Author Topic: Workstation for Adobe Lightroom - raw processor grunt vs number of cores?  (Read 9869 times)

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Offline Delta

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I'm looking to get a second handl workstation for the Missus to use to play with photos on Adobe Lightroom, I can get older HP Xeon machines for around £100.  The thing I'm unsure of is what to look for in a processor...

Reading this seems to indicate that Lightroom does not really take advantage of multiple cores very well, with severely diminishing returns after 2.  This has made it difficult for me to decide on processor options based on benchmark comparisons like this http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=1186&cmp[]=1229 (sorry - can't format properly because of the square brackets)

So for a given budget, and all other things being equal (memory, HDD / SSD, graphics card etc), should I aim for the "gruntiest per core" and highest clock speed Xeon I can find, or am I barking up the wrong bush?*

i.e., going by the benchmark comparison linked above, would the 5150 actually be better for Lightroom than the E5335?

Cheers!

* (c) H. Simpson.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 02:57:24 pm by Delta »
 

Offline Kilrah

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Based on working quite a bit with LR - yes it's very poorly making use of multiple cores. It's been that way for ages so hopefully that will change one day, but I'd say one can dream.

Hard to really advise something though.
 

Offline German_EE

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To quote the late Seymour Cray:

"If you are plowing a field how would you like to pull your plow, an ox or ten thousand sparrows?
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

Warren Buffett
 

Offline Delta

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To quote the late Seymour Cray:

"If you are plowing a field how would you like to pull your plow, an ox or ten thousand sparrows?

I like that!  :D  I'll look for an HP XW6400 with a Xeon Single OxCore...
 

Offline Delta

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So am I correct in that I should be looking at single thread benchmarks to get an idea of how a CPU would perform with LR?

I'm starting to think Xeon is not the right choice for a LR workstation, as Xeon are designed for highly multi-threaded server type applications, so could anyone recommend an CPU range I should be looking at instead?

As a reference, our* laptop has a Core i5-520M (2.4 GHz) which that site list as single thread benchmarking at 1060, and 2400 overall, so I'm looking for a workstation better than that...

*Ubuntu for me, Win7 for her :-)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 01:55:17 pm by Delta »
 

Offline botcrusher

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Well, for the budget the pentium G3258
Has excellent performance. (Also, overclocking.)

If budget is of no concern, the i7-4790k is The fastest single thread performance you can get. (Also, overclocking.)

Keep in mind you'll be hard pressed to find that used, though i have seen some used G3358 on the market
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 02:02:22 pm by botcrusher »
 

Offline Augustus

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Lightroom 6 is sooooo slow, it's unbelievable... Even on a Intel i7-4790K (4 core / 8 threads) @4.4 GHz it's crawling along like a snail if you happen to apply a bunch of local adjustments to your image  :=\
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Offline botcrusher

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On the fastest consumer cpu available, Its still painfully slow? WTF?
 

Offline Augustus

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I don't know how they managed to do it, but yes, it is really slow even on very fast hardware with lots of RAM and SSDs. Most noticeable if you do a lot of local adjustments   :-/O
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Offline AlxDroidDev

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Photo editing software from Adobe CC (actually, from CS5 and up) benefit more from CUDA than from CPU. I have 2 EVGA GTX480 OC (1536Mb each) videocards in my computer (in SLI), and both Photoshop and Lightroom are configured to use them as CUDA devices.

I edit a lot of 24 megapixel RAW images (Nikon NEF format), and I have absolutely no performance problems.

The relevant part of the rest of the rig is:
- Motherboard Asus Rampage III Extreme (X58)
- Core i7-920 overclocked to 3.6GHz
- 18Gb RAM DDR3 Corsair Dominator (also overclocked)
- all my drives are HDDs. None of them are SSDs

So, it is an old CPU, but CUDA makes a hell of a lot of difference when it comes to working with Photoshop & LR CC. Having lots of CUDA cores (I have 960 total) is more important than CPU.

