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Graphic Design G5

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by point665, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. macrumors regular

    Hey guys, I need some advice... I have a Dual 2.0 G5 (4 gigs max), last of of the Duals. Currently I have 1.5 gigs ram, and a 160 gig hd, and almost half of it is free space.

    I do somewhat large file work (very large to say the lest), these files take over 20 min to open each, and last night my hd dropped from over 70 gigs free to ~45, so my Scratch Disk was about 30 gigs... My scratch disk is on my boot drive.

    Ive made it easier on myself by doing small proof-able files, which I send to the clients, makes it ALOT faster, and then when the final is proofed, I create the fullsize version of it. But when it comes time to work on the fullscale, work gets real slow (dont remember it being this slow a few months ago, working with even bigger files).

    I was talking to Crazzyeddie, he said the biggest problem is my ram... He also recommended getting a ~300 gig drive, and creating the first partition for the Scratch Disk.

    So in the next few days I am going to be getting 2x1 gig sticks, bringing my ram to 3 gigs, and a ~300 gig drive (fight between Seagate Barracuda and Maxtor Maxline III and Maxtor DiamondMax).

    Is there anything else I can do for speed? Any other general recommendations?

    Thanks in advance.

    Also, is there a big difference in performance between a 16mb and 8mb drive? (I find more results for a 8mb, 16 tends to be SATAII/300)
  2. macrumors 68040


    I'm assuming that you are working in Photoshop, although you didn't explicitly say so. The RAM will help a ton, and the hard disk will help, too. Whenever your scratch disk is a physically separate disk from your boot disk, it helps speed things up (please correct me, someone, if I'm wrong on that).

    Here's a link to an article from MacWorld that has some things to share, and one from Adobe about tile sizes.
  3. macrumors 6502



    Totally agree with jacking up your ram. Out of curiosity what are you producing that calls for files of that size?
  4. macrumors regular

    Large scale signs and "wrap" decals (the kind you see on busses, but I design them for other vehicles), the resolution is at 150 but still... large stuff.
  5. macrumors 6502


    Interesting i did a few years back for buses. I don't remember the files beign that large.. although i was young i may not have known what i was doing.
  6. jtt
    macrumors regular

    Your not doing that at full scale are you?
  7. macrumors G5


    I think you want your scratch disk to be a separate spindle from your DATA disk, not be boot disk.

    I believe the major contention for the hard disk'd head access will be between reading and writing the data file, and reading and writing the scratch /swap space. By all means if you can install three drives, then separate the scratch disk onto its own 73 Gb Raptor or something similar.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Will a dedicated scratch disk make a huge improvement even with a lot of ram? I always thought photoshop stores everything in ram, and only until it runs out of ram does it start using the disk. Correct me if I'm wrong. :)
  9. macrumors regular

    Thanks everyone for the replies, yes Im using Photoshop. And yes I do them at fullsize once a smaller "proof" is approved.

    One example of file size is 28 feet by 4 feet, that was an enclosed trailer side decal, that was smaller than the current files, and dont remember having a problem with that.

    I will look into the 2 more drives idea too.
  10. macrumors 601


    You are both right and wrong. OS X is a virtual memory system. It puts bits of data that are used most in RAM, and the rest writes to HD. If you want to use a chuck of data that is on HD, it transfers to RAM and one chuck of data, previously stored in RAM, it writes to HD. That how it works, so HD speed in very important
  11. jtt
    macrumors regular

    Just do them at a Percentage. 1" = 1'
    The outdoor boards I've done were all done that way because the printer requested it. That will save a ton of space/time.
  12. macrumors regular

    That would reduce quality, these arent billboard size... I know that works for billboards, but for example vehicle decals and such people are still pretty close to see it. The print shop request it to be at full file when at 150 res.

    Ive thought about those "no artifact" scaling plugins, but havent looked much into them...
  13. ATD
    macrumors 6502a

    I find myself doing that kind of thing all the time. My clients have me creating artwork that will be used for almost anything from a web icon to 110 foot banner. They just want me to create it as large as possible so I'm hitting the top limits of Photoshop all the time. RAM is a must, the more the better. If you find that you are doing this everyday it would not be a bad idea to look at a Quad with 8 GB of RAM.
  14. macrumors regular

    Its funny, I bought my G5 because I was doing some large banners on my iBook, and they gave me a really short deadline for it, so I was up til 4am in the morning (and for the past week that has been a common bedtime working with this new project)... The other big work Ive done on here has been no problem and just for some reason seemed to be real slow (opening and saving especially, other than that fine) with this current project... The biggest reason probally is that there were 4 different large files, so it may have just been my mind making it feel slower than it was because of a real lack of sleep, seemed nothing would go anywhere. These large projects are not that common, but I want to upgrade this machine so I can at least speed them up next time by somewhat.

    For now Ill stick with this machine, future purchases are... A bigger monitor (have 19" CRT now, good but something bigger would be nice) or a Macbook Pro 12" when they come out (iBook G3 Combo 800 12" is getting to feel too slow for portable work). Then lets see what the Intel MacPros bring us.

    Thanks again for all the replies.

    ATD, wanted to mention you have some real fantastic work.
  15. macrumors 68040


    What can also help a lot is instead of getting a single 300 GB Hard Drive is get two and do a RAID 0 setup. The large files you are dealing with will open and save much faster with RAID 0. I did this for Final Cut and the difference was huge. The drives I used were the Seagate Barracudas 300GB which is much faster than the 160GB that ships with the G5. The RAID 0 setup cut the save/open time more than half.

    For data security I would have recommended RAID 0+1 but that is impossible, since the G5 only holds two harddrives without a third party mounting bracket.

    As for memory as others have said add more. I installed 2 GB (2x1GB) of Wintec AMPO RAM, from Newegg.com, and it has worked flawlessly, costing less than $150.
  16. ATD
    macrumors 6502a


    Thanks for saying that.
  17. macrumors regular

    I was going to ask about RAID0 but a few people I asked said it wont be that big of a difference, and that if I do it I should not use it for my primary drive. Thanks for the input though.

    RAID0+1 would be nice, however $75 for a mounting bracket, 200 for a controller card, and 200 for the drives themselves would be quiet alot... I gotta think about it. I live in Europe so right now Crucial has the cheapest ram, 2x1gb is 177e with VAT and shipping to here (other places have it for 189e without shipping). Ive been looking at the Maxlife+ III 300gb drive which is SATA150 and is 16mb cache, versus the 8mb of the Seagate Barracuda (althought that is the second choice), the drive is about 150e here.
  18. macrumors 68000


    Just out of curiosity: Do you really have to create these banners in Photoshop? I recently did some large presentation background (18x5m) and did as much as possible in Illustrator. There are gradient mesh objects and stuff like that and since it remains vector file size stays rather small. Only in the end the whole thing needed to have some sort of "used/dirty" look, so I exportet the whole thing to Photoshop and applied a combination of filters.
  19. macrumors regular

    I was going to point that out, knew someone was going to ask about that. I wish I could do them in vector (would be so much faster), but there is very little text, compared to photographs. Ive been meaning to look into it more, Ive thought about preparing everything else (background, contact information and slogan) all in Illustrator and then overlaying the photographs in photoshop. Im not sure it would save sometime but never experimented with how much time. Definetly something to look into. The part of this last project which took the longest was aligning everything so that bodylines, windows, doorhandles, body pieces, etc would not interfere with the design objects.

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