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Does Lr Place More Demands on Processor or Memory?

Joined
May 6, 2017
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Lightroom Classic 9.0
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macOS 10.15 Catalina
My iMac is six-plus years old and for various reasons I decided to upgrade to a new one. I bought one with a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and upgraded the memory to 32GB. (I also chose to get SSD storage instead of a hard drive or a Fusion drive.)

I've already ordered the computer in that configuration, so I'm not looking for buying advice, but I'm curious: Is processor speed or memory capacity more important for accelerating Lr (and some Photoshop) performance? I imagine it's some of both, but for future reference, and if you have a limited budget, do you get more bang for your buck by going with a faster processor or more RAM? I'll be running the latest versions of Lr and Photoshop on Catalina.
 
Joined
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The short answer is BOTH.
Lightroom Classic will use up to 6 CPU cores and commandeer the GPU for additional number crunching when appropriate.
I have found that Lightroom performance becomes a non issue when there is at least 16GB of RAM and even better with 32GB I have not seen anyone post/boast with more than 32GB of RAM.
I hope that you opted for the 1TB SSD. 256GB SSD is IMO inadequate and 512GB SSD is marginally sufficient.
 
Joined
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Yes, I did get the 1TB SSD. I plan to keep this iMac for six or more years like I did the previous one, and all the advice I read said that if you plan to do that, you should go for the upgrades offered on the processor, memory and storage.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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The short answer is BOTH.

I hope that you opted for the 1TB SSD. 256GB SSD is IMO inadequate and 512GB SSD is marginally sufficient.
Speaking only as a Windows 10 user, I find that at 5412 GB SSD is adequate for Windows + programs, and "most" data. That data includes the usual email, spreadsheets, etc. plus the Lightroom catalog. I use separate large HDDs for books, photo, video and music storage.

I have read that the latest generation of SSDs gets better performance for 1 TB and larger, compared with the entry-level 512 GB version.

Phil
 

Zenon

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I got mine about 6 weeks ago. Doing some research for budgeting people suggested in this order. You should first get the best processor, then the most memory, and finally the best gpu. I got the basic 8GB of RAM and then purchased another 32GB which I installed myself. I'm going to order another 32 this month .These are my current specs with a 500GB SSD and it flies.
 

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