diglloyd Mac Performance Guide

The Speed You Need

Mac Pro Westmere RAW-file Import with Adobe Lightroom 3

Last updated September 05, 2010 - Send Feedback

See test machine configuration.

This is Import with max quality 1:1 previews.

Apple Mac Pro performance with Lightroom    Apple Mac Pro performance with Lightroom Apple Mac Pro performance with Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom 3.0 Import (Camera RAW 6.1/6.2)

Lightroom performs very well in absolute terms, but note that at 3.33Ghz, the difference between the 4-core and 6-core models is only 11%—not the 50% one would hope for.

I couldn’t believe that Lightroom would not benefit from 12 cores, so I ran and re-ran the test only to be sorely disappointed. Is there a hard-coded limit on cores, or a bug? And why does the 8-core 2.93GHz model beat the new faster models?

I observed similar results exporting TIF files.

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RAW-file Processing Speed — Import

Lightroom 3 does a very good job on a 4-core or 6-core machine, but a lot of CPU cores remain idle on a 12-core machine. Only about half of the 12 cores on a 12-core system are used.

CPU Core usage with Mac Pro RAW file conversion software
CPU core usage with Lightroom 3 during import
2010 Mac Pro 12-core @ 3.33GHz

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