Hello. We are using Photoshop CS6 on Mac OS 10.6.8. One key function we perform is Photomerge. Our images are 16-bit ~288 MB each and we need to stitch up to 40 of these images. What is the best (i.e. fastest) configuration of hardware/software to optimize performance of Photomerge (which is one of the bottlenecks of our workflow)? I have searched the internet and these forums, but it is difficult to find information directly relevant to our situation (OS, CS6, super large photos to merge, etc.). Our best idea right now is to get a new computer with max RAM (64 GB) and a 512 GB SSD to use as a scratch disk. Will this be sufficient? Any other suggestions or thoughts? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
I think the CPU plays for much of this operation. I made several tests and it is my conclusion. Installing a SSD also helped.
I don't know how dead set you are on getting a Mac but my perception, based on forum participation here, is that Mac users seem to be having more trouble with Photoshop CS6 than PC users lately.
I think you're on the right track - giant RAM and even gianter scratch space. You could consider building a big RAID 0 array of SSDs rather than just a single drive though, if you want to handle gargantuan images quickly. Such an arrangement can accelerate everything.
You say "max RAM" but there are systems that can take much more than 64 GB of RAM. Look into the Dell Precision Workstation line, for example.