There are posts like this time to time. Those in the know say PS does not work like this. Next time this happens might try Edit/purge and see if any of the entries gets it up to speed again.
THere might be some other program interfering, like virus check that is hogging resources. See if they are scanning when you experience problem.
There is no malware scanner running, in fact I have tried closing out all other applications and unnecessary processes to help improve performance. No luck.
Also, my post actually wasn't quite finished, but my internet shut off on me last night and I guess that just automatically posted whatever I had done before then. What's even better is that the forums won't allow me to edit it. What great features!
Anyway, here's the FULL spec sheet of my computer...
OS - Windows 7 64-bit
CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3.0GHz
RAM - 12GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz
GPU - NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 1GB
Storage - 1x 128GB SSD (OS installed on), 1x 750GB HDD, 1x 160GB HDD
I have the 64-bit version of Photoshop CS5.1 Extended, installed on the SSD. Here's the settings I have in the preferences:
Memory Usage - 100%
Scratch Disks - All 3, SSD 1st, 750GB HDD 2nd, 160GB HDD 3rd
History States - 100
Cache Levels - 8
Cache Tile Size - 1028K
I have fiddled with these settings and restarted Photoshop countless times. In the end it's the same exact result: Photoshop slows down after a few minutes of work and I have to restart it. I have about 50GB free on the SSD, 150GB free on the 750GB, and about 140GB free on the 160GB.
I don't understand why it gets so slow even when my RAM usage only makes it up to about 45%. Why doesn't it just utilize ALL of the memory like I told it to?
I've tried setting cache to 1, 2, and 4, same result. Cache tile size to all the different settings, same result. History states to an extremely low level like 10, same result. I just don't understand why Photoshop is doing this, especially because it decides to speed up on its own every couple of months...
You might take a look at what is happening with the Photoshop process as well as other processes on your computer in Task Manager and its associated Resource Monitor. There may be inordinate CPU or memory or disk-IO that is causing the slow down, and knowing which it is could help track down what to do.
Make sure you’re running the 64-bit version of Photoshop not the 32-bit version—both may be installed—because the 32-bit one can only use about 700MB of memory whereas the 64-bit version can use much more. Swapping between RAM and virtual-memory files on disk will slow things down dramatically.
Another issue could be a hard-drive that’s going bad and there are retries occurring. If you want you can tell Windows to test/recover bad sectors (or whatever the checkbox says) in the scan disk or disk check options. You would want to do this the last thing of the day, because it’ll need to reboot and do it offline if you’re checking the system volume, at least, and will take hours so let it run overnight.
You can experiment with changing where the Photoshop temporary files are stored across the three drives to see if one yields better results.
And the forum messages can be edited by the author but only up until they are replied to. This keeps the integrity of the conversation, instead of letting people change what they said and then have replies not longer be relevant.
I know for sure it is the 64-bit version, it uses a couple gigs of RAM... but I will take a look at the whole process window thing and see if I can find anything interesting... and I really doubt it's the hard drive, because back when I had the OS and Photoshop installed on my HDD, it had the same issue. Just about 9 months ago I upgraded to a SSD and it's the same issue. But nevertheless I will check it out...
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I figured out the problem.
It was not a hard drive issue, nothing with the memory or anything like that, just as I suspected. It was the preferences file. I guess over time it gets filled up and starts to slow down the program.
In order to fix it, I held down Ctrl+Alt+Shift as I opened Photoshop. It then asked me if I wanted to delete the Adobe Settings file. I selected yes, and all of my preferences and keyboard shortcuts were set back to the default, which was a nusiance, however the slowing-down-over-time issue I once had is now completely gone. Photoshop is working lightning as long as I stay on the drawing, like it should.
I upgraded my monitor to a 4K. I had the same issues. I upgraded my video card to 6mg. It fixed the problem. I hope this helps.