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Author Topic: Memory used in Lightroom?  (Read 5641 times)
Mike Guilbault
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« on: February 19, 2012, 10:38:55 PM »
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Does anyone know how much RAM Lightroom can use/access?  I have 4Gb now but considering upgrading to 8 or 16.

Thoughts?
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 10:50:33 PM »
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It all depends...are you running a 64-bit OS? If yes, then yes, LR can use more than 3GIG limit of a 32-bit OS. But LR's choke points are not so easy to determine...(same deal with Photoshop–but ram always factors in large).

Here are three main factors in LR performance; CPU speed and # of cores (faster/more cores is better), RAM and disk speed. You really can't bump up one while ignoring the others...but 4 GIGs for any sort of digital imaging is really small. 8GIGs minimum, and if you spend a lot of time with LR and Photoshop open at once, then 16 or 32GIGs...

So, yes, the odds are you want more ram...but it depends on what you are doing and your OS.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 01:50:01 AM »
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Just to repeat the obvious, you won't need more than 4GB with a 32 bits system - and moreover, under XP, I did never see LR take more than 500 or 700MB memory with 6MP and 12MP files.

From what I heard (system upgrade planned for soon...), LR4 AND a 64 bit OS may result in a different RAM usage scheme, even with those "small" raw files.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 08:00:14 AM »
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I'm using a MacPro (early 2008) Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors with the mentioned 4GB of RAM running on the latest OS, Lion.  Guess I'm going to have to go to at least 16 since I use it constantly.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 08:11:44 AM »
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I think you will see some performance improvement, but I found no "hard data" for 8 vs. 16 GByte (or more):
http://www.computer-darkroom.com/blog/will-an-ssd-improve-adobe-lightroom-performance/

Ciao, Walter
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 08:59:43 AM »
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Have you ever used OS X's Activity Monitor App ( found in Utilities) to see how busy your machine is? On the whole , having more RAM available is better than not having enough.
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Ellis Vener
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David Eichler
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 12:12:59 PM »
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Now that Adobe have finally fixed the memory usage issue with Lightroom 3, I get by okay with 8GB of RAM in a 2.5 year old iMac, processing full-size RAW files from a Canon 5d Mark II, and I routinely do fairly high-volume, fast-turnaround work and get by okay with this. I am normally working with Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5 open at the same time, and I am using both heavily. While I occasionally bump up against the RAM limit, it is really a faster processor (and maybe hard drive) that I think would be most useful to me, especially for faster exporting of large numbers of files. However, I am usually doing no more than a moderate amount of layering in Photoshop. Perhaps with heavy layering, things might bog down more, but that is really not something I would be doing for high-volume work.

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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 01:17:19 PM »
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Dave if you are running OS X 10.6.x are you also in 64-bit kernal mode?
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Ellis Vener
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2012, 02:25:43 PM »
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I'll run the Activity Monitor over the next few days and see what it tells me.  I forgot it was there.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 03:34:25 AM »
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Dave if you are running OS X 10.6.x are you also in 64-bit kernal mode?

Yes.
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Cathy Summers
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 08:28:07 AM »
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I have a similar machine (2.66 Quad Core), and found the upgrade from 16 (4x4GB) to 24 (3x8GB) was well worth the price of the memory from OWC.  I am in pain whenever I'm on the road and using my MBP with 6GB, which had been a great upgrade from a faster CPU but 4GB limited XP machine.  With 24GB versus 16GB, my paging activity has gone down quite a bit as well even if I'm working with both LR and Photoshop CS5 open at the same time.
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 12:39:04 PM »
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I have a PC - Windows 7 64 bit

I had 6 gb and LR was bogging down when working with 4x5 scans (200mb+ files).  I was maxing out my RAM according to the Windows performance monitor.  I upgraded to 12 gb and noticed an improvement.  Most I've ever seen used in the performance monitor was 9gb.  Not sure why it doesnt use all 12gb


just food for thought.  i figure ram is cheap so get as much as you can - but know that there are certainly diminishing returns
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Schewe
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 12:52:09 PM »
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I'll run the Activity Monitor over the next few days and see what it tells me.

