DXO PL4 Performances on Mac

could the users of this latest version comment on PL4 MACOSX performances… It’s not very good (on PL2) and I remember there were plenty issues of performances + Catalina bugs on PL3…

I’m wondering how it is evolving on that topic (fluidity, rapidity, lags and waiting time…) before investing… thanks!

Works fine for me.
Test your Mac using the trial version prior to buying…

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Performance is related to one’s machine specs.
I recently upgraded to Catalina and have had no issues with PL3.
I will be purchasing PL4 presently.

I am having issues on my new Macbook Pro 13". PL4 crashes often and the image rendering on 4K monitors is blurred if not zoom to 100%. There a few other issues that are weird and/or slow. Such as exporting to JPG takes forever compared to LR.

There have been examples on these forums that this is not the case for PL3 on Macs.

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So far so good. Loads faster than PL3. Processing RAW takes the same time as PL3 did.
The Deep Prime noise reduction works really well with older images. I processed an image from my Nikon D700 and Nikon V1, both noisy at iso 3200, pictures came out great.

I’m running it on a;
2013 27” iMac
i5, with a 1gb video card.
Regular 1TB hard drive
So my machine does not meet the minimum requirements .

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I am using it on Mojave (10.14.6) and have not seen any performance issues. In fact it seems to process images a bit faster on my MacBook Pro than PL 3, at least based on my initial raw image processing.

I can say for certain that the number of cores has a nearly linear impact on PRIME processing on export with PL3. This is borne out by testing on my dual-core MBP, my previous 6-core 2013 Mac Pro and my current 8-core Mac Pro.

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I don’t have any blurring issues with PL4 on my 4K NEC PA321 attached to my 2013 Mac Pro.

OP asked about “performance of PL4” which is more than just NR rendering.

I cannot really comment on PL4 overall just yet as all I have really done is a bit of experimenting with DeepPRIME, but anecdotally it seems to be a little snappier when I move other sliders. I’ll need to get out and shoot some new material to then sit down and process 30+ photos per my usual practice before I can judge whether the overall performance is better. The real test will be local adjustments and repair. The latter could be unusably slow on PL3 with lots of points.

I’ve done that. I’ve processed 50 high ISO Nikon D850 images with Photolab 4, going back to check another 40 high ISO Nikon D810 images which I’d just processed the day before with Photolab 3 and switch them over to DeepPrime. The images are here, single sample below.


NIKON D850 - 200mm - 1/640 - f/2.8 - ISO 12800

Everything shot on a D850 was processed with Photolab 4 and DeepPrime. Everything shot on a D810 was processed with Photolab 3 but updated with DeepPrime for final export. There is some difference between colours in Photolab 3 and Photolab 4 with exactly the same adjustments. I had to fix a few images which looked wrong after the upgrade so be careful with reprocessing. It’s not just a case of reopening the old folder with the new Photolab: you’ll have to check your images individually to make sure the processing still looks right. It’s not wildly off but enough to change an image’s look for the worse.

Performance: my platform is a Mac Pro 5,1 with 12 x 3.1 GHz processor, 128 GB memory and an Radeon VII graphic card, all SSD with images on a separate SSD than OS. Monitors are 2 x 4K kept at HiDPI 2560x1400 + 1 x 2560 x 1200 kept at native resolution.

I had been having performance issues with Photolab 3, particularly with the contact sheet which was constantly reloading images and jumping focus around. Moving that contact sheet back from the 2560 x 1200 monitor at 72dpi to the HiDPI 2560x1400 monitor seemed to help. I also deleted the existing database and emptied the image cache at the same time.

I’ve always found sliders a bit slow in Photolab. Under Photolab 3, it was particularly important to avoid having NR enabled when trying to process an image. It seems much less important under Photolab 4. Preview times are almost instantaneous with very short wait times to see the changes. From the outside, it looks like the image preview caching has been completely rewritten to work more like C1 (faster previews but sometimes less exact renders: far preferable to an impossibly slow preview time).

Photolab 4 general performance while editing on this heavy duty hardware (an Radeon VII with 16 GB VRAM and 128 GB memory is a best case scenario) seems much more spritely than Photolab 3. I would be glad to have upgraded just for the performance improvement. I hope that answers your question.


PS. That the performance improvements are so considerable, it makes it all the more frustrating that DxO has decided to cut off all 2011 MBP (last 17", last anti-glare, come with i7 quad core processors) from upgrading to Photolab 4.The last OS 2011 MBP can run is 10.13 High Sierra which should be within Photolab 4 requirements (last three Mac OS). I’ve paid DxO again and again and again to get performance improvements. When they finally run, I cannot benefit from them on any of my laptops. It makes me feel that I’ve been misled and that DxO is taking advantage of their loyal users. It’s a pity to be forced into such mixed feelings about what otherwise would have been an excellent update.

