For those that use SE via PS, how do you find it saving memory usage via the compressing of multiple "layers" into one SE smart filter?

Let em elaborate. I do most of my work in B&W and have been resisting SE because a): like the full manual process and b): it ain't cheap.

That said, am using an iMac that is long due for an upgrade (rumored "opening up" of iMacs re: max memory, etc sound promising) and 1Ds2 images destined for 13x19 or 17x22 paper with various layers and smart filters, etc can make for long processing waits - or having to save work in multiple stages.

The B&W conversion process alone of course requiring the B&W adjustment layer, at least one curves layer and usually a dodge and/or burning layer (or the same effect via a curve layer and masking) all in all lets say 3-4 layers to get the B&W side only of the image where I want it with the ability to go back and edit.

While I know SE saves time, I'm thinking/hoping that SE will allow me to effect the same process (plus film mimicry) within one layer - improving memory requirements (and thus processing waits) on a per image basis.

I guess what I'm looking for is confirmation/repudiation of that theory.

I downloaded and played with the trial last year but foolishly didn't really put it thru it's paces on multi-layer images due to time commitments and when I looked up two weeks had just flown by -- the trail of course being a one-time gig.