When running Lightroom on high-resolution-displays I noticed severe performance problems.

Working in the development module in 2560x1600 pixels screen resolution, even simple adjustments of brightness take around a second until the display refreshes with the new values.

So my question is: does Lightroom support any special graphics accelerators like Cuda or directX?

What features does a graphics adapter need in order to be fast for lightroom?

Current PC specs: Intel Sandy Bridge, Core i7 2600, 16GB Ram, System & LR catalogs on Intel G2 SSD, Graphics is 1GB XFX HD5750.

  • 1
    FWIW, Cuda and DirectX are very different things. – mattdm Jun 20 '11 at 14:01
  • What are the specs of your computer and how many photos in your LR catalog? – Jakub Sisak GeoGraphics Jun 20 '11 at 14:13
  • 2
    @mattdm, I know, but anything which might speed up Lightroom would be great. – Sam Jun 20 '11 at 14:18
  • 1
    Your videocard has to do more processing to display the image on your new monitor. Get a better video-card, max out on fast RAM. If you are thinking about dual monitors in the future, get a videocard that supports dual monitors natively. – Jakub Sisak GeoGraphics Jun 20 '11 at 16:56
  • 1
    Specs: Intel Sandy Bridge, Core i7 2600, 16GB Ram, System & LR catalogs on Intel G2 SSD, Graphics is 4GB XFX HD5750. – Sam Jun 20 '11 at 18:36

Unlike Photoshop CS4/5, Lightroom does not utilize the GPU for operations. Therefore, any video card that supports your monitor is fine.

Photoshop CS4/5 only really use GPU for screen redraws and (I think) a few transformations. Lightroom does not use it at all. I suspect that since LR adjustments are simply appended statements vs file edits, that it does not need to use the GPU. This likely also increases compatibility on slower and older machines.

Apple's Aperture has been criticized by its use of the GPU, which some blame for slow performance and compatibility. I have never used Aperture, so I can't say whether this is the case.

  • 1
    Keep in mind though, many low end video solutions steal memory from your RAM for video use. You will benefit from having at least a dedicated card that prevents that. – dpollitt Dec 11 '11 at 4:14

First of all, you need a graphics card. If you use embeded graphics or the like, you may suffer.

Second, get the fastest memory interface possible. You actually do not need much memory, probably anything over 64MB is overkill for Lightroom since it does not process on the graphics card, just redraw a lot.

Third, there is no third ;) Other graphics card features do not help since they are not used by Lightroom.

  • 1
    Hmmm. I'm not sure that #1 follows, given #2 and #3. – mattdm Jun 20 '11 at 15:28
  • 1
    #1 depends entirely on the spec of the onboard graphics - not all have poor performance – Rowland Shaw Jun 20 '11 at 16:30
  • 1
    Try to set your display to a quarter resolution (1280x800) and also try at full-resolution (2560x1600) but with LR occupying a quarter of the screen. If both are fast, then LR is having trouble processing the extra pixels in the view. If only the former is fast, then the problem is with your system (OS, drivers, add-ons, etc). You can use the Task Manager to see if your CPU is being fully used (in which case graphics is waiting for data, rather than the other way around). – Itai Jun 20 '11 at 19:27
  • 1
    @dpollitt - Your source does not support your statement: They are comparing to laptop graphics and are testing 3D performance which they say is respectable at 1024x768 but grinded the test to a halt at 1600x900. Plus, that comparison is not significant for Lightroom. I assure you that the 2D and 3D performance of graphics cards are poorly related and shockingly so. – Itai Jun 22 '11 at 13:12
  • 1
    @Sam - Do check if your individual cores saturate to 100% in the performance monitor. If they do, you are CPU limited and would most benefit from a faster CPU. – Itai Jun 22 '11 at 13:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.