“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” — Ansel Adams

Joseph Balson

Lightroom Classic performances

Lately, I was more and more annoyed with bad Lightroom performances, especially in the library mode, when selecting more than 2 photos was a nightmare. Like a lot of people, I blamed my poor cheap hardware and Adobe developers...

I'm using quite outdated hardware: an old Samsung laptop running under Windows 10, Core I7 2.2Ghz, 16GB DDR3 ram, 256GB SSD for the system and 2TB spinning drive for the photos storage, connected to a 4K display. And I tried most if not all the tips and tweaks available on the internet.
I was about to spend money on a new machine, even if that is against my "don't fix it or replace it if it ain't broke" policy. But looking at the prices for a new machine, my thinking was: well, that money would be better invested in a new lens, or a few new lenses, or booking a flight to some nice exotic destination.
I therefore decided, before spending tons of money on hardware, to give a Windows full clean installation a chance. Didn't took long, a couple hours to reinstall Windows, my software (mostly Adobe), and adjust a few settings.
And then, it was night and day. Literally. Like I had a new machine. Lightroom is now perfectly usable, there is no lag, export is fast, developing is fast, and the library behaves perfectly. After a couple hours, it starts lagging a little, then I just restart it, and it's all good again.
The last thing I did is invest a massive 29 bucks in a good laptop cooling pad, and things are even better: the damn machine doesn't throttle anymore!
That laptop was initially running Seven. Over the years, I switched to windows 8, and did all the automated upgrades to windows 10, replaced the HDD with an SSD and the optical drive with another HDD, upgraded the ram, installed and uninstalled many softwares. Turns out my system was a mess.

The conclusion? Before blaming poor components or Adobe, it is really worth giving a clean windows install a chance. I have a hybrid workflow with Lightroom, DxO photolab and Photoshop, and it all runs perfectly smooth now. In a few years, maybe I'll think of buying a new computer, but for now, the money I save will go on photo gear.