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Decky

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 28, 2016
8
14
Context: Part-time hobbyist wedding photographer, down/upgrading from a 2018 6-core 16GB RAM R560X 15" MBP

I was quite excited to get my hands on the new M1 MBP- but the 16GB version I ordered was taking ages to ship and upon watching MaxTech's comparison video, I figured an 8GB version would be enough for me.

I shot an engagement session yesterday and imported 950 RAW pictures from an EOS R (30MP files) with smart previews generated and used in Develop and to my horror, LR Classic was unusable. It would take 1-3 full seconds to move from picture to picture and applying a preset would take a few seconds to show- moving the sliders were laggy and I'd get beachballs every now and then. It was a nightmare.

At first I thought I was mislead by the comparison video, and posting a thread on r/Lightroom resulted in most people saying that the problem was with my decision to go with 8GB instead of 16GB of RAM. I was quite disheartened, as I cancelled my order for the 16 and cannot return the 8.

BUT, upon inspecting activity monitor, I realised that there was a process by the name of "windowserver" consuming 1GB of RAM- I didn't think much of it at first, but then I realised that it was still consuming that amount of RAM even when I quit all my apps and tabs. See, all this while I've been using a "one-cable" solution with the MacBook connected to an LG 27 inch 4K monitor with a scaled resolution- when I tried using LR on the MacBook display itself OR with the "default for display" option ticked, LR runs like butter (maybe not quite, but equally as fast as my previous workhorse).

I've read that this might be an old problem even pre-M1 Macs. But I've had no such issues with my 15" MBP with a scaled resolution.

While I'm relieved, I'm a little perplexed: the default display settings on my 4K monitor makes everything a little too large (reminds me of my mom's iPhone text size settings). Is this a bug, or is this simply caused by a RAM limitation (meaning that you would need 16GB of RAM to run LR smoothly AND have a custom scaled setting for your external display)?


P.S. bugs and compatibility issues aside (can't use LG's on screen app to change my monitor's brightness anymore), this thing is really quite fast. It runs WoW better than on my 15" running WoW on bootcamp!
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
6,412
US
What is the question?

I've seen others post about using scaled 4K and not report issues such as yours.

I'd try the same with other photo applications such as PhotoMechanic or AffinityPhoto to see if it's related to Adobe or not. Make sure your Adobe software is fully up to date. Try the native Lightroom (non-Classic).

Also look to your memory pressure to see if the memory usage is really the issue.

Also apparently BigSur 11.1 is out, though I don't yet see it here.

Lastly consider seeking to return the laptop as "defective" - as in it shouldn't show that behavior. Then be patient and buy a 16GB model from somewhere with a proper return policy. I'm sure 8GB is workable for most things, but Adobe is not known for the coding efficiency. Rather err on the side of having more RAM than I need there.
 

Decky

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 28, 2016
8
14
What is the question?

I've seen others post about using scaled 4K and not report issues such as yours.

I'd try the same with other photo applications such as PhotoMechanic or AffinityPhoto to see if it's related to Adobe or not. Make sure your Adobe software is fully up to date. Try the native Lightroom (non-Classic).

Also look to your memory pressure to see if the memory usage is really the issue.

Also apparently BigSur 11.1 is out, though I don't yet see it here.

Lastly consider seeking to return the laptop as "defective" - as in it shouldn't show that behavior. Then be patient and buy a 16GB model from somewhere with a proper return policy. I'm sure 8GB is workable for most things, but Adobe is not known for the coding efficiency. Rather err on the side of having more RAM than I need there.
General use is fine while scaled but it seems that it causes the "windowserver_" process to consume a lot more RAM than normal. I guess the question is whether this is a known bug or whether it's a problem with my hardware :) It works well otherwise (especially in general use)
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
6,412
US
General use is fine while scaled but it seems that it causes the "windowserver_" process to consume a lot more RAM than normal. I guess the question is whether this is a known bug or whether it's a problem with my hardware :) It works well otherwise (especially in general use)

Given that windowserver is essentially the interface between apps and the display, it makes some sense that it'd use a bunch of memory -- it has to map the scaled display to the actual display after all. Apps "see" the 1440p scaled display space, then windowserver translates that to the 4K space which then drives the monitor.

On my system driving a native 1440p external plus the internal display, WindowServer uses ~630MB memory.

I did try scaling my 1440p to 1050 and Lightroom Classic works fine.

Perhaps someone else can try to duplicate what you're seeing -- without a 4K display I can't do so.

BTW - any chance you're using a wired mouse? https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ng-mouse.2268851/?post=29256268#post-29256268
 
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