New user - very slow and wondering what to expect

I am doing a trial of PL6, having used an old version of Lightroom for many years (V5). I bought a new Canon R7 and have to get out of the dark ages with my processing software and liked what I see of PL6 to move away from LR.

I’m using a Surface Pro 7+ with i5 and 8G of RAM. I don’t expect it to be a speed demon, but its acceptable for LR. General usage is going OK and can be a little sluggish at time, but overall its acceptable. What is crazy slow is exporting images. My edits are pretty minimal but have been selecting Deep Prime XD. My first few exports were a single image and took around 5 minutes each. I just exported 5 images and its at 30 minutes and only completed 3 of them. To me, this is unusable. I have used Macs and Windows, so don’t mind going back to a Mac for image processing, but I would expect a lot better on the Surface Pro than this. Is there anything that might be making this worse other than the basic hardware. I am keeping my images on a NAS, but I would only expect that to cause some sluggishness in navigating the folder and initial image load. That is a little sluggish but I expect that. I didn’t think it would take 5-10 minutes per image to export.

PhotoLab’s DeepPRIME XD is a very GPU intensive algorithm. For excellent performance you will want the best video card with as much VRAM as you can afford.

Nope, it’s the lack of a dedicated GPU that is the problem. My desktop PC is a third gen Core i5 processor (also only has 8 GB RAM), so ancient in PC years, yet editing with PL has never been a problem. However, on exporting using DeepPrime and the on-board Intel graphics it would take at least 5 mins to process a file. Now that it has a dedicated graphics card (Nvidia GTX 1050ti) and even though that card is below the min. spec. stated by DxO (GTX 1060), it now exports images in about 30 secs.


As an aside, be aware that PL7 is likely to be released in only a few weeks time, in October and the launch price will be a good discount on the full price. Given that, it will make sense for you to wait for the release of PL7 rather than splashing cash on PL6.

As @bobrocke and @stuck indicated, the AI based DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD require a graphics card with a GPU that Photolab will be able to use to accelerate the processing of those features. Unfortunately your Surface Pro is not up to the task. Below are the Windows hardware specification for running PhotoLab. Many post processing programs today require a good quality graphics card with a powerful GPU to speed up processing for many different features. Photoshop is another example.


Release Notes Version 6.9 for Microsoft® Windows®
Minimum system configuration

• Any CPU supporting SSE 4.1
• 8 GB RAM
• 4 GB available disk space
• Microsoft® Windows® 10 version 20H2 (64-bit, and still supported by Microsoft®)

Recommended system configuration
• Intel® Core™ processor with 6 cores or better, or AMD Ryzen™
• 16 GB RAM
• 6 GB available disk space
• NVIDIA RTX™ 2060, AMD Radeon™ RX 6600 or better with latest drivers
Installation and activation
• We recommend that you install the latest Windows update before installing the software.
• With each update, please be sure to update your GPU’s driver too for the best experience and to avoid any issues.

That is useful information, but it will not help speed up processing of DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD on the Surface Pro.


Thanks for all the info. I was aware that there was no accelerator on the Surface Pro, was just shocked that it was THIS slow. Oh well.

I have been looking at picking up a Mac Mini for my PL work. Will an M1 Mac Mini (or Macbook) provide suitable horsepower?

Thanks for the tip. I was already aware that Black Friday was a good time to purchase and figured if I wanted to roll with PL that I’d just go a month without editing to make it. After looking at the 5 images I did today that took 30 minutes, I am very impressed with how they looked with minimal tweaking.

It can be even slower depending on the machine and the size of the raw files. With a well configured machine and a high end graphics card, processing DeepPRIME XD can takes a little as several seconds. DeepPRIME will process even faster.

I run PhotoLab on an aging 2016 Windows 10 desktop with an i7 processor with 24GB of RAM and the low end Nvidia GTX 1050ti graphics card. That card is about the lowest level card that will support DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD. Processing my 20mp raw files with DeepPRIME takes 15 seconds on average while DeepPRIME XD takes around 34 seconds. When exporting in batches the average time is a couple of seconds faster.


I use a 16GB M1 Mac Mini with PhotoLab 6 as well as a 16GB M1 MacBook Air. The key difference with these is not the GPU but the Apple Neural Engine, which PL uses to great advantage. Most of my images do not need DeepPrime XD, but I routinely use DeepPrime (not XD), and exports typically range from 5 to 15 seconds each. They should go even faster on more recent Macs.

I’m looking at just those 2 choices in the Apple Refrb site. The Mini has 10GBE and my Synology NAS can do that so on the fence of crazy fast NAS access vs portability. I can still use the Surface Pro if I need to be portable but albeit a lot slower.

I also just reran those exports with the lower denoise instead of DeepPrime HD and is about 15 seconds an image. I actually did not see a big difference and the images should not have been that noisy. I liked the look of the images much better than what I get from LR.

I need to decide on a Mini or MacBook Air. Do you get equal PL6 performance from them both?

I just processed the same set of 76 20-megapixel images using DeepPrime (not XD) - the Mini took just under 3.5 seconds per image, and the Air took near enough the same time running when powered and about twice as long when running on battery. Processing time will obviously vary with image size and content. Processing a single image would take longer - PL processes several images in parallel, and this brings the average down over time.

The only other difference I’m aware of affecting performance between the two is cooling - the Mini has a fan, which I never hear, and the Air just slows down, but I never notice it in practice.

The Mini has a HDMI port and can manage two big screens, and Air can only manage one external and one internal.

If you are going for refurbished gear, check the specs. Mini and MBA of the same year usually have identical hardware except for e.g. ventilation or display. I use a M1 MacBook Air from 2020 and have published development times in a few posts.

Sidenote: DeepPrime XD is best used for (highly) cropped images.

I use Mac mini M1 16gb, export time for 20mpx is < 5sec. Photolab very fast to use on this machine, as is Lightroom.

Thanks for the feedback on DeepPrime XD. I was wondering why I’d pick one denoise option over the other.

The images I am testing are from an R7, outdoors, and in good lighting. I was actually surprised that they looked like there was some noise in them so had picked DeepPrime XD, but upon processing them without it they looked fine. I must have been dreaming or something when I was looking at them close when editing. I will do some more testing with it once I get a machine that can do it quickly.

In my experience, I’d say always use DeepPRIME unless you find a reason to use DeepPRIME XD. The latter takes a lot more processing time, as already noted, and can more readily introduce artefacts in out-of-focus areas.

Reasons to use 'XD include heavily cropped images, as already mentioned, and heavy noise in very detailed areas, such as bird feathers.

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I sometime use HQ too.
With low iso and well lighted scene it is still usefull and way faster than AI denoising.

As a rule, I use HQ in most, DeepPrime for high iso and XD in rare cases.

For a while, I used DP as default, but reapplied some grain (needs FilmPack) to make things look like Photos. :wink:

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which build version do you have as test?
it could be something what’s not right,
i experience also some problems sins update. my specs

I don’t think that is my issue. Id did pretty good when I turned off DeepPrimeXD and turned out I didn’t need it.