Memory for PS?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by carlgo, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #1
    I am processing some large format scans on my MBP (2.4) and these large files are slowwww with the standard 2 gb memory. Anyone here who can tell me if bumping the memory up to 4 gb made a difference for them for this kind of work? Thanks.
     
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2008
    #2
    Use something like iStatPro to check for Page outs, if that number is large, RAM will help, if it is small, it is unlikely to help your current problem
     
  3. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

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    England
    #3
    How large are the scans (filesize), and which version of Photoshop are you using?
     
  4. jackerin macrumors 6502a

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  5. Eaton Photos macrumors regular

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    Jun 23, 2010
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    KY
    #5
    I also have a MBP 2.4, and I learned very quickly, that while the stock 2GB of Ram was sufficient at first, that I needed more Ram, when it came to intensive processes within Photoshop. So, in a nutshell, yes there is a performance difference between running 2GB & 4GB of Ram. If you need Ram, head to Macsales: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/MacBook/Pro/Core2/. I bought my Ram upgrade through Crucial, and ended up paying more, than what I could have paid, buying through OWC.

    Also, I just learned that the 2.4 Generation of Macbook Pro's will support up to 6GB of Ram. :D So you could go to 6GB if needs be. ;)
     
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #6
    Head over to MacPerformanceGuide.com, and learn more about how to optimize both your MBP and PS than you though possible.

    And yes, adding more RAM will help. How much more depends on a few things, but the link above will help you out. Good Luck.
     
  7. carlgo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Dec 29, 2006
    #7
    Thanks for the good answers. Sure brings up a lot of options, expensive options! Higher end digital may be convenient, but it ain't cheap. The camera and a couple of lenses is just a fraction of it all...

    The scans from medium and 4x5 formats get into the 20 to 100+ mb range and that is a lot for a stock MBP. Might try the 6gb ram option. Can't really afford or justify getting into all the cool upgrades as an amateur.
     
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
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    #8
    Are you doing your own scans? I'm impressed that you are using MF and LF.... you are a very dedicated amateur!!

    You might want to just move up to a Mac Pro soon as you can and skip the intermediate steps. Not cheap at all, but you will be so much happier - and it should last you for years.

    Watch the online refurb store very carefully..... get in the habit of checking it several times a day. Watch for a 2008 8 core (ideally) to get a sense of pricing. I suspect in the month after the new 12 cores are actually delivered you will see some good 2008 MP deals.

    The advantage of the Mac Pro is that you can add upto 32 GB of RAM. As long as you add in pairs you can also mix and match, until all 8 slots are filled. So if you start 2x2 GB RAM modules, you can add 2x4 GB later to make 12 GB , and then 2x4 GB again to make 20 GB or or or.... you get the idea.

    You can also put up to 4 internal HDs, up to 2 TB, plus whatever USB and FW HDs externally.

    If you are an amateur working with large and medium format scans, I believe the thing limiting your workflow is RAM and storage, not CPU speed so an older Mac Pro might suit your needs. I say that not because I don't think your images are "worth" a better system ('cause I know some amateurs who can shoot circles around some pros) just that money is big consideration, and since you aren't charging a client for your time you can afford to wait around if it means saving some of your own money.

    Just throwing it out there for consideration..... I also know it's a bit chunk of change, plus an arm or leg. Maybe something to plan for, for a future date.
     
  9. jsmelander macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2008
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    Cph, DK
    #9
    @OP:
    Photoshop is a hungry beast. Its default setting is to lay its greedy hands on 70% of your precious RAM, thus starving out OSX. Often it isn't Photoshop, but the OS that's slowed down because of this. And since PS is working on top of your OS, any slowdown in OS-performance is immediately felt in PS!

    In Photoshop, go to Preferences>Memory&Something. Here you can control how much of your RAM PS is allowed to keep away from OSX. Set it to around 40% or 50% (Experiment!), and you should see a dramatic increase in performance.

    If your files are truly large, maybe you will need more RAM. But try the above for starters, or while you wait for those extra 4 gigs:)
     
  10. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #10
    2gb is way too little. Going to 4 will make a huge difference, at least in my experience it did.

    I went from 2 to 4 (huge difference) then 4 to 8 (noticeable, but not huge) and then from 8 to 16 (mostly due to multitaking large numbers of video and photos at same time and also running parallels).

