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Unsatisfying user experience with On1 Photo Raw 2023



  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    The Cache size slider has nothing to do with the PerfectBrowseCache which will grow to be as large as needed to store all the Preview images for all the photo you have Cataloged. The Cache size slider controls the size of a Browser cache used for images which have NOT been catalogued. The Knowledge Base has an article which explains how all of this works. It's at Catalogs and Caches - ON1 Photo RAW 2022 & ON1 PHOTO RAW 2021.

    Yes, the uninstaller does leave pieces behind in your user data. That is so you can still migrate your old data to the new version should you have to Reset the program after removing the previous version.

    You have a 6 year old, entry level graphics card and you are running an i5 processor. Things are going to be slow. A newer, faster graphics card would improve performance noticeably.

    There are other steps you can take to improve performance. While this post is aimed at Mac users, towards the end I have posted performance improvement tips which apply regardless of the OS you use. They are near the end of the page.

  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Also Mike, you should know that you are not talking to the company here. We are just other users who try to help those with problems. The company rarely responds here. You should be reporting all this to tech support.

    How to submit a problem to ON1 Tech Support - A Step-by-step Guide

  • Mike Fink

    Hello Brian, thanks for taking your time to reply to my rahter "rantish" post up there. Much appreaciated. I do understand, that this is a user forum, Yes, all issues described above were already reported to the On1 tech support. With mixed results. Though, I did get a relatively long answer about the uninstall process.

    Regarding my systems spec. Yes, it is a few years old. And I totally understand, that my hardware is not lightning quick when having tons of settings, presets and layers applied or using the AI-tools for selecting, masking and son on. But honestly, panning and zooming into a picture is really 1990th stuff (especially on 16 MegaPixels). This should be nice and smooth with the on CPU graphics card already... But I do not think, that the discussion between the two of us will progress Photo Raw any further. Anyhow, I am still confident, that the software quality of On1 Photo RAW still leaves a lot to desired.

    Interesting read regarding the Catalogs and Caches. Thanks for the link. I'll check the performace settings. But this does not explain why the PerfectBrowseCache went berserc on my installation and produced cache folder bigger then the folder with the originals. I guess, I'll have to suggest to the On1 people, that the PerfectBrowseCache should have a limitation slider as well. No point in having the system drive completely clogged up.

    Thanks again for your reply and hopefully we are looking into a brighter future of On1 Photo RAW...

  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Good morning Mike,

    I can't address your concerns over the size of the PBC on your system. There are too many variables we haven't covered. You can always trash it and let the program rebuild it if you believe it is larger than it should be.

    I'm sorry I forgot to post the link to the article on performance improvements I mentioned above. Here it is.

    Here is how I have my system configured (this is from the article I linked.)

    I'm using a 1st gen M1 mini and I do not experience these problems. I have however, optimized my system for Photo RAW's performance. These tips are just as valid for Windows systems as Macs of any flavor.

    I have my photos on a separate SSD connected through a hub. This has multiple benefits. It reduces the space needed on your boot drive. It keeps photo file reading I/O on its own drive so the program doesn't have to wait as long when reading and writing to the disc because some other program is using the boot drive at the moment. It also makes it easy to move to a new machine when your current system dies or needs to be replaced. Pull the drive from the old machine, add it to the new machine and you're back in business.

    I have a separate, fast SSD that is dedicated to ON program Scratch spaces (Photo RAW and the individual plug-ins) and Photo RAW's Perfect Browse Cache. The Scratch space is used when your system starts running out of memory for Photo RAW. If you run out of disc space to hold it the program will crash. Putting it on its own drive gives you plenty of room to grow. It also reduces disc I/O as described above. It's more important here than in reading a photo file. This drive should have its own direct connection to the computer. You don't want it sharing an I/O cable with another drive or daisy chained together. The same for connecting it through a hub; you'll wind up sharing the same I/O channel again. Mine uses one of the Thunderbolt 3 ports on the Mini.

    The PerfectBrowseCache is where the cataloging system stores the previews of your Cataloged images. It will continue to grow in size as your photo library grows. Putting on the drive with the Scratch space insures plenty of room for growth and reduces the need for space on the boot drive at the same time.

    If you do not use catalogs and you browse large numbers of files (this is especially true for those who insist upon placing thousands of files into 1 folder!) there is a limited amount of cache space used to hold the previews for the images you are browsing. As the cache fills it must be emptied to make room for new previews. As an image scrolls onto the screen its preview must be pulled from the cache or it has to be rendered and added to the cache for future use. This all takes time, especially when they must be rendered first.

    As you scroll through the files and the cache fills room has to be made for the images being currently viewed. Images in the cache for the longest time are removed. If you scroll up and down through a huge folder of images you can wind up rendering the same images again and again. This will definitely show up as a slow, bogged down system. This is what the Cache Size slider in Preferences > System > Performance controls. Of course a larger cache size means more disc space is needed.

    To that I would add that when editing your photos DO NOT leave the Presets panel open any longer than is needed to select the one you want to use. After is has been applied collapse the panel so all those previews don't have to be re-rendered with every edit you make and especially with every brush stroke you paint into your masks. The same goes for the Filmstrip although to a much lesser degree.

  • Richard

    Mike, the PBC will be much smaller if you select either the Medium or Minimal preview size options when setting up your catalogues. These are described in the article on caches that Brian has given you a link to. There are some compromises that go with either option, particularly in rendering time, but even the Medium preview size option can result in a significant reduction in the PBC. 

  • Keith Neff

    Mike, I am running a similar setup to yours on a laptop, the only difference is an i5 8550 and 16 gig ram.  It does struggle with 2023 with the CPU going full blast and it does run hot, but, it runs.

    I can do all the things on it that my desktop machine but it just takes longer.  I did try the latest driver and on my system it got very ugly so I switched back to 471.41, I'm not sure the newer drivers do anything for 1050s.


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