Lightroom 4’s Slow Speed and Performance

I love all of the new image processing functionality in Process 2012 in Lightroom 4. Process 2012 opens up a whole new world of creative possibilities which is what keeps us sticking to Lightroom 4 over Lightroom 3. However, Lightroom 4 unfortunately has some significant problems in regards to optimization and performance. Problems which are causing major slowdowns even on heavy duty machines.

While Adobe has acknowledged these problems to an extent, they are still claiming that these issues are only affecting a small group of users. Unfortunately, that is not what we have found. Here is the current thread on the Adobe Forums regarding this problem.

In our studio, we have installed Lightroom 4 on six different machines, each have workstation specs which include the latest i7 processors, 16GB – 64GB RAM, Dual SSD drives and 1GB+ NVIDIA dedicated video cards. Unfortunately, the problem persists on every machine, especially when using brushes.

So, we ask that if you are having issues as well, please make your voices heard. Comment below in this article, and comment on the adobe forums. We need Adobe to recognize the scope of this problem so they can dedicate the resources needed to solving it.

How to Hack the Lightroom 4 Modules to Boost Performance

This video has been taken straight from the Lightroom 4 Workflow System DVD. In this video, we are going to show you how to hack Lightroom 4s modules so that only the modules you use are actually loaded into the program. This hack will give you a minor boost in speed/performance, which will help out until Adobe resolves the overall issues with Lightroom 4. The video will instruct you on how to perform this hack on Windows machines. For Mac users, watch the video, then do the same thing by following these instructions which were added by Steve Hughes below.

NOTE: Some people have asked whether this is the same from just “unchecking” the modules in Lightroom. Yes, this is very different. Unchecking the modules simply prevents them from showing up on the Module Picker. However, they are still loaded and available from the Window Menu. This hack will prevent the modules from being loaded in the first place and will save a bit of system resources. Because of that, the unwanted modules will not be accessible from the Window Menu, you will need to add the modules back if you need to access them.

MAC USERS Right click on the LR application icon in the applications folder and select ‘ show package contents’. In there you will find a folder called ‘plugins’. Copy any modules that you don’t use into a ‘SAFE’ folder of your choosing, then delete them from the ‘plugins’ folder. You will be asked to authenticate the removal with your admin password as usual. To put them back in reverse the process, authenticating again. It worked for me, good luck. — Steve Hughes

The Lightroom 4 Workflow System DVD

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Article by
Post Production Pye
Managing Editor