It doesn't matter how many Xeons you put in a workstation: if it doesn't have additional GPU processing power, it will never be a match to an old Core i5/i7 with hundreds of CUDA cores.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 03:05:31 pm by AlxDroidDev »
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Offline Augustus

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Interesting... I'm no gamer and use Intel's integrated processor graphics, maybe I should borrow on of these fancy nVidia cards and give it a try...
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Offline Kilrah

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It doesn't matter how many Xeons you put in a workstation: if it doesn't have additional GPU processing power, it will never be a match to an old Core i5/i7 with hundreds of CUDA cores.
I don't agree at all. Firstly Lightroom etc can only use a single graphics card, having 2 in SLI is of no use to it, and its benefit is only relative from my experience... On my setup with 2 GTX980s disabling graphics acceleration actually significantly improves performance in LR especially on the infamous local adjustment brush. Maybe if you've got an average CPU the graphics card can do good, but no graphics card does as well as a good CPU (in that app and at this time).

I work with 42MP RAWs and frankly the performance for the image processing side of it is quite OK considering the amount of data, that's not what I'm complaining about - what's unacceptably slow is the UI response. There is just no reason it should take a second or 2 everytime to change view, switch folder etc or even go from an image to the next and have all UI elements load one after the other like a webpage in the 90s. The UI is really a dog especially on Windows.

Also batch exports should parallel render one image per available core (easy since the processes are completely independent) instead of trying to badly use multiple cores to render each image one after the other.

System details:
ASUS RAMPAGE V
Core i7-5960X OC @ 4.1GHz
32GB quad-channel DDR4
System/work drive 2x intel 256GB SSDs in RAID0
2xGTX980
W10

More interestingly on my laptop (Macbook Pro) with a 2.8GHz quad-core i7 the time needed to render a full-size preview is about twice as long, but the overall experience is better since the UI is much smoother on the mac version.
Oh and the mac also has an nVidia discrete card (GT750M) and LR also does better with it disabled.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 03:50:22 pm by Kilrah »
 

Offline Delta

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Hmmmmmmm, interesting!  In my gooooooogling on this subject I've read that LR does not use the GPU for anything other than driving the display; that it'll just the same on standard motherboard graphics than on a high end gaming GPU...?  (as opposed to Photoshop, which does utilise the GPU for image processing).

Is this incorrect, or has it changed recently?
 

Offline Kilrah

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Quote
In Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6, you can use a compatible graphics processor (also called a graphics card, video card, or GPU) to speed up the task of adjusting images in the Develop module.

[...]

Additional information

    The Develop module is the only module that currently uses GPU acceleration. Commands and processes outside the Develop module aren't affected. For example, the commands for merging multiple images to create HDR files or panoramas don't use GPU.
    Only the "Main" Lightroom window is accelerated. The "Secondary" window isn't accelerated by GPU.
    Using more than one graphics processor / graphics card doesn't enhance performance.



https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/lightroom-gpu-faq.html
 

Offline Delta

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Well I've got an offer in on the Bay for a Lenovo workstation with a Pentium G645 and 4GB of RAM in it, aiming to get it for less than £70 delivered.  It's got a 500GB HDD, but I'm looking at getting a 128GB Samsung EVO 850 SSD for £45.

Am I going in the right direction for a budget LR machine?
 

Offline Stonent

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Well I've got an offer in on the Bay for a Lenovo workstation with a Pentium G645 and 4GB of RAM in it, aiming to get it for less than £70 delivered.  It's got a 500GB HDD, but I'm looking at getting a 128GB Samsung EVO 850 SSD for £45.

Am I going in the right direction for a budget LR machine?

I would say not really. That's not a good of a deal. Or rather the processor speed is not that good.  For a general computer user I recommend at least 4000 on the passmark rating of the processor.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Pentium+G645+%40+2.90GHz

The passmark rating is 2592, you can get 2nd generation I5 and I7 computers that are faster.


« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 12:13:40 am by Stonent »
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Offline Delta

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Well I've got an offer in on the Bay for a Lenovo workstation with a Pentium G645 and 4GB of RAM in it, aiming to get it for less than £70 delivered.  It's got a 500GB HDD, but I'm looking at getting a 128GB Samsung EVO 850 SSD for £45.

Am I going in the right direction for a budget LR machine?

I would say not really. That's not a good deal.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Pentium+G645+%40+2.90GHz

The passmark rating is 2592, you can get 2nd generation I5 and I7 computers that are faster.

Even at single thread performance?  And for similar money?
 

Offline Stonent

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I just don' t think the processor you chose is really suitable. That's below what I recommend people buy in general.

The 1000 sparrows vs one Ox isn't really a fair comparison in this case.  More like 1 Ox or 2 Horses.

Here are some processors I'm familiar with off the top of my head.
Single thread performance:
Intel Pentium G645 @ 2.90GHz   1,476 (2 cores)
Intel Core i7-4710HQ @ 2.50GHz   1,849 (4 cores) (My home laptop
Intel Core i5-2520M @ 2.50GHz   1,498 (2 cores) (You can get a 4 year old Dell laptop with this on ebay for $150 US used)
Intel Core i5-4310M @ 2.70GHz   1,817 (2 cores) (My current work laptop)
Intel Core i5-4430 @ 3.00GHz   1,825 (4 cores) (Haswell i5)









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Offline Delta

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Spotted another Lenovo with an i5-2400 in it, I reckon I'll be £100 for this one.  Although it benchmarks much quicker at 4874, it's single thread performance isn't that much better at 1598 (excuse the unformatted square bracket-containing URL) http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-2400S+%40+2.50GHz&id=794

I am basically pouring over eBay and PassMark, obsessing over single thread performance vs price...!
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 12:31:49 am by Delta »
 

Offline Stonent

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Intel Pentium G3258 @ 3.20GHz has the best single thread performance of all the Pentium G series at 2175. CPU mark is about 4000.
Basically I'd try to get to 4 cores if you can, even if the single thread is slightly lower.

The 2400s looks fairly decent single thread is 1598, 4874 overall score.

I was researching a laptop for my mother in law several months ago and basically found that any used 4 year old laptop on ebay for $200 is going to be faster than any new laptop that sells for $200.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 12:43:08 am by Stonent »
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Offline Delta

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Intel Pentium G3258 @ 3.20GHz has the best single thread performance of all the Pentium G series at 2175. CPU mark is about 4000.

Yeah, botcrusher mentioned that one, I can't see any computers with one on the bay for under a ton though...  That's one of the reasons I was searching for Pentium Gs rather than Xeons or i5/i7s...

Do you think something like this would be a better choice then? (I was watching that item, but didn't put a bid in...  :-\ )
 

Offline DimitriP

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When you are selling, quote multithread perfromance
When you are buying, decide on single thread performance.

BTW I still have a XW6400  XW6200 dual xeon 3.2GHz kicking around....it's not longer a speed deamon, although I never had the feeling it was
But if you can one for $100....and it's usable ...
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 12:42:27 am by DimitriP »
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline Stonent

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When you are selling, quote multithread perfromance
When you are buying, decide on single thread performance.

BTW I still have a XW6400  XW6200 dual xeon 3.2GHz kicking around....it's not longer a speed deamon, although I never had the feeling it was
But if you can one for $100....and it's usable ...

For that route I'd recommend buying a Socket 775 Core 2 based motherboard and converting it to run a  Xeon E54 series processor.

I have a Dell Optiplex 330 that was given to me for free that for $20 I more than doubled the performance with the Xeon mod.
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Offline DimitriP

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I am basically pouring over eBay and PassMark, obsessing over single thread performance vs price...!

