Running Photolab: my options

Now that my trial is expired I’m pretty sure I want to purchase Photolab. It’s got some quirks and nags (what bothers me a lot is that with every photo again I have to set the crop to free adjustment and I can’t just enter width x height pixels in it) but what it does to my photo’s I can’t do with Canon DPP4. Adobe is no option. I’m in no big hurry and hope to catch a sale if there’s any.

I also would have to sort my systems. I have an i5/16GB that is good for almost anything. I got an Nvidia Quadro video card in it that enabled me to run DaVinci Resolve.
I am happy with this system and have no plan replacing it.

The one thing that does not run very well is Photolab. The videocard is not supported, processing an image with Deep Prime takes 10 (Canon) to 12 (Nikon) minutes. That’s no fun. Also while processing I can’t use the computer for anything else.
My photographic projects usually produce me about a dozen shots worth a final high quality rendering so I could schedule that when it suits me but it is terrible not to be able to produce a result when editing.

This system, an HP SFF has no space for a big double slot video card.

I understand Photolab works well on an Apple with M1 chip. A used Mini Mac M1 will do from €500 upwards. I don’t see myself spending that when I have no other purpose for it than running Photolab. Older Mini Macs don’t go for much less.

I have a system I’m not using frequently, an AMD A6-3620 and I wonder if I put in a video card from Geforce 1650 upwards would that work?

It is the GPU that makes the BIG difference between minutes and seconds on exporting using DeepPRIME or DPXD. The newer and more powerful the GPU the smaller the number of seconds.

As @rrblint has said, upgrading your video card will make a huge difference. My desktop PC is an old third generation i5 CPU with only 8 GB RAM but because it has a GTX 1050ti GPU, which is technically below the minimum for PL, it exports Canon .CR3 files from my 90D in about 30 seconds.


Davinci will take advantage of replacing that older Quadro card as well. If you have a main system, put your money into that one. In US terms, US$150 for a 1650 (with 6-8 Gb vram) or better video card would be a good spend.

You don’t have to do as you say, “what bothers me a lot is that with every photo again I have to set the crop to free adjustment and I can’t just enter width x height pixels in it.”
Just set Unconstrained one time and all other settings you want and save it as a Preset that as default.

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Thank you all for your replies.


When and where did that exist?

@Vansloneker some people here are happy because a GTX provided them with a performance upgrade compared to not using any GPU. If you temporarily need one and really cannot afford anything else, ok, but otherwise if you can only afford a GTX now, save another 2-3 months and get an RTX… (whilst making sure your PSU delivers enough power and you have the right cables).

If you are happy with your old Quadro, welcome to the world of not being happy with it very soon. When you finally replace it with an RTX, you will think it was not doing anything in Resolve.

EDIT: And don’t bother putting any money into your AMD system - which also makes me wonder how old your i5 is.

Meaning what? That I’m wrong to have such a card and use it for PL?

Not wrong to use but you shouldn’t be recommending GTX series cards in 2024 (was also valid last year), to anyone wanting to use a PC for any kind of media editing, unless you re going to point out the disadvantages and also mention RTX cards.

Okay so an RTX is more powerful. Yes my i5 is old but does everything I want it to except for reasonable Dxo performance. Did I mention it is an HP Small Form Factor that does fit the Quadro but probably not a large double slot video card?

Umm, re-read my post I didn’t recommend anything. I merely stated what I had, an old CPU, low RAM and an old GPU.

As you may know, the only requirement for a more powerful graphics card GPU for PhotoLab and PureRaw is to accelerate AI based DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD. DxO is not alone requiring an acceptable graphics card GPU to accelerate processing speed for very CPU intensive features.

Many, if not virtually all, of the best known post processing software programs today require an acceptable graphics card to accelerate processing of their most CPU intensive functionality. Photoshop even has some features that won’t run at all without an appropriate graphics cards GPU.

The requirement of a good quality graphics card is a fact of life for those who want to get faster processing speeds from all the features in current versions of post-processing software.

Since I am not a Mac user, I’m not taking into account some of the latest features in Macs that will also provide very significant acceleration of CPU intensive processes.


Update: I’ve acquired a low profile Nvidia T600 that fits in my machine and a license to Photolab!
The T600 is a huge decrease in processing times and I am happy with it.

I am glad it is helping you but I am surprised this low end card is capable of accelerating DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD processing since it is way below the minimum recommended card.