Tag Archives: performance

Do I Need A Powerful Video Card for Lightroom Classic CC?

[This article was originally posted in April of 2015. As of January 2019, this advice still holds true. For example, I have an Nvidia GTX 1070 video card. While editing hundreds of images in Develop module over nearly 1.5 hours, I could not get the GPU usage to go much higher than 10%. If you’re building a computer, and you’re wondering if you should spend big bucks on your video card for Lightroom, as of this update, my advice is still “no.” (If you’re a gamer, spend the money, but understand it’s not LR that will benefit from it.) It’s conceivable that Adobe adds some feature in the future that will really leverage a big GPU, but at this stage it’s a gamble to spend big money on the hope that this happens.]



The work Lightroom is doing just isn’t that hard.  Any relatively recent solution will work great.  There is no difference between using Lightroom with GPU acceleration on my desktop which has a monstrous discrete nVidia gaming card, versus using it on my Late 2013 Retina Macbook Pro, which only has integrated Intel Iris graphics.

While the Intel Iris graphics is remarkable considering it’s an integrated solution, it’s still light years from the power provided by my big gaming card (benchmark comparisons show my nVidia card outpowers my Intel Iris graphics by anywhere from 10x to 50x.)  And in spite of that, in Lightroom, both provide identical user experiences.

This is not a comment like “one is faster, but not by much.”  This is a definite, “there’s no difference, don’t waste your money.” Continue reading Do I Need A Powerful Video Card for Lightroom Classic CC?

What Does the X-Speed Mean?

SD cards and CF cards.  They all have performance limits.  Thankfully there seems to be a trend toward actual MBps (megabyte per second) ratings, but a lot of older and some newer memory cards use the X (ex or by) rating to indicate speed.

But 266x What?

266 * 150KBps = 39900KBps / 10 = 39.9MBps (rounded to 40 by most manufacturers) means you have a 40 megabyte per second memory card.

WTF? Why 150KBps??

CDs were born for music.  Your music CD player reads data off the disc at the rate of 150KBps (at least, it did before you put it out in the garage to gather dust.)  The very first CD drives in computers also read discs at this same rate.  When advancements started producing higher performance, that performance was indicated by manufacturers as some multiple of the base speed of 150KBps.  A 2x CD drive (yeah, I actually had one) was a blazing-fast 300KBps device.  The ex or by moniker was born.  A 40x CD drive therefore had a peak speed of 6000KBps, or 6MBps.  (Don’t laugh – we thought they were awesome.)

Most memory cards indicate the speed at which they can read data.  With few exceptions, cards can be read-from faster than they can be written-to.  The read speed and write speed are asynchronous (not the same.)  Sometimes this difference is significant, so do your homework if the write performance is important.

133x = 20MB/s

400x = 60MB/s

600x = 90MB/s

Continue reading What Does the X-Speed Mean?