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OK, So How Much RAM Does Photoshop CS5 Use?

Jan 27, 2011 8:42 PM

ANSWER: All you give it, lol!

 

I posted this for those buying or building a PC and are deciding "how much RAM do I need?"

 

I built a fairly powerful rig for Photoshop and editing in Premiere Pro, and without all the tech specs, I have 24GB of ram, mostly for encoding HiDef video. Surely Photoshop wouldn't eat THAT much, right? Dead wrong. I have Photoshop set to utilize 75% of my available ram which would be near 19GB. I just worked on a fairly large image, where I took 23 vertical shots with my 5D Mark II (5616x3744 resolution files, pretty big) and did a large photomerge which ended up at about 60,000 x 5,500 after the crop. Granted, large image, nearly 3½GB .PSB file. So while the merging and aligning was taking place, I watched my Ram Gadget soar, right up to 19GB within 4 minutes of processing:

 

PS Ram.jpg

 

Yowza. I expected that from Media Encoder processing 1080p HD video into a Blu-Ray disc format, but not a Photoshop file. So, the point of all this: ram is lower in cost than it's been in many months, a 12GB Mushkin kit (3x4GB) is down to $169 on Newegg. Don't skimp in that arena, fill 'er up as best as you can. Future versions aren't going to use less ram, let's face it, the software has to process a lot of pixels! Try to go a minimum of 6GB, but definitely 8-12GB if you can. Of course this means bye-bye FINALLY to 32-bit operating systems, but once you have a large playground of memory, you and Photoshop will be happy campers.

 
Replies
  • Noel Carboni
    23,455 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2011 6:35 AM   in reply to PaulieDC

    Nice system.

     

    Your point is that Photoshop will use all the RAM you allow to try to make its operations as fast as possible.  That is certainly true, and it's a Good Thing.

     

    With regard to RAM and Photoshop, people often say more is better without qualification, and you have just confirmed that advice.

     

    Personally, with 24 GB of RAM I'd suggest settting Photoshop's limit even higher - e.g., to 95% (which is what I use for 8 GB) - unless you're sure you want to reserve a fair bit for other apps running simultaneously.  The OS doesn't need much on that scale.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Pierre Courtejoie
    7,038 posts
    Jan 11, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2011 12:53 AM   in reply to PaulieDC

    Hello Paulie,

     

    I'm not Mr Carboni, but I's just like to point out that I did not read "With regard to RAM and Photoshop, people often say more is better without qualification, and you have just confirmed that advice." as an attack to a purported lack of qualifications on your part.

    Au contraire, I understood that he meant that even if some say that more is better without actually testing it, your tests does confirm that saying (the more RAM is better part).

     

    I would agree with you in regards of not starving the OS, especially if you do use other memory-hungry video applications.

     

    Have a great day!

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,455 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2011 6:57 AM   in reply to PaulieDC
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    PaulieDC wrote:


    If anyone is reading this please PLEASE don't set your Photoshop limit to 95% of your available ram. Your system will mostly likely crash within minutes of starting Photoshop. The proven setting is 75%, set it there and move on. Thanks.

     

    I'm sorry you took offense somehow at my earlier post.  I was being complimentary, and you read it wrong.

     

    But don't give bogus advice.  Your system will NOT "most likely crash" at 95%.  I challenge you to show why a virtual memory system in good working order should crash under that condition.  Using 95% of 24 GB leaves well over 1 GB.  People run Windows on 1 GB systems all the time.  Imagine that.

     

    Has it been crashing for you?  If so then you have something wrong with your system.

     

    Photoshop CS5 and Windows 7 x64 work just fine at 95%.  I have practical, observational proof, over years of daily use (CS5 and its predecessors on x64 systems dating back to 2005), that it works.  I have even run it at 100% for long periods without problems.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 18, 2011 8:58 AM   in reply to PaulieDC

    hi guys,

     

    i was going to ask, which type of ram would you guys reccomend me to use for the most efficient video editing for adobe cs3 and cs5 64 bit both production premium. I am using kingston ram, and asus p6t6 ws revolution.

     

    i need help and in should i use ecc/non-ecc, buffered-unbuffered, and registered-unregistered.

     

    i have a lot of trouble when rendering with after effects, as my ram is not enough

     

    if you can explain these to me quickly, and recommend me which type of ram to use, i would be very glad

     

    thanks in advance

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,455 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 18, 2011 9:10 AM   in reply to AhmedKayihan

    First, you need to determine exactly what RAM your system actually CAN take.  I'm not attempting to do that here.  The motherboard design dictates that, and you'll need to do some research to find out what your options are.

     

    If you have the choice, I recommend using all ECC RAM as it (with suitable BIOS support) will not allow you to take a RAM error without knowing it.

     

    The practical difference is this:  On the one hand, a system with ECC will correct minor errors, and will halt when it takes a RAM error it can't correct.  A non-ECC system just allows the system to continue running with the software using who knows what data values...

     

    RAM errors DO happen.  A system that halts demands repair.  One that just corrupts data randomly...  I don't think you want that.

     

    If it's important to you that your computer be reliable, and not corrupt its data, I suggest the ECC RAM.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 18, 2011 5:32 PM   in reply to PaulieDC

    2-3 GB Should be enough. But if you start using Adobe Premiere/After Effects your system may take a while to open Photoshop.

     
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