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14 Messages

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396 Points

Fri, Jul 26, 2019 2:54 PM

Lightroom Classic: Poor Performance on Mac with 5K display

Lightroom is broken. 

I recently purchased a new 5K iMac, reasonably well specced up, and certainly far beyond the recommended system requirements. And Lightroom performs like a one-legged donkey on it. 

I've been using Lightroom since the first release and loved it right from the start. It allowed me to edit photos with an ease and control that I could never manage in Photoshop. But now, for the first time, I'm considering abandoning it in search of something that actually works.

There are endless reports online, on Adobe's forums in particular, about how poorly Lightroom runs on the 5K iMac. And these have been acknowledged by Adobe Staff Contributors. Yes, I understand that the resolution of a 5K display is demanding and resource intensive, however I don't have any issues editing in Affinity or Capture One, or any other graphics/processor intensive software I use for that matter. So inevitably the issue comes back to Lightroom and how it has been designed.

I've followed every troubleshoot step I can find regarding this issue in the hopes of resolving it, and have had Adobe support screen share to do their thing. Nothing has helped the situation. So I'm left with a piece of software that I'm paying good money for, and which is currently essential to my workflow, but which I simply cannot use.

What's the answer here? It seems this is an issue that has been reported for a number of years so I'd ask why nothing has been done about it?

I'd like to be able to continue to use Lightroom. It's still in my mind the best all-round photo editing software, but in it's current state I (like many others) have no choice but to look elsewhere.

Responses

275 Messages

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4.2K Points

a year ago

Do you have the graphics processor unit enabled in Lightroom preferences? Has that made any difference whatsoever?

14 Messages

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396 Points

a year ago

Yup, I’ve tried it with graphics processor on and off, makes no difference.

Champion

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3.1K Messages

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55.9K Points

a year ago

You posted a long story without once saying what exactly is the problem...

Johan W. Elzenga,

http://www.johanfoto.com

14 Messages

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396 Points

a year ago

Forgive me, I wrote this out right after getting off a chat with adobe support and explaining it all in detail to them.

In short, the application slows to a crawl whenever I use adjustment brushes, spot removal, crop, graduated filter...basically any of the basic develop tools.

577 Messages

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9.1K Points

Actually the tool you are using are the more advanced tools. The basic tools are the ones in the Basic, Detail, and so on sections.
This seems to a common problem with using the more advanced tools on those 5k systems.

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

a year ago

The answer here may be that you don't have good Mac IT support. I was an Apple Certified Mac IT guy for 25 years, and Lightroom runs just fine on my 2019 27" iMac (3.6 GHz Intel Core i9, 64GB RAM). Question: did you get 64GB of RAM? THIS is the crucial detail in getting resource hogs like Lightroom (which needs a lot of resources) to run properly, and also run Photoshop, a browser, email, etc, at the same time. If not, go to Macsales and upgrade your RAM! Also, if you only have 16GB you could try what I was doing when I had 16GB, running Memory Clean every 5 damn minutes!

But I digress. If you have just "upgraded" your Mac OS several times, and not done a "clean install", you may have tons of "cruft" (technical term) that is slowing down EVERYTHING, not just Lightroom. Doing a clean install of Mojave and then using Migration Assistant to bring your data and apps back from an external boot drive backup may be just the ticket.

Or, if you're lucky, you might just have corrupt caches or application states, or directory damage. Please give your Mac the "once over"! Run the free Onyx (https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/o...), reboot. (In Onyx just run almost everything in the Maintenance tab, deselecting things you may not want deleted, like Launch Services. (Hit the "Options" button and deselect more stuff like Cookies & Other Site Data, Browser History, Form Values, etc.), then hit Run Tasks. After it's done it will ask for a reboot.

If that doesn’t fix it run Disk Warrior if you can ($120), (https://www.alsoft.com), to fix directory damage, reboot. If you can’t do Disk Warrior, at least run First Aid from Disk Utility. Also just doing a "Safe Boot" can clear out caches (restart, hold down shift until you see "Safe Boot" on the screen, then reboot normally. 

