Lightroom Classic is Slow on Macbook Pro 2019 with i9

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TL;DR: Lightroom Classic is slow on the new Macbook Pro 2019 with i9 and 32Gb of RAM.

Here's the full story. I have been using Adobe Lightroom for around a decade or so. Pretty much, my professional photographic path started at the same time. Recently I finally upgraded my computer to the best I could afford — to Macbook Pro 16" with pretty decent configuration (2.3Ghz 8-core i9/32Gb RAM/2Tb drive, even Escape button is back if you care!). In fact, my main purpose of the upgrade was speeding Lightroom Classic up.

I switched to the new machine from pretty basic 15" MBP 2015 and... I saw zero improvements. Scrolling the gallery remained at 2-3 frames per second, zooming in takes a second. I'm not talking about the editing — I don't do hardcore stuff, but sometimes I cannot tell if my new laptop is frozen or just processing something.

All the necessary tweaks were done — I tried optimizing the catalog, enabling the GPU. reducing the number of images on the catalog itself, generating previews and even closing the histogram.

At the moment of posting it, I made a very simple experiment — reduced the size of the window. LR works much faster when it occupies less of the screen. Oh, and yes, LR CC works perfectly on any resolution or window size.

I have several questions now. Does it mean that Adobe abandoned a product for professionals? Macbooks with Retina screens were released in 2013. Does it mean Adobe didn't adopt the new resolution for 7 years?

Please tell me it's not true. Otherwise, I'll have to look for alternatives.

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Anton Bulyonov

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Posted 6 days ago

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Constantin Ridder

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In the folder 
User/library/preferences
there is a file:
com.adobe.LightroomClassicCC7.plist

Yesterday the adobe helpdesk renamed that file (renamed to com.adobe.LightroomClassicCC7.old.plist) and LR classic worked wonderfully afterwards. LR creates a new file with that name.

Additionally run the first aid in Disk Utility (best before the other action) and repair the permissions.

Done both and now running smooth.

If not contact the chat in the online help. They were chatting and phoning with me until the problem was solved :-) great service!

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Brian Satoer

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I do have a general tip regarding speed. Maybe you already know it ....
I break the proces down in 2 steps. Step one is the culling part. Before I begin culling I generated standard sized previews for all photos. Make sure the you have that size set to the minimum size of your window. I still have to make the switch to the 16inch MacBook so I don't know if there is a big size difference but I can imagine you have to increase the preview rendering size a bit. 

Then when I start culling Lightroom doesn't have to render a preview which speeds it up significantly. Be sure to do this in the Library module and not the Develop module. When you are in the Develop module it still uses the original photo. So you will notice a enormous change in culling speed when you are in the Library module. I always work from a network drive so after the previews are rendered I disconnect the drive.
Then when the culling is done I reconnect the network drive and delete the junk and generate smart previews for all the photos. After that I disconnect the drive again and work on all images. 
You can set Lightroom to always is disregard the originals when smart previews are created for those files but I disconnect the drive just to be sure :) 

This way is so much faster then when I don't generate the previews.
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Anton Bulyonov

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Guys, thank you for the detailed answers. I didn’t expect so much attention to my concern.

I tried removing that file. I also have a small test catalog with roughly 1000 images hosted locally with all the previews generated. MacBook Pro should be able to handle such operations as scrolling through the gallery, zooming in the gallery or doing relatively basic edits without much effort. Lightroom CC is a great example, finder on Mac OS is another — both of them just work.