Lightroom 5.4 Library Module slow performance: FIX found!

  • 9
  • Problem
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Solved
I've found a solution to a problem many others seem to have reported - but it does involve a work-around, suggesting the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom team need to fix a bug.

When a large number of Develop Presets are loaded into Lightroom (in my case, over 500), the Library Module, and strangely, to a lesser degree, the Develop Module run very slow.

Having performed some troubleshooting, I discovered the reason for the slowness was a CPU spike. On my iMac 3.4GHz with 32Gb RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB, and 1TB Fusion Drive, the CPU would go over 100%, while the disk and memory allocations were low. I run Mavericks 10.9.2, so it's not a matter of an out of date OS. This occurred whether I had 10 images or 10,000 images in the catalog (I tested various scenarios).

I read on a forum that the number of Develop Presets could affect performance, so deleted the majority of them (backing them up first) to see if it would make a difference. I reduced the number of presets to less than about 100, and the performance increased INCREDIBLY and INSTANTLY.

So, it would seem to me there is a bug in the way the Develop Presets are being indexed in Lightroom. Hopefully, this is something the team can find and fix very easily, as it should be easy enough to identify the root cause and reproduce the problem.

Please, Adobe - release a fix for this in the next point release. It is disappointing not to be able to keep all my Develop Presets in a single session. My work-around is to exit Lightroom, copy in the Presets I need for a job, then start the program again. Obviously not ideal.

Many thanks,

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Matthew Porter

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  • sad, because this is something Adobe could easily have found and fixed in previous releases

Posted 6 years ago

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Photo of Benjamin Warde

Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Official Response
Hi Matthew,

I have done some testing and have confirmed that you do not (so far as I can tell) have a corrupted preset. I believe you are correct, it is simply the large number of presets that is causing Lightroom to perform poorly.

However, your statement that you have "over 500" presets is, while true, a bit of an understatement. You have 7476 presets which, I'll be honest, is quite a bit more than I had previously tested (I'd only tested up to about 1,000 presets).

How many presets you can have before performance drops off obviously depends on a lot of things, in particular how powerful your machine is. On my relatively low end test machine Lightroom was still able to perform reasonably well with 2,000 presets.

So, I will bring it to the team's attention that performance degrades with large numbers of Develop presets. But I want to be honest up front, I imagine that the team will probably consider having 7476 presets to be something of an edge case, and fixing this may not get top priority. So in the meantime, if you can limit yourself to your favorite 2,000, you should be in good shape. Heck, if you can go crazy and cut it down to 1,000, things should be really snappy. :-)

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
This should be fixed in Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6.