New editing PC, Lightroom is slow. Need troubleshooting help please

Started Aug 23, 2017 | Discussions thread
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Seattle Dan New Member • Posts: 10
New editing PC, Lightroom is slow. Need troubleshooting help please


I hope a few folks can offer some guidance on Lightroom cc editing speed, and to a lesser extent Photoshop editing speed, on a new desktop PC that I had built for photo editing. See specs below.

I had been using a four year old mid-range laptop to do the photo editing and was tired of waiting for previews to load, brush strokes, spot healing and other tasks to process, and generally lethargic photo editing. Regarding Lightroom, which is my primary editing software, I know that in theory at least, the first local edit (brush stroke, spot, etc) is faster than the hundredth or thousandth; that there is a cumulative hardware resource burden. But, I notice this from the start of a new import and new file.

I am quite disappointed that the new machine is rather comparable in photo editing speed and I don’t know how to pinpoint the problem.

My primary frustration has to do with editing in Lightroom, in the develop module. Sure, I’d like the importing to be lightning fast – it isn’t – but I have my coffee then. Also, I barely use Photoshop.

Using Windows Resource Monitor and Task Manager my CPU never has gone above 35% and usually is in the single digits, and the Ram is almost always at about 15% utilization.

I ran GPU-z and it shows the GPU load to be single digit and all other graphic displays on it are very low.

I installed all software on the M.2 drive, placed all actively edited photos on the Samsung 850 EVO SSD. I’ve set LR & PS cache and ‘scratch disks’ to the SSD.

The M.2 is only about 30% used, the 850 EVO is about 60% used (but I had the same lackluster performance when it was only 30% full).

What has been puzzling (besides the slow processing speed):

· I’ve always felt that my LR Catalog folder was too big. Even if I don’t include the backups the folder is 32 Gigs. My impression is that the previews never get deleted even though I have them set to be saved for only 30 days. I’m not sure how to safely do anything about that or if it is even advisable.

· As long as I’ve had this machine, about three weeks now, the highest write speed I’ve seen when editing is about 100 mb/sec. As already mentioned, I can’t find any ‘bottle neck’ that should explain the slow speed.

· When viewing videos of others’ editing they seem to be getting much faster results. I’m guessing 2 to 8 times faster than what I’m getting on either my new desktop of my older laptop.

· I’m not the expert (obviously) but if I’m waiting to see results on the screen shouldn’t I see some part of the PC working at near max speed, ie the ‘bottle neck?’

I have tested the read/write speeds between disks by moving about 100 gigs of photos from drive to drive:

o Between the SSD and the M.2: 350 to 390 MB/s

o Between the M.2 and the spinning disk: 135 MB/s sustained

o Between the spinning disk and the SSD: 100 to 180 MB/s

One of the reasons I wanted to upgrade the hardware was to better match the camera: I primarily use a Nikon D810 and file sizes average about 75,000 MB.

The shop that built the machine says only that I can send it back and they’ll have a look. The downside there is that’s 1000 miles away and I’m not so impressed with their service to date. I’ve trouble shot some of their assembly issues myself after they couldn’t provide useful assistance.

I’ve also checked the hardware, and unless some of it is counterfeit, it all seems to be as ordered.

Any and all suggestions on how to research this issue more thoroughly would be greatly appreciated.


Desktop specs:

Intel® Core™ Processor i7-7700K 4.20GHZ 8MB Intel Smart Cache LGA1151 (Kaby Lake)

ASRock Z270 Extreme4 ATX w/ USB 3.1, 2 PCIe x16, 3 PCIe x1, 6 SATA3, 2 M.2 SATA/PCIe

40GB DDR4/2400MHz Dual Channel Memory GSKILL Ripjaws V

EVGA GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti Superclocked Gaming 4GB GDDR5 (Pascal) (Single Card)

650 Watts - Corsair CX650M CX Series Modular 80 PLUS BRONZE Modular Power Supply

M.2 SSD: 256GB Plextor M8Pe Series PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - 2000MB/s Read & 900MB/s Write

500GB Samsung 850 EVO Series SATA-III 6.0Gb/s SSD - 540MB/s Read & 520MB/s Write

2TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD

Windows 10 Home (64-bit Edition)

Using two 1920x1200 monitors, both plugged into the 1050 video card

 Seattle Dan's gear list:Seattle Dan's gear list
Nikon D810
Nikon D810
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