Speed Issues - Lightroom Hardware Mac

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DaveV

Guest
I have previously posted some questions regarding to speed, but I need some more in depth answers. Heres the thing.

I now know that LR does not use the Graphics Accelerator Card that much, but CS3 does. When having both open, will the extra Graphic Memory say from 128mb - 256mb or even 512mb make a major difference in performance?

Also where would be the best place to keep my catalog and where is the best spot to keep the files I work with. I have a 3rd generation MBP 2.16ghzC2D with 2GB of ram and I have a Lacie FireWire 8'' 25'gb external drive. Would it be better to keep my files on the Lacie and the catalog on the main drive ?

Also would an upgrade from 2gb - 3gb ram make a major difference?

And lastly, I'm buying a second Macbook for my assistent and I'm between a normal Macbook running at 2.4ghz with 4gb of Ram or the MBPro 2.4ghz with 4gb of ram and the 256mb graphic card. If the Graphics card is not going to speed things up why would I buy the MBPro? The only reason I can see is the Firewire 8''. Anything else anyone knows about? This specifically relates to using CS3 and LR together.

Any insight would be highly appreciated.

Regards

Dawie
 

Brad Snyder

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
6,293
Location
Port Deposit, Maryland USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
I'm from a Windows background, so take what I say with a grain of salt, while we're waiting for some of the Mac gurus to show up. :D

In other forums where I participate, I've seen Mac based photo pros say that their maximum performance comes from dual Firewire 8'' drives with the catalog (database and preview cache) on one drive and the source files on the other drive. They don't specifically speak to LR/PS performance, but I know that PS is frequently part of their workflow. (At least prior to LR2).

Can't comment on Video card memory. As you said, I don't think it does anything for LR, don't know about the LR/PS combination. (Speaking speculatively and absolutely lacking empirical evidence, graphics cards are principally about motion and 3D, I can't see it helping much. But as I say, I'm just thinking out loud, don't actually know.)

Victoria has a killer Mac rig, I'm sure she'll have some cogent input, when the sun comes up in her time zone.
 
D

DaveV

Guest
Speed Issues

I posted this thread in the wrong area. Hope you guys might be able to help...

I now know that LR does not use the Graphics Accelerator Card that much, but CS3 does. When having both open, will the extra Graphic Memory say from 128mb - 256mb or even 512mb make a major difference in performance?

Also where would be the best place to keep my catalog and where is the best spot to keep the files I work with. I have a 3rd generation MBP 2.16ghzC2D with 2GB of ram and I have a Lacie FireWire 8'' 25'gb external drive. Would it be better to keep my files on the Lacie and the catalog on the main drive ?

Also would an upgrade from 2gb - 3gb ram make a major difference?

And lastly, I'm buying a second Macbook for my assistent and I'm between a normal Macbook running at 2.4ghz with 4gb of Ram or the MBPro 2.4ghz with 4gb of ram and the 256mb graphic card. If the Graphics card is not going to speed things up why would I buy the MBPro? The only reason I can see is the Firewire 8''. Anything else anyone knows about? This specifically relates to using CS3 and LR together.

Any insight would be highly appreciated.

Regards

Dawie
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,824
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I found it worked best to keep my catalogs on the internal drive, and files on the FW external. Files on the internal is possibly better still, but I ran out of HD space!

Keep an eye on Activity Monitor while you're using Lightroom and see how much of that RAM you're using - I certainly would have put 3gb in my MBP to run Lightroom, except the early ones had a 2gb max.

The MacBook vs. MacBook Pro debate - well, I like the shiny silver..... ;) Isn't there a difference in number of USB ports, external monitor hookup and so forth as well? I've never looked carefully at the MB range so I'm not entirely sure on that one.
 

JohnnyV

Active Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
120
Read this OWC newsletter about the MacBook Pro performace:

http://www.macsales.com/newsletter/'3-31-2''8OWCTipsnDeals.html

Here's a few clips..

Regarding video ram:

"First, the entry level Macbook Pro 15" remains $1999 and is now equipped with a 2.4GHz Processor (was 2.2GHz), 2''GB Hard Drive (was 12'GB), and Superdrive. The video remains Nvidia 86''M GT, but is now with 256MB vs. the prior model's 128MB. Although you don't need the additional VRAM to support the built in or built in + even a 3'" display, the additional VRAM does improve the performance of the video processor. In addition to just raw display, the video processor also gets used for 3D rendering, rotations, etc - since Apple OS X 1'.4.x, Core Video acceleration actually utilizes the the video processor to perform/share task load that used to be done by only the processor. You get benefit for not just games, but also for the heavy lifting in Photoshop and other applications too."

Processor speed:

"The best (speed) spread is with our Photoshop CS3 process test, where 4.'GB installed memory configs still show where the faster 2.6GHz processor does shine bright beating the 2.4GHz version by a solid 13%. Now, in this spread test, I'd expect part of the gain comes also from the larger L2 Cache and the higher amount of VRAM the 2.6GHz model has compared to the 2.4GHz, in addition to processor speeds... As the 2.5GHz shares same amount of L2 and VRAM, it's going to be interesting to see just how much difference there really is with just raw processor speed being the difference. One thing for sure, spending $9' to go to 4.GB of memory is a slam dunk performance booster bargain for any Core 2 Duo Mac."

The end...



I've found that having the image files on an external drive and the LR catalog in the main drive LR runs faster for sure. My next purchase will be a MacBook Pro ( I too was debating about getting just a MacBook) Reasons for the MacBook Pro...larger screen than the regular MacBook, 8'' Firewire, non-glossy screen, Multi-Touch, ExpressCard/34 slot for external eSata hard-drive support (faster than Firewire 8'')...and other reasons that I'm forgetting as the night drags on...

Best,

John V.
 
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