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.