Looking to speed up Lightroom 3? In my last article, Speed Up Lightroom 3, I talked about setting up preferences in Lightroom 3 to increase performance and adding a few small upgrades to help speed things up. But, sometimes, your computer may be too old to make a difference. you may need a major upgrade or a new computer.
I recently upgraded my own computer and saw significant Lightroom 3 speed increases. Well, it’s basically a brand-new PC at this point. My old computer had a Gigabyte brand motherboard with the Pentium D dual core processor 2.8 GHz processor with 4 GB of memory. Here is a list of the components I used to build my new PC:
Case – Cooler Master Haf 912 with three additional optional fans. Five fans total. Why so many fans? Heat can kill a computer or at least slows it down. A cool PC is a happy PC.
Power Supply – Antec 520 Watt high current power supply.
Motherboard – Gigabyte brand model Z68X-Ud3-B3 discontinued. (Update December 2011 new generation motherboard Gigabyte brand model GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3) This is my third Gigabyte brand motherboard I have installed in my computers. I just install them and they work.
- LGA1155 CPU Socket
- Intel® Z68 Express Chipset
- 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB
- 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
- 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
- Up to 14 USB 2.0 ports 8 external
- Up to 4 USB 3.0 ports 2 external
- ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
- 6 x audio jacks
- Up to 2 IEEE 1394 port 1 external
CPU – Intel Core I7 2600k 4 core / 8-Way Multitask processor. Unlocked 3.4 GHz and 3.7 GHz in turbo mode. This processor and motherboard combination can be over clocked but it is not necessary at this time.
Memory – 2-Gskill, 4GB, 2 channel DDR3 1600 memory modules for a total of 8 GB.
I used my old hard drive. Seagate 1TB
I also used my old video card – EVGA GeForce 9500 GT 512MB video card. New version EVGA GeForce GT 430 1GB
Operating System – Windows 7 Professional.
Upgrading the PC to this new configuration has dramatically improved my performance when using a program like Lightroom 3. Just starting up Lightroom would take approximately 60 seconds and now it only takes 3 seconds. Other Programs like Photomatix Pro, an HDR plug-in for Lightroom used to take 5 to 6 minutes to process, now takes less than a minute. Another program I use is Proshow Gold, a slide show presentation program, also saw dramatic improvement.
Windows 7 is a real improvement over Windows XP. I chose Windows 7 Professional because it has a Windows XP emulation mode that allows me to run older software that is only compatible with Windows XP.
Upgrading this computer was well worth the expense of about $700 to $800. You may not want to build a computer yourself, but if you’re looking to purchase a new computer you can use the specifications here to give you a guide on what to look in specifications. I hope this article helps you in your photography editing and improves your Lightroom experience.
In a future article I will discuss drive management – how to protect your photos and data.
Places to buy computer and computer parts
Learn more about Lightroom 3