Large files slowing me down?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by McBryde, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. McBryde macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #1
    Hi [I've tried to get onto the apple discussions forum over the past week, but for some reason I get a page saying it was an old url - even if I go there from their main support page. Anyone else find this?]

    I'm making animations in PS6 extended using timeline.
    Some of the files are a bit hefty5 or 6 layers deep - using smart filters [?forgot the name?] and are making the computer go really slow [I have 8GB RAM and 1067Mhz].

    I wondered if it might be caused by too many files going backwards and forwards in the engine room ... and a defray is necessary....??

    I understand that the Mac only defrays files up to 10MB ... so these 60+MB files will be left out.

    Do you think I need to get a defray prig for this?

    I don't have much else running at the time, by the way.

    Many thanks

    john
     
  2. McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #2
    I notice that some of that was gibberish! I'll try again:

    Hi - I'm making animations in PS6 extended using timeline.
    Some of the files are a bit hefty - 5 or 6 smart object files deep - and are making the computer go really slow [I have 8GB RAM and 1067Mhz].

    I wondered if it might be caused by too many bits of info going backwards and forwards in the engine room ... and a defrag is necessary....??

    I understand that the Mac only defrags files up to 10MB ... so these 60+MB files will be left out.

    It starts to seize up after I've been working on a files ... going down into the deeper and deeper smart objects [eg a body with smart object arms going to smart hands going to smart fingers, etc]

    Do you think I need to get a defrag program for this or would there be a cache somewhere which I can empty when the going gets rough, perhaps?

    I don't have much else running at the time, by the way.

    Many thanks

    john
     
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Sounds more like a low RAM issue, how much RAM is it using? (look in activity monitor)
     
  4. McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #4
    I think you could be right ColdCase.
    There seem to be so many background operations using up RAM..

    When I open the last file I was using, it uses 549mb [ about the same as Safari [currently with 4 open pages @ 45mb ea] and Mail]. The total RAM used is 3/4 of memory.

    After working on it for a while [diving down into the smart objects] it rose to 1GB [see screenshot].

    I thought 8GB RAM was plenty....

    btw I use a MacMini on the latest OS
     

    Attached Files:

  5. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

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    #5
    RAM usage doesn't seem too bad.

    How much free space do you have on your hard disk?
     
  6. McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #6
    202GB

    btw I added the total of the list of memory listed on the left column and it came to roughly 3GB [or less]. Yet at the bottom it shows 7.83GB used = strange [to me].

    When I'm using PS with timeline the RAM usage is the same as the total RAM [8GB].
     
  7. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #7
    AFAIK, the Activity Monitor shows only YOUR PROCESSES, if you select no other option regarding the visibility of the processes.
     
  8. McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #8
    You're a bit ahead of me there, Mr. Retrofire.... Not sure what you mean.

    Do you think that the fact that it doesn't add up to the total usage shown at the base of the monitor is normal, and could be explained by what you pouted out?
     
  9. Crosscreek macrumors 68030

    Crosscreek

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    #9
    Try going to disk utilities and verify disk and then repair disk permissions and see if that helps any.
     
  10. McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #10
    Net time I'm working on a complex one I'll try that.

    But I did that many many times up to a week ago - when I eventually wiped the HD and started again. Everything had gradually become slower [I reinstalled the OS a couple of times first without wiping HD and that helped - but not that much].

    It seemed to compound itself over time ... as if it was all getting twisted and gnarled inside. So I thought there must be some sort of script [or whatever] causing the problem.

    When I read that Mac OS automatically defragments all files up to 10mb I thought that might be the problem...
     
  11. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #11
    Change your Activity Monitor settings, so it shows All Processes, and not just My Processes.

    But your memory pressure is showing as quite low, and no swapping, nor memory compression, so you might not find out much from Activity Monitor yet.
    You may want to check the apps that you commonly use, to make sure they are up-to-date versions - such as Skype, etc.
     
  12. McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #12
    As I reinstalled all the software, it should all be up-to-date.
    PS6 is a little suspect though, as someone gave it to me....
    I changed that setting as you suggested.
    The screenshots show tha, even though I had closed the file which I was just using in PS, it was still using a lot of ram [see there is only a very small amount left for me to play with]. The second screenshot is from after I shut down PS.

