Lightroom 64-bit on XP x64

Several photographers have asked about running Lightroom 2 as a 64-bit application on Windows XP x64. Lightroom will not install as a 64-bit application on Windows XP by default because it’s not an officially supported platform for our 64-bit version.(Lightroom is officially supported on Vista x64)   But when you run the Lightroom installer and choose to "Open the Specified Folder" in the Files are Ready dialog (Be sure to uncheck the option to "Launch the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 Installer")  you’ll see an Adobe Photoshop Lightroom directory that contains "setup32" and "setup64" executables.  I’ll let you pick the one you think most appropriate.  


Again, just to be clear, running Lightroom 2 as a 64-bit application on Windows XP x64 is not a supported configuration.  The testing required to certify an additional operating system is a significant effort but there was not enough evidence to suggest that we should completely disable the configuration. 

Why all the excitement about a 64-bit version of Lightroom?  64-bit capable operating systems and applications can take advantage of more memory than 32-bit systems.  If you have a 64-bit environment with more than 4GB of RAM you’re most likely to see improvement in the responsiveness of the Develop module where Lightroom is loading large amounts of information into memory. (A common misconception is that 64-bit systems will see an improvment in import or export performance. Those operations are largely disk-bound so they’re dependent on the speed of your hard drive for performance improvements.)

23 Responses to Lightroom 64-bit on XP x64

  1. Bryn says:

    How about performance in the library module? Anyway to get it to keep more of the thumbnails/previews in memory?[Bryn, when you're moving from image to image in the loupe view, 64-bit should allow Lightroom to keep more of that image data in memory. Are you not seeing a difference? -TH]

  2. Damon Brodie says:

    I would also like to see an increase in performance of the library module. For me the Loupe view is adequate, it is the Grid view that is slow (about 2 seconds or more before the pixelated thumbnails become clear).[Damon, have you tried turning off some of the grid view options? (CMD or CTRL J) I find that when I turn off the index numbers and some other default view options, the grid is more performant. -TH]

  3. Damon Brodie says:

    Thanks for the reply.I just tried turning off the Grid options as you suggested (I turned them all off with the master checkbox at the top). It seems to make the scrolling a bit more smooth, but for me, it doesn’t address the render speed of the thumbnails themselves.

  4. Christian says:

    This is slightly off topic so I apologise in advance but it’s always surprised me how poor Lightroom’s performance is in displaying the histogram in Library view. The image itself comes up reasonably quickly but the histogram displays “Calculating…” for several seconds. This information doesn’t seem to be cached either so swapping back and forwards between two images to compare histograms is virtually impossible. In some other image browsing applications on the same computer the histogram is essentially instantaneous so this has always puzzled me! Also, on a related (but even further off topic) note, why is there no flashing highlights/shadows available in the Library histogram? It’s annoying to have to go into Develop just to see exactly where an image is clipping. Perhaps you could offer some insights…

  5. Bryn says:

    I was mostly commenting about if you have a couple hundred images in the grid view, and you scroll down, and then scroll back up, the thumbnails are being regenerated and not cached. With thousands of images in grid view, the application is only using 1GB of RAM (with 14GB physical) This is on vista. By the way, I’m loving lightroom 2.0, thanks for a great release. Any chance for customizable number of “recent keywords” for 2.1? :) (us users can never get enough)

  6. Alan says:

    Hi,Just a curious question regarding memory performance on 32bit XP systems:I have 4GB of memory on a XP 32bit system, and there remains 3.2GB of memory addressable due to 32bit limitations. I can’t switch to 64 bit, as I still need to support some legacy 16bit apps.However, when I run LR > System Info, it always shows LR not taking up more than 800MB of memory. Should that be a concern? Is there any way in which I can force LR to utilize more memory?[Alan, the 32-bit version is designed to be conservative with memory usage on Windows. -TH]

  7. Mariano Kamp says:

    Not totally related, but important to me ;-) ….Can you tell me what the current state of affairs is with LR2 and Time Machine?That would be great!Mariano[No change with respect to Time Machine. -TH]

  8. Mariano Kamp says:

    Me again. The only thing I could find was this:”The interaction between Leopard’s Time Machine and Photoshop Lightroom’s catalog files is unknown at this time. Running Time Machine’s backup or restore operations while Photoshop Lightroom is in use is not recommended until more information can be obtained.”It’s from November last year and it’s in the release notes of 1.3.Is that the current status?[That's the latest, yes. We don't recommend using Time Machine while Lightroom is running or at the very least, exclude the directory the Lightroom catalog is stored in from the Time Machine backup set. -TH]

