Tested Lightroom M1-optimized vs prior version


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Oct 21, 2012
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East-Central New Mexico
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I just bought a new 24" Apple iMac with the M1 chip. Right off the bat I noticed a HUGE difference in speed for normal tasks compared to my 10-year-old 27" Intel iMac, which it replaced. Opening Lightroom used to take forever on my old iMac - with this new iMac Lightroom Classic was up and running in 7-8 seconds from clicking the App.

So, I just upgraded from Lightroom Classic 10.2 to the latest 10.3 which is supposed to be optimized for the M1 chip and Apple's Arm processing. I did not benchmarks prior to updating than checked the same tasks after updating. Results:

(All on the same 24" iMac)

Opening Lightroom - from clicking the app to when it's loaded and ready to use:

Non-Optimized LR version 10.2 = 7 seconds
M1 Optimized LR version 10.3 = 3.4 seconds (twice as fast)

Export 52 Raw files to high-res .jpgs (exported to the internal SSD drive):

M1 Optimized LR version 10.3 =

Edit an image in PS (right click image in LR and choose edit in PS)

Non-Optimized LR version 10.2 = 18-20 seconds
M1 Optimized LR version 10.3 = 4-5 seconds

So, while the new Apple M1 iMac is MUCH faster for these routine tasks than my old 27" iMac, using the apps that are optimized for the M1 chip is even faster!


TPF Supporters
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Oct 18, 2011
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Glasgow, Scotland
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Yeah, the new M1 arcitecture looks excellent, glad you are reaping the rewards!

With the processing power they have, it may well shake up the industry though I'm more of a PC fan. I'm looking at the Intel Nucs to hopefully do similar things but in a more customisable package.

We might even see the day where processing power could increase to the point we get this kind of tech in a cell phone, essentially you get a plug in UI and that small box in you pocket is everyting!

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