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Photo Raw 2021 Performance



  • Nitin Chandra

    Try Numbers instead of 1 2 3 Brian Lawson Don't think 1-2-3 works on the Mac! :P

  • Henry Slofstra

    David Kick,

    Thanks for the update on Windows update parameters. They have come a long way since last I looked.  On this particular computer I do have to turn it off when I'm out of the office, so I usually just bite the bullet when the updates come up.  Often, it will ask me for a deferred run time, but usually that passes with the computer being off or out of commission and then I'm only inconvenienced again at a later time. 


  • Henry Slofstra

    I've done some further testing with the Ethernet card disabled.

    I have a test folder with a dozen photos.  With the Ethernet card enabled, and arrowing right and left through a filmstrip tray, the program halts after right arrowing-ing 10 to 12 times.  The hourglass stays up for 15-30 seconds. 

    With the network card disabled, there are no such delays.  In fact, I just completed an extensive exercise flagging the best photoes in a tray with 3-400 photoes.  Worked great, for the first time.

    I also have the Radeon RX 580 graphics card, and for now I've put the scratch and cache areas on a virtual RAMDisk of 4 GB in size.


  • François Vincent

    I do also face big problems of very slow and lagging ON1.
    Each version is worse for me.
    It is so critical that I cannot really use the software features.
    I'm with ON1 since 4 years and did invest a lot of my time to learn how to use it and that the main reason I'm staying but I start to have doubts that they want to solve this big issue of ON1 not working with Windows.
    My last trial has been to change my PC and I spent more than 3'000$ to see that only 20-25% (or often less) of the PC resources are used and ON1 still lagging.

    My PC is with i7-8565U, 40GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce MX250 with 2GB VRAM, 1TB SSD

    What to say more...
    Maybe that in the last year, all photographers I spoke about ON1 answer either "I don't know" or "it's too slow" or "it's too buggy".
    Should I still hope to have a working ON1 on Windows or should I give up?
    Any information about the performance of the 2021 version may be appreciated. Thank you.

  • David Kick


    I can say On1 runs very well on my Windows PC. Specs below

    I would suggest your MX250 GPU is probably not helping you ( it's pretty underpowered ).

    Another suggestion would be to add a small SSD and move the On1 scratch and browse to the small SSD.


    My System:

    CPU: Intel I5-9600K CPU @ 3.7 GHz
    Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO WiFi
    (Intel LGA1151/Z390/ATX/2xM.2 Gaming Motherboard)

    RAM: 32 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM
    3000MHz running at 3066Mhz

    GPU: GeForce RTX 2060 - 6GB RAM
    Driver: 456.55 ( 9/28/20 )

    OS: Windows 10 Home edition 64 bit Ver 2004 Build 19042

    Drive Configuration:
    OS and On1 on Primary internal Nvme drive
    ON1 Scratch and browse folders on 2nd internal SSD
    Photos stored and edited on 3rd internal SSD

  • Nitin Chandra

    I would go with the statement "it's too buggy" François Vincent :)

    The initial setup, if you are using a catalog, can be daunting while previews are being built. Unlike LR, you have no control and unlike some others, including Luminar, it is not smooth and can freeze.

    Personally, I have no issues with the ON1 "performance" as such, but, there are too many bugs. I have installed 2021 and left it to build previews, but, I did notice that the Nikon raw rendering issues that I had reported earlier are still not fixed.

    Just give it a week or so and you will probably see the issues here as well and then decide if those are minor for your purpose or show stoppers. Almost all similar software would have bugs and nuances and you would need to figure out what works for you and what does not.

  • David Kick

    Regardless of what Nitan says some of us find On1 runs extremely well even with cataloging turned on.

  • François Vincent

    David Kick
    My PC is OK even better than the ON1 requirements.
    I don't ask for ultra fast, but just decent working speed and ability to use software features like masking, layers and so on, not only changing contrast. And I don't face any trouble with any ANY other software.

    My PC is a laptop as I need it when traveling for workshops or some shootings.

    Nitin Chandra
    I don't use catalog.

    But have many troubles:
    As said very low and lagging especially when using advanced features
    ON1 is not working on my second display.
    PNG export not working at all.
    Black image preview with lost of all work done.
    Sporadic crashes when working on a photo ending with total loss of your work.

    And additionally missing of new Canon RF lenses.

  • Nitin Chandra

    Works for some and does not for others David Kick. Exactly what I mentioned earlier. Depends on what works for you.

    Most of what you mentioned are bugs François Vincent. As for performance in the edit, ON1 has a very bad implementation and management of files for that. In short, you need an SSD drive for the ON1 scratch space. I have already tried combos earlier, it does not matter where you put your image files or even the previews since there is no noticeable difference in practice. You can have your images on the fastest SSD around and you will still see the loading progress bar in ON1.

    ON1 uses files to communicate within the application and therefore only an SSD can improve performance in that area (or a RAM disk).

  • François Vincent

    Nitin Chandra thank you for information, I should investigate about a RAM disk as I should have enough RAM to use few for that.