  9. Brandon says:

    I just wanted to let you know that Lightroom 64bit on Vista x64 is one of the best adobe products I’ve ever used.The speed of browsing and flipping through pictures is mind blowing compared to Lightroom 1 on Vista x86. I have a modest collection of 8600 photos, most of which were shot with a Nikon D200, some with a Canon G9. I recently got 8Gigs of ram for 150 bucks and now things are even better.I appreciate Adobes entry into native 64bit computing, I really see a difference. I cannot wait for Photoshop CS4 (other than my poor wallet :( )[Thanks Brandon! I'll pass this along to the team. -TH]

  10. Alan says:

    Hi TH,Thanks for the info – appreciate it.Would it be possible for future revisions of LR to be able to configure memory usage (like what we have in PS)?From my limited perspective, most of the Windows users are on 32bits, and it’s quite a pity that LR’s unable to utilize more memory. Although implementing this definitely requires more than flicking a switch..[The memory limitations on Windows 32-bit systems are imposed by the operating system and can't be adjusted by Lightroom. -TH]

  11. Stefan says:

    Tom, just reading your comment about Lightroom being conservative on 32bit systems.Is there a way to tell Lightroom to make full use of all memory available?Is that behaviour different on LR 1.4.1 vs LR2 (I am still on v1 at the moment)?Would you strongly recommend a 64bit over a 32bit operating system with 4GB of RAM available (disregarding the actual 800MB difference)?[For Lightroom users on Windows I would recommend a 64-bit OS over a 32-bit OS. Lightroom is a memory intensive application and Windows 32-bit operating systems are not generous with memory. -TH]

  12. Greg W says:

    Hi Tom,I jumped right on LR2 as I have been enjoying LR since day 1. However, I am experiencing the same performance trouble as Tom Q commented on in the post about LR2′s release. LR 1 and 1.4 was really speedy, but LR2 has lost much of that and is particularly vexing when using the adjustment brush for anything. In addition, the performance on my G5 desktop is particularly awful. I know this post is about LR2 on Windows, but we are discussing performance, as well. :-)Powermac G5 dual 2.0 3.5g ram OS X 1.4.11,MacBook Pro 2.16 3g ram OSX 10.5Thanks.

  13. I’ve just tried running Lightroom 2 under Windows XP 64bit SP2. I runs, but immediately ran out of control allocating 8 Gigs of RAM. So it seems that is not a useful option for thouse of us who try to avoid the Vista disaster.[I've seen Lightroom 2 easily ramp up to 8GB of RAM when zooming in and moving around a large panorama file. If it's allocating 8GB of RAM when you're not doing anything then there's a larger problem and you should submit a bug with more details.(Although, remember XPx64 is not 'officially' supported.) -TH]

  14. Greg W says:

    Hi Tom,Thanks for the great information on this site.I was going to post this on the LR2 release announcement post, but the bottom of the page doesn’t display so I don’t have any “Preview” or “Post” buttons – FYII have been really excited about LR since the beginning and LR2 looked to be awesome. I jumped on it pretty quick after it was released (and used it during the beta period, too).But I would like to see you address performance issues with Lightroom 2 that I, and many users (PC and Mac), am having. Things like switching to Develop causes delays of as much as 15 seconds or so, herky jerky local adjustments, sliders not responding, Lightroom suddenly spiking on the CPU and so on. I am trying to edit a wedding of more than 900 images and these slowdowns are incredibly frustrating. If I was still using LR1.4, I am confident that I would be done by now! I am experiencing this on both Macs (and a third one at my day job):MacBook Pro/2.16 Core2Duo/3 gb ram/80 gig HDPowerMac G5/Dual 2 gig/3.5 ram/Ati Radeon 9800 XT/WD SATA 700GB HDiMac 24″/2.16 Core2Duo/3gb ram/250gb HDMy gear should be up to it, no?I don’t write metadata to the files, pre-generate the 1:1 previews, optomize the catalog – all the usual stuff, I think. 1.4 I could use with the catalog on a simple firewire 400 drive – no way with LR2. A complete drag and there don’t seem to be any answers coming from Adobe on the forums etc.To be honest, I dropped Aperture because of the horrible performance issues. For me, LR2 is about the same as Aperture and, in some examples, much worse.

