Best system for Photoshop?

PSpumpkin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 12, 2012
3
0
Can anyone recommend or point me towards a thread for the best system for using Photoshop?

Currently i'm using a mac pro 2 x 3.2 GHZ Quad with 14GB of ram, But am looking to upgrade and wanted some advice for what to get next. Hopefully Apple will continue with the Mac Pro?!?!

I generally work with files 2GB upwards, using various filters and lots of layers as my work is very complex. So something that can handle this would be ideal!
Also will be looking at starting some CGI later this year using 3ds max.

Thanks in advance for any advice :)
 

george-brooks

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2011
732
16
Brooklyn, NY
Sounds like you already have a pretty fast system. Would probably be best off upgrading your RAM if possible rather than replacing the whole machine. I have an 8-core 2.8GHz machine with 8GB of RAM and never really have any problems with photoshop, but I'm not usually working with Files that large (though occasionally I do with few issues). But in general, I don't think you're quite in need of a whole new system quite yet.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,780
2,063
Bleck filters..... I can't think of a single filter in that program that I actually like. It's more controllable building up the effect by hand. Okay now onto the important stuff. You may want to do some research for Max. It's very dependent on gpu and gpu drivers. While even the Mac Pros lack a lot of gpu options, make sure you choose an upgraded one if you're using Max. Otherwise things will start to suck once your polycount goes up. I seem to have made an error. I'm pretty sure mudbox uses opengl (not a program I really use) but zbrushis cpu based. I've seen some minor graphics bugs in it that I thought were tied to untested gpus. Whatever you buy, get it with a ton of ram. If you're working on one of those giant photoshop files while rendering in the background, you will want as much ram as possible. Rendering isn't too terrible on ram. It's just that you're better off if applications aren't fighting each other for memory.
 
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PSpumpkin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 12, 2012
3
0
Thanks for the advice guys.

I will look at upping my RAM and maybe swapping out a drive for an SSD, currently all my bays are filled.
 

Loa

macrumors 68000
May 5, 2003
1,603
46
Québec
Hello,

With enough RAM, the SSD won't make a significant difference, so don't throw your money away on a SSD just because of the hype.

Loa
 

sjordan

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2011
45
0
Hello,

With enough RAM, the SSD won't make a significant difference, so don't throw your money away on a SSD just because of the hype.

Loa
It has nothing to do with hype. The ssd as your boot drive alone helps. CS5 and lightroom open up in a matter of seconds....booting is also way faster. Ram does help and I am all for telling someone the more ram the better....but to say SSD is hype is just plain ignorant. It won't help you much in Lightroom, but it will in CS5 if you are working with many large files.

BTW, I have all my drive bays full as well. I have one SSD drive and the remaining slots with large drives. I also have 1 FW external drive for backup.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,780
2,063
It has nothing to do with hype. The ssd as your boot drive alone helps. CS5 and lightroom open up in a matter of seconds....booting is also way faster. Ram does help and I am all for telling someone the more ram the better....but to say SSD is hype is just plain ignorant. It won't help you much in Lightroom, but it will in CS5 if you are working with many large files.

BTW, I have all my drive bays full as well. I have one SSD drive and the remaining slots with large drives. I also have 1 FW external drive for backup.
Okay I'll bite :rolleyes:. I work with similar applications to those used by the OP. No one who does this stuff cares about shaving 3-5 seconds off the launch time of an application. Once it's open, you might be working between that application and others for hours. You don't relaunch constantly.

None of them store their stuff on an SSD anyway. If you have many terabytes of data, buying enough SSDs and shoving them into an NAS or whatever is cost prohibitive for little benefit. Even saving a file is not solely depending on drive speed. Usually there's the action of writing the data to disk, and there's file compression + a fair amount of data that needs to be cached to perform this compression. You don't select it. It's automatic, and if it didn't exist activity monitor would be relatively quiet during a save. In photoshop there's a plugin that actually disables file compression as of CS5. If you use it, the program just dumps data to disk, and that point it does pretty much come down to drive speed. Otherwise it's a much more complex equation.
 

Loa

macrumors 68000
May 5, 2003
1,603
46
Québec
but to say SSD is hype is just plain ignorant.
Wow. Read what theKev has written carefully.

I also have a SSD in my MP, since the Intel G2's came on. Boot time and launch times are meaningless, especially in the context of the Mac Pro, which should be always on, and the relevant apps always opened.

I tried many ways of using my SSD for photoshop: none helped significantly, even for huge files (500MB+ with dozens of layers). For my biggest file, the save time went from 48 seconds on regular drives, to 45 seconds on a 4 disk RAID0, to 42 seconds on my SSD. Whoopididoo. Cache, scratch, etc... nothing was significant.

The bottleneck for PS work is not the drive. Get enough RAM and high CPU clock (multi cores beyond 4 won't help). That's about it for PS performance.

Loa
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,071
11
The bottleneck with Adobe is Adobe. PS is the best they have for performance scaling in the Design suite. The rest are even worse. Nothing seems to help Illustrator. One core save freezes regardless of storage medium.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,780
2,063
Wow. Read what theKev has written carefully.

I also have a SSD in my MP, since the Intel G2's came on. Boot time and launch times are meaningless, especially in the context of the Mac Pro, which should be always on, and the relevant apps always opened.

I tried many ways of using my SSD for photoshop: none helped significantly, even for huge files (500MB+ with dozens of layers). For my biggest file, the save time went from 48 seconds on regular drives, to 45 seconds on a 4 disk RAID0, to 42 seconds on my SSD. Whoopididoo. Cache, scratch, etc... nothing was significant.

The bottleneck for PS work is not the drive. Get enough RAM and high CPU clock (multi cores beyond 4 won't help). That's about it for PS performance.

Loa
If you've got really fast drives and you don't mind inflated file sizes, you have a couple options. Tiff has an option for uncompressed. If you're on CS5 and saving files too large to be saved as tiff (like me) you can try this


The bottleneck with Adobe is Adobe. PS is the best they have for performance scaling in the Design suite. The rest are even worse. Nothing seems to help Illustrator. One core save freezes regardless of storage medium.

I have fewer problems than many. One of the main things is limiting what spotlight can index to ensure that it doesn't index scratch data. That stupid bug should have been fixed years ago, yet it persists. I almost never look at the spinning wheel in any of those programs (although I don't use Indesign unless it's on someone else's computer).
 
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