DXO PhotoLab 6 running impossibly slowly on MacBook Pro

Testing PhotoLab 6 on my relatively new MacBook Pro.
Processor: 2 Ghz quad-core Intel Core i5.
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 1536MB.
Memory: 16GB.
macOS Ventura 13.4.1
(6-month old laptop)

DXO PL6 ran fine for 5-6 days, but now it takes minutes to switch from one photo to another or to switch from PhotoLibrary to Customize. It will occasionally run normal-ish, but not for more than two or three photo edits.

What suggestions do you have to diagnose and treat this? It seems like my laptop is sufficient. Is there a gremlin or bug in my software or possibly on my machine?

Not an solution to your issue, but Apple discontinued Intel based laptops in December 2021, so I’m curious why you say your laptop is only 6 months old, they haven’t been produced for 20+ months.

I can see how a MacBook Pro could be only six months old that hadn’t been sold since 2021: it was purchased on closeout after being discontinued. Still this does make it a MacBook Pro that’s at least a couple years old at least in terms of models, which is what really counts.

Nonetheless PL6 should be doing better than this. People will complain about slow performance doing, specifically, noise reduction; then an upgraded video card may help, but this is much more general slow performance issue that I don’t think should occur on even a 2-4 year old MacBook Pro model like this one.

One thing to take a look at: what other apps are running in the background? One good way to see this is to click the Apple logo in the upper left and choose Force Quit. You can try closing out from there, say, half the apps running, or even all of them except PL6, and see if that makes any difference in your issue. If it does, add them back, one at a time to find the resource hog. Note that newer Apples aren’t as prone to this issue as Windows PCs but still, I’d check it. I found on my Windows PC using Adobe Lightroom Classic, that having my password manager running even only in the background from startup would cause problems like you’re reporting; it doesn’t cause an issue with PL6, but it does with LRC. If I not just close the password manager but exit out of it from Systray or Task Manager, similar to force quit in iOS terms, Lightroom runs fine. It can be one small app like that which is not playing well with PL6.

If that doesn’t help, the other thing I would try is uninstalling (from Finder > Applications) PL6, then download a new copy and reinstall it. This doesn’t count as an extra activation. Sometimes an app just gets borked and needs a fresh start.

You seem to be saying that it was performing fine and then it suddenly deteriorated. In that case, something must have changed. What was it - a new application installed or now running, running out of memory or SSD storage, much larger photos, are you now running it unplugged rather than plugged into the mains…? Are any other applications running slowly, or just PL6?

If you are now running it unplugged, go to System Settings (cog icon) and check the Battery Health and Energy Mode. Try changing the Energy Mode settings for On Battery and On Power Adaptor.

First shot, as you have probably tried already, is to shut down including a power off - not just a restart. Run the Activity Monitor to see how much GPU, CPU and memory the system is using. Is PL6 consuming the most, or is it something else? If it is something else, then close it.

If you have lots of tabs open in Safari, close them. Then close all the open applications.

Check how full your SSD is. If it is really crammed, then the system may be unable to swap tasks into and our of memory. Delete items from the bin and other locations if necessary.

Make sure that MacOS is up to date. Are you running any third party apps such as Clean My Mac? This application has a reputation (fairly or unfairly) for introducing vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malware.

I hope that helps.

Thanks. Have checked off most of these actions including:

  • Hard restart of the laptop.
  • Uninstall PL6 and reinstall.
  • MacOS is current.
  • Checked hard drive (3.5T available on a 5T drive)
  • Laptop is plugged in.
  • Activity monitor - PL6 eats .5GB to 4.8GB of RAM. So that seems like a lot. Dropped other RAM eaters (I think) but it still runs VERY slowly.)

I do have some backups running in the background, a relatively new action (i.e. Time Machine). Is that a potential culprit?

Thanks for your help so far.


P.S. As to the machine age: yes, it was clearly a unit purchased at the end of the model run, but should it be that much of a mismatch with PL6?

I would be surprised if the model of MacBook is the problem. I am running PL5 on a 2013 model desktop Mac and most of the time it is fine. You are having trouble with basic tasks, which should be quick.

It is good that you have tried all those diagnostics, but disappointing that none of them fixed it. Using 4.8GB of RAM should be OK, provided that you don’t have other processes that are using enough memory to take you over your 16GB. Even then, MacOs is supposed to be good at swapping processes into and out of real memory.

Time machine is designed to run in the background, so it should be at a lower priority than PL6. You could always eject your Time Machine disk in Finder and then unplug it to see if that makes a difference.

I would have a look at the CPU tab in Activity Monitor. You can click on the headers to sort processes in a particular order. Check the CPU utilisation to see which processes are consuming the most. On my desktop Mac, Microsoft Teams is consuming 13% of CPU even though I am not using it. On my MacBook, Mail was using 23% but only during its initial mail replication. Then click on %GPU to sort the GPU utilisation by process.

I hope that helps.