Computer question

Does PL2 use the main cpu when it process nef files or the gpu processor?

I have configured my Win 10, i7 3rd generation, ssd, laptop to use the gpu in preference to the cpu and all is good but it would be nice if it was a bit zippier.

I can’t really upgrade the laptop hardware but I am thinking of upgrading a tower pc I have stored away to a modern spec.

Should i go for an i9 processor and a basic graphics card or an i5 with a fancier graphics card?

Where should I really put the money?

This will be a pc for pl2 or pl4 only.

Thanks for any advice

DxO writes about system requirements here.

If you check out the page, you’ll find that it does not help much. Some operations use the GPU if it is the right kind and some of the information has been mentioned in posts across this forum. Maybe you can gather the wanted info searching the forum.


I was sort of assuming DxO was not utilising the GPU as much as some other programs do.

My system is much better than the system that’s state as a minimum, but I think it could/should be faster. I would like it to be faster.

Windows 10 Professional 64 bit (1903),

i7-3740QM 2.7 GHz quad core,


Nvidia GeForce GTX670M


Maybe I need to get an i9 processor in my new PC then, if it’s what is doing most of the number crunching and just a reasonable graphics card.

Thanks for the feedback

In my own case, I’m not convinced upgrading hardware will make much of a difference. The software and its dependencies need to advance. Still, a few questions might help: What in PhotoLab would you like to see work faster? Knowing exactly what isn’t running smoothly enough would help DxO and others give a useful answer. Do you use the SSD for OS, DxO software, and photo library? Is your RAM dual-channel and high-bandwidth? What do you see happening when you run Windows Task Manager or Resource Monitor?

@Mabel @platypus

As noted from the requirements link that platypus posted they are the (bare) minimum and if the GPU is having to ‘work harder’ in processing your files it is IMO wrong to assume that the fact that your GTX670M with its 1.5GB of VRAM represents “better” than the minimum 1GB is expecting a lot! (I would welcome DxO being more detailed about the possible benefits of using a faster & higher VRAM GPU )

My homebuilt desktop PC is also W10 Pro 64bit
i5 - 760 2.93Ghz quad core
16GB of RAM
GTX1050Ti 4GB video card

Is very close on spec to your laptop with the exception of the larger GPU VRAM by a substantial amount.

So, I also use Topaz AI software and they say this of their Hardware Requirements…which I upgraded my GPU to improve my PC performance ~ and it did make a difference! NB please read what they say in the notes about slowness!!!

HTH :slight_smile:

Topaz AI software ~ Hardware Requirements for cross reference purposes here.


Intel AMD
Minimum Intel i5 or equivalent (3.0GHz and above) Ryzen 5 or equivalent (3.0GHz and above)
Recommended Intel i7 or greater (4GHz and above) Ryzen 7 or greater (4GHz and above)

A note on openVINO : Topaz Labs apps support Intel’s openVINO toolset for high-speed CPU-based rendering. If you are currently using an Intel CPU, you can enable openVINO in the Preferences menu of any of our apps.

GPU/Graphics Card

Nvidia AMD
Minimum 2GB of dedicated VRAM (GT 740 or greater) 2GB of dedicated VRAM (Radeon 5870 or greater)
Recommended 4GB of dedicated VRAM (GTX 970 or greater) 4GB of dedicated VRAM (Radeon RX 460 or greater)
Optimal 8GB of dedicated VRAM (GTX 1080 or greater) 8GB of dedicated VRAM (Radeon RX 580 or greater)
  • Minimum: Requirements for application to function, users should expect slow performance, large files may cause crashing
  • Recommended: Users should experience no performance issues, though slowness may occur with large files
  • Optimal: Users should not experience any performance issues

It is my personal experience that a newer generation i5,7, or 9 will be very adequate for processing, and having a moderate GPU may be helpful one day… My system is a 4 year old i5 with 8 GB ram and SSDs , I am comfortable with its performance, however, this is a subjective matter. The GPU utilization is not used by MOST photo-processing programs in their current iterations however they all promise to use them in the future.


Just to be clear, I don’t have a problem with my 8-year-old, i7 laptop. As such.

I would like it to be a bit nippier, but it’s not too slow to stop me working on it.
Nikon ViewNX-i is very painful to use.

PL2 only takes a few seconds for the image to be ready - see timings below.

I now edit 60 MByte files (from a Nikon D850 NEF 8256 x 5504)
rather than 12 MByte files (from a Nikon D300)

So obviously more data = more processing required.
and a bit slower.

I was just thinking as I was sitting in my garden, drinking a beer,
photographing the birds then editing them on my laptop,
that maybe i can resurrect the old tower PC under the stairs that is gathering dust.

just so that the editing is a bit faster.

I can get the bits ordered without leaving the lockdown.

I really wanted to know where best to put my money, component wise.

Having looked at the performance graphs in task manager,
I don’t see my graphics card maxing out at all,
I haven’t seen it over 30%

the main CPU maxes out quite a lot, when exporting,
when zooming (for a second or so).

So, it would seem that PL2 is using more of the CPU
to do its work rather than off-loading to the GPU.

that’s what i really needed to know, i guess.

i assumed, that windows 10 would decide what does what,
but it appears that the application has a part in it to.
I understand a bit better now! A bit!!

just out of curiosity i did some timings on my laptop,
would the following timings be slow by comparison to other people’s systems.

editing a 60 MB 8256 x 5504 NEF file on an HD screen 1920 x 1080

start-up to being able to edit is about 12 seconds
but this is a one-off thing.

Export (prime noise reduction) 1’53"

Export (HQ noise reduction) 23"

move to new image (in the film strip) and complete 4"
rendering (circles stop spinning in bottom right of screen)
(I can see the image immediately but it has not finished
rendering/applying lens distortion etc. completely)

zoom from fit screen (15%) to 1:1 to complete rendering 3"

move (pan) around an image at 100% to complete rendering 2"
so hold the image at the bottom left corner and move to the top right
bringing a new full part of the image into view

the price of i9 are eye-watering. Then there’s a new motherboard, memory…
the m.2 ssd look intersting - this is new to me.