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Lightroom 5 Beta VS Lightroom 4 Speed Comparison Test

By Pye Jirsa on April 16th 2013

Hey everybody!  We have a quick test for you today, now that we’ve had a little bit more time to get Adobe’s Lightroom 5 Beta running smoothly.  Enjoy!

The Results


As you can see, the results are under-whelming to say the least.  Of course Lightroom 5 is still in it’s most preliminary beta phase, so there is still a chance for improvement.  Also, if you watch the video you’ll know that for long-haul editing, it appears that Lightroom 5 Beta does indeed “ramp up” eventually and run faster by utilizing more computer resources.

By the way, we’re performing these tests using SSD hard drives and the latest i7 Intel CPUs, for those of you who are wondering.

Once we’ve had a chance to edit a few entire weddings in Lightroom 5 Beta, I’m sure we’ll publish another report!  For now, it seems to be a solid platform with the potential for faster editing speed, though unfortunately nothing earth-shattering just yet.

Hopefully, the final release of Lightroom 5 will indeed be able to better utilize this generation of computer power.  With CPU’s  hitting 12 virtual cores, and dual-CPU motherboards becoming more common, (not to mention insane graphics cards!) …Adobe has a lot of resources at it’s disposal so there is no excuse for any lag whatsoever in our opinion!  These machines that we’re using are already serving up incredible graphics at high frame rates for our favorite video games; it seems a shame that we feel held back when it comes time to edit a mere 20-4o megabyte RAW file!

Thanks for reading!  Please feel free to leave your comments below with any of your own experiences, or tips…

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Good info

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  2. Basit Zargar

    Great one

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  3. DeMayne Earvin

    Thanks for all the tests. I’d much rather edit images than do these tests.

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  4. Greg Faulkner

    ^What is that all about lol

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  6. affinityseattle

    It’s still not queuing up and processing exports correctly. It’s worse in LR5 because it’s not optimized, but this isn’t encouraging at all (CPU chart flows right to left, first column is single export, 2nd is two simultanious exports, third is 3.

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  7. Kinu Grove

    Would love to see LR use my Nvidia card to speed up processing.

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  8. Seattlebjp

    If I remember correctly the LR4 beta was a lot slower than the final release. It seems rather early to be comparing the two versions.

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  9. Jentry Dryden

    Ugh. I really hope they do make it faster. I tried to love LR 4, but I can’t get past how slow it is, so I’m on LR 3 still.

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  10. David

    LR4.4 Import of 109,590 Images was a little over 2 hours while LR5 Beta took in excess of 10 hours and LR5 Beta only imported 106,000 images. Images comprised mostly of NEF with some RW2, CR2, JPG, TIF, PSD. Win8 64, i7 3rd Gen, 16GB, two internal disks, cache on second disk.

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  11. Alberto Feltrin

    I don’t know how you have done the test but for me lr5 it’s faster than lr4 on a macbook quad core 2.2ghz, 8gb ram and hd 7200rpm, expecially the image to image lag once all the previews have been rendered working with 5DII and X-Pro1 RAWs!

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  12. PaulJay

    DaVinci Resolve can do realtime color correction with 25 fps footage because of GPU CUDA acceleration. Premiere Pro can do multiple realtime video effects because of GPU CUDA acceleration. What is the Lightroom team doing over there at Adobe?

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    • Maarten de Boer

      Many people are asking for GPU acceleration in LR as like in Photoshop but I read earlier statements of Adobe saying that they had no intention of implementing it, I think due that they don’t see the point in it and see Lightroom as a “catalog” application and not as a full-fledged photo editing application or want people to still buy Photoshop.

      Let’s hope they change their minds though, I think it’s one of the only downsides of LR.

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    • Michael Yuen

      I’ve had video crash experiences with Photoshop CS5 when GPU acceleration turned on.

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  13. Jonathon Watkins

    There is still time for speed improvements. As you say, it’s odd that even with very powerful machines LR feels so sluggish. I use Photo Mechanic for my selections and it is *fast*, just blazingly fast. LR doesn’t usage anywhere near the peak processing power available when it’s exporting or doing batch jobs. Adobe please take note.

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  14. Scott Wyden Kivowitz

    I haven’t timed it, but I’m finding LR5 handling my D800 raw files much faster than LR4. Edits are practically instant. No lag like I get in LR4. I run a Mac Pro 8-core with 16G of RAM on a SSD drive, and the library is on a Drobo S through FW800.

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