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  • Computer: upgrade to gain in speed?

    Last week I decided to upgrade my Mac (3.06 Intel Core2 duo) from 4 GB to 16 GB. I was very surprised and disappointed I didn't get an expected speedprofit. I don't even think if it is faster, to me it even seems slower but that could be my mistake.
    I use PS CS4 and varied the performancesettings from 70% to 100% and all the steps in between and also the cache and historystatelevel, I know it only sees max.3072.
    Any of you gents/ladies have tips what I can do to improve speed on this?
    Senior Member
    Last edited by capice; 03-30-2012, 04:16 AM.

  • #2
    Re: upgrade to gain in speed?


    I have the same iMac, but with just 4GB of RAM. I would expect 16GB to give you some sort of performance improvement...

    An increase in RAM wouldn't improve processor related operations (such as working out lens blurs, for example), but would allow you to work on larger files - What sort of file sizes are you dealing with? I would certainly think you would see an improvement on larger files with more layers in them.

    You could try running Onyx - It cleans out all sorts of rubbish that OSX leaves laying around:-


    • #3
      Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

      PS performance is highly related to CPU processing throughput. Having a high speed / multicore CPU has a big impact. PS also uses disk cache to store large temp files even when you have large amounts of memory. So fast hard drive (7200 rpm or more) has a significant impact. Running a 64 bit opereating system speeds PS workflow up very significantly as well. These factors are more important than EAM especially if you have a sufficient amount to begin with. Having > 8GB doesn't buy you much if any additional performance.
      Regards, Murray


      • #4
        Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

        If I remember it correctly, Photoshop CS4 is not able to use more than 3GB of RAM anyway.

        You can download CS6 Beta and give it a try with a large file.



        • #5
          Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

          It makes a difference what system version you're running. If its snow leopard or earlier you won't see a huge difference. If its Lion or later you should see a nice difference. As stated CS4 won't see the additional ram. IF you are running CS4 now with the newest OS you are probably running in 32bit mode which isn't a help at all. CS5 will see a whole lot more ram and with CS6 you can assign 90% of your ram and have great additional performance.

          If its an option, upgrade to both OS X Lion and try the CS6 beta as suggested. With that system config and decent hard drives and scratch allocation(as mentioned) you should have a fantastic Photoshop station.



          • #6
            Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

            thanks for chiming in guys, I am relatively new to Mac, I have two of these systems in our studio for about 8 months now
            Most of the files I use start at 50 mb and (and thanks to this forum) increase to 200-700mb according to the amount of layers ect.
            The graphic card is a ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256mb so maybe there is more to win....
            @mrmonday, its a 3.06 intel core2 duo. Thanks for pointing out the hdtip, the 1 TB hd is almost full I see now....I will check what to swap to another disc since there is " only" 72 GB free space left(to my surprise)..
            Yes, Cs4 is 32bit and only sees 3GB
            @ Chris I think you nailed it here....I am still on OSx 10.6.8 and I am a bit reluctant to upgrade since I have read a lot of problems regarding crashes after updates in the macuserfora. I lack knowledge how to invert the update when going wrong.
            Gonna try some of the suggestions and will post any results.
            Thanks again


            • #7
              Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

              Install the new OS on a separate HD if you have one available, then you don't have to worry about reverting anything. Its easy and quick on a mac. You also need to dedicate a HD to JUST being a scratch disk. Nothing at all on it. You'll see a big difference in response times with scratch intensive duties. Also if you can, purchase a video card with at least a gig of VRAM on it. They have come down in price, some around 99$. CHeck on Adobes site...somewhere they have a listing of video cards that PS supports and the optimal ones for use with each version of CSPS.



              • #8
                Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

                Sorry when it's a noobiequestion but do you mean to instal Lion on a external HD or to open up the mac and replace the hd that is in now?....I have done discchanges on pc but on an Imac?...Reading a tut on the web it's not something I am looking forward to..


                • #9
                  Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

                  I upgraded to Lion from 10.6.8 last week (I don't like it's new futures but I had no choice) and I didn't get into any troubles. Make sure you have a proper backup of your important files.



                  • #10
                    Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

                    I am on a Mac Pro 4,1 with Photoshop cs5 under snow leopard 10.6.8.
                    I had 12GB RAM installed and efficiency quite often around 70 percent.

                    To save time I save uncompressed - since Adobe published a script to save psb uncompressed. This enabes the use of all cores during save. That saves me 30-60 Minutes a day with the downside of larger files.

                    Having upgraded to 32 GB RAM, I really see big improvements!
                    But as said before you should look at your system configuration:
                    Scratch on a separate disk if possible (preferable fast SSD), working files on an extra drive, system and photoshop on an extra drive.

                    Is Lion really so much faster?

                    I will have to check CS6 on snow leopard soon...


                    • #11
                      Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

                      wow, 32GB....I read from Chris's reply it will benefit from changing cs4 to cs5 or 6.
                      Since my internal disk is pretty full and thi is the one I use for scratch, would choosing an external hd as a scratchdisk be an improvement or would the USBinterface slow it down?


                      • #12
                        Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

                        Originally posted by capice View Post
                        wow, 32GB....I read from Chris's reply it will benefit from changing cs4 to cs5 or 6.
                        Since my internal disk is pretty full and thi is the one I use for scratch, would choosing an external hd as a scratchdisk be an improvement or would the USBinterface slow it down?
                        If you have enough RAM, Photoshop will not write any data into scratch.
                        I would recommend to use an external disk as scratch in your current configuration (leave all as is and set scratch to an external disk).
                        Then after several hours have a look at your scratch disk command+I:
                        Then you will see how much space Photoshop took.

                        The change to CS5 and CS6 should really bring benefits.
                        There is a good place to get information that you might already know:



                        • #13
                          Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

                          thanks again for all the input....
                          Very informative link, gonna check those steps


                          • #14
                            Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

                            And here is a very useful link too:


                            you can see a memory status indicator right within your dock (in Lion).



                            • #15
                              Re: upgrade to gain in speed?

                              Photoshop needs a lot of Scratch disk doesn't matter how much ram you have. And the disk still needs to be left alone by itself. The fastest connection allowable is desirable of course. You might read that tests have been done that show that PS doesn't NEED scratch disks...but thats nonsense. There are still processes that use scratch disk a lot.

                              Yes, install lion as an external startup utilizing USB 2 at least or FW 800. If you have thunderbolt even better.

                              If you go to your info palette and in its options to show scratch usage you will see as soon as an image is opened that PS allocate scratch space. The longer you keep PS open the more ram it "keeps" and the more it depends on scratch space.



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