Single Thread  performance makes most CPUs look bad...so no one is looking at it ...except me and you ..

   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline Delta

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When you are selling, quote multithread perfromance
When you are buying, decide on single thread performance.

BTW I still have a XW6400  XW6200 dual xeon 3.2GHz kicking around....it's not longer a speed deamon, although I never had the feeling it was
But if you can one for $100....and it's usable ...

I assume you mean "why"  ;) - as I said above, it's for running Adobe Lightroom, and LR doesn't make much use of multiple cores, which to me means that performance will be best decided on single thread benchmarks.  Is that the wrong line of thinking?  :-//

thanks for the offer, but it would cost a fortune to ship to the UK  :(
 

Offline Delta

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Sorry to be spamming my own post, but I'm changing my searches as advice comes in!  :)

spotted a Dell machine with an i3-4130 at 3.4GHz, single thread benchmark at 1967, and overall at 4772.  To me this looks good.  Or is there any inherent reason to go for an i5/i7 over an i3...?

PS.  thanks very much for all the help.
 

Offline DimitriP

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Is that the wrong line of thinking? 
No it's not, it's just that no one ever talks about it. It's always my eight cores are better than your four  :blah: :blah: :blah:

BTW I wasn't offerring to sell you anything :)

   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline Stonent

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Is that the wrong line of thinking? 
No it's not, it's just that no one ever talks about it. It's always my eight cores are better than your four  :blah: :blah: :blah:

BTW I wasn't offerring to sell you anything :)


You should have seen the spreadsheets I created when I was laptop shopping.  I was determined to get a 4 core system I7 preferably for as close to $500USD as possible. Some said it couldn't be done but in the end I got one.

All these processor ranges just confuse people who don't have the stamina for massive research.

I can see though why there are these core ranges.  Some applications in the server market are sold with a per-core license so you want the most grunt per core so even that 8000 cpumark score if you could get it on a dual processor system, you might save money on licensing.
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Offline DimitriP

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inherent reason to go for an i5/i7 over an i3...?
I don't believe so. There are "fast" i3s and i5s, there are slow i7s, and some pretty expensive Xeons with abysmal single thread performance.

   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline Stonent

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inherent reason to go for an i5/i7 over an i3...?
I don't believe so. There are "fast" i3s and i5s, there are slow i7s, and some pretty expensive Xeons with abysmal single thread performance.

You do get more cache as you go through the range, whether or not it matters has a lot of variables to it.
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Offline Delta

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Well I've but a bid in on the i3-4130 jobber, auction ends in 4 days...  Now to 1)hope that my insulting bid on the Pentium is rejected, and 2) STOP being glued to eBay and PassMark!

Although maybe just a little bit of searching for a small SSD....  ::)
 

Offline DimitriP

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Well I've but a bid in on the i3-4130 jobber, auction ends in 4 days...

Bidding early only drives the price up

Bid once, as late as possible, with your highest price you are willing to pay and be done.
There is also a small chance the seller may have "friends" that bid early...just to drive the price up.


   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 
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Offline Kilrah

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How big are the photos you she is working with? Make sure you have at least 8GB of RAM too.
 

Offline Delta

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Well I've bought eBay auction: #351711023556 - it's only an i3, but it's got nearly double the single thread performance of the i5-520M in my laptop, and after agonising over PassMark it seems to give the best combination of single thread and overall performance I could find available within our budget.
Unless I'm being either an idiot or naive (which is far from unlikely!), I think that's a good machine for LR, and a good price (especially as that CPU still seems to be selling new for only 20 quid less than the whole PC) - please tell me I'm right!

PS. Kilrah - she's got a Canon 400D, which I believe is 10MP.  She is looking to get something better and newer soon though.  As the new PC has got 8GB of RAM, I think the next upgrade would be to add a small SSD...
 

Offline Kilrah

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Pretty nice, that should give totally acceptable performance with 10MP. Yes an SSD is ALWAYS a good move.
 

