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  • The Memory Hogs

    I have Photoshop CS4. I am also running Norton 360 v2.0 Antivirus/Firewall/Spyware. Windows XP Home SP 3. I am running 4 gigs of ram (3 gigs max are usable). Dell 3.06 GHZ with Diamond Stealth 256meg card. With no other programs (except background ones) running, Photoshop says I only have 1.455 GB ram available out of 3 gigs. I am using the recommended 72% of that (1.048 GB). I frequently run out of memory, like when saving several large jpegs for a stock agency. I frequently have to get out of Photoshop, and then get back in. Sometimes rebooting the PC is the only way to get a little more time between interruptions. It is even worse when running Adobe Bridge at the same time.

    Oh, yeah, I am also running the scratch disk primary and secondary on two external USB HDDs. The primary one is 1TB, and the secondary is 3/4 TB. Both have lots of room. Photoshop is on my internal HDD.

    The questions: Is there a good, low-cost, configurable PC anti-virus, firewall program out there that doesn't hog all the memory, does a good job, and doesn't cause the computer to do wierd things? Or, is there another program that could clear the memory without the need to vacate Photoshop so I could have some semblance of workflow? What else could be eliminated from running in the background to have more memory? Is there some affordable way to do all this? And please do not recommend Iolo System Mechanic Pro 8. Norton was an improvement over the Iolo program!

    Thanks.

    Gary Silverstein

    weshoot.com
    Last edited by weshoot; 12-23-2008, 03:33 AM. Reason: Added external HDD capacity to post

  • #2
    Re: The Memory Hogs

    I have found most suites are memory hogs. If you have a router you already have a firewall. As for other protection I use avast antivirus, Winpatrol, Lavasoft Adaware and Mailwasher. I have found this combo adequate (along with some diligence) for the last few years.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Memory Hogs

      There are a lot of things that could be eating up your memory. Nortan is the major cause of it. Another cause could be what you have running in the back ground, meaning what starts up when windows does. Most of the time every program you decide to instal adds a start up camand to run in the back ground. To check on how many proceses are running go into the task manager click on the tab that says procceses and look at how many things are running in the back ground. There are also ways to increase your vurtiual memory. If you are interested let me know

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Memory Hogs

        There are tons of articles, blogs, posts and whathaveyou on this issue on the web. A few things to mention besides what the others have:
        - the USB scratch disk may be hurting your data throughput; they just are not fast enough. Use USB for storage but not PS scratch or Windows swap.
        - you can enable Windows to use the full 3GB; it will not by default. Search the web for similar pages to this one (3GB Switch), although this one is reliable.
        - Photoshop lies slightly on the low end about available RAM. You can go higher than the 72%, like 90-95% and see what happens.

        I agree with Ted, in that with a router + Windows Firewall, you don't need such extensive protection (especially if you're behaving on the web). You could downgrade to a simpler memory resident anti-virus (like AVG (free)), then run a malware product on a schedule (not memory resident). It's not always the RAM these products use, but the CPU time they hog.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Memory Hogs

          Hi Everyone -

          Wow. I am going to have to think about everything you've written about. I will also think about adding another internal hard drive, as my primary drive is low on space. One of the problems is that I am running on the edge of case heating. I fried a processor last year. I have a lot to consider. I want to thank you all for helping with this problem. Keep those ideas coming.

          Thanks.

          Gary Silverstein

          weshoot.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Memory Hogs

            Hi Everyone -

            Just thought I'd update this posting. I added an extra internal hard disk (160 GB) and set the pagefile to around the allowable 4GB. I don't know if it helped, as I got an "out of memory" dialog box while trying to save a file. I then tried TommyO's suggestion. So far, so good. I now have about a gigabyte more room available to Photoshop (according to Photoshop) than I did without the command to use 3GB. Thanks for the suggestion, TommyO. And no, I still haven't replaced the Norton 360 anti-virus and firewall program. I just recently spent $80 on it, and it does have a rather nice feature. It can be set to remember and insert all logins and passwords to all the sites I visit. I just insert my password once boot up, and it does the rest! This can keep any spyware at bay that registers keystrokes, as well as not having to remember all passwords and typing in logins all day. I am loathe to lose that feature.

            Thanks again to all who made suggestions. Much appreciated.

            Gary Silverstein

            weshoot.com
            bilbord.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Memory Hogs

              Not a suggestion, mind you, but here's how I set mine up.
              I have a dedicated machine for graphics/video/audio.

              It sits on its own little group/LAN/network comprised of a NAS (network area storage) with 2TB capacity.
              I have a separate desktop for other less resource intensive programs, MS Office, etc.
              Finally, I have a laptop that I use for light tasks.

              With the "creative" station isolated from general exposure to the web I am able to avoid installing anything like anti-virus, or other programs that are not related to the work I do.
              If I do have to, scan, copy, add, content, I copy it to a shared directory on the NAS. By then it's been through the anti-virus on my desktop (Eset NOD32 - one of the best around).
              About the only consideration I would give in terms of using an external drive for scratch disk use would to implement firewire over usb.
              Ideally, an internal SATA/SATA2 drive would be optimal for responsiveness.

              just my 2 cents...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Memory Hogs

                dont know if you know about pc pitstop or not but they have a free test to tell you what programs are running on your pc and some ideals on improving performance.

                http://www.pcpitstop.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Memory Hogs

                  Hi Vernon and Out Of Focus -

                  Vernon - I have always wanted to have a separate system for graphics, but space and money have kept me from doing that. You are fortunate that you can do that. I have gotten rid of the virtual memory on my USB drives. There were no pagefiles recognized by the system anyway on the USB drives. One side note: I may replace my second internal drive with a 32GB Solid State Drive - I have found the 3.5" at that size for $159.00. It should be the fastest drive currently available. I only installed the 160GB 7200 EIDE drive because I had an old one lying around.

