Photo Editing on Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kxfrog, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. kxfrog macrumors regular

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    Aug 9, 2009
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    #1
    Hi,
    I have recently started photography and picked up a canon 500d dlsr. I am shooting in 15MP Raws which tend to be around 23MB each. I am editing about 100-200 a week of these in photoshop on my Mac Pro Quad 2.66ghz with 2 640GB drives in raid 0 and a 1TB backup disk. I only have 3GB ram and can't really afford to upgrade it yet, but when I am editing it seems laggy as hell! Also my iPhoto library is almost 100GB and takes about 10 years for each photo to load, is there any way to speed up my system or a better way to edit or organise my photos than Photoshop CS4 and iPhoto? Thanks

    Sorry about the long post!!!:apple::apple:
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #2
    Switch to CS5 and add more memory (it can take advantage of it).
     
  3. kxfrog thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Cs5 is really expensive I only upgrade to cs4 about 9 months ago I don't really want to upgrade again until cs6. Any other options. I am going to be adding 8gb or 12gb of ram soon. HOPEFULLY. should I get 8gb or 12gb? 2gb or 4gb dimms for the 8gb?
     
  4. slater-k macrumors regular

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    #4
    I think that's what you should do then ... you really need more RAM than that i would say
    HTH
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #5
    Add the RAM then, and take a look into setting it up as RAM disks (some users have indicated this as a means of speeding things up).

    As per the how to add the memory, you won't benefit from triple channel mode, so stuff in as much as you can at the lowest cost (max @ 16GB, using 4GB DIMM's in each slot).

    Just make sure if you mix memory, that it's all the same type (UDIMM or RDIMM). And in the case of the 4GB sticks, be extra careful, as it may not even be compatible with smaller capacity DIMM's of the same type due to the inclusion of thermal sensors, such as what's provided by OWC last I checked.
     
  6. MacBird macrumors 6502

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    Apr 1, 2010
    #6
    If you won't upgrade to CS5 (which is 64bit) then Photoshop CS4 (32bit) can only use 4GB of memory, even if you have 8 or 12. Are you eligible for a higher ed discount? The full CS5 Extended version is available for $179 at some places. If not, the upgrade will probably be around $200. I agree with the other posters that 3GB RAM is too little. Do you use a separate HDD for the scratch disk? This might help, too. For now you should probably close all other programs while processing your RAW files.
     
  7. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #7
    You need more RAM; if you can afford it, consider getting 12GB of RAM and then setting up a RAM disk to use as scratch whenever you start up Photoshop. That's what I do right now.

    Of course with CS5, it will be 64-bit, so that's not longer required.

    Upgrade to CS5 is $350 plus tax.
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #8
    I'm under the impression that RAM disks have been sucessfully used to get past the 4GB limit in CS4, and might be worth a shot (there's a tutorial somewhere here in MR on how to create them).

    But like you, if there's a way to get CS5, that would be the better way to go, and for more than just the exceeding the RAM limitation in CS4 (CS5 is optimized for Intel processors as well as 64bit for improved performance).
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #9
    I seem to recall some counter arguments, but by my way of thinking, RAM disks would solve the problem with CS4.

    But if the Upgrade price is only $350, it seems worth it to get the improved performance (beyond the RAM capabilities resulting from 64bit code, given it's supposed to be optimized for the Intel processors only).
     
  10. lssmit02 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #10
    Interesting information at diglloyd.com

    Lloyd Chambers has a site dedicated to these kinds of questions. He's big on getting enough ram, and raid scratch drives.

    Disclaimer: He markets upgrades to macs via Other World Computing on his site.
     
  11. MacBird macrumors 6502

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    Apr 1, 2010
    #11
    This might well work, I have never tried this. Since the OP's computer has only 3GB, I would guess it might not help too much without upgrading RAM. As a compromise, maybe he should get 8GB altogether and CS5 if that is in the budget.
     
  12. pcconvert macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    #12
    I edit RAW from Panny GH1 (15MBfiles - the size doesn't matter really) on MBP17 with 2.53 dual core, 160GB Intel SSD, 8800GT graphics and 4GBRAM. My library has currently over 26000 images. You don't say what graphics card you have. I assume the basic. Here is what you should do, steps are in the order of importance:

    1a. Switch from iPhoto to Lightroom
    1b. Switch from iPhoto to Aperture.
    For Aperture consider better graphics in the future to gain extra speed. It benefits from good graphics for rendering previews and large screen book editing. (Dunno about Lightroom yet.)

    2. Consider SSD. This speeds up things considerably. Imagine whenever you edit or pull up the raw file from storage where would be the bottleneck?...

    3. more RAM. Aperture sucks what it can especially when creating books. For basic editing with no other RAM sucking apps 3GB should be ok as long as you do steps 1 and 2.

    Have fun.
     
  13. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    Location:
    Québec
    #13
    Hello,

    As has been discussed ad nauseam a few months back, even PS4 can use more than 3GB of RAM on OS X (or more precisely: through OS X).

    Going from 3GB to 8GB has made a world of difference for me in PS4. I've yet to see any benefits of using RAM disks as scratch disks.

