stick. Of course different motherboards and generations might be different and I'm no expert.

Lightroom likes fast processors. Period. Just about any other upgrade provides minimal improvements. I've read extensively on the Adobe site and elsewhere and the only real improvement is from SSD and a faster CPU.

I had frustrating performance with Lightroom and did all the usual things: new memory, faster SSD, 2nd SSD for the cache, and so on. I finally built a new computer based on the i7 8700K CPU. It runs native at 3.7ghz and I have it clocked to 4.0ghz. It has made a significant and highly welcome improvement.

As noted above everything Lightroom should be on the SSD except the actual image files. (Since you don't have room for those)

05-16-2018, 09:10 AM   #5
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Different speed RAM modules will all run at the speed of the slowest. RAM speed is much less of a factor than RAM quantity when it comes to image editing since if you run short of RAM, the OS will use the page file which will (unless it is located on a fast SSD) be considerably slower than any RAM. So using it all is likely to improve performance somewhat, especially if you are RAM constrained at the moment...which is not necessarily the case, but without watching the performance monitor this is unknown.
05-16-2018, 11:48 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
So using it all is likely to improve performance somewhat, especially if you are RAM constrained at the moment...which is not necessarily the case, but without watching the performance monitor this is unknown.
Agree, if the OP is RAM limited. Which at 8gb is possible. But unlikely at 16gb, unless they are running a lot of other things at the same time. The only way to know is using the performance monitor.

If it were me I would just use the 16gb of new ram and leave the rest out. If there will be any performance improvement in the new ram it might be offset by the old ram slowing down the new. And while there is likely a benefit going from 8gb to 16gb the move from 16gb to 22gb is unlikely to show any real world benefit.
05-16-2018, 12:09 PM   #7
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+1 for a fast CPU. For intense tasks, the latest gen of processors brings noticeable improvement. I'd also consider adding a larger SSD for the files you're working on, and then transfer them to a hard disk when you're done. Larger SSDs are quite affordable these days, especially around the 500Gb mark:

amazon.com: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E500B/EU): Computers & Accessories?tag=pentaxforums-20&
05-16-2018, 02:34 PM   #8
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Throwing more memory at a PC is the cheapest way of speeding things up - up to a point: 16GB will be faster in actual use than 8GB, although not as much of a difference as going from 4GB to 8. I well remember embarassing an owner of a faster machine with much less memory than my previous-generation rig which had the memory slots full. Your older memory modules are most unlikely to live happily on your PC together with the newer ones - at best they'll force all the memory to run at the speed of the slower modules. Most speed gains nowadays are due to faster motherboard bus speeds, so my current rig with a 50% faster processor than the last one runs much faster than that because the bus speed is nearly four times faster.

If only software developers didn't presume we're always going to use faster computers... Sigh.

05-16-2018, 08:08 PM   #9
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What graphics card do you have/how much could you spend on one? What's your CPU? I have Lr set to use my GPU, and it works great, but I also have a pretty powerful card - GTX 1080. If you could find some benchmarks of Lr and CPUs versus GPUs, it would potentially help identify if a graphics card upgrade might be a good route. Your CPU though needs to be able to let the GPU do what it needs to, so you can't blindly drop a powerful graphics card in and get top performance if you have other bottle necks in the system. And of course, none of this is cheap.
05-17-2018, 02:02 PM   #10
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Thank you, I have just removed the old RAM tonight, now it's running on 16GB dual. My PC as a whole is only average, AMD Phenom II 955 3.2 Ghz with graphic card HD 6800. However it's perfectly fine for my occasional use, just that Lightroom is a bit slow, and buying new ram is cheap and easy. Spending on another CPU or graphic card is probably more effective however would be more serious upgrade (more cost), which I'm not planning to do. Thank you very much for your consultation :-)
05-17-2018, 07:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
AMD Phenom II 955 3.2 Ghz with graphic card HD 6800
Very nice in it's day, but you're right, I think a memory upgrade is the way to go with this platform. It still may be worth hitting the GPU setting in Lr with what you have to see which way gives you better performance.
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