    This was on a mac pro, and so the slower HD in the MBP will respond even better.

    In short - get more memory.
     
  11. Eaton Photos macrumors regular

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    #11
    This is EXACTLY, what I just did. Order of progression: Macbook Pro to iMac to Mac Pro.

    While, I'm not an Amateur, I decided, I would get my feet wet, by buying an older MP, as the CPU/ Core Increases, do not currently affect my needs. However, RAM & HDD Space are much more important. I ended up buying a 1st Gen, from its original owner. Looks just like the Mac Pro's at the Apple Store. :) When it arrived it only had 2GB of RAM (4X512MB). Now it has 12GB (6X2GB), courtesy of OWC. And it also only had 2X 250GB HDD's in the 1st & 2nd Bays. While I've kept the 250GB in the 1st Bay, for OS purposes, I've added a 64MB/7200 1TB for scratch purposes in Bay 2, and I am linking two additional 1TB HDD's in a Raid 1, via Software Utility, for storage purposes internally, till the files are moved to my NAS Array.

    With PS CS3 (25 Images Open), Photo-Mechanic, & Firefox running, I'm only consuming 3551MB RAM. I still have 8732MB at my disposal. :D Now it pains me to use my Macbook Pro, for editing.
     
  12. carlgo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Dec 29, 2006
    #12
    Thanks again for the really great answers. I do send out my film for processing and scanning to get an idea of what to expect.

    The idea of a Pro and an iPad has some real appeal...
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #13
    Because serious photography is all about being able to justify buying new things.... (yes yes yes - I'm kidding - mostly - :D )

    How much are you spending on your scans? You may be able to finance your Mac Pro by first buying a scanner, if you are currently helping to send the kids of the scanning tech to college. Look at the Epson Perfection V700 and V750 (though I suspect the V700 is suitable). Great scans, nearly the quality of drum scans (and if you have a neg that deserves a drum scan you can send just that one neg out). These scanners are highly rated, and for doing MF and LF are about the best value out that.

    If you can save the cost of the scanner by doing it yourself, then once it's paid for itself you can put the savings towards the Mac Pro. Good Luck.
     
  14. synagence macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #14
    I jumped from 4 to 8 recently and noticed large difference ... mainly if i was using BOTH LR and PS at the same time

    Although given that PS LR3 and CS5 are both 64-bit they should be able to take advantage of all that lovely RAM

    DDR3 sticks have finally dropped to reasonable prices (i paid £450 at the time for 8Gb) but they're now almost half that

    ITs a worthwhile upgrade
     
  15. carlgo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Dec 29, 2006
    #15
    The place I have sent the film for developing only does high resolution and very expensive scans, so I sent the developed film to a cheaper place that uses a V700 according to the photo data. The results are good, but would I have drum-processing envy if I got one of those done?

    Maybe I should just do B&W and process it in the bathroom like I did so long ago. Nuthin like a contact print, and heck, 4x5 enlargers that were impossibly expensive back then are cheap now...too bad color is so hard to do at home.
     
  16. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #16
    I think scanning is like film processing/printing in one regard. If you are getting inexpensive scans, then I think they are just running the film through at a "normal" settings - much like a cheap film processor develops film at the "normal" dilution/time settings. Once you start doing it yourself you can tweak all the settings to suit your images, and not just go with the "average".

    Like doing your own printing though, expect your first attempts to be - um - less than stellar. There is a steep learning curve - but there is ton of good info on the 'net. And unlike wet processing, once you have the equipment you can keep tweaking the scan over and over without any added cost.

    I'm teaching myself to scan with the Epson V700 and to print with an Epson 3800. I have a very high end scan/print of the image I'm working with so that I can compare my efforts to someone who actually knew what they were doing. It really helps to have a side by side comparison.

    My scans were costing $70+ dollars each. I just need to scan 8 or so of my negs to recoup my cost. I just need to scan 8 negs for somebody else to put that cash into my pocket.

    Unfortunately we are on well-water, and septic now - so that limits what I can do with a dark-room..... I know it doesn't prevent it, but it does make it more difficult and expensive. I'd have to get some serious filters for the water.

    Good Luck.
     

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