Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Setting Up New PC for Photoshop

  1. #1
    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    509
    Post Thanks / Like

    Setting Up New PC for Photoshop

    I came across this article http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404439.html on optimizing a computer to run Photoshop after I just had a PC computer built for me. It has two 160 SSD Intel drives and a SATA drive. I was figuring on using one for operating system and programs and the second SSD as a scratch disc and the sata drive for storage.

    Article seems to say the second ssd drive won't do anything and I would have been better off adding ram (have 16gigs).

    So I'm wondering if now I should either leave it as I planned, or put OS on one ssd drive and programs on the other and partition the sata for scratch drive, or what. I have a feeling it's a problem to install programs on anything but the C drive as all software seems set up for that kind of installation.

    Primary use of pc is to process images and retouching in Photoshop, 6-8 hours a day, 5+ days a week.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sunnyvale, California
    Posts
    1,811
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    19

    Re: Setting Up New PC for Photoshop

    Most importantly, run 64-bit Photoshop on 64-bit Windows 7 with tons of RAM.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA, USA
    Posts
    40
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Setting Up New PC for Photoshop

    The one SSD for your operating system will give you faster boot at turn on, and of loading Photoshop. After that, no Photoshop benefit. If all you do is turn on your computer once a day & load Photoshop once a day, that's not much of a benefit! Since you already have it, I'd leave it.

    The SSD scratch drive will give you better Photoshop performance over a hard drive, assuming you run out of RAM. As Lars says above, the most important thing is lots of RAM...that's your first priority.

    The question at this point: is the 16 GB of RAM you have enough? Another question: is your computer mother board capable of accepting more than 16 GB?

    I built my own PC a few months ago using the Intel Sandy Bridge chip set -- outstanding for Photoshop. The motherboard I picked was limited to 16 GB. I'm running Windows 7 & Photoshop in 64-bit mode. For me, the 16 GB is enough most of the time. You can test it out for your own work flow by setting the dialog box at the bottom of your open Photoshop image to "Efficiency." If it remains at 100% then you are not doing a lot of scratch drive swapping & I wouldn't worry about it. If it is often in the 50% range, then you may want to consider doubling your RAM if you are able.

    --Alan

  4. #4
    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    509
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Setting Up New PC for Photoshop

    Alan,

    Thanks. I could double the ram to 32 gig, but I'd have to sell the 16 gig. Not the biggest deal in the world, but will wait to see how things go once we set the computer up.

    Someone told me that they believe some of the larger Photoshop plug-ins are using scratch drive. Do you know anything about this? He thought that in that case, ssd drive would be better for scratch drive.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA, USA
    Posts
    40
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Setting Up New PC for Photoshop

    I think it is possible some plug-ins physically use scratch, and for sure they can indirectly force Photoshop to excede RAM & rely on scratch.

    Before dumping your 16 GB for 32 GB, I strongly suggest you simply use the system with 16 GB & monitor the situtation. Unless you end up using up the existing RAM, there is no advantage to adding more. Another thing, while RAM is much faster that scratch (even SSD scratch drive) if you only end up accessing scratch a small % of the time, it's still not worthwhile waisting $ on seldom-used RAM.

    Finally, you may want to consider what % of your RAM you have allocated to Photoshop. If you don't have much in the way of other applications open, with 16 GB, you could probably allocate 90% of your RAM to Photoshop. In the old days using 32-bit Windows, you were limited to 3 GB RAM, & more typically, those computers had only 2 GB of RAM. In that case, you could only allocated 50% or 60% to Photoshop.

    Have fun with your new computer! I'm sure you'll be pleased with the added performance over what ever you had before.

    --Alan

  6. #6
    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    509
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Setting Up New PC for Photoshop

    Alan,

    That's pretty much what I was thinking, although I wasn't going to go all the way up to 90% of ram allocation for Photoshop. But I guess the 10% that's left is still plenty. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    260
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Setting Up New PC for Photoshop

    I had a computer built for me, for Photo Shop use primarily. I decided to see what 8 Gb RAM would do for me before upgrading to the 16Gb's possible, so far a year and a half later I cannot say any given process is slow. I have had files as large as 3+ Gb and on any given command it is fast enough. I do use my C drive as a scratch disk, I only keep programs on it. I have it partitioned since I use Linux and Windows as my OS. But I think the way you have described the layout you will be fine. I think at least a 1 Gb video card is necessary. But you probably have that or more. Joe

  8. #8
    Senior Member danielmoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Posts
    272
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    18

    Re: Setting Up New PC for Photoshop

    I advocate RAID 0 for data storage, even a 2 drive stripe using the onboard raid controller will essentially double opening and saving times, as well as speed up cache and thumbnail building upon opening a new folder of images in bridge or Capture One, etc. It's no longer necessary to build up the RAID array before the OS goes on so it's still an option. Drive prices now are still suffering though, about twice what they were before Thailand's flood devastation. I have recently started using RAM for scratch disk with a twist. Using Primo Ramdisk to create a virtual hard drive with extra ram I'm getting IO transfer rates on average of 2 Gigabytes/sec. I would time some typical operations with your current setup and then install Primo as a trial and choose it for PS scratch disk and run the same operations again, you might find that RAM being put to excellent use. I suppose I'd start with an 8GB Ramdisk, you can always trash it and make a new one. It is persistent, btw, between reboots if you choose. But accessing your data from a single SATA drive is the weak link here. A final note, RAID 0 arrays can be cloned, I use Acronis, onto a single drive and rebuilt from a single drive onto a fresh pair (or more) of drives, so there's some consolation to the increased risk of drive failure RAID 0 presents.

    Forgot one important note - my main reason for using Primo rather than simply letting PS handle ram allocation is that I transfer large files to the ramdisk for editing sessions, then back for storage at the end. This is beneficial when I plan to spend a long time working on a very large file, saving often, or when the file is absolutely massive - a 2 drive RAID 0 being able to manage around 220Mbps only.
    Last edited by danielmoore; 21st January 2012 at 13:54. Reason: additional info

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •