Google announced a new desktop app last month called "Backup and Sync." It's a replacement for both the desktop Google Drive and Photos apps, but it was delayed almost two weeks ago. Google has now announced that Backup and Sync is officially rolling out, but you don't have to wait for the update.
The Google Drive app in particular has always been clunky and slow to sync. Hopefully this update fixes some things. Getting the Photos uploading into the same client makes sense. There's no reason to have two apps sending data to the Google cloud when one will do. Just log in, pick the folders you want to sync, and let Google do the rest.
The Drive client updates itself in the background, but Google accidentally pushed the Backup and Sync update to some users back in March. That ended up breaking things. Presumably this one will go smoother, and you can grab the new version right now if you don't want to wait. The installer is available on the Drive and Photos sites, but it's the exact same app. Be aware it replaces the Drive and Photos clients on your PC or Mac (sorry, no Linux). It'll look different, but all your sync settings should be retained.
- Google Blog