Adobe Lied: This will NOT make Lightroom RUN FASTER!
According to Adobe and other youtube creators, we can boost the speed of Lightroom Classic and Lightroom by following their advice to change this number to 10, 20, or higher.
But is it true?
Well, I did some testing, and the results were shocking.
Now, here’s an interesting fact, when you import or add images into Lightroom, it creates preview files so you can see them in the Library Module or the Photos module if you’re using Lightroom.
When you switch to the Develop or editing Module, those previews aren’t used. Instead, Lightroom creates another preview for editing purposes. And these previews are cached instead of saved in a preview file.
This new cached preview is required to let you see the result of the edit you applied, like a Tone Curve, sharpening, white balance, or whatever it is you adjust.
The cached preview is updated accordingly when you make a new editing adjustment. Without it, Lightroom would need to generate a new preview file with every adjustment, which would eat up more hard drive space and slow your editing to a crawl.
Also, without the cached preview, it will take longer to see your editing updates each time you make an adjustment. To test this out, I went into Preferences, purged my cache, and rebuilt each file’s cache to see how much time is required for Lightroom to create it.
For 4,000 images, it took 52 minutes to build all the cache files, which came out to 1.3 seconds, which is 130% faster if my math is correct; if not, let me know in the comments. Also, your experience could be faster or slower, depending on your computer setup and the size of your images.
But here’s the problem… if I go into the Develop Module and zoom in, the image is pixelated for about a second before it becomes clear. This delay shouldn’t happen since the cache files were created, or were they?
So, what is happening? Well, the cached files I created in 1.3 seconds per photo were for the Library Module.
Remember, previously, I mentioned that different types of previews are required in each module.
So, technically, you’re not creating the cached file until you zoom in via the Develop Module.
Now, when you go back to that same image and zoom in, there’s no pixelization since a cached preview has been created. So, instantaneous results as you would expect.
ADOBE: Now, per Adobe, let’s get back into preferences which is now called Settings, and if you’re on a PC, I believe it’s under File or Edit; let me know which one in the comments if you know for sure.
Ok, per Adobe, if you want to continue creating these cache files to improve the speed of Lightroom, you should increase the default of 5GB to a Maximum of 20GB or higher to ensure the cache files are created as your library of images grows.
However, as you can see, my Cache folder has exceeded the 5GB in Lightroom Classic and 1GB in Lightroom. And so you’re aware, both versions of Lightroom share the same Cache folder. If I zoom into an image, you’ll see the Cache size grow.
So, after my testing, the results show that you’re not initially increasing Lightroom’s speed since those cached files are not created until you zoom in.
So, is Adobe lying to us? Well, if we take a closer look at the language used…. “Some Lightroom Classic users find that increasing the Camera Raw cache to 20 GB or more can dramatically speed up performance….”
So, somebody started a rumor or a lie; however you want to look at it, and Adobe, although they’re not coming right out and saying it’s true, they’re complicit in the lie.