That is indeed promising! Seems my gut feel wasn’t fooling me.

Good point about reprocessing potentially resulting in different colours. I thought I saw one very stark example of that but on reflection it may be a photo I had only processed in Luminar and not revisited in PL3. In general if I reprocess a photo I tend to let myself “start over” to get what I feel is right today rather than trust my prior self.

Performance will be very important to me because I’m pretty much at the opposite end of the hardware scale currently. I have a Mac mini (2018) with a 6 core i5 3 GHz and Intel UHD Graphics 630 1.5 GB. I run a couple of LG monitors, the primary being a 4K @ 2560x1400 and a secondary native 1080p one which I really only have connected since I’ve been working from home (I run two external plus laptop screen at work so one, albeit larger, screen at home was challenging). PL3/4 only ever goes on the more modern 4K because the colour on the 1080p is… lacklustre.

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That is frustrating, I’m sure. But DxO is a small shop now with limited technical resources, and even big developers sometimes are forced by technical requirements to drop older OS support. If you really can’t upgrade your OS, you can continue to use PL3, which has been a terrific app in its own right. When you want new features and improved performance, sometimes you just have to move on.

FWIW, the M1 MacBook Air offers a huge performance improvement for just $999.

Performance will be significantly enhanced with an M1 mini, probably on the order of at least 2x faster for both CPU and GPU. You can probably save some money by getting less RAM on the M1, as it seems to get by fine with less. As for storage, you can save some money there by getting, say, 512GB and plugging in a PNY Elite Pro 1TB USB 3.2 Gen 1 SSD, which sells on eBay for $90 and delivers 900MB/s throughput, then keeping all your catalogs and unprocessed master image files there instead of on the mini’s internal SSD. If you sell your 2018 mini, total cost will be only a few hundred bucks. That’s not much money for a very substantial performance enhancement.

thanks a lot for all the replies on this topic!

I’m happy to see that PL4 performances seems to have much improved… and that M1 seems to run it fine… even though we don’t know yet if DXO will continue to support the Apple users community (for now it seems to work fine thanks to Rosetta, but they seems pretty evasive when the subject of ARM support (–> Apple future) comes in the discussion…)

FYI: I have a 2015 5K 27" Imac, with 16Gb RAM, 4Gb Video card Core i7 4Ghz Ram… Casual photographer, and 2 years started to cover small jazz concerts… never thought DXO was particularly snappy… especially when dealing with located corrections or applying gradients… and this even though I’m working on small Canon 5D1 raw files (only 12mpx…!)… But DXO’s antinoise is so effective, that it makes my 1600-3200 iso shots looking like they were taken 200 iso… the effectiveness is compensating for the slowness ^^!

I was not convinced PL3 was such an improvement, the new anti-noise + performances of PL4 may justify a renewal of the licence… but I’m getting worried with DXO silence on their future commitment / support of ARM…

As it happens, I’ve already ordered a MacBook Pro with M1. My photos currently live on a Samsung T5 so are already external.

The Mac mini will remain for a while as I transition to the MacBook Pro, so it will be interesting to do some comparisons.

… and now waiting for black friday to purchase this latest release? who knows what can happen! :slight_smile:

Absolutely. Colours, and also brightness.

Looking forward to your report on how PL4 works on an M1. Seriously considering an M1 Mini myself.

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I haven’t had time to look myself, but this doesn’t sound promising.

I don’t understand what DxO doesn’t take backwards compatibility of rendering more seriously. It’s just a lousy property of any editing application to not present you with the same result on work done in a previous version of the software.

If this is the way it’s always going to be (and there were changes from PL1 to PL2 to PL3 as well, so I’m not holding my breath) then it’s a bad match with the DAM-lite in PL. I mean, why bother with things like keywords and ratings attached to a raw file if the rendering changes from release to release? If I have to export everything to retain the rendering then PL is an application for producing raster files, not for maintaining an archive of raw file edits and associated metadata, which a lot of people probably think it is. (I certainly did in the beginning, and a lot of reviewers compare it to the likes of Lightroom, but that’s fairly off-base IMO.)

I’m fine with it either way, but either just be a raw editor that spits out raster files and gives no pretence of the editing itself (ie. dop files) being worth maintaining across upgrades (it definitely isn’t if I have to tweak previous edits to restore the rendering after an upgrade), or put more effort into the previous rendering being respected in the new version. Now we’re somewhere in between.

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