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Archive 2012 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance
  
 
jerrykur
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p.1 #1 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


Hi,

I am currently running a system with a Q9550 quad core processor, 8 GB of memory, and 1GB Radion GPU. The performance has been a little lacking, but is now borderline unacceptable. I am thinking about doing a motherboard, graphics swap and wondering what sort of configuration I should look at. In particular I am interested in CPUs, memory configuration, and GPUs.

Thanks,

jerry



Aug 09, 2012 at 03:41 PM
colinm
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p.1 #2 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


What specifically is unacceptable about the performance?

How many images are in your catalog? What camera(s) are you shooting with?



Aug 09, 2012 at 04:24 PM
dan727
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p.1 #3 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


The Radeon is probably fine. If you are going to upgrade, you might as well upgrade everything else.

The cheapest route would be to buy a sata controller and get some faster drives to process from.

Otherwise you will need to upgrade the cpu, motherboard, ram, and storage since that would still be a bottleneck. Depending on your powersupply, that may need upgrading as well.




Aug 09, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Hammy
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p.1 #4 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


As others have mentioned, depending on your workflow, there are several areas of upgrades (in no particular order):
- CPU
- Memory
- GPU
- Data drives

First the computer has to load your files. If one-offing each file, then most drives will do. If batching, then look toward faster drive systems: RAID or SSD.
Once in memory, having enough to work with all the files as well as history states, layers, etc... mean that you could get by with enough for your few files and any other open programs, or have 32Gb and still not have enough.
Then of course is working on the files - mostly the job of the CPU, but with CS6, the GPU has entered the equation if you run with nVidia. I think long term, more tasks will be passed off to the massivily parallel architecture of GPUs.

Last year, I went from a 3Ghz quad core with 8Gb of memory and RAID10 of 1Tb drives to a 3.5Ghz (4.8Ghz Turbo) with 16Gb memory (max), nVidia GTX580 video card and SSD (with 30TB RAID6 as my main storage repository) and things are much faster, although I've hit the memory ceiling many times.

There are two trains of thought on upgrading...spend it all now on the bleeding edge so it will last you 3-5 years, or do an impressive upgrade now for half the cost, with probable upgrades sooner. Either is up to your time/effort/budget for the long run.

Without knowing your workflow, I could only generalize on the hierarchy of upgrades:
- memory
- drives or CPU
- GPU
Again, no need for the $1000 ticket items (in each category) unless you want it to last a long(er) while. You could probably spend $1000 total and be quite pleased with the improvements.

Here is some casual reading to get you thinking:
http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/optimize-performance-photoshop-cs4-cs5.html
(older, but still applies)
http://blogs.adobe.com/crawlspace/2011/05/how-to-tune-photoshop-cs5-for-peak-performance.html
(same)
GPU info:
http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/photoshop-cs6-gpu-faq.html
and
http://www.nvidia.com/object/adobe_photoshop.html



Aug 09, 2012 at 06:40 PM
jerrykur
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p.1 #5 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


Thanks guys.

What is slow in LR when I select an image from the list on the lower bar it is taking longer and longer to render the image and let me edit it. I am shooting with a 5DMK3 so the images are 22 MP always in Raw format. Also, edit seems to take a long time. These number are with a catalog containing a day's shooting so 300 or less images and after the images are completely loaded from disk. If I apply a change in noise reduction it can take 4-5 seconds before effect is shown. This leads to doing a change, thinking that it did not have much of an effect, doing it again, realizing the 1st effect was enough, and undoing the second effect.

In CS5/6 the performance of fill, especially context sensitive is painfully slow. There are also other issue with some masking being slow.



Aug 09, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #6 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


Do you have an SSD? If not it may be worth a try before anything else.

I know I've said this a few times now but Basicly on my old machine LR4 was impossibly slow . So I built a new machine but while I had to wait for a replacement mobo I tried the ssd in the old machine (clean win7 install with lr4.0 ) and it was usable .
Now I'm not saying it was as good as it is on my new build machine but it was acceptably usable.

