DXO Photolab Workstation Requirements

DXO Photolab is another excellent RAW image editor, with some truly unique features such as their class leading Prime Noise Reduction that no other application can get any where near, as it turns high ISO images into beautifully clear and smooth.

Unlike Capture One however, it is not a thoroughly modern bit of code and makes little use of the graphics card for anything it does, not even image exporting. So this is an application that demands CPU power, and lots of it if you want performance.

Which Processor to use with DXO Photolab?

The latest Core i9 processors are ideal for DXO Photolab, as it makes full use of all cores available. While the Core i7 9700K will work fine, if you are seeking maximum performance do look at the higher spec’d Core i9 processors, and if budget permits and you earn money from your photographic work, the Core i9 X series processors will provide the very performance, particularity the high core models.

In the testing I did, using the PRIME noise reduction, on a single image export DXO Photolab uses around 50% of the CPU, if you export several images at once, each with PRIME applied, the CPU gets absolutely hammered and sits at 100% utilisation, non stop until all images are exported.

Exporting images without PRIME, puts less stress on the CPU, so it all comes down to the type of work you do and in particular weather or not you do a lot of high ISO work, in which case get a very fast CPU.

Which Graphics Card to use for DXO Photolab?

DXO Photolab makes very little use of the graphics card in my testing. Image display and adjustments sees a little action but nothing significant, DXO prefers to use the CPU and it hammers the CPU pretty hard just to display an image.

So unless you have other apps that do require a good graphics card, I would settle for a lower end graphics card and spend the money you save on a faster CPU where you will see great benefit.

How much RAM does DXO Photolab require?

The amount of RAM you need for DXO Photolab is somewhat dependent on the size of your library and how many other apps you have open at the same time. Having said that it does not seem to be as RAM hungry as you would expect.

A system with at least 16GB RAM is recommended as a minimum to allow for system memory and other apps to be open at the same time. Of course, 32GB ensures you have more than enough for future demands as well.

Which storage type is best for DXO Photolab?

As with Capture One, the faster your storage the better the performance. Therefore, SSD storage is the only way to go for both your startup drive and your source files. The faster M.2 drives are preferred as they tend to offer greater read/write speeds.

It is good practice to use a second SSD for caching and once again a M.2 drive is the better choice, offering speeds up to five times faster than standard SSD drives.

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