RAM for photoshop: 8 vs 16 GB

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by macchiato2009, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009

    considering changing my mac to a new retina MBP

    and hesitating about how much ram to buy (as soldered)

    wondering if photoshop cs6 will benefit from more RAM

    8 vs 16 Gb: any real difference ?

    and what about system overall performance too ?

  2. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Photoshop loves RAM. More RAM is generally considered to be the single most important factor to better performance. And consider that it is very difficult, I believe, to upgrade the RAM post purchase for that system.

    So... my advice is to get the 16GB option.
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    on a rMBP go with 16GB. You never know in advance the memory requirements for 1-3 years from now. So give both today's and tomorrow's apps plenty of memory. If you have to save money, do it on SSD size...not memory or CPU.
  4. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    It is a small percentage of the cost of the machine, and you can't upgrade it later. Go for 16 gigs.
  5. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Mar 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    That being said, Photoshop will probably not need the additional RAM. However, chances are that you are also using Lightroom or Aperture, and these eat RAM for breakfast. The math is easy: RAW files are often ~20 MB and larger a piece these days. If you are looking at a project with ~100 photos, that's at least 2 GB RAM right there before doing any manipulations on them.
  7. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
    Two weeks ago I had PS and/or Windows freak out on a single image. Granted it was a 3GB file but for some reason the RAM was pegged at 16GB used for a good 20 minutes when I tried to save. Convinced me to upgrade to 32GB.

    I think it was a Windows issue but it was still annoying. I expect OS/X would handle it better but memory is never a bad thing. :)
  8. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I'm not surprised, entirely. Ps often wants 6x to 8x times the size of the image for a scratch file.... so in this case it might have wanted up to 24 GB of RAM.... Just for the one image. Plus whatever is running, plus Windows... it would have been trying to write a big chunk of this to the HDD instead of RAM, and if there was something else trying to write to the HDD - well, it should have worked better but sometimes the system just gets bogged down.

    But... 32 GB of RAM is definitely good!
  10. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
    Nothing else was open so everything should have fit in memory just fine. Even if it did need a scratch file it is on striped SSDs. ;)

    It was something else - I took me five minutes just to open up the task manager. Doubling the memory was a cheap way to cure the symptom. At least until Nikon comes out with the D900. :D

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