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Recommended configuration for Lightroom 4


I need to buy a new PC (or Mac) and would like to know if anyone can recommend a configuration that runs smooth with Adobe Lightroom 4.

Is an intel core i5 ok, or is an i7 highly recommendable?
I’ll take 8GB RAM.

What about monitors?

I’ve seen a Sony laptop in a store (SVS1512s1es) and I was highly impressed by the screen’s crispness and color rendition.

by Bruno Trematore at 2012-11-26 10:54:57 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

PS: another point, I also consider buying an external HD to use as main repository for the lightroom catalogue and dng files. Anyone has experience with network drives, is data transfer fast enough or better take an USB3.0 to avoid frustration?

by Bruno Trematore | 26 Nov 2012 11:11 | duesseldorf, Germany | | Report spam→
A fast hard drive helps LR a lot. I have a 13" MacBook Pro (i7) and I pulled the stock 5400 rpm drive and replaced it with a SSD. Smartest thing I ever did. Made a huge difference. Also have 8 gigs or RAM. I’ve heard hard drive/SSD and maxing out RAM are more important than processor. My workflow is to do initial editing on internal SSD and then offload the files to an external 7200 rpm FireWire 800 drive. That works well for me. A 7200 rpm drive in a USB 3 enclosure should be very nearly just as fast, possibly faster.

by Jack Kurtz | 26 Nov 2012 13:11 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
The MacBook Pro Retina machines do not even have a FireWire connection and you have to use an adapter for it— this indicates to me that FireWire is on its way out and USB3 is the way to go.

by Barry Milyovsky | 26 Nov 2012 13:11 | Manhattan, United States | | Report spam→
I would HIGHLY recommend an i7 core. If you ever do video work, the i7 works so much better with complex graphics tasks than the i5. I have an older MacBookPro with i5 and friends with newer MBPs with i7 just fly when it comes to Final Cut or Lightroom. Definitely worth the money to get an i7.

by G. Morty Ortega | 27 Nov 2012 04:11 | Denton, TX, United States | | Report spam→
I’ll second the SSD recommendation.

by BignoseTW | 27 Nov 2012 10:11 | Taipei, Taiwan | | Report spam→
Hi Bruno,

I had many problems, developing my 12 MB-files with Lightroom 3.6 on a MacBook Pro 17“, 2,66 GHz Core 2 Duo with 8 GB RAM and an internal HD with 7200 rpm.

My files are on a external harddrive (RAID 5) connected with FW 800 with my MBP.

Lightroom 4 seem to be better running on the same machine, now with Mountain Lion, but it is still too slow.

My experience with and recommendation for a laptop:

Lightroom needs a very, very, very, …. fast processor if you work with the adjustment brushes, so you should take an i7. 8 GB RAM are o.k., but more is always better.

My experience with and recommendation for external harddrives:

I have a RAID 5 external HD connected with FW 800 and a QNAP network drive, connected with Gigabit Ethernet to the computer. Both are often too slow. Take an external HD with USB 3. USB 3 is much faster than FW 800 and Gigabit Ethernet.

The second fact is, that you cannot work with a Lightroom catalogue, that is located on a network drive. A network drive is formatted as EXT3 or EXT4 drive. All data have to be converted, when stored on a network drive. Lightroom doesn‘t support this with its catalogue data.

You can store or save your files and Lightroom catalogues on a network drive, but you cannot work with a Lightroom catalogue, that is located on a network drive! The LR catalogue must be on the internal or a regular externel HD. Saving a LR catalogue on a network drive can cause problems, if you want to delete these data later. Deleting the catalogue files o a network drive can last about two or three eternities!!!

My recommendation for an external monitor:

If you have to do precise postprocessing, you need a monitor with hardwarecalibration and wide color gamut, that is suited for softproof. The monitor should have an antiglare display. Displays on notebooks are often too contrasty and have too saturized colors.

