I have some photographs that are very noisy (low light, high ISO), so I figured I would try out Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta to see if I could reduce the noise and since it’s a free download. According to Adobe, the requirements to use Lightroom on Windows are Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), an Intel Pentium 4 processor, 768 MB of RAM (1 GB recommended), and 1 GB or more free hard drive space, and a monitor with 1,024 x 768 screen resolution.
I have an old AMD64 3500+ with Windows SP3 and 3 GB of RAM which I bought back in 2006. Picasa runs pretty smoothly on my system, so I was hopeful that Lightroom would be fine.
Unfortunately, Lightroom was too slow to be useful on my old desktop PC. There was a 3 to 5 second delay before I could see any changes to an image I was editing. The photo I was trying to edit was in RAW format, which may have contributed to the slow performance. I was really looking forward to trying out Lightroom. It looks like I have an excuse to buy a new computer now.
So instead of using Lightroom, I downloaded a free version of Neat Image, which was very simple to use and worked pretty well at reducing noise (more on Neat Image later). I had to convert the RAW image to JPEG first before using Neat Image to reduce the noise, but the result was pretty good.