16 Months Later: Still No Universal App for Apple Silicon

Thank you @StevenL and @Lucas for the info on how DxO is optimising PL for M1 Macs.

I, and I’d imagine others, have read about how Adobe LR and Capture One Pro have been optimised for the M1 chips and their optimisations appear to have encompassed areas wider than just noise reduction.

For example, file import, general rendering, cropping, and exporting being areas mentioned in reviews of the LR and C1P updates following M1 optimisations.

PL is used for many editing processes other than DeepPrime. I use DeepPrine, so the performance enhancement is welcome. But I use it a huge amount more for viewing, cropping, correcting horizons, applying of control points, zooming in to 100% to check focus, and other general editing functions to thousands and thousands of images every year. It is optimisations to these every day functions that are applied to every image that I’d really appreciate PL to be optimised (in any possible way, including M1 chip optimisations) for too.

If the time it takes PL to render a preview could be shortened through optimisations gained from the M1 chip architecture then I would be absolutely over joyed. I cannot over emphasise this enough…


Do you have an estimate for when DxO PhotoLab will be a Universal App?

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Hello @CHPhoto,

It is a bit hard in these articles to know what part of the speed comes from the native version, from the software update or from the different hardware.

As far as I can see there is no comparison of the same software version with and without Rosetta on the same hardware, so to me it rather looks like a mix of several factors that, when combined, look nice for marketing purpose :slight_smile: .

There are opportunities for optimizations specific to Apple Silicon hardware thanks to the Neural Engine or powerful GPU with a large pool of memory. M1 Macs also have faster CPU, faster memory and faster storage. But all of these shouldn’t make a difference between a native or translated application. For now in our tests, native code is about 20-30% faster than translated version. We shall see how this translates at the whole application level.

At the moment I’m not able to tell more about which Apple Silicon specific optimizations we will be able to take advantage of in PhotoLab.


Hi Lucas,

Thank you for another detailed response.

I agree, the articles I linked to do not offer clear performance comparisons of the same hardware with and without M1 optimisated code, that was an excellent point to notice by yourself.

I love PL (I’ve not loved an image editing app this much since the days of using Aperture!) and shall be continuing to use your software for the foreseeable future.

I look forward to experiencing whatever optimisations you are able to extract from current hardware.



I, for one, am ECSTATIC with PL5’s 3x increase in DeepPRIME processing speed. Everything else about PL5 feels perkier, too.

Waiting patiently for some feedback about the “low memory” bug I reported several days ago… It’s still not fixed with update 5.0.1. My M1 Mac mini with 16GB RAM ran out of memory after exporting 520 JPEGs, about the same as before. Activity Monitor showed about 8GB of “compressed” memory, and the app had gobbled up 5.6GB of RAM.

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Why is DXO Photolab 5 still running under Rosetta ?

Probably because everyone is asking the same and the developers keep being distracted so it slows down the actual work of coding for M1 :thinking:


What matters most for performance is export. PhotoLab 5 is optimised on Apple Silicon for export. I have a set of 61 Nikon D810 and D850 files with DeepPrime. Export times on an M1 Mac Mini:

  • PhotoLab 4 32m
  • PhotoLab 5 10m38s

Three times faster is pretty optimised in my opinion. Those are real world results on a real world photo set shot in low light and fully developed. It’s not just throwing DeepPrime on some random images and calling it a test.

The sliders and controls seem to work adequately fast on the M1 Mac Mini. Mac Pro 12 core with Radeon VII does seems a tad more responsive (immediate).

My test mule with 8GB of RAM ran out after about 20 images, albeit D810 and D850 (36MP, 45MP).

DeepPrime is seemingly totally content and even ISO agnostic!
The only thing that matters is how many Megapixels per file and in total needs to be developed and which kind of RAW is used.
So it doesn’t really matter if you throw “random images” at it or not.

However lossless compressed RAWs, like Canon *.CR2 and *.CR3, seems to be a little bit faster than uncompressed RAWs in general.

Well if I am doing 1 export then the UI stutters badly and becomes unresponsive until the export is completed so if I am running a batch of exports the UI is basically unusable.

Not sure what is going on but that seems like some rather basic coding problems.

Export is faster but I don’t see a huge difference with the M1 Max 32GB compared to the M1 Air.

My main complaint is that the UI stalls while running exports. There should be plenty of cores to keep the UI running.


Hi Lucas - if you can just fix the issue with the UI becoming unresponsive while running export jobs that would be a good start. It is really bad having to wait for a batch of exports before you can browse/edit other files.

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I do find that my entire computer (M1 Mac Mini) becomes very unresponsive whilst PL is exporting files. Even some lightweight browsing and replying to emails is frustrating at times (with the type on the screen seriouisly lagging what I’ve typed on the keyboard).

However, this does seem to be a general issue (in my experiene over te years with Aperture, LR, and Exposure X4 & X6) when exporting edits as they all seem to take as much system processing power as they can to export as quickly as possible.

It would be nice if a multi core system could give the user the option to ‘reserve’ a core or two for background tasks whilst the export ustilised all the remaining cores.

However, I am not a software engineer so I have absolutely no idea if that is possible, and if it is then how complex that may be to implement. I’d imagine with these sorts of things, the idea is simple to state, making it is the very hard part…

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It is possible!
The System only has to have enough spare ressources, which all of the M1 should basically have…at least in theory.