    I do appreciate the response I'm getting here - thanks.
    J
     

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  13. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #13
    Your screenshots do not show that you changed your Activity Monitor settings.
    Notice it still says at the top "My Processes"
    You want to change settings so it displays "All Processes", which will show you all processes that your system is using, not just those for your user.
     
  14. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

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    Montreal, QC
    #14
    Your RAM is fine:

    (1) the RAM pressure indicator shows green

    (2) your Mac is using RAM to store files that it thinks you may need in the near future in order to make your Mac "snappier" (ie file cache is use to preload some files and counts as used but can be reallocated if active processes need more RAM)

    Unfortunately I can't help with your issue other than suggest you add an external SSD as scratch drive or reduce the amount of data on your HDD.

    If you do a HDD speed test (eg Blackmagic disk test) you'll probably find very slow speeds. Recall that your HDD spins at constant speed and fills outer tracks first; this means the read / write speeds diminish as the HDD fills. For example, the HDD on my son's iMac went from about 100 MB/sec to about 40 MB/sec when it was 2/3 full.

    Best of luck.

    Cheers
     
  15. McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #15
    I'm very sorry folks - I've been a bit thick about the screenshot. I thought I changed it.
    It does seem strange to me that the ram use is 5GB with no serious programs running...

    [Note that the ram usage for PS stays there even after I close all PS files. I have to shut down PS and reopen to reduce it.]

    Attached: screenshot showing all processes.


    RCAFBrat: Thank you for your input. Next time I'm working on a cumbersome PS file and everything grinds to a halt I'll check the colour of the pressure indicator.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #16
    RCAFBrat

    Thanks for your explanation... you have reassured me.
    PS is behaving well since I wiped the HD reinstalled the OS a few weeks ago.
    It was just the numbers on the monitor which alarmed me - I had been concerned that the numbers showed there was something invisible to me which was using the RAM.

    I was interested in your suggestion that I might want an ext SSD scratch. My main memory is not even 1/2 full ... so I don't suppose that [SSD] will make any difference to the speed[??]. I have firewire 800 on this Mac mini.

    But if you think it will increase the performance I would be interested to know.

    Thanks again folks.

    John
     
  17. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

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    Montreal, QC
    #17
    From what I understand, the difference is remarkable (eg HDD vs external SSD connected via Firewire).

    There are two benefits using SSD:

    (1) Fast read / write speeds

    (2) No latency

    Number (1) will not be significantly improved using a Firewire enclosure for an SSD since the bottleneck will be the interface. That being said, the speeds will not be affected by how much data is already on the disk since all "sectors" are accessed at the same rate whereas the fastest tracks on an HDD are the outermost ones and the innermost, presumably the last to be filled, will be unbearably slow.

    Number (2) is a big deal. For large sequential files once you start reading or writing data the speed may not be that different using Firewire. However, for small, random access files the SSD will excel since each byte is accessed pretty much instantly whereas for each file a HDD has to reposition its heads (eg think of manually moving the needle of a record player to get to the song you want).

    I would definitely look at getting a decent sized SSD and installing it or adding it with an external enclosure.

    One of the keys will be the type of enclosure; best to worst based on my understanding:

    Thunderbolt (most expensive needless to say)
    USB 3.0 with UASP
    USB 3.0 without UASP
    Firewire 800
    Firewire 400
    USB 2.0

    eSata will be at the top of the list but is less common for regular folk! It is also my understanding that Firewire has some advantages over USB 3.0 that may make it a better choice.

    Another consideration for video edting will be workflow; not sure about Photoshop (no personal experience).

    Hope this is helpful.

    Cheers
     
  18. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    Southern Cal
    #18
    Pointed Out?

    Yes, that is what Mr. Retrofire meant by what he (or she) "pouted out".
     
  19. blanka macrumors 68000

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #19
    2 things seem unmentioned here:
    You talk 1067Mhz. That means a Core2Duo Mini 2009 or 2010. On those machines you have USB2 and SATA3. SATA 3 is almost 10 fold the speed of USB2. External SSD is no option. Put one internal. The default disk on these machines is terribly slow. Buy the cheapest SSD available. SSDNow by Kingston for example. Don't invest in the top brands that try tu push SATA 6 limits. SATA3 will hold back every model you put in to about the same speed. Like no matter what car you buy, it will get to the max speed limit anyway.

