How to make Photoshop super fast on a MacPro 5,1

gugy

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 31, 2005
3,343
4,058
La Jolla, CA
Hi,
I have currently a MacPro 2011, 12 core with 24GB RAM and a OWC 60gb SSD for my apps and the same drive for Photoshop working files.
I need to improve my performance with Photoshop. I mostly work on huge (1GB up) files with tons of layers.
I am planning to get more RAM, to total 48GB for the machine.
I want also to get another SSD just to run my Photoshop files on it.

I was looking into the Accelsior from OWC or any other options that is more $$ reasonable. Any suggestions?

My question is if I am going in the right direction and if I should do a RAID on my new SSD or buy two SSDs with one for scratch disk and another to place the files.
I appreciate any tips and advice.
 

JavaTheHut

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2010
334
1
Hi,
I have currently a MacPro 2011, 12 core with 24GB RAM and a OWC 60gb SSD for my apps and the same drive for Photoshop working files.
I need to improve my performance with Photoshop. I mostly work on huge (1GB up) files with tons of layers.
I am planning to get more RAM, to total 48GB for the machine.
I want also to get another SSD just to run my Photoshop files on it.

I was looking into the Accelsior from OWC or any other options that is more $$ reasonable. Any suggestions?

My question is if I am going in the right direction and if I should do a RAID on my new SSD or buy two SSDs with one for scratch disk and another to place the files.
I appreciate any tips and advice.
Don't waste money on using a SSD for a scratch disc that will not get used! Upgrade RAM to 48GB and you won't even touch a Scratch disc, if you have extra money still kicking around? Add in a Sonnet Tempo Pro TSATA6-SSDPS-E2 & throw on 2 Samsungs SSD in RAID 0 .

Its fast
 

Derekm15

macrumors newbie
Sep 27, 2014
5
0
Don't waste money on using a SSD for a scratch disc that will not get used! Upgrade RAM to 48GB and you won't even touch a Scratch disc, if you have extra money still kicking around? Add in a Sonnet Tempo Pro TSATA6-SSDPS-E2 & throw on 2 Samsungs SSD in RAID 0 .

Its fast
Sonnet Tempo Pro TSATA6-SSDPS-E

Just learned about that from your post looks really interesting. So this is the only way to get "true" SSD speed on the older systems?
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 31, 2005
3,343
4,058
La Jolla, CA
Thanks for the replies.
Yeah, the RAM is a must and I will get another SSD just because my main is almost full and I want to keep it just for apps and essential files to run my system.
So the new SSD would handle just my Photoshop files. I will look into the Sonnet Tempo Pro. I like the Accelsior but seems a bit too expensive. I rather save money on go a cheaper route.

----------

Don't waste money on using a SSD for a scratch disc that will not get used! Upgrade RAM to 48GB and you won't even touch a Scratch disc, if you have extra money still kicking around? Add in a Sonnet Tempo Pro TSATA6-SSDPS-E2 & throw on 2 Samsungs SSD in RAID 0 .

Its fast
I like the Sonnet option but if I get it with two Samsung 250gb (500gb) it will cost more than $600 while the Accelsior for a similar capacity $519.
Is this the best bang for the buck?

----------

instead of the accelsior get a apricorn solo and put a samsung evo ssd on there.
Yeah, it's cheaper at around $90. Plus the Samsung SSD makes a good deal.
Is this a reliable option?
Just wondering, I have been a OWC customer for many years and usually they are always trouble free for me.
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,626
229
Poland
Don't waste money on using a SSD for a scratch disc that will not get used! Upgrade RAM to 48GB and you won't even touch a Scratch disc, if you have extra money still kicking around?
This is totally wrong. No matter how much RAM you'll have, PS always will use scratch disk. Especially when working with files containing lot of layers, masks, layer comps etc.
 

JavaTheHut

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2010
334
1
This is totally wrong. No matter how much RAM you'll have, PS always will use scratch disk. Especially when working with files containing lot of layers, masks, layer comps etc.
I guess your right if the PS version is not 64bit but if The PS version is 64bit? Its not totally wrong. Why would you waste a entire SSD on dedicated scratch disk for PS unless you have insufficient RAM? But if you have to use a scratch disc use a SSD or a Partitioned RAID scratch disc area.
Adobe says here...

I work with 1GB PSD and 40+ layers and the Efficiency is at 100% and PS is using up to a high of 28GB of 32GB Total RAM.(Viewed in Activity Monitor) & that might have been a 3GB PSB file??

I have set PS to use a partitioned scratch if I run out of RAM but the day it does I will top up with more RAM.

Cheers

Hope that helps
 

JavaTheHut

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2010
334
1
I like the Sonnet option but if I get it with two Samsung 250gb (500gb) it will cost more than $600 while the Accelsior for a similar capacity $519.
Is this the best bang for the buck?
Personally I went for the Sonnet Tempo for ease of service, I can pickup SSD's anywhere or use/migrate the SSD else where in this 2010MP or other computer and it was on sale for CA$284

Either way you will be happy with faster speeds - More RAM first and Working Area second will change your user experience for the better.