    In fact, it's strange for me that I can use simultaneously Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Word, 2 different web browsers with many open tabs, my e-mail software and many other open windows/software open and running all together without any problems and when I use ON1 I close everything and it lags. That's why I think the problem is ON1 and not my PC.

  • Henry Slofstra


    There is a serious and specific performance related bug that I found and described on another thread. 

    It affects only those who are not on ON1 360, as far as I know.

    It comes from ON1 continually checking for the ON1 cloud site, even though you're not using it. ON1 has verified that this is a bug.  In my case, this caused delays of 10-20 seconds on a random basis, roughly once or twice a minute.

    I have a work around.  Disable the network card while working in ON1.   This means you can't browse or do anything Internet or server related while working in ON1.  If you can't live with those conditions, at least try this measure out to see if it solves the issue for you.

    ON! is correcting this issue, but did not specify if 2020.5 will get the fix.




  • François Vincent

    Henry Slofstra thanks, I will for sure try to use ON1 with network disabled.

  • François Vincent

    Henry Slofstra I did try to switch off my wifi but didn't notice really big change. However I will try/investigate more (currently facing other problems).

    Nitin Chandra I did made some tests with a RAM drive (10GB on a total of 40GB). I feel like it improves but I have to do more tests to come to a final conclusion.

    Thanks again to both of you.
    I just wanted to give some feedback.

  • Henry Slofstra


    I would suggest that you try running the program with the Task manager open, set to look at action on your Ethernet card.  With it enabled and working in ON1, you should see activity on the Internet card every few seconds.  Make sure no browser, or really, any other app,  is open.

    If you don't see activity on the Ethernet interface, then you don't have my problem. 

    I continue to work with the card disabled and I am getting my work done.  But at times it is still slow.

    Today, I noticed that film strip and grid views are very different. You would think they behave the same but they don't.  For example, if I select all in film strip view and set a colour flag, the setting only changes on one photo.  But in grid view, it changes them all.

    And film strip view causes long, unexplainable delays, so I will avoid it if I can.

    I also noticed that the program is not making much use of my AMD Radeon card. 

  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    if I select all in film strip view and set a colour flag, the setting only changes on one photo.  But in grid view, it changes them all.

    This is by design. With the Filmstrip open you are in Photo View mode and the super-selected image, the one with the brightest outline, will be the only one affected by metadata changes like that. In Thumbnail view (grid view) all selected images will be affected.

  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    I also noticed that the program is not making much use of my AMD Radeon card.  If you monitor its usage closely you'll notice that it will spike when you do different things. You'll see it usage go up while brushing masks for instance. When you make changes to your edits it will go up as the image is re-rendered to account for the change. No, it does not stay at a high level while you are simply viewing an image. It will spike when you move to a new image then return to a lower level once the new image has been rendered.

  • Henry Slofstra

    Thanks Brian,

    You would think that the strip and grid would work in exactly the same way.  After all, they are just differently oriented views of a file folder.  But now that I know it's okay,

    Today my exercise was to apply a crop, a rotation and an auto exposure setting to 150 photos in one folder, which were culled from 450 photos initially.  I'll have 50 or 60 folders to do over time - my slide collection from 1980 to 2005.

    Really, ON1 isn't up to this part of the job.  I completed the job in about 3 hours, but unfortunately, the batch rotation pasted onto the 150 photos (about a 5 degree rotation) corrupted a number of the photo's.   This led me to research and see if there was a better tool for batch editing.  I ended up using Corel After Shot to do the batch edits, and it took about 10 minutes to do the entire job.  It's very limited as a photo editor, but perfect for this part of the assignment.  This program will probably serve as a complement to ON1 Photo Draw - assuming that ON1 stabilizes in time and is usable as my main editor.  It still comes up short at the present time.

    I notice that a lot of the Photo editors are selling on the basis of powerful AI features, but that's a turn-off to me.  I do hope that ON1 leverage their front runner status by coming out with a stable version of their product that pro's and prosumers can use, rather than just leaving everyone on the bleeding edge as they add features with a wow factor.  The 2021 version does not look promising for those wanting stable software.

  • David Price

    I agree with Brian's observations on the use made by PR of the graphics card.  I have noticed that different parts of Photo Raw make use of different parts of my PC, (via Taskmanager).   As examples, Export and Resize make heavy use of the CPU.  Editing and Masking, shows up as spikes of activity in the GPU.

    When the GPU is used, things seem to happen very quickly. When the CPU is used, everything seems to slow down.  Which is probably an accurate representation of the relative difference in power between a modern GPU and a modern CPU.

    Some people claim that you don't need a GPU to run photo editing software.  This may be true for Photo Shop, as it is mostly coded to run in the CPU.   But Photo Raw is designed to leverage the power of the GPU, it really does need a GPU.  This results in slightly Jeckel and Hyde behaviour, i.e. the bits of code that run in a GPU run quickly and smoothly, (you see little spikes of activity in the GPU), and the bits that run in the CPU, plod only slowly.   The bottle neck, (that is slowing everything down), being the overloaded CPU.  Which, on my PC,  can be running at close to 100% for long periods of time. 



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