    OS X is very creative when it comes to handling RAM that apps can't directly use themselves. Give it a try before believing a theoretical limit.

    Loa
     
  14. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #14
    I think PCConvert hit the nail on the head...

    You need a photo "organizing" program in front of your editor.

    Use Bridge (If you're using Adobe) or Aperture. These are setup to organize, group, and file your shots...then use Photoshop/LR/or Aperture for your editing and post production work.

    Get rid of iPhoto...You've definitely FAR exceeded what it's meant to do and be with a +100gig library...>Transfer that to Bridge and proceed from there.

    Good Luck

    Jer
     
  15. kxfrog thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Thanks for all the replys guys I will consider an upgrade to cs5 as I can just buy cs5 Photoshop student edition and keep all my other cs4 apps
     
  16. kxfrog thread starter macrumors regular

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    UK
    #16
    If I were to get qn ssd as a boot drive then what would I do with the other three bays for optimum performance, should I place 3 drives in raid 0 and store everything on them? Or should I put 2 drives in raid 0 for scratch disk and files I'm working on and get a 1tb drive for all my files, documents music etc...
     
  17. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #17
    Hello,

    You haven't said anything about ram in your last 2 posts, but as many have said: nothing will speed up your current mac more than extra RAM. Nothing.

    Before you buy *anything* else, get your RAM up to 8GB.

    Getting 8GB of RAM will means that you won't need a dedicated scratch disk (scratch disks used to be necessary because we couldn't afford enough RAM), that you will be able to use your two 640GB drives as a RAID0 and keep your 1TB as back-up.

    Loa
     
  18. kxfrog thread starter macrumors regular

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  19. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

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    #19
    More RAM is probably your best bet.

    I just experimented with Photoshop CS4 and a 12mb Canon RAW file on my 1st-gen Mac Pro with 8GB RAM. Everything seemed pretty zippy even with plenty of Safari pages (including some Flash ones) running.


    I believe your 2009 Mac Pro Quad has Triple Channel memory so it's a good idea to use memory in such a way that all available channels (3?) are utilized. Using too few or many memory slots will result in slower Single or Dual-Channel operation regardless of the total amount of RAM.
    Apparently this isn't as much of a problem as too little RAM.

    Here's a good resource:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/Framework.cfm?page=/Benchmarks/NehalemTests.html



    Clear as mud, right? :eek:

    You should at least replace those 3x1GB with 3x2GB. My recommendation is to try that and maybe experiment with any remaining slots to see if kicking it out of triple channel slows it down.

    Good Luck,
    Keri
     
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #20
    Yes, the Nehalem architecture has a maximum of 3 channels of DDR3. But the software used can't utilize it (precious little can), so filling all of the slots makes more sense for the additional memory (4x 2GB DIMM's = 8GB total).
     
  21. Deepshade macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #21
    Seriously!

    I've been editing PS files since the 2Ci and you guys are really quibbling over nothing.

    Max out the ram on whatever machine you are editing on. Use the most up to date SW ie Photoshop, in its latest version (CS5 looks like THE most significant upgrade ever) and a reasonably up to date Intel multiprocessor Mac.

    10 years ago I was editing 100+ meg images for print production in posters - no one winged then - get a grip and get on with the job and stop blaming the software and hardware! and think yourselves lucky that the images are not bigger than harddrive!!
     
  22. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #22
    Why do you use iPhoto?

    Canon's DPP accesses the RAW files directly, and once you have converted them to TIFF you can organize them in Bridge.

    Also: go to crucial.com and anybody can afford RAM upgrades. Be glad you have a Mac Pro where you can put in more RAM.

    If you really need a catalogue, get Expression Media for the Mac, where you have keywording, or check out Photo Mechanic, which can also handle keywords, but is not creating a catalogue.

    This way all will run snappy.

    I suppose the culprit for your slowdown is iPhoto.
     
  23. kxfrog thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 9, 2009
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    UK
    #23
    I have switched my whole iPhoto library to Adobe Bridge and have decided to add 8gb of ram to my mac pro from crucial (2x4GB). Can i install the 2 4 gb dimms and keep two of my 1gb dimms in so i have 10gb of ram or should i just put in 8gb and take out the 1gb dimms. From what i have gathered cs4 and cs5 wont be able to benefit from triple channel so im not too worried about ti be tripple channel but i want it to be at least dual channel. Thanks guys
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #24
    Highly doubtful, as the 4GB DIMM's should have a thermal sensor on them (OWC does, not sure about what you've bought though, and would matter). As that thermal sensor is needed on all DIMM's when it's present, the 1 or 2GB DIMM's won't work combined with the 4GB units, as they don't have thermal sensors (even of the same type, UDIMM).

    So you'd have to ditch the 1GB DIMM's, and only use the 4GB sticks for 8GB. There's a note on this on OWC's website.

    At least using 4GB DIMM's allows you to increase RAM later if you find it's needed (12 or 16GB without having to remove the 4GB DIMM's you've just purchased/will purchase).
     
  25. kxfrog thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25

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