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Lightroom Library Module Feels Painfully Slow #1
jollyllama's picture
by jollyllama
January 18, 2016 - 5:44am

I’m testing out Lightroom this week (currently still using Aperture) and I can’t get over how slow the Library module in Lr feels for quickly paging through photos. I’m using a 2015 15” MBP with a dedicated GPU (i.e. the high-end version). My workflow process involves doing passes with star ratings (in other words, going through a first time and giving one star for acceptable, then going through again and promoting to two for good, and so on) so I need to be able to go through photos fast, particularly for that first pass. Aperture never has any problems with rendering photos at 2-3 frames per second, but Lr absolutely chokes on this, skipping photos and constantly displaying the “Loading” message. Anyone else have a similar problem going quickly though images in Lr? Is there some kind of quick-preview mode that I’m not seeing? This is a deal breaker for me, and I really don’t know what I’m going to do if I can’t speed it up.

Robin Clark's picture
by Robin Clark
January 21, 2016 - 5:19pm

I’d also be interested in hearing other users experiences of the Lr speed

Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
January 30, 2016 - 2:46am

Works the same for me. Going into fullscreen mode makes it even slower.

The obvious likely bottleneck is the drive where the library/photos are stored. Mine are on a Thunderbolt connected RAID 5. I have the fastest iMac made from 2014 with 16GB RAM.

I guess that’s why some photographers that takes hundreds of photos and need quick turnaround (e.g. sports) use something else for ingest/culling like Photomechanic.


Milo's picture
by Milo
February 12, 2016 - 7:47pm

The slow speed is killing me! Should we be using something else to organize?

Jim Burgess's picture
by Jim Burgess
February 15, 2016 - 4:51pm

First off, you are not alone. Go to any Lightroom-related forum and you will find multiple discussions about dismal LR performance. Discussions regarding problems similar to yours have been around for years, yet the LR development team hasn’t done much about it, instead concentrating on develop-related features and other marginal stuff like face-recognition (which BTW is a really poor implementation).

That being said…

What is your MBP’s memory?
SSD or hard disk?
What LR version are you running?
Location of your catalog and previews (internal HD or external)?
Camera make/model & file sizes?

All of this and a lot more enter into the performance discussion.

Are you building previews when importing? If so, which previews–standard, full-size, embedded?

If you are using standard previews:
In Catalog Settings under File handling, what size standard previews are specified? I’ve found that on my MBP, 2048 is adequate and requires less resources. Try it.

If you are reviewing RAW images, the processing involved is much more demanding, and may be a deal breaker for you. If you don’t zoom in during your initial culling, then embedded previews may be adequate for RAW files and would be a lot faster.

Make sure you are culling in the Library module. If you are in the Develop module LR will always process the image and that results in endless “Loading” messages.

Some people have had a performance increase by turning off the the Graphics Processor on the Performance tab in LR Preferences. The GPU is only supposed to be related to develop processes, so this is counter-intuitive but is worth a try.

How much time do you have? Do an internet search for “Lightroom performance issues” and look through the endless results for other info that may help your situation.

I’ll add to this if I think of anything else.

Milo's picture
by Milo
February 15, 2016 - 4:21am

I have 2 fast computers. No matter what I do, it’s slow moving through the photos. If they’re on the computer hard drive or Thunderbolt external. It’s slow. Now ad that my catalogs are at 400,000 photos and I have much more to add. 

Walter Rowe's picture
by Walter Rowe
March 4, 2016 - 9:31pm

The size of your previews can also slow you down. The larger they are, the longer it takes for them to load. I find that LR as a whole is painfully slow.

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