I need a computer upgrade

I am a photographer and use Adobe Lightroom a lot.  My desktop uses Windows Vista 64-bit, an AMD Phenom 9850 quad-core 2.50 Ghz processor, and 4GB of memory.  I used to have 8GB but all of sudden 4GB of Corsair memory sticks when bad, so I was left with 4GB.  I have had this computer since 2008-2009.

I was OK with what I what I had.  My computer was getting slow though.  It seemed that Lightroom was getting more processor intensive after each update.  So a computer upgrade was in the future.

Later, I decided to install Lightroom on my laptop.  I have been on the road doing photo shoots and I wanted to see the raw images on my laptop.  (According to the Lightroom EULA, I can install Lightroom on two computers using one license as long as I don’t use Lightroom on both computers at the same time.)

My laptop is an HP bought around 2011.  It has Windows 7 64-bit, an Intel i3-2330M 2.2GHz processor, and4GB of memory.

I installed Lightroom on the the laptop and tried it out.  And I was surprised on the performance.  Lightroom seem to respond faster and smoother on the laptop than on the desktop.  So as a test, I timed how long it would take to export  694 images from raw to jpeg.   On the desktop, it took 1 hour 14 minutes.  On the laptop, it took 1 hour 4 minutes.

So it seemed that there is an advantage of using the laptop for Lightroom over my desktop.  This was a sign that I needed a computer upgrade for my desktop.  Furthermore, the latest version of Lightroom, version 5, not longer supports Windows Vista.


I bought an SSD drive for the my Vista desktop.  I reran the Lightroom test.  The desktop still had 4 GB of RAM.  This time the processing took 46 minutes.

I added more memory on my laptop to 8 GB of RAM.  The hard drive was not SSD.  I ran the Lightroom test and it took 22 minutes.  Then I replaced the hard drive with an SSD drive.  The Lightroom test took 20 minutes.

I upgraded my desktop to a Windows 8 i7-4770K 32GB machine.  I reran the Lightroom test.  The processing took 7 minutes.