Re: The Memory Hogs
Thanks for weighing in. I have some questions and some information:
First, I do not seem at this time to have the same problem, i.e., not having enough memory to save images as a large jpeg in another folder, since using the 3gb switch. So, at this point, I may maintain my machine at its current format. Second, the bios shows 4096 as the available ram. Third, I do have an AGP video card, and the "aperture" shows Auto in the primary video. I changed it to AGP and once my screensaver came on, it would not disengage to mouse movement, and I lost my mouse cursor. I reset it back to auto. I do not seem to have "shared memory," but rather 256mb on the card and 4gb of ram. I try not to run other applications, except for some that boot up and run in the background, when running Photoshop. The only exception is usually Bridge.
The questions I have are: You said something about the video card "mapping" two times its ram in the memory. I am probably looking at replacing the card, as the built-in fan on the card started to vibrate and make noise (and is currently disconnected). I have assumed that the higher the video memory on the card meant the faster that graphics programs can do their thing. Would a 128-meg card work better, as it would "map" less of the system ram? I don't generally play video games, and rarely watch videos on my computer.
The last question has to do with scratch disks, and virtual memory. I have installed an additional hard drive in my computer to work as a scratch disk. I have the F: drive in my computer set up as the only scratch disk. It has almost nothing on it. It is 160mb, and 7200 rpm. I have also set up page files on the C: and F: drives at 4092 mb each. Which drive(s) will CS4 use as virtual memory, and how is that determined?
Last, the only problem I seem to have is that when shutting down ps cs4, I sometimes get a message that there is not enough memory to export the clipboard (which I didn't plan to do, anyway).
Re: The Memory Hogs
Wasn't sure if the Diamond was sold as AGP. Try to set "aperture" to the lowest possible value - not lesser then 16MB or 32MB. You might win 220MB by this.
If nothing helps, I fear this is a limitation of the DELL chipset, which are known for that. Have a look to the Guru's site (when it comes to mem matters) Mark Russinovich and search for "major OEM" and after that for DELL. Sorry.
A PCI-card might be faster than the 256 MB AGP (hm, I doubt you would notice), but as said a 32-bit machine only is able to address 4GB memory in total. So how to address the additional 128/256/512/1024 MB graphic cards come along nowadays? Which memory is to count on top of our 4GB RAM?
The chipset have to map/blend it into the address space at the 4th GB RAM.
The chipset have to provide RAM for graphic cards which come without own memory (dito for other devices which don't have own mem, f.e. PCI-bus) and it needs to blend in the onboard RAM of graphic cards, which come with own memory (when more than 3GB RAM are populated)
GCs with high amount of onboard RAM only makes sense when running 64-bit hardware and OS. My 1GB graphic card claims the whole 4th GB on my computer as well, unless I boot 64-bit XP.
But 128-256MB is fine, as long your chipset doesn't behave totally strange. You might win some RAM because the BIOS might handle PCI-cards different than AGPs or you stay at the same.
You have to distinct between virtual mem for the system, which is shared by all programs / OS and virtual memory for PS, which is used by PS only.
You don't need more than 4GB system pagefile, just because some programs running in the background. But PS might pushes back other programs to it, when to many RAM was assigned to PS. Not often, but might happend, especially with /3GB.
As long other programs are "only" started, they consume some hundreds MB, but they usually don't do much I/Os, which would the worse. As long you don't actively work with those programs, some of this hundred MB might have to be paged ones to the pagefile, because PS pushes programs them there, but you won't notice much.
Would be different when those programs would be active, f.e. you mentioned Bridge. It alone takes ~ 160 MB and in case you change folders, it might produce some high I/O when parsing it.
A to large virtual memory can be counterproductive, because the system would have to manage this, which is done in 4K "pages" (4GB = 1024 x 1024 pages, in your case two times the amount have to be monitored and managed) and by this the system would lose some performance by doing that. You will get a notice when virtual memory is taken anyway.
In case paging takes place, more important would be to have lots of space on the hard disk (at least 10GB better more) where the pagefile is located and to defragment it regulary.
Before you defrag it, point your pagefile to another hard disk (or leave only the one on F, reboot, defrag C: and point your pagefile back to the drive. Give it a static size like start and end value the same (4096MB) to avoid it gets fragmented. Delete the one on F: and reboot.
If it was meant in the sense how to determine the size, maybe to configure a fixed size: you can't.
Not sure with CS4 but CS2 was able to access 64 Exabytes of scratch. If you got the hard disks for that and load enough large images, it might will use this
Don't use your scratch disk also for systems pagefile. As said it's rare, but you won't have concurrent I/Os on this disk in case you virus scanner thinks it have to scan the JPGs you are writing.
You might use this rather larger disk for additional storage but here the same rule applys like with the disk for systems pagefile: make sure always lots of space is available and its defragmented regulary.
I mentioned it before in my former post, but since its important and lot people don't know, ones again: a scratch file is written from the very first moment we start PS. It starts with ~32MB and every time we load an image, create or copying a new a layer or launching USM, it gets the same way expanded as RAM is taken from the assigned RAM in PS.
Scratch easily reaches >4GB, so you might understand your performance problems from the beginning, when pointing it to an USB disk.
BTW: there is a small menu at the bottom of PS - switch it to scratch and you see the amount of the scratch file and how it will grow.
The number on the left indicates the used RAM (and also what is prepared for scratch) when the left gets larger than the right (which is the assigned RAM) than scratch is not only prepared, it is used.
Disable the clipboard feature in "edit => preferences => general"
The OOMs came from assigning to much RAM to PS. With /3GB switch, more RAM "outside" Photoshop is available for actions or plug-ins, but all depends on the number and how large loaded images are, and the amount some assign to PS. This will be for sure also more, since some experts are always telling the more, the better ;-)
Only a question when OOM will reoccur.
For giving you a housenumber: loading one 20MB JPG takes 238 MB from 1GB assigned RAM. Copying a layer rises it to 365MB, running USM on it, pushes taken RAM to 552 MB. So you have an idea when all RAM is taken (for running plug-ins / actions) and scratch file is used.
At least do yourself a favor and use /userva=2800 behind the /3GB switch which gives the system back 200MB for handling all the memory tables and pointers which are cut down by 50% when using /3GB only.
Re: The Memory Hogs
Thanks, Joerg -
You really have a lot of knowledge of how the memory system works in a PC. I will be trying the /userva=2800 switch in the boot.ini file.
I may have to come back and ask more questions.
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