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PhotoRaw running on new MacBook Air M1 machine




  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Hi John, not sure how this got overlooked, sorry. I’m running on an M1 Mini with 16GB of RAM. Even under Rosetta 2 emulation I’m finding the program more responsive that it was on my MacBook Pro.

    I’m not sure 16GB is required but it highly recommended.

  • John Crowley

    Thanks Brian.   I had read somewhere else on the web that the new M1 are very good at photo processing because of the new integrated cpu/gpu. I did order a iMac M1 air with 16gb. Its for my daughter-in-law. I dont think she's had much time to really use it with ON1 yet. She has a house full with three girls under 6 and is home schooling them. 

    But nice to hear some real life example with the new M1


  • Chris Backhouse

    I've been trialing On1 for a year as a keen amateur (perhaps semi-pro) I haven't yet had the time for a full time switch from LR.  I'm now just doing my first major batch edit run and I'm finding it almost unusable.  I'm trying on both my 2017 iMac 27 with 64Gb and on my new M1 with 15Gb.  Both running on the main SSD hard drive.  I moved the photo directory from my external drive to the internal to check it wasn't a disk through-put issue.  Practically everything runs like a dog, from spot removal to basic colour changes.  Exporting 33 images has been running now for 20 mins on my M1.

    And then when you do finally get to export, the export functions are way too basic.  You can't even export to a sub-directory without having to choose and navigate, create the sub-directory in the finder window and then back into the export module.  On that basis you can't save this as an export preset (eg: current_dir/exports/ )

    The editing is great but I still don't see how any pro can get a decent workflow just using ON1 for 90% of the editing process.  It's just too slow.  I've taken most of the morning to do what it would take me an hour on LR.

    I'm very disappointed having invested a lot of time learning and trying out the editing I need for a batch edit to then find that I can't use it.  And that's not talking about the $150+ on buying the software and 1 year of On1Plus.

    I would be really interested to hear from a Pro how you can set this up to get decent performance from it.



  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    The best thing one can do to improve the performance of the program, regardless of the OS or processor being used, is to add an external SSD dedicated to Photo RAW's Scratch space and Perfect Browse Cache.

    While editing all the work is stored in the scratch space. It gets saved once you return to the Browser or a different picture is selected for editing. You were right to look for I/O contention issues but it doesn't come from the relatively infrequent reading of the image from storage, it comes from the Scratch space I/O getting queued up inline with all the other I/O your system is doing in the background. Moving the Scratch space to its own drive gives it its own dedicated I/O channel, kind of like a commuter lane just for Photo RAW.

    To move the Scratch & PerfectBrowseCache locations go to Preferences > System and click the Move… buttons.

    Note that the Move button for the PBC doesn't actually move it. It sets the new location then copies the PBC there leaving the original behind. If you want to recover the now unused space on your internal boot volume go to ~/Library/Application Support/ON1/. If you don't see the PerfectBrowseCache folder there look inside the ON1 Photo RAW 2021 sub-folder.

  • Chris Backhouse

    Hi Brian

    Thanks for your tip. It's been quite a while but I finally got my scratch SSD drive in and running and today just running through some edits is a completely different experience.  Much smoother and snappier.

    It should be a warning to others though that the cost of moving from LR to On1 is the software PLUS a decent SSD.

    Many thanks for your help!



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