Lightroom Performance on a new iMac?

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Many thanks for all the previous advice on the thread which I hijacked a bit here: imac 27" fans when in full screen. I thought I should start a new thread.

I took delivery of my new iMac on 9 January with the following specs:

4.2 GHz Quad‑Core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4,5 GHz)
8 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 (now 40GB)
1 TB SSD
Radeon Pro 580 8 GB

I was immediately struck with the fan noise - the fan comes on when I’m using Lightroom even under what I would have thought would be a fairly minor load and (compared to my old PC which had a “quiet” case and was under my desk) the noise is right “in your face”. A few edits with the brush tool, spot removal and cropping and the fan pretty much starts up to order. Is this really that intensive? There is also quite a bit of hesitation and I see the beach ball spinning about as much as I saw its equivalent on my 6 year old PC. That had 16GB RAM. I have this afternoon installed the additional 32GB Crucial RAM I received this morning for a total of 40GB RAM - all recognised in the “About this MAC” memory tab - and it’s no better.

I am really not happy with this and I’m not sure where I go next. I seem to have a few options:

1) Live with it.
2) Live with it and stop using Lightroom if that's the problem (not ideal as I’m somewhat tied into it).
3) Return the iMac and buy a base model iMac Pro and risk similar heat/noise problems - has anyone seen a genuine user review of the iMac Pro rather than the prelaunch previews?
4) Return the iMac and try and find a suitable PC - my previous one was built to order but had extensive teething problems which I prefer to avoid although it eventually got sorted, largely by me. I'm not up to building one from scratch myself so I guess it’s a Dell off the shelf …

Grateful any learned thoughts. This is all quite painful (and expensive)!
 
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Thanks for the speedy reply Rikk. No I haven't tried to reinstall yet. As a new Mac person, I see there's an uninstall programme. Is there anything else I should get rid of at the same time like the previews file? Is there a preferences file too? I'd like to get the reinstall as "clean" as possible.
 
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The Preferences File survives an uninstall/reinstall. Normally, with this type of symptom, I recommend keeping it intact until after you compare the speed before and after. You can always reset the preferences after the uninstall/reinstall. Preference files issues tend to display as weird behavior - not as speed traps.
 
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Thanks Rikk, too late unfortunately! I did a reinstall this morning and trashed the previews file (renamed it) and the preferences. I then discovered that I was missing about 4000 images. I guess I had not spotted this during the prior move from PC to iMac as the previews were in place. I have since gone through and reconnected virtually all of them but when comparing the Catalog All Photographs count against the Folders total count there is a difference of about 60 images which I can't account for. Any ideas please? Sorting this mess out has taken me most of the day so I am yet to do any meaningful work with LR to see if the reinstall has helped.
 
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You likely have some stacks collapsed. Try expanding all stacks.

To easily search for missing images, there's a menu option: Library->Find All Missing Photos. It populates a special collection in the Catalog panel. That panel isn't dynamic--reconnecting a photo doesn't automatically remove it from the collection. You have to reissue the command to get a current idea of what's still missing.
 
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I just did a little experiment. Even with a missing photo, my All Photographs total and my top-level Folder total match. Having the missing image in a collapsed stack doesn't change that. My guess is that you've got one or more folders that aren't under your top-level folder.

What is your All Photographs total? And what is the folders total? In particular, which is the larger number?
 

Richard Hale

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stevevp, I have an iMac with less processing power (4 GHz Intel quad core i7, 32 GB memory, AMD Radeon R9 M390 2048 MB, 3 Tb Fusion drive and my LR catalog on an external 2 Tb flash) which I purchased through the Apple Store refurbished site about a year and a half ago. I will tell you I am not experiencing the fan issue you (or the many people on the previous thread) mention. I am running current versions of LR and Photoshop (CC...the subscription version). I do occasionally hear the fan come on (and the machine can lag for a moment) when I am working quickly and modifying a lot of pixels on the full screen in the Develop module, but it subsides quickly and is not loud. No beach balling. Anyone: Why would newer machines with more power and capacity run slower and need the fan? As I say, I'm running the current software so I do not think this is an Adobe issue. One last thought, though I doubt this has much impact on processor temperature: My iMac is used in a fairly cool environment, 60-65 deg (F).
 
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I just did a little experiment. Even with a missing photo, my All Photographs total and my top-level Folder total match. Having the missing image in a collapsed stack doesn't change that. My guess is that you've got one or more folders that aren't under your top-level folder.

What is your All Photographs total? And what is the folders total? In particular, which is the larger number?
Hal,
Many thanks for your reply. My Catalog shows 9876 images. My Folders has 9810 images. The Library/Missing Photos comes up with 10 missing photos (which are greyed out, no preview). I am fairly certain they are all just ad hoc edits and the originals might have been deleted. The remaining 56 missing images are a mystery to me. When I browse the full Catalog grid I only have the 10 missing images.
 
