Sunday, October 28, 2012

Slow Lightroom down with USB

On my Lightroom wish-list, I always had an item about the CPU usage: I often run "heavy" processor-intensive tasks, and I use a laptop, which is definitely not optimized for heat dissipation.
So I don't care if the task takes 2 or 8 hours, as I'm going to run it overnight anyway... Instead, I care it does not keep the CPU at 100% all the time, because I don't want the computer to melt, and I don't want the fans to run at full speed during the night.
The typical scenario is an export task, but I seem to have found a reasonable workaround: export to a USB device.
Lightroom probably waits for an image to be successfully written before converting the next; a slow USB device seems to give the processor enough "waiting time" to avoid overheating.
I have to admit that in the long run, it tends to be less effective, but I think that connecting the USB to a network device might help even more.


  1. There are plenty of tools that can throttle the CPU in a more controllable way than using USB. For instance, you can lower the max speed in Windows power settings, or check out

  2. Well, it's not that easy. Especially on Mac, you can re-nice a process (i.e. lower its priority) but if there's nothing else running, it will still take all the CPU power.
    In windows PCs there are lots of (over/under)clocking utilities, but they are mostly 32-bit and you may not want to install them, as they will typically put some driver in your pc... using a usb key is just a quick workaround.