Lr4 and cs6 fly along very nicely now. Maybe I could play with things a bit more and get that last few % out of them but to be honest I can't be bothered.
And I would say that by the specs of most machines I see on here the one I built is very modest.
Corei5 (2500k) 16gig ram , pretty basic mobo, and just using the corei5's onboard graphic capability .

My images are on a 2tb platter drive , but all the lr4 stuff (and cs6 stuff) is on the ssd with the OS . To save the LR cat growing too big and filling the ssd I have set the previews to have a very short life , which means if I go back to an image that I havnt touched in a few days it will render again. But as the rendering is very quick this is not really a problem. I may at some point add another ssd just for lr4 and cs6 , but not yet.



Aug 10, 2012 at 06:20 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #7 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


With Lr you want to make sure that all previews have been built before you begin browsing. If you force it to build 1:1 previews then you will have the fastest browsing in the Library module as well as force the images into the ACR cache for faster editing in the Develop module.

Turn off automatic xmp updates to reduce disc activity and speed things up.

An SSD will probably help a lot. It does for me but others have reported no great improvement. Maybe it depends somewhat on how good your other drives are. I put my Lr catalog, Lr preview cache and ACR cache on the SSD for fastest access to small amounts of data. Also the most recently imported images go on the SSD but they get transferred to the slower drives once I've pretty much done with them.

Lots of RAM will help Ps and leaves enough for Lr to operate with, so an upgrade to 16GB may help. Ps generally likes about two thirds of available RAM but because there is no setting to allocate a fixed amount to Lr it just has to pick from whatever is left over. If you use big files in Ps and many layers and history states then you apparently cannot have too much RAM but because I don't yet use Ps much I have never needed more than 16GB. You may want 32GB or more. Buy whatever amount is cheap without going to the megabuck memory modules.

Nevertheless, Lr can seem a bit slow at times no matter what you do to your computer.

I'm unsure whether or not Lr consolidates its image tweaks to improve efficiency. If it does then having multiple changes of the one slider will be equivalent to making just one change to the final amount and that would be efficient. Otherwise you would benefit in extreme cases by doing your own consolidation of edits in a fresh version of the image.

- Alan



Aug 10, 2012 at 09:25 AM
jerrykur
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p.1 #8 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


Thanks for the info on memory and SSD. I am not sure I want to go SSD, but will look into it.

Right now I am leaning toward a i7 Ivy bridge setup. Looks like I can do it for about $700. I think I will pop down to Frys and see what is on sale.





Aug 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM
 

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Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #9 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


jerrykur wrote:
Thanks for the info on memory and SSD. I am not sure I want to go SSD, but will look into it.



I would certainly consider it . Over here at less than a 100 for a 128gig drive it makes a big difference to the performance.
I just tried my setup on a platter drive (ghosted the contents over) , and ok the drive may not be upto more modern standards (early ish 1tb sata drive) and i found everything was much slowere . Lr4 is quicker than the real slug that was the old machine ,, but there is still a big lag when I move a slider around.

Drive has been whipped and I'm now back on the ssd



Aug 10, 2012 at 01:54 PM
jerrykur
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p.1 #10 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
I would certainly consider it . Over here at less than a 100 for a 128gig drive it makes a big difference to the performance.
I just tried my setup on a platter drive (ghosted the contents over) , and ok the drive may not be upto more modern standards (early ish 1tb sata drive) and i found everything was much slowere . Lr4 is quicker than the real slug that was the old machine ,, but there is still a big lag when I move a slider around.

Drive has been whipped and I'm now back on the ssd
...Show more

What brand SSD are you using. I would probably need a 256 GB unit. Also, I want to ensure I get a reliable one. I have heard some horror stories about SSD reliability from the DBAs here are work.