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stevevp, I have an iMac with less processing power (4 GHz Intel quad core i7, 32 GB memory, AMD Radeon R9 M390 2048 MB, 3 Tb Fusion drive and my LR catalog on an external 2 Tb flash) which I purchased through the Apple Store refurbished site about a year and a half ago. I will tell you I am not experiencing the fan issue you (or the many people on the previous thread) mention. I am running current versions of LR and Photoshop (CC...the subscription version). I do occasionally hear the fan come on (and the machine can lag for a moment) when I am working quickly and modifying a lot of pixels on the full screen in the Develop module, but it subsides quickly and is not loud. No beach balling. Anyone: Why would newer machines with more power and capacity run slower and need the fan? As I say, I'm running the current software so I do not think this is an Adobe issue. One last thought, though I doubt this has much impact on processor temperature: My iMac is used in a fairly cool environment, 60-65 deg (F).
Richard,
Many thanks for your reply. On why newer machines with more power and capacity run slower and need the fan, I think the problem with the noise/fan is possibly that the 4.2GB i7 processor is just too fast and hot for the case. That said, I went in to my local Apple store this morning to have a word before possibly returning the iMac on Monday. They said it should not be noisy and I have a support call booked later this afternoon hopefully to run some diagnostics. My study/office is probably a bit warmer than yours at 70F. I'm not sure why LR should run slower. In fact I'm not sure it is slower than my old PC but it's certainly not blistering fast and it does bog down more than I expected and things are possibly a bit better since the reinstall. I'll see what Apple say later this afternoon.
 
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There are evidently one or more folders with imported images that aren't showing up to have their images counted. How do you arrive at the 9810 number of images in folders?

If your CPU is indeed overheating, even with the fans on full, that could indeed slow LR down. When a processor gets too hot, it slows down in self-defense. I'll be interested to hear what Apple has to say.
 
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Hal,
The number of images is taken from here:
Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 16.32.57.png

I had the support call from Apple earlier. It was inconclusive although the support person agreed with the Apple Store that it shouldn't be noisy. There was no fault found during a hardware test but they did not perform a stress test as I thought they might. I am left with 3 options: 1) return for a refund (it's still inside the 14 day period); 2) reinstall the OS and see if that helps; 3) return to the store and see what they can do. I am currently minded to return the iMac to the store for them to have a look at with the proviso that I can still get a refund if I'm not happy. The iMac Pro is a very expensive alternative. Otherwise, it's a refund on Monday.

This is all a nuisance. I have been gradually adopting a Mac system (phone, iPad, rMBP) and would prefer not to buy another PC. If this iMac goes back I will have to decide whether to do a straight swap or go for a reduced spec to see if that is quieter. I have read elsewhere that an i5 3.5GHz might be a sweet spot but it seems a backwards move from what I have. Otherwise I need to start pricing up that Dell - and don't really know where to start!
 
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Dunno. It's strange. LR should show those 66 photos as being somewhere. Could you show a screenshot of the entire Folders panel with the Pictures folder closed?
 
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Hi Hal,
I think that's nailed it - see pic. I have 57 imported Lightroom Web images. These are held in a Mobile Downloads.lrdata folder. I'm not sure if this is correct or not. The F folder is from my old PC and no longer exists. I don't see a way to remove it but I guess it doesn't matter.
Thanks for you help with this.

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 10.42.42.png
 
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The F folder is from my old PC and no longer exists. I don't see a way to remove it but I guess it doesn't matter.
If you right-click on each of the sub-folders under the F drive, and select Remove, when the last one disappears so should the F Drive entry.
 
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Just a quick update for anyone interested. I took the iMac back to my local Apple Store on Tuesday. The technical staff on the Genius Bar reckon the fan noise is normal. For various reasons I decided to stick with it and see how it goes. The noise is certainly very annoying at times. Lightroom still occasionally grinds to an unusable halt eg using the transform tool, cropping, spot removal etc and then runs fine. I've no idea what the problem is. Whilst it makes me want to move away from Lightroom I have invested too much time and too many grey cells getting this far! Hopefully Adobe will continue to look at the speed issues.
 

jms969

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My iMac does the same thing when running LR. I actually have a small external fan aimed at the back of my iMac that I use when running LR. Part of the problem with LR is the way it uses your computer's modern resources (or in actuality doesn't use your computers resources). There is an interesting article on PetaPixel entitled "This Guy Built an Ultimate Lightroom Battlestation for $6,000", in essence the guy built a modern dedicated PC to speed-up LR. While it helped some the speed increases were not earth shattering.

Here is a quote of his “The machine is definitely an improvement but not a night-and-day kind of difference. For that to happen, the software just needs to become much more efficient with resources.”

Above I mentioned that my iMac HAD this problem as well. The fix was really very easy. I purchased the last perpetual version of LR 6.14 to support my legacy images that were edited in LR and then demoed A LOT of of other raw editors.

So now my everyday raw editor is Capture 1 Pro (DarkTable was a close second). C1P is fast, takes advantage of modern computer hardware, and is very powerful.

In all respect to Adobe, they have rewritten LR Classic CC, it is now LR CC. But LR CC is aimed at a totally different demographic (the smartphone user). Apparently, in Adobe's business model there is very little room for the traditional photographer. Of course it is their business and they are entitled to run it as they see fit. However, I think they are going to continue to drive users like me to the competition...

PS. For me Affinity Photos replaced PS...
 
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Thanks for your advice. I am going to plug away for now. I will be interested to try the new DxO offering once they incorporate the Nik collection (assuming they will). I do need to demo some other editors but I have such a vast backlog of images to process it's all a question of time. I downloaded the iPad version of Affinity about a month a go and still haven't opened it!
 

jms969

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Thanks for your advice. I am going to plug away for now. I will be interested to try the new DxO offering once they incorporate the Nik collection (assuming they will). I do need to demo some other editors but I have such a vast backlog of images to process it's all a question of time. I downloaded the iPad version of Affinity about a month a go and still haven't opened it!
That was just my experience (the same as yours). DxO with Nik will be very interesting indeed...

You can trial Affinity Photo for free: Following is the US link, I'm sure there is a similar UK link.

Affinity Photo - Professional image editing software

I have no affiliation with Serif
 
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