My Windows Systems, except maybe a little bit for the Laptop with the Ryzen 5 4500U APU where some minor “stuttering” can be observed, are staying quite to very responsive even with large exports.
The big Zen3 “Workstation” is even behaving mostly as if there is running no export in the background at all.
At least for lighter tasks.

Maybe this has something to do with MacOS or the Emulation?!

I appreciate for many users what matters most performance wise is export speed, but I for one would like a more responsive feel to the editing process too. I feel a lot of my time is spent waiting for the previews to be rendered whenever I apply an edit or zoom into an image. I’d love that to be optimised as much as possible.

On the other hand, export speed is less of a priority for me as often I will leave the machine to export files as I do other things in the office or at home (also slightly forced on me as my computer becomes pretty unresponsive for other tasks once exporting starts). I rarely need to get images exported to a very tight deadline, but I appreciate that for others this is an important necessity.

I guess one of the major challenges with software developpment is balancing the requirements of a lot of users. Many will want faster exporting and others will want other areas to be quicker.

Striking a balance between implementing all of these varying user requests is the wobbly tightrope DxO needs to balance along!


@Savay Hmmm, I just did a quick Google and there has been some news on Mac memory issues causing performance issues very recently.

I enjoy using DxO in my photography hobby to quickly get the most out of my Canon 6D camera. As I’m not a pro, I only upgrade one in a blue moon. I recently got an M1 Max MacBook Pro and it is certainly time for me to upgrade my DxO software as it has been a few years.

That being said, I cannot justify sinking any new money into apps that do not run fully natively on Apple Silicon hardware and instead rely on Rosetta 2. It is very clear that Rosetta 2 support from Apple is only temporary (see the history with the original Rosetta with the PPC-> Intel transition), and I am very concerned about money spent on Intel-only apps being flushed down the drain in a couple OS updates when it is retired.

When DxO PhotoLab has full support for Apple Silicon in the form of an ARM binary, I will happily buy an upgrade. Until then I’ll just have to get by with workarounds.



Did you swap the times by mistake? Is PL5 3x faster or slower than PL4?

I swapped the times by mistake. Fixed.


I’m deciding for an Apple Macbook Pro 14 or 16".

It will replace my desktop (3700X, 32GB DDR4 @3600MHz, RTX 2080 8GB, 1TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD…). I need to save space…

My most demanding task is photo edition of Sony A7R IV files (61Mpx) with DxO PhotoLab.
I use Deep Prime, lens corrections and extensive local corrections, as well as film pack profiles.
I have quite large libraries of photos (main 700~800GB, increasing in size, plus ~2TB of archives), with a lot of files in the same directories (what PL seems not to like at all, with sluggish previews…).

I also do stacking for macros, but this is very occasional.
As well as video editing, but same thing, very occasional.
So DxO PL might be the dimensioning use case!

In my budget, options are:
1# 14" / 8C CPU / 16C GPU / 16GB / 512GB (what will require me to store my main photo library on an external SSD and - if it helps with performances - to copy my working file on the internal storage) - 2249 €
2# 14" / 10C CPU / 14C GPU / 16GB / 512GB (same remark) - 2479 €
3# 14" / 10C CPU / 16C GPU / 16GB / 512GB (same remark) - 2519 €
4# 14" / 8C CPU / 14C GPU / 32GB / 512GB (same remark) - 2709 €
6# 14" / 8C CPU / 14C GPU / 16GB / 1TB (main library on internal storage (until it gets too big…), archives on external SSD) - 2479 €
7# 14" / 10C CPU / 14C GPU / 16GB / 1TB (main library on internal storage (until it gets too big…), archives on external SSD) - 2709 €
8# 14" / 10C CPU / 16C GPU / 16GB / 1TB (main library on internal storage (until it gets too big…), archives on external SSD) - 2749 €
9# 16" / 10C CPU / 16C GPU / 16GB / 1TB (what will require me to store my main photo library on an external SSD and - if it helps with performances - to copy my working file on the internal storage) - 2749 €
Would be complicated to put more money; already a (very) big budget for me.

So a lot of different options…and I’m quite lost regarding which one is the option for my use case with DxO PhotoLab.

Many thanks in advance for your help!


Hi @webzeb

First of all, I suggest you take a look at this video (this guy is amazing).

He has tested different configurations (14" vs 16", 16/32/64GB and so on) on a bunch of typical photo/video workflow (LR, C1,…) and for some scenarios you clearly see that doubling the ram will cut the processing time in half…


I’ll put here some extra info…

DeepPRIME takes full advantage of the Apple Neural Engine. All Macbook Pros do share the same amount of Neural Engine cores (16) and this will ensure, basically, that no matter the model, DeepPRIME will have the same speed across the line.

At the moment, using an M1 Mac with the latest version of PhotoLab, will crunch between 4.5-5Mpx per second, meaning a 61Mpx raw file will need approximately between 15" and 13" to be processed with DP (basically the same score I can achieve on my desktop PC which has an RTX 3070).

About screen size: 14" get busy very quickly. I would only consider this size if extreme portability is what you are looking for. Otherwise, go for the 16".

Storage: there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution, each user has different needs and workflows…but for me 512GB are a bit too low. I would consider the 1TB option if possible.

From there, just add an external NVMe inside a Thunderbolt enclosure, and you’ll get all the extra storage you need for your projects (with all the speed needed, at a fraction of the cost).

Hope this helps.