Aug 10, 2012 at 03:36 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #11 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


I have Samsung 830's in both desktop and Laptop. They seem to have a good reputation, though not as good as the older Intel drives. The intel drives are the only Sandforce chipset drives i would ever consider, as the other manufacturers have had some significant problems.

If you are not doing a lot of video re-encoding or big batches of images through photoshop filters, an i5 is as fast as an i7. Lightroom certainly doesn't make any real use of hyperthreading. Getting an i5 rather than an i7 would free up a bit of cash towards an SSD.



Aug 10, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #12 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


jerrykur wrote:
What brand SSD are you using. I would probably need a 256 GB unit. Also, I want to ensure I get a reliable one. I have heard some horror stories about SSD reliability from the DBAs here are work.

I'm using a crucial m4 .
As for size I thought about the 256 but decided it was a bit more than I wanted to pay (seems to have come down by 30 now)
But 128 is enough really as long as you dont just go filling it up with cr@p
I made the decision to just put the OS , Lightroom & cs6 on the ssd drive . So anything else I install goes onto a normal platter drive. I've probably not been that diligent at doing that but only essential progs have been installed to the ssd (I did put office on there as well) .
Looking at what's left I have around 40gig free. That allows me to stick the raws I'm working on on there as well before they go off to their normal drive (like Allan does) .

As for reliability yeah I saw all the horror stories as well. But then a platter drive can crap out on you at any point. And as these things get cheaper I'll just get another (probably the 256) and use the current one in either my netbook or as another disk in my pc.

As far as I'm concerned any pc I have will have at least 1 ssd in there. My netbook will probably be next , along with my wife's laptop.)



Aug 10, 2012 at 04:17 PM
jerrykur
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p.1 #13 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


15Bit wrote:
I have Samsung 830's in both desktop and Laptop. They seem to have a good reputation, though not as good as the older Intel drives. The intel drives are the only Sandforce chipset drives i would ever consider, as the other manufacturers have had some significant problems.

If you are not doing a lot of video re-encoding or big batches of images through photoshop filters, an i5 is as fast as an i7. Lightroom certainly doesn't make any real use of hyperthreading. Getting an i5 rather than an i7 would free up a bit of cash towards an SSD.


Thanks. I will look into the i5.

I also need this computer to do Android and Windows development, so I need to balance that usage with the photography usage. That is also why I am looking at the larger SSDs. Those development environments take a lot of space and tend to be compute intensive vs I/O intensive.



Aug 10, 2012 at 04:36 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #14 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


If your dev stuff is for hyperthreading environments then the i7 might be the way to go. My research before upgrading just suggested it wasn't worth the money for LR and my Photoshop needs.

From an economic perspective 2 smaller SSD's might be a better option than 1 big one.



Aug 10, 2012 at 04:51 PM
jerrykur
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p.1 #15 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


15Bit wrote:
If your dev stuff is for hyperthreading environments then the i7 might be the way to go. My research before upgrading just suggested it wasn't worth the money for LR and my Photoshop needs.

From an economic perspective 2 smaller SSD's might be a better option than 1 big one.



Thanks. I might just try a SSD before getting the rest of the gear. They seem to have gone down in price in the last year or so. And even if it does not help my desktop unit they all seem to be 2.5 inch so I can use it one of my laptops.



Aug 10, 2012 at 04:59 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #16 · What configuration is needed for good LR/CS6 performance


Its a good choice for a laptop - i get 8 hours battery out of mine, whilst my colleague with the same machine but a spinning disk gets around 5 and a half.

It doesn't hurt to try out the SSD first, but my experience is that LR4 is CPU limited in the develop module. I upgraded from a Q6600 to an i5-3750K, both booting off SSD's, and the i5 is a lot faster. When i moved the LR catalogue and images off a spinning disk to an SSD (on the new i5) i didn't notice any speed up.



Aug 10, 2012 at 05:08 PM





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