If that doesn’t work try launching Lightroom from your other (admin or test) account, with a new catalog, as a test. Does it run OK? If it does it may be a corrupted preference in your Username/Library folder. Check The Lightroom Queen site for instructions on how to reset your preferences (https://www.lightroomqueen.com). Let me know if this improves it?

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

Yes, the brushes still sometimes drag a little, but not as much as with 16GB!

14 Messages

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396 Points

Hi Carlos,

Thanks for your detailed response. The machine is running on 40GB - 8GB standard plus 2 x 16GB I picked up from Crucial. I'd read reports that 3rd party RAM could be the cause of the issue so removed the Crucial sticks and the issue remained exactly the same, if anything it worsened. Considering how (relatively) smoothly LR runs on my 2014 MacBook Pro with 16gb RAM, it doesn't seem that RAM should be the issue here. The rest of the machine is very zippy, including Photoshop & FCP X, both of which I've used extensively with no trouble at all while having these Lightroom issues.

A clean install is my next port of call as far as troubleshooting MacOS goes, as I've tried everything else you've mentioned to no avail. My background is also as an Apple certified Mac technician so I feel pretty comfortable that this goes beyond just being an issue with the operating system, though I'm willing to consider any option/solution at this stage.

Cheers,
JC

5 Messages

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200 Points

Hey JC, man, your situation seems to be EXACTLY the same as mine.

I just upgraded from a 2014 16GB Macbook pro, now have a 2019 iMac with 40gb ram. Old Macbook is running lightroom 7.5, new iMac is running 8.3.1.

Lightroom on my new iMac is definitely slower, whether it's browsing images, changing between modules, and editing images (noticeably so when undoing an edit, using the local adjustment brush), everything seems slower. But it's really a killer when toggling the before and after button to see how my edits are going (hello pinwheel of death for three seconds) and also when I'm importing photos.

I've just done a test with importing 259 raw files from a Canon 7d (each file around 18mb). So a reasonable amount of images, but older and smaller in size. Shouldn't be any trouble for this new beast of a machine. Except it is TERRIBLY slow!

On my old Macbook, using the same card reader with the same import settings, the times are as follows:
Copy and import - 02:12 
Convert to DNG - 02:20
Render preview times - 00:34
Total import time - 05:07 minutes

On the new iMac:
Copy and import - 02:10 (essentially the same time)
Convert to DNG - 01:43 (half a minute quicker, nice)
Render preview times - 10:34 (literally 10 mins slower, a lifetime)
Total import time - 14:29 minutes

This is unbelievable/unacceptable. This must be an issue with the new lightroom? Is there any way to install the older lightroom and test that?

14 Messages

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396 Points

Hey Rémi, I definitely feel your frustration man, particularly with the lack of clear answers and solutions from Adobe, especially considering how long this issue (or similar) has been reported by users. Have you gone through the troubleshooting steps discussed here (or elsewhere)? It's handy that you've gone as far as to do the timed comparisons as well - that's a pretty shocking difference between the two machines.

I was able to install previous versions (tried both Lightroom 6 and 8.2.1) though sadly this didn't seem to make any real difference. Version 6 was slightly improved but still generally slower than my 2014 MBP. The instructions can be found here, if you want to give it a shot yourself. I'd be interested to hear how you get on: https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/download-install/using/install-previous-version.html

I've also tested it out on a clean install of MacOS as was suggested by Carlos above and this also hasn't made any difference; the adjustment brush and spot removal tool in particular are painfully slow and unresponsive, but so is cropping, before/after, and navigating images in the Library module. 

Currently, I'm waiting to hear back from someone on Adobe's senior support team as my case was escalated after the latest screen share, so I'll report back if we make any progress with it.

In the meantime, I've set a couple of days aside this week to try and wrap my head around Capture One to see if a I can work as efficiently in that as I used to be able to do in Lightroom.

