Set up:

  • mid 2009 17" unibody MacBook Pro
  • 4GB RAM
  • 2.66 Core 2 Duo
  • Snow Leopard 10.6.6
  • Lightroom 3

When working with 12 MegaPixel RAW files from a Nikon D700, no problem. Lightroom is fine.

Recently I've been scanning film and they result in large tiff files, about 130mb each. The tiff files themselves are good, and I'm happy with my scanning workflow.

Working with these files in Lightroom is perfectly fine, except for one step.

When I choose one of these photos in the Develop module, Lightroom displays the "Loading" on the image for about a minute or two, which is quite long.

Once the image is loaded, then everything is fine again, and applying effects is instant.

So my only issue is reducing that "loading" time in the develop module (the library module is fine too).

Will increasing my RAM to 8GB help? I'm worried about spending the money and it not making any difference.



2 Answers 2


This sounds like a paging file (virtual memory writing to the disk) issue. In other words, a faster hard drive will make it go faster, not additional RAM.

  • thanks randolph, what do you think of Metril's answer?
    – andy
    Feb 22, 2011 at 9:35
  • Interesting perspective. While increasing your RAM may help to a point, if you have (for example) lots of applications open, the page file will grow anyway. I think you're going to have to experiment.
    – user3463
    Feb 22, 2011 at 21:03

Increasing your RAM will help. The program is paging a lot of information. By increasing your RAM you can decrease the amount of paging that is done, which will decrease the load time.

  • cool, thanks Metril. I'm a bit confused whether to go with an ssd drive, or more ram... they're about the same price, but the ssd will be pretty small, I'd rather go with the RAM. What do you think of Randolph's answer?
    – andy
    Feb 22, 2011 at 9:35
  • 1
    Agree with Randolph on having to experiment.
    – Metril
    Feb 25, 2011 at 6:48

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