Fastest photoshop machine config?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Loa, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm planning on getting a new mac pro soon, and I was wondering how to configure it to get optimal PS performance.

    My initial plan: get a small but very fast HD for the OS and PS scratch, nothing else + get a bigger normal speed HD for the rest of my files.

    And of course, get lots of RAM!

    Is that the best way to get all the speed I can?

    Thanks

    Nisaea
     
  2. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #2
    Well, I'm not sure about Photoshop CS4 but CS3 only supports
    a maximum of 3072Mb of Physical RAM. I'd allow maybe 2-3Gb for the OS alone. In all I'd imagine 6Gb RAM would be plenty for a Image manipulation system...

    Also, the default graphic card is fairly good for Core-Image, however if you wanna go further then upgrade to the ATI HD 3870 but it'll an over kill! Of course it'll depends on the type of images your editing and line of work.
     
  3. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #3
    Just be aware that smaller hdd's can often slow you down because their platters are not as dense as larger capacity drives.
     
  4. scottydawg macrumors 6502

    scottydawg

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    #4
    I have 8GB ram but no Photoshop for Mac up to this point (including CS4) can use it however it does seem to like my RAID 0 SAS drives. All in all it runs very fast for me.
     
  5. sneezymarble macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #5
    You can save a bit of money by only getting the quad core Mac Pro if Photoshop really is all you think you'll be doing. Photoshop apparently doesn't care much for cores beyond 4. You'd only be saving $500 though so it might just be worth it to get those extra cores since an upgrade later will probably be more expensive than $500.
     
  6. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #6
    Hello,

    Thanks for the replies.

    But I'm surprised that nobody was very keen on the idea of a fast HD for scratch. I thought that was the key to PS speed...

    The files I edit on PS come from a Nikon D300 (12 megapixels), in 16 bit, and the PS files often inflate to hundreds of megs.

    Thanks for any added info.

    Nisaea
     
  7. scottydawg macrumors 6502

    scottydawg

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    #7
    Sorry I should have been more specific on my set up. I have one of my SAS drives designated as scratch, two in RAID 0 and one is the operating system/programs disc. I shoot with a 1Ds Mark II and my MP seems to fly through the files great.
     
  8. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #8
    Thanks. I won't be able to afford a RAID set-up, but do you advise against putting scratch and OS on the same drive?

    Thanks,

    Nisaea
     
  9. scottydawg macrumors 6502

    scottydawg

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    #9
    I have always liked to keep the scratch drive seperate so it's easy to clean up with a reformat occasionally. I have always liked having my OS on it's own drive for easy backup/swap ect.
     
  10. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #10
    Thanks,

    I'll keep that in mind once I get the cash to replace my iMac... :)

    Nisaea
     
  11. HeadForTheHills macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #11
    Running a separate internal SATA drive as scratch would be the best starting point. Keep the application on the boot disk. Add extra drives for archiving next.

    Multiple internal SATA drives in software RAID0 would be the next step - I get about 250MB/s with 3 disks, but that's unnecessary for just photoshop.

    Extra RAM is supposed to help the kernel cache disk writes, but as scottydawg says PS will not use it directly.

    Obviously buy extra RAM and disk from someone other than Apple.
     
  12. iamcheerful macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #12
    Hyperdrive vs Hdds

    HyperDrive is an option if budget isn't an objection.

    Link: HyperDrive4 16GB
     
  13. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #13
    Umm... I think raw images from a 12MP dSLR camera is relatively small compared to some pro's who shoot with a EOS 1D mkiii (21MP) and regularly edit their images on a MBP 2.4Ghz. Guess at the end of the day, it's the time you wanna spend editing and touching up!!

    There are various options available, if your on a budget why not invest in a few WD Raptors? Have one for the OS and another couple as scratch, software Raid them in strip mode. It's not secure for long-term storage but great as a high speed scratch disk and they're fairly cheap.
     
  14. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #14
    The number of mega pixels is less important than the number of layers one typically uses. Some of my finished PSD files are 60mb, others 600mb+. Some photogs are purists, others don't mind working on their images.

    Also, some pros don't mind working on laptops, others wil spend thousands gearing up a machine that "matches" their camera. PS on a MBP works just fine, just like on an iMac. But people don'T buy Mac Pros just for the heck of it!

    But indeed, regardless of camera, it "is" the time you want (or don't want) to spend editing. I love editing per se, but waiting for 10-15 seconds everytime you save an image is not fun at all... And not saving often isn't much more "fun". :)

    Thanks for the added info guys.

    Nisaea
     
  15. emt377 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #15
    I use a 16GB disk image on two striped Seagate 7200.11 drives for scratch. The disk image makes a fairly big difference vs using the striped drives directly. A partition can do the same job, but is a little less flexible. The disk image is HFS+ without journaling and a large extent size.
     

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