Cheers,
JC

5 Messages

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200 Points

Hey JC, I've done a few things within LR (different preview sizes/settings, cache sizes, toggling graphics processor on/off) to no avail. I definitely don't think I need to do a clean install of anything, it's a fresh, out-of-the-box mac, with a fresh install of LR without any other images on the mac whatsoever, let alone a swamp of old collections etc to wade through, this was the first import! 

I'll give an older version of LR a go tomorrow when I get to the studio, but tbh, I'm a bit fed up with LR anyway. I shoot with canon 5d mark iv most of the time, and the support for that hasn't been the best (I still can't tether to LR, despite the camera being released years ago). 

I'll also give a few of Carlos' tips a go, but seeing as so many people seem to be experiencing similar problems, I feel like it's a bit more than directory damages/corrupt caches. The program is working without crashing, it's just going extraordinarily slowly.

62 Messages

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1.1K Points

a year ago

i am in a similar boat.. very poor performance. and i appreciate other folks offering advice, but a bit of research will show that SOME users experience horrible performance, even on fancy machines.

So what is horrible? maybe one person's horrible is another person's slow is another persons ok.

How about this..i am in develop mode. i got to a never-before editd photo. i hit the crop icon and i grab one of the grab segments on the edge. i click the mouse and drag the edge and let go of the mouse. nothing fancy

Frequently, i have to wait up to 3, sometimes 5 seconds, before LR recognizes that the mouse button was released. if i move the mouse too soon after releasing the button, LR thinks the mouse movements are part of the crop action and i wind up with crop sections that are just a single point.

i can tell that LR registered the button release by some cursor change (cant rememer of the top of my head.

This weird action is only with LR. Not PS. Not vegas. Not On1. Not word. Not outlook. Not chrome.
Windows 10, 32G RAM. GPU disabled/enabled does not matter.

And if you look further, adobe actually suggested (and it worked in my case), to change the core (CPU core) affinity settings for LR - in otherwords, dont let it run on all 8 cores i have, but only let it run on two. That did actually help. a couple of releases ago. Then an upgrade later its back to bad behavior.  But this type of solution shows these type of issues go way way way beyond driver updates or gpu acceleration or cache cleaning.

So i get it sounds like generic whining about slow performance and with that i see lots of generic , but a bit of research will show that LR has, for some users,  really bad performance, and requires some more substantial answers.


7 Messages

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202 Points

a year ago

Same here. I have iMac Pro. When it comes to processor (importing, exportin, etc..) I see improvement, but overall experience is not what I would expect. Some things are no different from my super old laptop.

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

a year ago

Please go back and re-read my post. Unless it’s happening on all machines it’s not a bug in Lightroom (and it’s not happening on my new 27 inch iMac).

Please give your Mac that once over that I suggested in my previous post, because the most likely culprit is damage/waste in your operating system. This is likely to fix your issues, but don’t complain until you’ve done it !

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

Complaining is less fun than getting your work done, am I right?

14 Messages

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396 Points

I’d say the complaint is pretty valid, since I’ve done everything you (and Adobe) have suggested, including the clean install, and yet the problem persists. I find it incredibly hard to believe this isn’t an issue caused as a result of how Lightroom is built - have a look at Rémi’s post below; identical hardware, fresh out of the box with a totally clean install and he’s having the same issues. Doesn’t really sound like “cruft” to me.

I’d love to be able to get my work done, however that’s proving pretty difficult when I’m currently reliant on software that doesn’t work as it should.

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

How much RAM did you say you have?

14 Messages

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396 Points

40GB.

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

That should be enough, but don’t run Mail, Safari, while you work. You can get Quitter which closes apps automatically when not in use, or better yet, get Memory Clean 3 and you can see when you’re running out, and then hit clean. The basic app is free, for the Extreme Clean option you have to buy it (I have, it’s cheap).

I have 64 and can NOW keep a browser, Mail, etc. open while I work in Lightroom, use Nik Collection, or Photoshop at the same time.

