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Thread: Lightroom 4 slow library?

  1. #1
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Lightroom 4 slow library?

    Hello all

    I am a long time Aperture user but am presently trialling Lightroom 4 for use in my office (where we are mainly PC rather than Mac).

    Having copied one of my Aperture libraries consisting of 75,000 various jpeg and raw files, I am finding that it takes a VERY long time for Lightroom 4 to display the library thumbnails on screen. I can scroll through thousands of images on Aperture and see the images instantly as soon as Aperture is loaded. LR4 delivers a grey screen and as I scroll down from page to page it slowly populates the screen. Even If I have a folder with only, say 2,000 images in it, the slowness persists.

    This is being run on a Powerful iMac at the moment.

    Is this slowness normal? If so, I won't be going beyond the trail period to purchase the software.

    It makes visual library searches exceedingly slow.

    Clearly, I am not familiar with LR4 so it may be I am dong something silly. Any thoughts?

    Thank you, Adrian

  2. #2
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom 4 slow library?

    Adrian,

    I've not used Aperture so to that I cannot compare. I have used PSE for aprox. 5 years, and LR 3 and 4 for the last 2 years. I've never given a bit of thought to the speed with which the libraries populate and display, and have never been aware that I'm waiting on it. My current catalogue has about 12,000 files and I can count on moving as quickly between them as I can type (or point). Lightroom has been a joy to work with, so I'd have to conclude that your experience is not at all typical of the program

  3. #3
    Ady's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom 4 slow library?

    Hi Adrian,

    I found the Lightroom catalogue to be a bit sluggish once a catalogue got above about 50K images, however nothing quite a slow as you are describing, the catalogue and preview cache at the time was on a perfectly robust but rather old and therefore slow mechanical disk drive (slow even by the standards of modern mechanical disks). When I last rebuild my machine I found putting the catalogues and preview cache on a mid range SSD made quite a difference.

    I have also noticed that after an import of a significant number of files (a few thousand or more) it takes quite a while for Lightroom to finish rendering the previews in the background. The amount of time it takes depends very much on the 'Previews' setting at the time of import (in the 'File Handing' section on the right hand side of the import screen). There are a number of options including 1:1 previews, the higher the quality of preview the longer it will take to render them. From experience if it's trying to render 10s of thousands of 1:1 previews after a large import it can take quite some time!

    The only other thing I can suggest is trying the optimize catalogue option which I think from memory is in the 'File' menu.

    Initial slowness during the preview rendering aside I don't experience any issues with speed of navigating the catalogue or scrolling through the preview thumbs.

    Hope this is of some help.

    Cheers,
    Ady

  4. #4
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom 4 slow library?

    Hi Adrian,

    I have used LR for over a year and have never had the kind of performance problems you mention. I suggest you read http://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/...lightroom.html. I recommend that you DO have LR automatically write changes into the XMP; however, you may want to temporarily turn that off while investigating performance.

    Also, spend some time searching the Internet. I just found this page, which I haven't read yet but which looks interesting.

    Let us know how you get on. There must be a solution to your problem, since others don't have it.

    Regards

    Tony

  5. #5
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom 4 slow library?

    Hi Adrian,

    How full is the hard drive on your iMac?

    Lightroom stores a lot of information on the disk and constantly accesses it to show previews. Slow performance can be solved by:

    - More disk space
    - Faster disks
    - More RAM

    In my experience spinning disks start to degrade in performance when they are over 30% full. These disks works by filling up from the outer edge inwards. So when they are getting full the disk has to write and read from the slower middle section. If the disk is fragmented the performance gets worse since the head must read from different parts of the disk to get the data.

    To help with speed I have switched to using a SSD for my Lightroom previews folder. However I sometimes still wait a few seconds to see the previews appear. This is because Lightroom must generate them for the current viewing size you are using for the images. If this is different from when they were last viewed, or if it is the first time you view them after making development edits then it will have to draw them again. However if it has them available then they should be shown as fast as they can be read from the disk.

    Try scrolling through a folder from the top for a few hundred images and let them all preview. Move to a different folder and do the same. Then move back to the first folder. I am hoping that the image previews will load faster. If this is the case then it is because Lightroom is having to generate the previews only for the first time. If it is still slow then you probably have a performance issue with the preview load speed.

    Alex

  6. #6
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom 4 slow library?

    I had the same issue with Elements Organizer and FastStone viewers. Once open, it is easy to view images but if you close the application it will have to be reloaded again.

  7. #7
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom 4 slow library?

    Thanks all for the comments so far.

    To answer a few of the queries:

    1 The iMac drive is about 25% full.
    2 After populating pre-views, if I exit the file and go back in, we are back t square one on slow loading
    3 I have an external SSD drive and a MacAir with built in SSD so will try them
    4 Preview settings are minimised to improve load speeds
    5 I suspect that part of the problem is I am running a fairly large library of over 75,000 images (mind you, Aperture has no trouble with another library twice that size)

    Having had a cruise around the web, it appears that LR4 being slow is a) quite common and b) acknowledged by Adobe.

    So.... this leaves me needing a solution that will run properly on PCs. Any ideas guys?

  8. #8
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom 4 slow library?

    To bring this to a conclusion, we ended up uninstalling Lightroom 4 as whatever we did it was ridiculously slow with large image libraries and insists on re-rendering previews every time you scroll. It is painful to use on a Mac in comparison with Aperture which is much faster. Functionality otherwise is very similar.

    Adrian

  9. #9
    New Member Mully's Avatar
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    Robert Mulligan

    Re: Lightroom 4 slow library?

    Could be a memory issue.....LR likes memory 4gigs min... 16+ is better......use your SSD drive for both the catalog and image files.... Also use one catalog for everything.

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