Lightroom Still Slow? Another Major Performance Update is Coming

After finally admitting that Lightroom is slow in 2017, Adobe pledged to speed it up and released a big performance update in October 2017. Unfortunately, the updated Lightroom can still be sluggish, even if you spend $6,000 building the ultimate Lightroom editing machine. There’s some great news today, though: Adobe says that another major performance update is on the way.

For the upcoming Lightroom Classic 7.2 update, Adobe partnered with Intel to work on “key performance issues” that cause photographers pain. CPU and memory usage will both be more optimized in Lightroom Classic 7.2.

Once you’ve downloaded 7.2, you should see noticeable speed increases in import and preview generation, walking of images in Loupe View, rendering of adjustments in Develop, batch merge operations of HDR/Panoramas, and exporting.

Adobe did some benchmark tests on heavy-duty Mac and Windows computers and reports that exporting 100 RAW photos was at least 29% faster:

On one machine, exporting 100 RAW files as DNGs took 36 seconds instead of 102s, a time savings of about 65%. Adobe does note that subsequent runs of this export “would take progressively longer on Windows”. But with this update, “Lightroom will not slow down over the course of a long editing session, particularly on Windows machines,” Adobe says.

Note that Adobe did its tests on powerhouse machines with 8+ cores and 32GB+ RAM. DPReview did its own test on a 2-core machine and only found performance gains of 11.3%, so it remains to be seen how much the update will benefit the average photographer’s workflow.

Another caveat is that the upcoming update will be geared toward multi-core machines with large amounts of memory. You’ll need to have at least 12GB of RAM to see any benefits.

“[T]he majority of Lightroom Classic CC users have at least 12GB of RAM, so this release will deliver a significant performance impact for most users,” Adobe says.

“[W]hile we’re really pleased with these performance improvements, we’re far from done,” Adobe tells PetaPixel. “We have more performance optimizations and improvements planned and customers will see those in future releases.”

Adobe has yet to announce the exact date Lightroom Classic CC 7.2 will be released, but the company promises that it’s “coming soon.”