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PugetBench for Lightroom Classic

Written on December 17, 2019 by Matt Bach

At Puget Systems, one of our primary goals is to provide fast and reliable workstations that are perfectly tailored to each customer's unique workflow. As a part of this, we publish an ongoing series of hardware articles for Lightroom Classic - as well as numerous other software packages - in order to discover what hardware configurations are optimal for these specific applications.

However, while this ensures that we are selling the right hardware, it does not give our customers a great idea of how much faster a new workstation might be compared to their existing system. In addition, with the amount of hardware that is currently available, it is impossible for us to test everything on our own, so we want to provide tools for other hardware reviewers to perform real world benchmarking in professional applications like Lightroom Classic.

To address both of these issues, we are making our Lightroom Classic benchmark available for download so that anyone can can perform the same testing we do in our hardware articles.

Download PugetBench for Lightroom Classic

PugetBench for Lightroom Classic free edition

Free Edition

Download V0.93 BETA (1.7GB)

Suitable for personal use

PugetBench for Lightroom Classic commercial edition

Commercial Edition

More Information

For commercial use
Includes email support, automation, and logging

Be sure to check out the full list of benchmarks we have available!

PugetBench for Lightroom Classic

System Requirements

  • Adobe Lightroom Classic version 9, 10, 11
  • 16GB of memory
  • >100GB of free storage
  • Windows 10/11 (no MacOS support currently)
  • Lightroom Classic/OS language must be set to English

Note that this benchmark is still in BETA. Plug-ins and customized preferences in particular may prevent the benchmark from running properly. If you run into any issues, we recommend resetting your preferences either by following Adobe's guide or by using our Adobe CC Preference Backup/Restore/Clear utility (Windows only).

The benchmark requires that the Lightroom window stays in focus and that the mouse/keyboard is left alone for the duration of the test. Trying to use your system while the benchmark is running will result in the benchmark failing.

How to run the benchmark

  1. Download and unzip the benchmark from the link above.
  2. Install the plugin via one of two methods:
    • Option 1: Copy the "pugetsystems.lrplugin" folder to “C:⧵Users⧵AppData⧵Roaming⧵Adobe⧵Lightroom⧵Modules"
    • Option 2: Launch Lightroom Classic and go to "File -> Plug-in Manager". Click "Add", navigate to the location of the benchmark folder and select the "pugetsystems.lrplugin" folder. Click "Done”.
  3. Launch Lightroom Classic and open the appropriate catalog file for the version of Lightroom Classic you are using
    • Lightroom Classic 9.x - "Benchmark Catalog.lrcat"
    • Lightroom Classic 10.x - "Benchmark Catalog v10.lrcat"
    • Lightroom Classic 11.x - "Benchmark Catalog v11.lrcat"
  4. Go to "File -> Plug-in Extras" and select "Benchmark Run"
  5. Run the Benchmark!
    • Note: the benchmark automatically expands the test assets in order to be able to accurately test with a large number of images. This results in roughly 100GB of images being left on the system. Simply deleting the benchmark folder will remove these files from your system and restore the free space on your drive.

When the benchmark is complete, it will give you an "Overall Score" and upload the results to to our online database (unless told not to with the commercial version). From the uploaded results, you can view the sub-scores and individual test results.


If you have any issues with the benchmark not properly running, first verify that your system meets the System Requirements and that the version of Lightroom Classic you are using is supports. If there are no issues with your system or software, there are a number of troubleshooting steps you can try:

  • If you have an AMD GPU and are getting an error of "Could not import images. Import window wouldn't open.", this is caused by hotkey conflicts with the AMD ReLive software. To fix this, you need to unmap the screenshot and toggle microphone hotkeys:
    1. Go into the AMD Radeon Software
    2. Click on the gear icon to go into the settings
    3. Navigate to the "Hotkeys" tab
    4. Find the "Take Screenshot" entry
    5. Click on "CTRL + SHIFT + I"
    6. Enter a new hotkey combination, or hit delete to remove the hotkey entirely
    7. Find the "Toggle Microphone" entry
    8. Click on "CTRL+SHIFT+M"
    9. Enter a new hotkey combination, or hit delete to remove the hotkey entirely
  • Make sure you are following each step listed in the How to run the benchmark section
  • Do not attempt to use the system while the benchmark is running. Defocusing the application window can break the benchmark in many situations.
  • Disable Windows Defender or any real-time virus scanning programs when you run the benchmark.
  • If you are on MacOS and have renamed your drive, the benchmark will not be able to get your system specs. The only work-around at the moment is to rename your drive back to "Macintosh HD", or you can continue to run the benchmark without it being able to pull specs.
  • Disable any plugins as they can impact how Lightroom Classic behaves.
  • Clear the application preferences and reset them to default.
  • Ensure that your OS and Lightroom Classic is set to English and that the path to the benchmark script does not have any special or non-English characters.
  • The benchmark does not work over an unmapped network drive (I.E. // Mapped drives should work, but we highly recommend having the benchmark on a local drive as storage performance can affect the results.