1 Message

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100 Points

9 months ago

It's not a solution (that's Adobe's job), but a workaround. If you open the LR applications "Get Info" window and check "Open in Low Resolution", LR will significantly speed up. 
Obviously, there is no point in buying a 5K machine and then not run it at the highest resolution, but I rather have a fast UI than the highest possible resolution. As I said, it's only a quick fix. Adobe, over to you. 

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

Did you try the Mac "Once Over" that I detailed earlier in this post (run Onyx, etc.? My iMac 5K runs LR fine. Please do this before complaining that it's Adobe's fault, because there's a HUGE operating system under LR that you're not addressing.

5 Messages

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180 Points

I've been agonizing with a 4k monitor on a 2015 13" MBP with 16GB RAM.  The Open in Low Resolution trick just saved the day.  I had a several second delay with the adjustment brushes in both LR and PS.  This fixed it in LR and improved it in PS.  It doesn't seem to deteriorate the image resolution at all, and I can't detect any deterioration in text.

401 Messages

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5.6K Points

7 months ago

Huge slow down when I use my 5K monitor, 75% more pixels have to be processed. Windows and not MacOS but pixel processing is essentially identical for both OS. I had both 5K and 4K monitors on my system and Lightroom is much faster on the 4K monitor; full screen, single monitor mode. Because of driver issues from Nvidia for the 5K monitor, I replaced it with a 2nd 4K monitor. The 5K monitor from HP was beautiful but unusable for 1-2 months out of the year because of Nvidia. 
  

1 Message

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64 Points

6 months ago

I'm running Lightroom CC 3.2 on an iMac 5k 2019, 3.6GHz 8-core i9, Radeon 580X 8 GB, and 64 GB RAM.  I had an issue with the photo grid flashing on/off, which appeared as a black flash because the background color was black. I found that this flashing only occurred when syncing lots of images. I had just signed in. This happened on two different user accounts. While syncing/flashing, the GPU settings had no effect. Once syncing had finished, the flashing went away. 

14 Messages

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396 Points

6 months ago

An update, for anyone who comes across this. 

Adobe have consistently failed to provide a solution to the issues I'm still experiencing. I have escalated and escalated, had endless chats, calls and screen shares. I've tried all the steps they suggested. Nothing fixes the problems I'm encountering and Lightroom remains practically unusable. It is broken and I've given up trying to get any support from Adobe. 

With the current situation and my city in lockdown, I've finally found the time to properly learn Capture One and I only wish I'd done so sooner. It just works and is a far more powerful, efficient piece of software. And, unlike Adobe, they actually listen to their customers and implement requested changes. Sure, sometimes they take a while to do so, and there are some features/functions missing from the software, but overall it's a significantly better option for me and I would imagine for most others.

I'm looking forward to the day when I can ditch Adobe software altogether. Thankfully that day doesn't look too far off. 

Good luck to those experiencing similar issues - I know all too well how frustrating they are.

Stay well!

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

JC, Have you tried all the steps I suggested? Bet you haven't. My 2019 5K iMac, 64GB RAM, is running just fine, thank you. I recommend you re-read my suggestions, and ponder why my iMac/Lightroom works great and not yours? 

Reading back, you removed the Crucial memory and tried to run Lightroom with 8GB RAM???? Uh, huh. Small tip: trade-in your iMac for a 64GB RAM model. I was frustrated with 16, I can't IMAGINE what 8GB must be like. Yes, Lightroom is a resource hog, and it could be better at that, but you get a lot for your memory money.

14 Messages

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396 Points

Carlos, I'm thrilled for you that your Mac is working so well with Lightroom. Unfortunately mine, and those of several others, simply are not. Not across the board, quite the opposite - this machine is lighting fast in ALL other software, including Photoshop, FCP X and Capture One, even when running the most demanding processes. It's only in Lightroom, with specific actions and processes where it struggles.

And yes, I have followed your suggested steps. And those of multiple Adobe support staff. Also, it might be worth mentioning again that like you, I am also an Apple Trained Service Technician and have been for over 7 years now. Did you read that the first time I mentioned it? Bet you haven't.