I have a Quato Intelliproof excellence with 1920 × 1200 px resolution, that shows almost the complete AdobeRGB color space. The service of Quato is great. Eizo is a second manufacturer, but more expensive.

www. quato.de

Greetings from Bavaria
Grüße aus Bayern und dem Hopfenland Hallertau


by Franz Hollweck | 27 Nov 2012 12:11 | | Report spam→
Network attached storages are great. Just make sure you’ll get a propper one with an Intel Atom processor. Modern consumer NAS should have be able to process about 50-70MB per second. Make sure you have a Gigabit Router. It’s also helpfull to be able to access my NAS from outside, even though this feature turned out to be less usefull with my slow internet connection ;-).

My setup is easy and cheap. Old Macbook Pro 13, 500GB, 8GB Ram. I have one Lightroom catalog (this slows the machine down – but it is easier to work with). For current projects I have my photos on my Macbook and older ones are stored on my NAS. I can easily move my finished projects on the NAS to store them. My NAS was about 50 Euro (used) and I have 2×2TB. For me it’s good enough and cheap.

If you have money go for a Macbook and Thunderbolt NAS, if you don’t stay with a PC and USB 3, it’s definitely the cheapest way. Consider to pay at least 200$ for a 2bay NAS with 50MB/sec.

BUT: Even if you have a RAID configuration, make sure to backup your data on an additional hard drive. If a power peak destroys your RAID you have your backup :-)

by Paul K. | 28 Nov 2012 10:11 | Munich, Germany | | Report spam→
Hello all,

thanks for the useful replies!!

by Bruno Trematore | 29 Nov 2012 15:11 | duesseldorf, Germany | | Report spam→
I can say from experience….once you go Mac, you’ll never go back. Yes, I know they are more expensive than PCs, but at least in the US the service is superior (the access to the stores here, including the free “Genius Bar,” is truly wonderful).

And, while its price fully outfitted will take you to the brink of bankruptcy, the new MacBook Pro 15" Retina is the ultimate photographer’s tool (and over time is worth it). A number of VII members have gotten them, and they are constantly singing their praises. They do stills and video on them and roar forward. They use all kinds of editing software from Aperture through PS and LR to Final Cut Pro, and all the plugins you can think of, and everything seems to work very well on that computer.

And Paul is right. If you really care about your archived images, make sure you back them up systematically (meaning not just when you remember to do so) both with a RAID system on site and on drives that are at another location than your main array (even if you just have two sets of drives for the RAID). Apart from power surges, there is the occasional burglar who scoops up every piece of electronic gear in sight (and finds the ones that are out of sight too!). And don’t forget floods as very real risks….just ask folks living in New York!

by Neal Jackson | 02 Dec 2012 13:12 (ed. Dec 2 2012) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
A very good point, Neal, about burglars, floods, fires etc. In addition to a mirrored back up system on an external hard drive I also keep a third disc in someone else’s apartment. Regarding the “genius bar” at Apple though, have you ever been to the one in Jacksonville, FL? They must have a different definition of “genius” in that town.

by Barry Milyovsky | 02 Dec 2012 14:12 | Manhattan, United States | | Report spam→

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Bruno Trematore, Bruno Trematore
Duesseldorf , Germany ( DUS )
Jack Kurtz, Photojournalist Jack Kurtz
Bangkok , Thailand
Barry Milyovsky, totally unprofessional Barry Milyovsky
totally unprofessional
(emperor of ice cream )
New York , United States
G. Morty Ortega, Visual Journalist G. Morty Ortega
Visual Journalist
Tenancingo , Mexico ( MEX )
BignoseTW, Videographer/Photographer BignoseTW
(Tobie Openshaw)
Taipei , Taiwan
Franz Hollweck, photographer Franz Hollweck
[undisclosed location].
Paul K., Paul K.
Munich , Germany
Neal Jackson, Neal Jackson
(Flaneur, Savant and Scapegrace)
Washington, Dc , United States ( IAD )


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