Lightroom Performance on Newest MacBook Pro

Started Jan 22, 2017 | Discussions thread
Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,751
Re: Lightroom Performance on Newest MacBook Pro

DanTravel wrote:

So, just got my brand new 15" MBP with top of the line specs. This is coming from my old 2011 MBP in which I was finding Lightroom performance to be a struggle.

My old laptop didn't have a graphics card, and my new one has a decent one. So, performance is better, but I'm still a little taken back by how often that "loading" indicator still comes up and the fact it stays on for a few seconds when loading each picture.

Corrections are fast and snippy, but changing between photos in Develop mode (slow), and in Library mode (slow, but not as slow as in Develop mode).

Unfortunately, I'm not seeing the big jump in performance as I would have expected. There is no reason Lightroom can't make navigating their Lightroom libraries as seamless and as responsive as the Mac Photos app. Disappointed in Lightroom's poor performance on the latest and greatest Spec'd out MBP.

That is all.

Tips? Does anyone out there have solid performance from their Lightroom?

Running an 15" rMBP here. Max'ed but not latest.

Mid-2015 model (2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, AMD Radeon R9 M370X 2048 MB). Dual monitor (so rMBP native, scaled OS X UI onto 2880x1800) with external 2560x1600 display (dual-link DVI-D). Apple suppiled 500GB PCI SSD.

El Capitan OS X 10.11.6. LR CC 2015.8

Source images on a GigE NAS (so Thunderbolt to CAT6 wired connection and on via NetGear 16-way switch to the GigE NAS). Don't use jumbo frames.

Each raw is c. 24MB (Sony compressed raw). Regular 24MP single-layer PSD 148MB, but my average PSD is prob 1.4GB or something like that. My PSDs are saved with compression on.

rMBP native display is used as main LR window, with secondary display set typically in Loupe mode. In this config that means the secondary window is for inspection only.

GPU is on in LR, with regular previews (i.e. not smart), preview size 2880px, discard 1:1 after 30days. Raw cache is set to 30GB.

I do not delete out the previews folder. I have ~180k images in the .lrcat (single catalog file for all my images) which is 2.7GB in size and on the SSD, and then previews .lrdata (therefore also on the SSD) is 185GB. I don't really use keywording, but do shift pretty-much all Develop sliders. I don't use XMP sidecars. I optimise and backup the catalog weekly.


Stepping from raw image to raw image in Develop takes c. 2 seconds to progress spinner stop (which means image loaded from the NAS). The previews are on the SSD and are there instantaneously on both displays, so I can start a Develop adjust (i.e. after the sliders ungrey) in <1 second. No matter how hard I try I just can't get my mouse onto the Develop sliders that fast though. If I try my best and (e.g.) click the clairty from 0 to 100, the change on the rMBP display is instant, and the secondary after 1 second.

Jumping around in Library is instant.

I also need to look at my images before I adjust them ( ) so 1 second delay after picking an image in the filmstrip to load to being adjustable in Develop is seriously faster than I can meaningfully work on them! (If I put the images on the SSD, then they are loaded in Develop fully ready for edit in <1 second).

The time in regular PP work when LR is slow (i.e. I am really waiting for it) is hauling in a 2GB psd over the GigE. That could be 3secs then for an image not visited recently (i.e. outside of the 30days) to Develop sliders ungrey on the rMBP main display, and perhaps 5seconds to progress spinner stop for the secondary.

Importing and building previews is the time when LR really is a pain. I import off the NAS and I simply go away and leave LR for what can be 10s of minutes to do the preview building (that can be if it's loading up over 1000 raws after a heavy day's shooting). I always wait until the Import and Preview progress bars are done before doing my first Develop adjustment. If I try to work in Develop whilst Previews are building in the background, then it is indeed unacceptably slow.

What resolution (MP) are your images? What size is the typical file (MB)? What media are they stored on and on what kind of interface?

What have you got your raw cache set to?

What size previews do you build?

I think you confirmed it already but I presume you did do a TM migration or something similar to make sure you set up your new machine with an .lrcat in sync with the .lrdata. If not LR could be still making previews in the background (and there won't be a progress bar for that as it is not Import previews; it is LR sorting each folder out as you navigate into it).

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