Good Luck!
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,626
229
Poland
Yeah, in 32-bit version scratch space was much more useful than in current ones. But even now it's still necessary when your working files are big/complex and you're used to use a lot of history states.
Quick example: I was given a 64MB .psd file with UI design project for some software. Just for torture test of my machine. The file contained about one thousand layers in groups. PS ate 20GB of ~38GB available for it (I have set 80% of total 48GB in prefs) and 40GB on a scratch disk. Just to open the file. That was on 3.46 Hex with 48GB RAM, decent GPU and scratch set on 240GB RAID 0 SSD volume. And enabling/disabling a group was more laggy than smooth. This is extreme example but illustrates the idea.
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 31, 2005
3,343
4,058
La Jolla, CA
Personally I went for the Sonnet Tempo for ease of service, I can pickup SSD's anywhere or use/migrate the SSD else where in this 2010MP or other computer and it was on sale for CA$284

Either way you will be happy with faster speeds - More RAM first and Working Area second will change your user experience for the better.

Good Luck!
What I like the Sonnet is the fact you can buy any SSD while the Accelsior is stuck to the OWC type.
 

whwang

macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2009
130
69
video card

I actually have the same question: how to improve Photoshop performance
on my MacPro5,1.

I am also working with GB size PS files with layers. I already have 96GB
of RAM (primarily driven by my other work), a 500GB Accelsior SSD, and
five 4TB internal HDs forming a 20TB RAID0 disk. So disk-wise and
RAM-wise, there is not much room for improvement.

On the other hand, I am looking for a video card that can support a 4K
display. Later nVidia and ATI cards all support 4K displays, so this is not
an issue. The question comes down to which card helps Photoshop the
most? Photoshop CC supports more and more GPU computing, so the
performance of the video card should be another factor. In terms of
accelerating Photoshop, do you think ATI is better or nVidia is better?

Thanks.
 

rueyloon

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2013
182
11
In the past I once upgraded from the basic Gt120 to the Gtx670 and I don't feel there is any improvement in Photoshop, maybe for some obscure filter that I didn't use/discover.

Photoshop is more of a clock speed type of girl.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,108
6,732
Hong Kong
AFAIK, the single core performance still the most important factor when considering the PS processing power at this moment. GPU calculation only avail in few functions.

So, it's better go for higher speed, rather than more cores in PS.
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,326
749
Up the RAM good idea.
SSD scratch/swap file space good idea.

Any thoughts on improving GPU ??
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 31, 2005
3,343
4,058
La Jolla, CA
Up the RAM good idea.
SSD scratch/swap file space good idea.

Any thoughts on improving GPU ??
Yeah RAM is the way to go.
Also I just did a Photoshop speed test from the sticky thread and changing the scratch disk to a SSD, improved my time from 10.14 to 8.78 seconds.

GPU I also would like to know what's out there that could work on well on a 5,1 system.
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,326
749
Yeah RAM is the way to go.
Also I just did a Photoshop speed test from the sticky thread and changing the scratch disk to a SSD, improved my time from 10.14 to 8.78 seconds.

GPU I also would like to know what's out there that could work on well on a 5,1 system.
What video card do you have now and which version of Photoshop?
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,326
749
PS CS6
ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB

Thanks
Seems that your system could indeed take advantage of quite a bit more RAM, look for upgrades to the ATI card and of course SSD drives. I say this because you are dealing with fair sized files (1gig). I think the RAM in particular is going to help out quite a bit and if you can afford more than 48 gigs it might be worth investigating 64 gigs. (Might also investigate RAM drives for scratch space per session.)

A friend of mine demonstrated a rather interesting set up - he used 3 WD Raptor drives striped together which gave him the volume he needed along with one SSD. The 3 Raptor drives performed similarly to the SSD. Naturally, he was backing up his drives quite regularly given that striped drives have no redundancy.
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 31, 2005
3,343
4,058
La Jolla, CA
Seems that your system could indeed take advantage of quite a bit more RAM, look for upgrades to the ATI card and of course SSD drives. I say this because you are dealing with fair sized files (1gig). I think the RAM in particular is going to help out quite a bit and if you can afford more than 48 gigs it might be worth investigating 64 gigs. (Might also investigate RAM drives for scratch space per session.)

A friend of mine demonstrated a rather interesting set up - he used 3 WD Raptor drives striped together which gave him the volume he needed along with one SSD. The 3 Raptor drives performed similarly to the SSD. Naturally, he was backing up his drives quite regularly given that striped drives have no redundancy.
Thanks for the info!

I have 24gb RAM (4 sticks 2gb/ 4 sticks 4gb). I am thinking replacing the 2gb sticks with new 8gb ones that would put my system at 48gb total. I could go higher but that would mean replacing all RAM in my computer making the costs a bit high.
I rather use that money and get more SSD drives and use it for scratch disk in Photishop. Right there I think these changes would improve the performance quite a bit.
The ATI card I might hold on for a bit and look for an upgrade down the road.
I would like to keep my upgrades under $1k on my machine. Giving me another couple years of good performance and then later look at the nMP.
 
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