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CS6 Macintosh RAM, Video Card, Scratch Disk?

Feb 21, 2013 3:51 PM

Tags: #illustrator #photoshop #card #disk #scratch #ram #graghics

I upgraded to the CS6 Master Collection in December and just installed it a couple days ago. I must say I love the new tiling options!


I am running the software, mostly Photoshop and Illustrator, on a 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro running 10.7.5. I am looking to improve processing times as I am starting to work with bigger images for graphics work, which are usually 75-100MB, but with some of them reaching the 200-300MB range.


I have some questions regarding computer upgrades:


1. Increasing the current 16GB of memory to the maximum of 16GB would run about $557.00:


a. Would I see much of a speed increase when using PS or Illustrator to work on a single file given the file sizes?

b. Would there be much of a benefit in speed when using both at the same time; for example, while waiting for Illustrator to process a large image I work on another image in PS.


2. Given the amount of RAM does a seperate scratch disk provide any benefit? I've used them on PowerPc Macs, but those only had 2GB RAM and a lot slower graphics cards.


3. Would there be much of speed increase by upgrading the graphics card from the current ATI Radeon HD 5770 to a ATI Radeon HD 5880? That would likely be the only card I'd ever upgrade to as it has the same basic monitor connectors as the 5770. The 5780 would run about $480.


4. I recently exported a AI file as a png file. If you examine the file's details using the Macintosh menu item "File: Get Info" it indicated that the file was 46,666 x 46,666 pixels with a size of 67.6MB, yet when I attempted to open it in PS I received a out of memory error even though PS indicated that there was over 15GB of memory available. The file would VERY slowly open in Macintosh's default Preview application so I don't think the file was corrupt.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2013 6:03 PM   in reply to fieldsofwheat

    1) Huh? Increase from 16 to 16? But more ram always shows speed increases.


    2) Yes, always. More drive heads is a benefit to all apps using scratchspace.


    3) No. Illustrator doesn't use the GPU.


    4) no clue.

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