Mac Pro, RAM, and Photoshop

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gugy, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. gugy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #1
    Hi,
    I have 24gb RAM on my MP 5,1.
    Photoshop CS6 has assigned around 16gb. Is that enough or am I going to see huge improvement if I buy more RAM up to 48gb and duble the amount of RAM assigned to PS?

    Just wondering, I just upgraded to a Apricorn Velocity with two SSDs and I will use it to hold my Ps files and scratch disk. I do current have a SSD.
    Next I am looking into RAM but it is another $ investment and I wonder if the difference is really going to shock me or not.
    Thanks
     
  2. apphotography macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2014
    #2
    Obviously the amount of RAM you need will be proportionate to your workload and that will depend on the files you work on. I remember producing photography for print for Armani with just 512MB RAM 10 years ago. Times have changed, cameras capture so much more detail and have so much more dynamic range. There's a lot more raw data coming out of professional cameras now, but frankly you can get away with even 8GB RAM. In the last year I have been retouching 60 megapixel images from an IQ160 for Versace with ease on a 2013 MacBook Pro.

    However, let's talk about the most amount of RAM you need in practical terms today. If you're working on very large prints or images over 30 megapixels and want to minimise writing to the scratch disk, then up to 32GB RAM would be about the most you need - and that's with many layers, several files open and some other apps running. You can assign all of that to Photoshop, but that doesn't mean PS will really use it all of the time. Above 32GB, you're really not going to see any significant difference...until the time comes when files, operating systems and apps demand yet more resources.

    I also suggest that you buy the fastest SSD possible for opening and saving files that large. With that you can shave a few minutes off your working day, which translates to almost a whole 24 hours over the course of a year. Important time wasted that you never notice until you add it up. I recommend the Samsung XP941 which reads and writes around 1000MB/s.
     
  3. gugy, Dec 1, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014

    gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #3
    Thanks
    My workload consist in designing files with huge amounts of layers and folders.
    My files are around 300mb to 750mb when close and up to 2.5gb when open in CS6.
    I do have Illustrator and Bridge open at the same time while working on PS and many other apps like iTunes, Safari, Skype, Message and Suitcase.
    I feel having 16gb assign for PS maybe not enough but in the other hand if I double it I wonder if this is going to be major difference on my workload.
    What I do see is taking quite a feel time saving and opening files. I don't play too much with major filters.
    Either way I doubt it will hurt to get more RAM but it's another US$300 investment. Not a huge deal I guess if you are making a living out of it.
    I am receiving this week the Apricorn Velocity duo card and I will have two Samsung's EVO SSD drives in raid 0. I should see a boost there, I hope.
     
  4. boodaddyz macrumors member

    boodaddyz

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #4
    I have 16GB, and PS uses a good amount of that. Your files are large, and adding an SSD will be a major help espically in Raid0. I have the same card on the way. I am going to add raid0 only because I work off NAS. If you work off of your local drive, you will need to backup frequently.

    Here are some general guidelines on how much ram is needed.

    • Photography, Basic Retouching and Batch Processing: Photoshop Needs 4GB to 8GB of Ram

    • Photo Manipulations, Photo Composites Digital Painting: Photoshop Needs 8GB to 16GB of Ram

    • Matte Painting, 3D Modeling, Complex 3D Typography: Photoshop Needs 8GB to 16GB of Ram

    • Large Print Poster Designs (24 x 36 150 DPI), Advanced Photo Manipulation: Photoshop Needs 16GB to 32GB of Ram

    Below are some great links that will help you in optimizing PS, and get max performance.

    http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/optimize-performance-photoshop-cs4-cs5.html

    http://blogs.adobe.com/crawlspace/2012/10/how-to-tune-photoshop-cs6-for-peak-performance.html

    Hope this helps...
     
  5. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #5
    Thanks!

    I have already a SSD, but getting another one just for PS and on Raid 0 should speed things up.
     
  6. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #6
    That's odd. You're still experiencing lag in certain tasks? Do ensure that you don't starve the rest of your system by setting memory available to photoshop too high, because that will cause lag. apphotography's comments were spot on. 32GB has been about as high is even usable for some time, and the spot where it becomes a non issue is probably somewhere between 16 and 32. It's just that ram is typically installed in powers of 2. When he mentions 10 years ago and 512, I wonder if he held onto a G4 for a while. In his field 4GB was extremely common around that time.
     
  7. apphotography macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2014
    #7
    That particular Mac was a portable, completely usable at the time but every time it started to choke it had to be rebooted to clear the memory. We also had a desktop Power Mac with more memory of course.
     
  8. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #8
    In my situation I think the lag in saving and opening PS files are due because my SSD is where my main system is located and I also use it as scratch disk. My SSD has only 26gb left in space.
    So getting two 250gb SSDs and the Apricorn Velocity on Raid 0 should be probably help my issue quite a bit because I will have tons of space on those drives. If still lagging, then I guess adding more RAM would be the final answer.
     
  9. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #9
    26GB isn't much. I tend to leave some free space regardless of it being an ssd. The file systems and OS paging tend to experience problems otherwise. I have a 512GB ssd for the OS without a dedicated scratch disk, but I keep storage and backup external. The RAID 0 may help as long as they occupy their own channels. You have some rudimentary checks for memory via activity monitor, and as I mentioned, be careful regarding how much is allocated to PS. It can find uses for enormous amounts of memory when it comes to caching history states and other things rather than writing to scratch disks. That's the reason memory use for PS has inflated so much. It's possible to hold things in ram rather than scratch disks due to the amount of memory that can be made available.
     
  10. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #10
    Macperformanceguide recommends around 72% allocation for PS CS6.

    http://macperformanceguide.com/OptimizingPhotoshopCS6-configuring.html

    That's what I have been using.
    I should received my SSDs and Apricorn card by tomorrow. Right now my system has around 16gb RAM on PS and the remaining 8gb for the other apps and OS system.
    It will be interesting to see the results after I install the new drives. I hope it will improve quite a bit, if not, then I gotta pull that credit card out again for more RAM. :D
     

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