Lower than expected performance can be caused by a number of factors, but the most common are:

  • Outdated BIOS/drivers/software
  • Running background processes (Antivirus, Windows Updates, etc.)
  • Windows power profile (High Performance is recommended for the best results)
  • Adobe application settings are not correct (GPU acceleration not enabled, etc.)

If you continue to have issues, we recommend posting in the comment section below - ideally with a screenshot of the problem and a copy of any log files (inside the "PugetBench.lrplugin" folder) that are generated by the benchmark.

What is tested?

Our Lightroom Classic benchmark looks at performance with three sets of images for both "active" and "passive" tasks. The image sets include 500x images from the following cameras:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III - 22MP .CR2
  • Sony a7r III - 42MP .ARW
  • Nikon D850 - 45MP .NEF

The following tasks are tested:

Active Tasks:

  • Library Module Loupe Scroll (The time it takes between hitting the right arrow ey and the next image displaying on screen)
  • Develop Module Loupe Scroll (The time it takes between hitting the right arrow ey and the next image displaying on screen)
  • Library to Develop Switch (The time between hitting the Devlope panel button and when Lightroom actually switches)
  • Develop Module Auto WB & Tone (How long the image takes to update after applying the Auto Tone and White Balance)

Passive Tasks:

  • Import 500x Images (Add from location, minimal previews, do not generate Smart Previews)
  • Build 500x Smart Previews (Default settings)
  • Photo Merge Panorama (Time to create a panorama of 6 images using default settings [Ctrl-M])
  • Photo Merge HDR (Time to create an HDR of 6 images using default settings [Ctrl-H])
  • Export 50x JPEG (Time to export 50 images to JPEG [60 quality] with the longest side being 3840 pixels. Auto Tone and W/B applied)
  • Convert to DNG 50x Images (Time to convert to DNG [dng, Camera Raw 11.2 and later, medium size, embed fast load data])

How does the scoring work?

The scoring system used in our benchmark is based on the performance relative to a reference system with the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i9 9900K 8 Core
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB
  • 64GB of RAM
  • Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
  • Windows 10 (1903)
  • Adobe Lighroom Classic CC 2019 (ver. 8.4)
  • Overall Score: 1000
  • Active Tasks Score: 100
  • Passive Tasks Score: 100

The Overall Score is simply the average of the active and passive scores and multiplied by 10 since bigger score = more important.

Update Log

Version 0.93 BETA

  • Added CLI support for Lightroom Classic version 11.x
  • Created dedicated Benchmark catalogs for LrC version 9, 10, and 11.

Version 0.92 BETA

  • Added GPU driver and motherboard BIOS to the system specs for Windows systems
  • Misc bug fixes

Version 0.91 BETA

  • Added checks for Photomerge HDR/Panorama settings. If they are not default, it will notify the user that they need to adjust the settings or reset the preferences to default.
  • The "catalog:triggerImportFromPathWithPreviousSettings()" API hook does not properly use the last settings from the catalog if it does not match what is stored in preferences (common when changing catalogs). To fix this issue, the first import is done using the old method of opening the import dialog and using an automation script to import the image set. The other imports are still done with "catalog:triggerImportFromPathWithPreviousSettings()", however, since it is more consistent when it works properly.

Version 0.9 BETA (Major Update)

  • Results are now uploaded to our online database. This is required for the free version, but opt-in if you have a commercial license.
  • Removed the result screen at the end of the benchmark run now that the full results can be viewed on our benchmark listing page.
  • Added licensed configuration options to a new GUI that loads when the benchmark is run.
  • License validation moved from the CLI utility to the plugin itself.
  • Added tooltips for the various settings that can now be configured.
  • Status logs and configuration settings moved to "~Documents⧵PugetBench⧵Lightroom Classic⧵TIMESTAMP" since we cannot always log directly to the plugin folder.
  • Dropped Develop Module Brush Lag tests. This is something we really want, but the current methodology we are using is too inconsistent to be reliable. We will continue to work on this type of test and hopefully be able to add a similar test back in the future.
  • Importing is now done via the "catalog:triggerImportFromPathWithPreviousSettings()" API hook. This should be much more reliable then the current window watch/button click method we were using.
  • Scoring has been adjusted based on the test changes. Due to this, the Overall and Active scores will not be consistent with previous versions.
  • General bug fixes and stability improvements.

Version .85 BETA

  • Added functional progress bar to DNG and export image deletion during cleanup (this can sometimes take longer than you would expect)
  • Additional logging for plugin and catalog path (useful for troubleshooting)

Version .8 BETA

  • Rename to "PugetBench for Lightroom Classic"
  • Improved timing accuracy for the Active tests
  • There is now a "Benchmark Results" screen that comes up at the end of the benchmark that displays a bunch of useful information including: benchmark version, ccores, results for each individual test, and system information like CPU, RAM, OS, GPU, and Photoshop version
  • The benchmark now also makes a PNG of the "Benchmark Results" screen for easy sharing
  • Removed .csv log file support in the free edition (log files will be a feature in the commercial use version)

Version 0.2 BETA

  • First public release.
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Tags: Benchmark, Lightroom CLassic, Public, Download