Intel Q6600 + Lightroom 3/4 = Time to upgrade?

Started May 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
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crankerchick
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Intel Q6600 + Lightroom 3/4 = Time to upgrade?
May 21, 2012

I've been running Lightroom 3 on my PC for a year and I would like to improve the following:
1. Time to load image from preview
2. General lag after using Lightroom for a while

I currently have:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 overclocked to 3.2 GHz
2x2GB DDR2 1066
ATI Radeon HD 4850
2 Dell U2311H monitors

I run lightroom from an old Raptor HDD with the images saved on 500 GB 7200 rpm drive, which I could move over to a 1 TB 7200 rpm WD black drive that is a bit faster. I can't remember the cache sizes of either of the drives at the moment.

I believe #2 is obviously just a RAM issue, as shutting down lightroom and restarting cures it, until it happens again. Perhaps Lightroom 3 has a memory leak?

For #1, I'm referring to, for example, just changing from one image to the next, there's a bit of a delay to generate the image from the preview. It's not unbearable or anything, but I'm just looking to make it faster if possible.

I am considering either adding 2x2 GB more of RAM, which I've already purchased, but since DDR2 is pricey now (stupid me should have just went 8 or 16 GB when I built this PC) and this PC build is now 3 years old, I was entertaining the idea of upgrading to Sandy/Ivy bridge and DDR3. I don't do photography for a living and for all other tasks, my PC is fine, so I really don't want to upgrade unless the gains would be significant, since it's going to cost me around probably $600 to get the new processor, DDR3 RAM, and motherboard.

So, would I have a significant gain in upgrading my RAM/CPU/mobo over just adding more RAM to my current setup? What tweaks can I do in lightroom to speed up loading images? Is there a setting to load the full image when I import the files, so I don't have to wait when I'm working through my files?
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