So while I may not have the extensive knowledge of your 25 years as a certified tech that you're so eager to share with us all, I do feel pretty comfortable with my troubleshooting process, which has been extensive and has involved every suggestion made by every contributor to this post, along with any other posts I've found that mention similar problems. My many screen shares with Adobe support have left them stumped as well, so no answers there.

I've isolated MacOS - trying clean installs of three different versions of MacOS. I've isolated Hardware - Full hardware diagnostics through AST2 and RAM troubleshooting. And yet the issues with Lightroom persist every time, no matter how many tweaks I make in the settings or new catalogs I setup and endlessly optimise.

This is not an issue that will be resolved by trading up from a machine with 40GB to 64GB, but thanks for the super helpful suggestion. 

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

JC, you're right, I didn't read that, my apologies for assuming! Enjoying your sarcasm, no, really, I am. And yes, I am trying to help, even when it comes off as showing off. Good luck, brother!

4 Messages

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152 Points

Jeez, dude, after all your condescending posts, you flag JC for being sarcastic? LR has a problem with 5k monitors, and the size of the source file is related (i.e. 50MP 5Ds file vs a 20MP consumer camera). I've spent hours with support to no avail, and my previews file always quickly bloats to ~150GB, forcing me to move it off the SSD and onto a 7200rpm HD. LR has had memory leaks for *years*, and it has not been addressed. Assuming people are stupid and blaming users for LR's deficiencies gets old.

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

Well Jeff I believe sarcasm has its role to play, and like I said I appreciated it from JC. There are, after all, a TON of uninformed whiners and Adobe haters out there, and they get SO boring. We both know that some people are stupid? I would more politely say, uninformed/uneducated about computing.

I agree with your LR issues, and have said so repeatedly on this board, though no one has read all my posts/replies. Lightroom isn't leaking memory on purpose, Adobe would fix it if it could (though many here ascribe evil motives to Adobe).

Good luck Jeff!

 PS-I'm still the 6th "Most Helpful Member" on this board, as I try to help (mostly the Mac users) with their issues. Yeah, I get annoyed sometimes and get testy, who doesn't?

401 Messages

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5.6K Points

6 months ago

Yes Adobe software tends to require powerful hardware and works even better with a modern operating system. MacOS is a modern GUI layered on top of a 51 year old OS, UNIX, which was designed to be highly efficient for single functions. UNIX is not a preemptive interrupt driven OS like zOS or to a lesser extent Windows. When a task grabs the CPU, it owns it until the task is complete. 
 
For Lightroom Export, Lightroom will dispatch tasks for each one of the images to be exported. So for 100 files on a 10 thread CPU. it will dispatch 100 tasks that the OS will serialize; it will almost 100% control all 10 threads until the files are exported. 
 
Assuming that you: 1) don't want to switch to Windows (which is impacted by Export though not as severely) AND 2) want to continue with Lightroom; export to a slow device such as a USB stick and when done, copy the exported files to the desired location. Then the process becomes write gated and there will be CPU resources available for other tasks. 
 
What Adobe needs to do is offer a setting to restrict the number of threads used by export. Many rendering applications offer this feature.   

What we all need is a desktop OS which is interrupt driven with symmetric multitasking. Lightroom is not the only tool with this problem, various non-Adobe video rendering applications have the same issue.  

6 Messages

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110 Points

3 months ago

Hi I'm looking to pick up my first imac a 2017 5k and with 32gb ram and also nvm disk instead of SSD.
I'm also a user of both PS and LR.
So I'm wondering is this only on the 5k screens this issues appears? If I'll go with a 2k screen instead will that help me out. 5k isn't a must for me.
And or is the problem fixed yet?

799 Messages

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11.5K Points

3 months ago

I have a 5K iMac (2019) and there are ZERO issues with speed with LR Classic. 5K (or 4K) of detail is really good for photo editing. The problem was never the screen resolution itself, it was either the GPU incompatibility, or trying to edit photos with too little RAM memory.