Photolab use of GPU under Macos

I note that on my Macbook, there’s no option as to specifying the usage of the GPU, whereas under Windows there is. Does this mean that photolab always uses the GPU or never uses it under macos?
I’m asking because I’m considering a move to Mac hardware for my image processing, specifically the Mac mini, which does not have a discrete GPU. The integrated GPU is not particularly powerful, and I guess if photolab used it by default it would slow things down. On Windows if I check the box for GPU usage photolab kindly informs me that “Your CPU is faster than your Graphics card”, So I don’t use it.
I was going to go for the i7 12 thread 4.6 Ghz Mac mini, which I assumed would be ample for Photolab, however if the GPU is used by default maybe it won’t be…

This has been discussed before and to be honest, I can’t remember the answer. All I will say is that on my machine, activity monitor suggests the GPU isn’t being used.

GPU is used both on Windows and macOS to display the processed image, but that’s a rather light work.

The GPU option on Windows is used only to accelerate a few algorithms: demosaicing and HQ denoising. It is based on a technology that is deprecated and unreliable on macOS, that’s why it’s not used there.

So indeed most of the work in PhotoLab Mac is done by the CPU.

However, without giving too much details, I can tell that a discrete (internal or external) GPU is going to make a significant difference in PhotoLab 4.

1 Like

Dear @Lucas,

I’m also before the decision to move to Mac like @jeffholdgate wrote. I know it’s difficult to give an exact technical specification for a fast system either Mac or Win. But let me say if DXO could say for a workflow to process 50 RAW images with denoising and so on a MAC mini with i5, 32 GB is good enough.
At the moment for my windows system an eight years old i7, 32 GB is fine and I haven’t to think about a new windows system because the intels 9th or 10th generation would fit my claims without any doubt. But what is with MacOs and what is with people coming to DXO at the moment and have no experience with the possibilities and processes about handling DXO.
And I’m not sure if is very actual.

Thanks al lot


Hello @Guenterm,

Any Mac is “fine” to run PhotoLab. It’s more a matter of how fast you want it to be, there’s no hard limit (maybe except for a discrete GPU for PL4). 32GB RAM is a good choice.

To get an idea of whether your Mac will be good, I recommend checking the “Multi-Core” ranking in
The higher in the list the Mac you choose there, the best PhotoLab should perform. Obviously the first ones are quite expensive, but there’re more reasonable choices a bit below.

Edit: to me i5 or i7 or 9th gen Intel CPUs are not good criteria, because there’s slow i7 (old) and slow recent CPUs (tailored for notebooks). That’s why I always refer to benchmark scores.

1 Like

Dear @Lucas,

thanks for the info and the link…so I will check the ranking.

best regards

Many thanks for the reply. I’ll look forward to PL4 and make my assessment based on that. Hopefully the use of the GPU for processing assist will be optional.

I have both platforms and GPU is barely used by 10% during processing :wink:

There is no RAW convertor that uses GPU anyway so do not worry.