PS CS6 - How much memory?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by macmesser, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #1
    A pro photographer friend told me he only has 4GB RAM in his Mac Pro (2006) and he feels it's enough for PS CS5 and Lightroom. He also does some audio work on it. He told me the optimum setup for an SSD scratch disk is 4 X RAM installed. I have 16GB in my Mac Pro with a 128GB SSD scratch disk. Just started using CS6 and the Mac Pro and I'm amazed at the performance increase over my recently deceased MDD G4. I do find myself waiting for auto option in the contrast adjustment, in fact the Mac Pro can open 150 of my PS files a lot faster than it can do this adjustment on 1 file. My friend scoffed when I told him I was thinking of adding more RAM. I typically work on batches of 10 MB PS files but also occasionally on larger files. I'm wondering how much RAM PSCS6 users around here typically have installed. Thanks for insights.
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    16
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #3
    PS can RUN on any Mac with as little as 1gig of RAM. 4gig is probably recommended (which is what I'm running on my home laptop), but it really depends on the type of work you're doing. I only really use PS for touch ups and light editing that can't be done in Aperture. I'm guessing your friend uses it in a similar way. That being said, if you're doing heavier work with lots of layer styles and effects, then the more RAM the better. My work computer (which is used for heavy Graphic Design work) is loaded with 16gigs.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #4
    Thanks for input. I had 2gigs on the G4 I think, but that was CS2. I don't use lots of layers so I can probably hold off on more RAM for now. Strange that the auto option for the brightness/contrast adjustment actually makes me wait when everything else is so fast on these modest size files. That adjustment was always as fast as any other as I recall.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #5
    I'm still running LR4+CS6 on my mid-2009" MBP with 8GB RAM. I don't get too intense in Photoshop. During post-processing, I'm usually only at around 5-6 layers for portraits.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #6
    I have a 2009 8 core. Similar machine and my use is probably less intense than yours. I do large batches and often have many files open. Thanks for sharing experience. This thread seems to show that my present RAM is in the right ball park.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #7
    One thing to take into consideration is the version of OSX you're using. Lion and Mountain Lion use much more RAM then previous versions to operate. 4gigs has become the new minimum as a result. For me this means I can't multitask as much or have as many files open at the same time as I used to. Maybe try limiting the amount of files you have open and your multitasking. If that improves your performance in some areas then your RAM MIGHT need a bump.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #8
    You're running the same amount as me. CS6 recommends 8GB of ram. If you're on quad cpus 2009 or newer, the biggest thing that helps is ram. I hate random lag.

    It is. You may benefit from more. If you have enough ram that it rarely hits scratch disks, that is ideal. Photoshop doesn't scale as well as some adobe applications. After Effects will use every core you throw at it, but its memory requirements to do so are insane.


    That's part of the reason I'm considering dropping back to Snow Leopard. 16GB + 512GB ssd is still really damn tight under Lion, and Mountain Lion was about the same.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK™
    #9
    I was once told by a 'pro photographer' friend that she was told to use at least 2gb of RAM per core in a Mac Pro for best performance, I use a Quad core Mac Pro with 12gb of RAM to run CS6 and LR4 combined with snow leopard and it handles 21mp files from Canon 5D DSLR's without any issues, CS6 is set to use 80% of available RAM, and it seems to work well like this, my view is if you can afford it, add as much RAM as possible.

    my brother uses a Dell T3600 with 32gb of RAM and a pair of SSD's, he runs the full cs6 suite and it absolutly smokes the Mac Pro, only downside is running windows :rolleyes:

    but for the cost of buying and setting up a Mac Pro i'd expect more performance for your money at the end of the day.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    shigzeo

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    Japan
    #10
    4GB to run, 16GB to use

    My MBP is maxxed out with 4GB. My mate's iMac has 16GB. CS5/6 are both fine with low amounts of memory (4GB or so) for brushing up, changing colours, adding small filters.

    But if you start working with layers, and specifically if you work with higher resolution photos (above 15 megapixels), those 4GB will feel sluggish. Typically, I work with RAW files that start out at 75MB per image. If these are flattened, aligned, and blended, the resulting file reaches to about 1GB.

    That image then must be processed in a number of ways: cleaning, masking, white levels, etc. The difference between 16 and 4 in such instances means the difference of an hour job and a five hour job per photo.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #11
    Memory is cheap. Unless you get it from Apple. :eek:

    Seriously, slapping in 16GB will give any Macbook enough memory space to handle most anything. Afterwards if performance is still not what you want ...go for a SSD for boot/apps.

    Remember, 16GB is cheaper than a new machine. ;)
     

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