  15. Paul Gardner says:

    Very happy with LR 2.0 on Vista Ultimate 64 bit with 8 GB of ram. I am running an Intel 6850 at present and am curious as to how well LR2 will use the Intel Quad 9550. Is it multi-threaded at 4 threads or more. I’m hopeing that the 12 MB cache will really improve preformance.[Lightroom will utilize up to 8 cores. -TH]

  16. Alessandro Rosa says:

    Hi Tom,I am a little bit uninformed when it comes to 32 bit vs 64 bit operating systems. Is there a resource you could suggest that I could find out more information?What I am trying to figure out is I have two systems with 4GB’s of RAM running Windows (one XP and one Vista, both 32 bit). Will upgrading to the 64-bit operating system make much of a difference in performance? Do I need to make sure that the computer’s architecture can handle 64 bit processing?Thank you,[Alessandro, I'm not sure that this comments field is the right place for an in-depth discussion of 32 vs. 64-bit computing. I would start with John Nack's blog post here: -TH]

  17. Simone says:

    Hi,I am going to update to Lightroom 2 and I have XP x 64. After what I read here, I do not feel confident on running it as described above in the x64 environment (‘immediately ran out of control allocating 8 Gigs of RAM’ -see above). Do you think that if I run it on the x32 configuration LT2 will run slower than LT1 (which I have and is working well)?Any other experience to document with XP x64?Thanks[Simone, that's why we provide a 30 day trial. Give it a try and let us know how it works out for you. -TH]

  18. Cindy says:

    I’m new to Lightroom and have the trial version installed on my new computer (Dell XPi 3.25GB Ram, Windows XP). I have been processing some pictures and Exporting (maybe 50-75 exported and 800 in the grid). Now it’s saying “not enough memory” when I try to export an image. My brother (who doesn’t know anything about LR but does know computers) said I may have made too many adjustments to this image and the file is so large the computer can’t handle it. Could that be? What causes this and what can I do? I’m not very computer literate. Thanks[Cindy, it sounds like memory fragmentation in the Windows operating system. Are you running many other programs at the same time? Lightroom uses memory very aggressively but the amount of adjustments on each image should not have an impact. -TH]

  19. Jeff Elliott says:

    Hi Tom,I’ve been running 32-bit XP for years and have recently and temporarily installed Vista x64 in a dual-boot setup on the same box with just 2GB RAM. (Other info is Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 OC’d from 2.66 to 3.15GHz, OCZ Platinum XTC PC2-800 @ 5-5-5-15, nVidia 7950 GX2 slightly OC’d, all water cooled; also Areca RAID-5 & 2.5TB online, lots of partitions, large NAS backup system). This was a real kick-hiney machine about 2 years ago when I built it.I can tell you and any other reader that all other things being equal, and on the exact same hardware, LR2 64-bit really FLIES compared to 32-bit! I’ve added no memory (got only 2GB) and tweaked no settings, but there’s a HUGE noticeable speed difference when scrolling large directories, zooming, painting, and even flipping between Library and Develop modules.I’m currently in the 30-day trial period for the Vista x64 install (hence the temporary dual-boot setup) as I’m building a new machine from scratch and am awaiting parts.I’ve installed LR2 in both Windows environments, and they’ve each got their own catalog. Both environments are pointing to the very same copy of my photos; I’ve Imported a couple of directories from my 32-bit XP disk into the Vista x64 catalog but left the originals right where they were (on the 32-bit XP partition). I think if I were to edit any photos in one environment, those changes wouldn’t be visible in the other environment. As I’m primarily running XP and only “checking out” Vista x64 for now, I haven’t made any changes to any photos in Vista x64.My question is this: Can I safely use the same catalog files for both 32-bit XP and 64-bit Vista at the same time? Are they binary compatible?I’d like to get some real work done with LR2 64-bit, but not lose those changes when I reboot into XP 32-bit.Thanks![Jeff, catalog files are platform agnostic. 32-bit to 64-bit and Mac to Win, they are the same on all platforms. -TH]

  20. Jayme Snyder says:

    I also ran into performance problems on my pc when running lightroom… I have 8gb of RAM (low latency 5-5-5-5-14), Q6600, 2x 8900GT in SLI and as my system would start to CRAWL when lightroom allocated memory…BUTIt turned out it was my fault! In my bios there is an option to remap PCI express memory regions… with that option off it basically makes the system slow while accessesing large gobs of memory… Lightroom is now back to being as impressive as ever!

  21. Ramona Boone says:

    I have a LR 2 catalog on a 64 bit laptop and want to add to a catalog on my 32 bit desktop…will this work?? >[Catalogs are 'bit-agnostic' so yes, it will work. -TH]

  22. Ramona Boone says:

    I have a LR 2 catalog on a 64 bit laptop and want to add to a catalog on my 32 bit desktop…will this work??[That should work. - JT]

  23. Phil says:

    I use 2.3 on XP64 running 8gb ram and intel q6600 quad core processor and it runs with no lag and no issues. I have an IDE drive which maybe a little slower than SATA but i think the Adobe people have done a great job on an unofficially supported architecture.