Advice needed to upgrade workflow (speed) with mac/lightroom

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 6,993
Re: Advice needed to upgrade workflow (speed) with mac/lightroom

You may not gain much improvement working with such old Macs. Lightroom will probably run much faster through a combination of modernizing your software and your hardware. The reasons…

Lightroom has been optimized in recent versions (I think version 7 and later) to make better use of GPU and multi-core CPUs. But old Macs have weak GPUs and CPUs.

trak2r wrote:

archives on. I am not sure what the fastest connection on the Imac is, but I use USB2..

That will be a major bottleneck. USB2 is so slow and outdated now that it is only able to deliver a fraction of the full speed of a modern hard drive.

If you could just connect the same 7200RPM hard drive to USB3, it would be able to load files 5 to 10 times faster than USB2.

If you could connect a SATA SSD to USB 3, it could load files potentially 20 or more times faster than USB 2.

The fastest connection on your 2009 iMac is FireWire 800, it is more than twice as fast in real world use than USB 2. But trying to use FireWire 800 is not recommended today because only very few companies still make and support FireWire 800 drives. You should require USB 3 on your next Mac, the drives for it are bigger and faster for less money.

If you want the biggest speed improvement for the least money, it is probably to buy the current M1 Mac Mini. Its performance will destroy any affordable used Intel Mac by a large margin, it will absolutely embarass that 2010 Mac Pro you are thinking of and will be supported by Apple for many more years. And the fast USB3 ports will let you store most files externally instead of upgrading the expensive internal storage.

Lightroom 3 won’t run on a new Mac so you will have to upgrade to Lightroom Classic 10, but that should be worth it given the long list of features and performance optimizations added in the last few years. I would not want to continue using Lightroom 3 even if it did run on a recent Mac.

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