Release Date for making PL5 native for M1 Macs

@StevenL , you posted this on May 10, 2021. Is it still the case that PL5 will be native on M1 Macs soon? My current version is 5.0.1.
So far, I’m really enjoying the product, but I’m fairly confident it could be faster with a native version… especially memory management. I purchased PL5 and FP6 based on this post you made in May:

Hi there,
The next major version of PL (v5) should be M1 native. Probably a minor update once the 5.0 hits the market.


Any Rosetta app running slows down an M1 Mac Mini significantly. The M1 Mac Mini here behaves much better when I make sure there’s no Intel process running. Hence, a native M1, even if not perfect version could improve performance significantly for those of us who are not running anything under Rosetta (Rosetta would not be open in the background).

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I didn’t know that. What I have noticed is that some intel apps are taking up huge amounts of memory (up to 32gb). In the case of PL5, I’ve seen up to 12gb and my machine only has 8gb- that’s a huge amount of swap and must be slowing something down. I have noticed stuttering and such. I hope they can confidently make a version that runs faster and uses less memory. On a side note, what settings are you using in PL5 to make it go faster?

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I’m struggling with an 8 GB M1 Mac Mini myself for now but will probably exchange it for the 16 GB version (got a very good deal on the 8 GB version and will not have any deal on the 16 GB version, it’s not just the book price difference).

The way I make PL5 run reasonably well on an 8GB M1 Mac Mini is to close almost all applications including browsers (or at least all windows) before opening up PhotoLab (this process is a nuisance and costs productivity). I then quit and reopen PL5 after any significant amount of work, particularly an export. Thanks to the very fast SSD speeds of an M1 Mac Mini, opening and closing PhotoLab is not that big a deal.

I’m running a utility called iStat Menus which allows me to monitor memory (system and PhotoLab) very easily. The same technique can be applied with the built-in Activity Monitor.

Keep in mind that I wrote “reasonably well”. That’s an exaggeration. The M1 Mac Mini more or less completely seizes up while exporting Nikon NEF files with DeepPrime. It’s impossible to even type. While editing, PhotoLab runs fine but I’m not astonished by its power or how agile it is. It’s possible to work, that’s all. PhotoLab 4 works much better under Mojave on my Intel Classic Mac Pro with a WX7100 and 96 GB of memory. PhotoLab 5 works much better under Big Sur on my Intel Classic Mac Pro with a WX7100 and 96 GB of memory (requires OpenCore and a fair amount of tweaking to run Big Sur on a Classic Mac Pro).

My interest in the M1 Mac Mini is it’s the first silent under load computer which I’ve had. I’ve been building “silent PC’s” and silent Macs for decades now and it’s always been a compromise. The M1 Mac Mini is really and truly silent even under load.

Otherwise, I’d go back to running PhotoLab 5 on the Intel Classic Mac Pro. Outside of silence, I’d also rather keep the CMP on Mojave which is a much more stable and reliable operating system than Big Sur.


Yes. I’ve also tried those things too. I have noticed that, if I remove some of the menus in in PL5 (side columns with histogram or folder’s bar, it seems to scroll faster. Also, if I don’t have too much in a folder, it seems to work better. Still, not as fast as iPhoto, but iPhoto is simply too buggy in a RAW workflow.

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No Apple software plays well with others. With iPhoto all corrections and all metadata are locked up in a proprietary database. Ensuring the safe migration forward of that data is almost impossible. Don’t even think about getting involved with Apple software for any data which is not transitory (i.e. you won’t want to reopen or change the project after six months). Apple does not do continuity at all well.

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I have to agree with Apple apps not playing well, but they do have speedy and efficient code (probably why they don’t play well). Also, most of their apps (not pro ones) are rather self-serving and selling other products (e.g. icloud services). There is a way to make Photos work, but it really isn’t that reliable and you end up “letting” Apple do stuff in the background and you never really have confidence in it. Anyway, I would like Apple photos performance with PL5 quality output… I’m hoping they can make it native a.s.a.p.

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@StevenL, I’m now running build 43 for PL5, but it’s still intel. I’m really happy with the output, but I’d like it to be just a little faster. Any chance we can get a proper answer as to when it’ll be native? It’s OK to say 5.1 or you’ve run into a snag. 6 months, 3 months, 1 month, a year? Just don’t tell me you stopped all development as that would make me sad.

Hi @John_the_expat
I’ll gladly share with you DxO’s official statement on this specific topic:

Since the release of the M1 chip in November 2020, DxO and Apple have been working closely together on optimizing the M1/M1 Pro/M1 Max silicon integration.

The feedbacks and improvements resulting from this collaboration between the two companies already delivered impressive performance boosts notably for the most power-hungry tasks, significantly reducing time-consuming processes of DxO products.

At this time, DxO DeepPrime, file management and display rendering run natively on Apple Silicon; Rosetta emulation is still used for less time critical algorithms, and DxO continues its development for ultimately delivering Universal applications.


@StevenL That was the answer I was looking for- to know development has the end-goal of full universal application, taking advantage of whatever Apple silicon has to offer. IMO, DXO is a big selling point for getting a mac in the first place, not having to invest massively in GPU’s (with all the bitcoin evil out there). Your response would have made me even happier if you’d said I wouldn’t have to upgrade to an unreleased PL6 to get universal app performance. Granted, I’m still quite happy with speed and especially output, but it’s taking up significant precious memory. Thank you for all your hard work at DXO at making it universal and writing even more efficient code.


It’s taking too long. Forcing OS upgrades and customers off of Intel Macs without having an Apple Silicon version ready is not at all customer-centric.

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I agree. Im holding off making a purchase of DxO software until it is able to run without Rosetta.

My concern isn’t so much performance, but not wanting be sick with unusable software when Rosetta is inevitably no longer supported by Apple.