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I made the jump from Picasa to LR4 and switched to shooting RAW in the process.

The software boost did not come with a PC boost, but I didn't think it would be necessary; my machine seems adequate for all other tasks (gaming, software development, etc). However, I'm finding that switching from image to image in Develop mode seems to take a while, especially with images that are noisy. The "Loading..." message pops up and stays onscreen for 5-10 seconds for each image I switch to.

Now, I'm not against a PC upgrade, but I'm not sure what component is slowing me down. I can say, comfortably, that it's not RAM; LR only seems to use about half of what's available. What's the best way to determine where my PC is lacking?

Current specs, if necessary:

Core2 Duo E7500  
4GB PC3-10600  
GeForce 9800 GTX+  
Photos on a RAID 0 pair of 7200RPM 320GB WD Blue Drives  
OS and Apps on a single 10000RPM 300GB WD Veliciraptor
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Have a look at the Lightroom performance guide. I have an intel i5 2300 and 12GB RAM and the same process takes 2 to 3 seconds. Like you I've only just got Lightroom so not adjusted any settings at this stage.

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I did, and I did as much of what they suggested as possible. Still doggin' it. I'm going to see about upgrading the CPU, as that seems to be the resource most often pegged within the task manager. –  Eric B May 3 '12 at 2:31

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