                  Out Of Focus - Thanks for the suggestion. If I discover that I am still frequently running out of memory, I will be sure to check out pcpitstop.com.

                  Thanks.

                  Gary Silverstein
                  weshoot.com
                  bilbord.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Memory Hogs

                    Originally posted by weshoot View Post
                    Hi Everyone -

                    Just thought I'd update this posting. I added an extra internal hard disk (160 GB) and set the pagefile to around the allowable 4GB. I don't know if it helped, as I got an "out of memory" dialog box while trying to save a file. I then tried TommyO's suggestion. So far, so good. I now have about a gigabyte more room available to Photoshop (according to Photoshop) than I did without the command to use 3GB.
                    [...]
                    weshoot.com
                    bilbord.com
                    The low amount of RAM you "see" in PS is not what is left by other programs, its what is left and have to be shared by all running programs. This is an important difference, so please keep this in mind and put good meant "recommendations" like "screw it up to 90%" in relation to that.
                    When others assign 1GB in PS they still might get 700MB left for other programs and actions - 300MB more than you - which might be enough to run most actions and plugins without problems.

                    You should know, that on a 32-bit system (without the /3GB switch), the max. amount of memory is 2GB for an application and from this some is taken by the OS. Regardless if 3 or 4 GB is populated. The max. which is available to PS is 1.7/1.8GB.
                    And most of the 4th GB is burned anyway on most computers, as yours proves as well. You better have bought yourself a bottle of <your favourite drink here> for the money.

                    So you are missing "only" 256MB, which might is taken by your video card. Maybe because it had mapped its 256 MB two times into RAM, or there is still mapped memory from an older card. Can this be? Or you left a former video card built in, but don't use it?

                    To find out and maybe correct it, first have a look how many RAM is reported while you are booting. It should be 4096 MB. If not, have a look to the memory section of your Bios. Not sure if DELL has something like this because they always sell their computers with a flatten BIOS, but search for "shared memory" and if its set to 256, set it to Auto. The Diamond Stealth is not an AGP card, right?
                    If you have a graphic chip on the mobo, remove the Diamond Stealth and see what happens.
                    If none of the above will free any RAM, you are invited to send me a screenshot of your used memory like its described in the link below, to find the real memory hog. Might be a different device. If you go for this, please expand all "+" in the tree
                    http://www.dansdata.com/askdan00015.htm

                    btw: the /3GB swithh draws the OS back to a rather small 1GB corner. This might push down the overall performance of the system. The larger address space works only for programs which are coded for it, guess PS is the only one on your computer (besides defrag and some other system utilities)

                    Means when you'r not working with PS, the system remain pushed back to its smaller address space. If your system getting sluggish from time to time, don't wonder much.

                    The problem with PS is that ones touched mem is not freed easily - not unless you end the session. When you got OOMs better lower the amount of assigned RAM, which PS can't reserve for its need then and which remains available for other actions / plug-ins.
                    This might come for the price, that you scratch is used. Make sure it is pointed to the fastes disk you've got, since a scratchfile is always written from the very first moment when you start PS and easily get >4GB.

                    I feel you mix up pagefile and scratch disk. In the first post you are talking about scratch disks, in the last about the pagefile.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Memory Hogs

                      Hi Joel23 -

                      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).

                      Thanks.

                      Gary Silverstein
                      weshoot.com
                      bilbord.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Memory Hogs

                        Originally posted by weshoot View Post
                        Hi Joel23 -

                        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.
                        Hi Gary, you'r welcome.
                        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.
                        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.
                        "Shared memory" might come into game when you go for a PCI(-E) graphic card. As said I wasn't and I'm still not sure if you would have an option for adjusting "shared memory" then, because DELLs come with flatten BIOSes.
                        The questions I have are: You said something about the video card "mapping" two times its ram in the memory.
                        Yes, I mentioned "two times" because you already are missing the max value (1GB) and also missing another 256MB when the OS is loaded, which is IMHO quite odd.
                        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.
                        No, its the other way round - but I guess it won't change things to the bad for you.
                        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.
                        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.
                        Well to answer this will take a bit. Guess it will going to be a long post

                        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.
                        Which drive(s) will CS4 use as virtual memory, and how is that determined?
                        Sorry, my question might sound stupid because you already told you setup F: as scratch disk... and "determined" might have different meanings for me (sorry, guess its my limited english): do you mean how to configure a disk as scratch disk? Than its in PS => edit => preferences => performance. Chose F: only.
                        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.

                        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).
                        Not enough mem with the /3GB switch? Hm, guess you will be the next candidate who proves my bad meaning about using this switch ;-)

                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.

                          Thanks, again.

                          Gary Silverstein
                          weshoot.com
                          bilbord.com

                          Comment

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