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From the author of #2: Increase RAM and 64-bit Processing

#2: Increase RAM and 64-bit Processing

Also, increasing the amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) on your computer will greatly help. Lightroom is a RAM hog, and even 10GB or more is not too much. With Lightroom, you can also take advantage of 64-bit processing if you have more than 4GB of RAM and both your computer and operating system support 64-bit. For Mac users, you’ll need to have an Intel-based computer, and you’ll need to be running OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or OS X 10.7 (Lion). Lightroom now runs natively in 64-bit mode, so there is no need to turn on this feature. It is on all the time. And I’d bet this is in large part an explanation as to why Lightroom runs a fair bit faster than older versions of the software. This feature alone might be worth the upgrade to a new machine if your computer does not support 64-bit processing. For PC users, you’ll need to have a 64-bit compatible machine for Lightroom to run natively at 64-bit.

Ultimately, the faster your computer, the faster Lightroom will function. If Lightroom seems like it is dragging and you have a computer that is three years or older, then it might not have anything to do with the software—it might just be that your computer is slow. I have an Apple MacPro Tower with 16GB of RAM, and Lightroom runs relatively quickly on this machine. At a minimum, I would recommend having at least 5 or 6GB of RAM in your computer. For Mac users, I would highly recommend buying more RAM from MacGurus.com if you need it. They have top quality RAM that is thoroughly tested. For PC users, I would suggest buying RAM from a reputable dealer because defective RAM can be the cause of many problems. RAM is inexpensive these days, so if possible, I would suggest adding as much RAM as you can afford. It will make Lightroom run much faster and allow you to have multiple applications open at the same time without any delays.

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