The key is to run whatever apps you normally run and watch the System Memory and see if you ever drop below 1 gig for free ram. You can also keep track of your page in/outs. The advantage to increasing your ram is that even if LR and Photoshop aren't grabbing all of it, the system will use ram and do caching in ram. One thing to ask is how often do your see the spinning beach ball? Seeing it a lot is a symptom of a ram starved OS and indicates a lot of paging going on. You see this more often when the free ram drops below 100MB. Writing to the page file on disk is a lot LOT slower than keeping everything in ram.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 01:27:12 PM »
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+1

You could also have an SSD for system, swap and scratchfiles, that also helps.

I have 16 GByte RAM and 240GB SSD and I am quite happy.

Best regards
Erik



I have a PC - Windows 7 64 bit

I had 6 gb and LR was bogging down when working with 4x5 scans (200mb+ files).  I was maxing out my RAM according to the Windows performance monitor.  I upgraded to 12 gb and noticed an improvement.  Most I've ever seen used in the performance monitor was 9gb.  Not sure why it doesnt use all 12gb


just food for thought.  i figure ram is cheap so get as much as you can - but know that there are certainly diminishing returns
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 09:17:30 PM »
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The key is to run whatever apps you normally run and watch the System Memory and see if you ever drop below 1 gig for free ram. You can also keep track of your page in/outs. The advantage to increasing your ram is that even if LR and Photoshop aren't grabbing all of it, the system will use ram and do caching in ram. One thing to ask is how often do your see the spinning beach ball? Seeing it a lot is a symptom of a ram starved OS and indicates a lot of paging going on. You see this more often when the free ram drops below 100MB. Writing to the page file on disk is a lot LOT slower than keeping everything in ram.

That's exactly what is happening Jeff... spinning beach balls and the green 'available' section of the pie chart memory tracker is virtually non-existent. I noticed it dipping to below 1 GB several times - sometimes as low as 50mb or less!  And that was only with LR and PS.  Seems that LR4 also uses more memory and is when the spinning beach ball happens even more frequently and crashes the program.

I'm going to try for 16GB but may have to do it in two 8GB stages.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2012, 09:25:07 PM »
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That's exactly what is happening Jeff... spinning beach balls and the green 'available' section of the pie chart memory tracker is virtually non-existent.

Yep...that's a sure sign of OS ram starving...you need more ram.

I'm running with 32 gigs in a Mac Pro and to tell you the truth, I could benefit to up the ram to 64gigs...particularly when I'm doing panos from the IQ 180 in 16 bit...

If you are gonna do a ram jump, consider it carefully. I would have to waste out all my current ram to upgrade to 64 gigs...which of course is why I haven't done it yet.

My previous system had 16 gigs, which at the time was huge, now, not so much.

So, you need to think this out on your system and decide the most logical jump...that will last for a while and proved a good ROI.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2012, 10:37:31 PM »
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Well, I've ordered 4x 4GB modules, which along with the 4x 1GB modules I already have will give me 20GB.  If I need to go further, I can get rid of the 4x 1GB modules and put in 4 more 4GBs for 32.  Before that happens, I hope, I'd probably just purchase a new MacPro and start building my system over again.  It's coming up to 4 years old and if I can squeeze another year or two out of it I'll be happy.  But... I am looking at the D800! Wink
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2012, 08:37:21 PM »
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UPDATE:  I installed the 16GB or RAM and my machine runs smoothly again!  LR4 works great - no spinning pizzas - and I haven't had a crash since upgrading.  What a relief!
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2012, 09:17:17 PM »
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UPDATE:  I installed the 16GB or RAM and my machine runs smoothly again!  LR4 works great - no spinning pizzas - and I haven't had a crash since upgrading.  What a relief!

Next thing to look at is speeding up your HDs...
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2012, 12:11:34 AM »
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Hi,

Nice to hear that you are happy!

Best regards
Erik

UPDATE:  I installed the 16GB or RAM and my machine runs smoothly again!  LR4 works great - no spinning pizzas - and I haven't had a crash since upgrading.  What a relief!
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