    People always talk about RAM when Photoshop is demanding. FIRST THING TO CHECK IS SCRATCH DISK SETTINGS!

    If you have set up Photoshop to keep 100 steps of history, it will kill your workflow. With all the smart layers, it is not needed as you mostly work non destructive. Reduce it to 1 or 2 steps. Thing forgotten here is that working with smart objects MIGHT SEEM VERY RAM EFFICIENT, actually it ISNT. Because it wants to calculate the composite picture with every change, and this will be written to disk as well! So go to normal layers wherever possible.
     
  20. McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #20
    Thanks RCAFBrat for your very detailed and useful info. I'm getting the picture at last.

    And thanks blanka - you're the first person I've come across who's said anything about smart objects.

    I looked into how to exchange the internal HHD with a SSD. I think that's where to go.

    One thing, the spec says:

    Mac mini (Early 2009) - Technical Specifications

    Peripheral connections
    One FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps)
    Five USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps)

    So it's firewire800, not SATA3 [=even slower?]
     
  21. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

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    Montreal, QC
    #21
    Like blanka said, internal will give best results.

    SATA bus is for internal drives only and about four times faster than Firewire 800. If you are looking for an external enclosure, then Firewire is your best bet. Be sure to get a decent sized SSD so you can use it for OS, apps, scratch and projects you are working on (files you use most often).

    It goes without saying, make sure you have a good plan for backups; USB 2 will be fine for this and much of your media.

    Cheers
     
  22. McBryde, Oct 1, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014

    McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #22
    "...Be sure to get a decent sized SSD so you can use it for OS, apps, scratch and projects you are working on (files you use most often)...."

    If I did that, do you know what function the internal HHD would be?

    So ... replacing the internal HDD would be 4 times faster than attaching an external SSD via the firewire 800.
    But I think you're saying that the ext SSD would still be faster than just using the internal HDD. If I got that right wold you be able to suggest approx by what factor it would outperform my current setup?

    Thanks again for your support.
     
  23. ABC5S Suspended

    ABC5S

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    Sep 10, 2013
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    Florida
    #23
    RAM pressure indicator shows green

    That green progress line at the bottom is what you should be looking at. Apple introduced this a short time ago, and it's now confusing some that are not aware of the Pressure Indicator bar that when its GREEN, that means it good and an easier way of getting a quick update to what's going on. Go do a google search on the new Apple ram usage pressure indicator bar and it will tell you about the new memory usage notification monitor.
     
  24. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

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    Montreal, QC
    #24
    What I meant by "get a decent sized SSD" is that if you replace your internal HDD, make sure the SSD suits all of your needs. On the other hand, if you go external, you have more options and which one suits your situation will likely be dictated as much by cost as anything else:

    - small SSD for scratch only
    - medium size for OS, apps, scratch and projects
    - large for everything

    I'm not sure how much storage you have or need (that mini came with 120, 250 or 320 GB HDD) but a good ~250 GB SATA III SSD such as Crucial M100 or Samsung 840 EVO will cost $120 to $140 Canadian plus taxes and would probably be a great medium sized SSD for your use.

    If you think this size suits all your needs (ie you don't need the HDD for media library for example), you could install it internal and use an external enclosure with your existing HDD as a bootable clone (in case of SSD failure) or Time Machine backup.

    One the other hand, if you do not want to open up your mini (many have tried and failed), there would be no issue using the SSD in an external enclosure but you still have to choose a budget / size. Using the ~250 GB SSD as an example, you can still use it for OS, apps, etc and keep your internal HDD as the bootable clone in case of SSD, enclosure or I/O failure.

    Lots of options!

    With respect to speed of an external SSD in Firewire enclosure, fear not. I believe that on read / write of the sequential files you are in for a nice improvement (twice as fast maybe) but substantial improvement in responsiveness (no latency).

    As blanka said, given the fact you have a SATA II (3 Gb/sec) inteferface you can't ever push an SSD to its limits and could spend less money on the SSD. Prices have fallen substantially in the past year so now is a good time to shop, Thanksgiving will be even better!

    Cheers
     
  25. McBryde thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #25
    Thanks - I'll do that [I'm learning lots here - thanks everyone].
     

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