Offline Stonent

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Well I've bought eBay auction: #351711023556 - it's only an i3, but it's got nearly double the single thread performance of the i5-520M in my laptop, and after agonising over PassMark it seems to give the best combination of single thread and overall performance I could find available within our budget.
Unless I'm being either an idiot or naive (which is far from unlikely!), I think that's a good machine for LR, and a good price (especially as that CPU still seems to be selling new for only 20 quid less than the whole PC) - please tell me I'm right!

PS. Kilrah - she's got a Canon 400D, which I believe is 10MP.  She is looking to get something better and newer soon though.  As the new PC has got 8GB of RAM, I think the next upgrade would be to add a small SSD...

I saw that processor for $10USD but the 3020 is a decent computer.  We've got them at work with the 4590T processor in them.
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Offline botcrusher

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Before you continue, please do note that i went full Derp.
No, the cpu is an excellent one but AlxDroidDev is 100% spot on.
 
Photo editing software from Adobe CC (actually, from CS5 and up) benefit more from CUDA than from CPU. I have 2 EVGA GTX480 OC (1536Mb each) videocards in my computer (in SLI), and both Photoshop and Lightroom are configured to use them as CUDA devices.

The best performance would be achieved with a good CUDA GPU.
If you want future proof on a (relative) budget, go for a GTX 960, but that is pretty pricey.
A GTX 750Ti is about as plentiful as dirt, and should get the job done for a rather low amount of power.
 

Offline Delta

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Before you continue, please do note that i went full Derp.
No, the cpu is an excellent one but AlxDroidDev is 100% spot on.
 
Photo editing software from Adobe CC (actually, from CS5 and up) benefit more from CUDA than from CPU. I have 2 EVGA GTX480 OC (1536Mb each) videocards in my computer (in SLI), and both Photoshop and Lightroom are configured to use them as CUDA devices.

The best performance would be achieved with a good CUDA GPU.
If you want future proof on a (relative) budget, go for a GTX 960, but that is pretty pricey.
A GTX 750Ti is about as plentiful as dirt, and should get the job done for a rather low amount of power.

I'm really getting conflicting info on this -  a LOT of sources say that LR6 hardly benefits at all from a good GPU, and it is only used in the Develop module (where performance seems fine at the moment), contrasting with PhotoShop, which offloads a lot of processing to the GPU  GTX 750Ti cards seem to be going for around £25-30 on eBay, which is more than another 8GB of RAM, and for a few quid more I could get a small SSD... decisions decisions!
 

Offline Delta

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I saw that processor for $10USD

Can you point me in the right direction please?  I'm impressed with this CPU and could well be have another budget PC project soon...  :-+
 

Offline Kilrah

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I'm really getting conflicting info on this
I guess it depends on the actual "bag of parts"... maybe with a low end CPU the GPU makes a world of difference, but with a high end CPU it can actually outperform the GPU on its own.

And it seems the performance is not consistent depending on function. For example on my setup with GPU disabled the crop/rotate tool is borderline unusable, while it's smooth as silk with GPU enabled... but now take painting with the local adjustment brush and it's the exact opposite.
 

Offline ChunkyPastaSauce

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Lightroom makes poor use of cores above 4, see https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Lightroom-CC-6-Multi-Core-Performance-649/

For GPU, large number of users are reporting GPU is slower for them. For those that it is faster, it sounds like it's not a big deal:
"The only thing that uses the GPU right now is performing image editing actions in the Develop module. The problem is that when you do something like change the contrast of an image with a mask, all that happens with a better GPU is that it is a bit smoother. It isn't like applying a large effect in Photoshop where you can actually time how long it takes the action to complete."

 

Offline botcrusher

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Ah alright. I didn't realise LR really is terribly optimized for everything. I suppose it makes sense since It isn't exactly as extensively worked on as Photoshop.
 


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