5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 13, 2014 8:30 AM by Noel Carboni

    Photoshop CS6: are my expectations too high?


      Photoshop CS6 is very slow opening some files.


      I am using Windows 7 Pro 64 bit, an

      Intel Core i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz,

      16 GB RAM

      2TB accelerated (via 32GB SSD) primary HDD (6gb Sata III) - OS and Photoshop on this drive

      120GB Samsung Evo 840 SSD dedicated for scratch disk usage - no files on it whatsoever


      The file I am using as a reference is a .psd file that is 166 MB in size. This file has many layers.


      When I have cache tile size set to 128k it opens in less than 6 seconds. At these settings the document size reads 24.1M/929.6M and efficiency shows 88%


      When I have Photoshop set to use 1024k cache tile size, opening this file takes a good 27-32 seconds. Document size shows 24.1M/4.45G and efficiency shows 30%! (scratch reads 18.4G/12.2G)


      First off, I admit that when I installed the dedicated SSD for a scratch disk I expected I would see an immediate improvement in operating speed of Photoshop and that this particular file would load quickly even if I had set the tile cache to 1024k. However, I see virtually no difference in opening this file from before when I had no dedicated SSD scratch disk.

      Are my expectations wrong on this count and if so why?


      Second, I can't get my head around the issue with setting the tile cache size to 1024 creating such a difference in file opening speed when compared with 128k as well as the reported doc size of 4.45G and 30% efficiency! 

      I thought for sure I'd never see my efficiency drop down much below 100% due to the fact that I have so much ram (i have set Photoshop to use up to 85%) and that I have this dedicated 120GB SSD scratch disk. Why is the efficiency so low when I have unleashed Photoshop to use all 120GB of the SSD and the Scratch size reads 18.4G/12.2G so it doesn't even appear as though it is using much of the SSD, yet my efficiency remains at 30%!?

      Are my expectations wrong here too, and if so, why?



        • 1. Re: Photoshop CS6: are my expectations too high?
          Noel Carboni Level 8

          First off, 16 GB is not a terribly lot of RAM when it comes to Photoshop.  It's not a little amount either, but Photoshop can use more - I moved up from 16 GB in my last workstation to 48 GB in my current one precisely because there were occasions where it wasn't enough.  48 GB backed by an SSD array does seem to be enough.


          How do you have that Samsung EVO hooked up?  SATA II or III?  What port (specifically, is it Intel controlled or Marvell controlled)?


          Can you post a copy of your test file online?  I can test to see how a system with more RAM handles it.


          And lastly:  If your setup seems to work best with a small cache tile size, why not just set it that way?  Is there another operation you do where a large cache tile size gives better results?



          • 2. Re: Photoshop CS6: are my expectations too high?
            doctorhifi Level 1


            Thank you for the response. So it seems like I expected too much from my RAM based on your comments.


            I failed to list in my original post that I also have a Nvidia Geforce GTX660 (1.5GB onboard RAM) and I have my drawing mode set to Advanced and am using OpenCL. I rarely see the graphic card RAM usage rise overy 4% when using Photoshop and I have no idea if that is odd or normal.


            Concerning the Samsung EVO connections, it is connected SATA III. I believe it is Intel controlled, but I am fuzzy on Intel vs Marvell controlled or how to determine which my mobo has or is using. Here is info on my mobo:


            My PC is a Dell XPS8700 and has its primary HDD accelerated using a 32GB mSATA SDD so my Bios is set to RAID mode as this was required to use the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST) that is doing the accelerating.  I have a second 2TB HDD (Hitachi HDS722020ALA330) and then the recently added the 120GB SSD making a total of 4 drives in the machine. I use the Hitachi HDD for file storage and the 120GB SSD as Photoshop scratch only. The second HDD is the only SATA II drive in the system.


            I will send you a private message link to the file so you can see how your system handles it.


            Finally, I am leaving the cache tile size at 128k since this solves the problem of the slow file opening time.

            I guess I thought I'd be leaving something behind if I left it set low, and from what I had read it seemed like I should be able to keep it set high based on my PC's ability, but I admit not really understanding all the potential ramifications of the tile cache size settings. I have only had my new PC for about a week and have not used Photoshop intensly since adding the new SSD so I don't have any context for how the small tile cache may compare to the large size when I get into some intense drawing modifications. Maybe I'll discover it doesnt really matter?


            I have used the advice found on this forum and elsewhere to try and speed up Photoshop, doing things like turning of export to clipboard, setting maximize compatability to Never, etc.


            • 3. Re: Photoshop CS6: are my expectations too high?
              Noel Carboni Level 8

              Hi doctorhifi,


              I was able to download your file.


              Settings:  Cache Tile Size: 1028K (my normal setting)


              Dragging it from Explorer to Photoshop, the application opens and loads the file in 11 seconds.  At that point I'm presented with a dialog with a list of 9 missing fonts (not unexpected, every system is different).



              Just to get to the point where the dialog is presented, my Photoshop Temp scratch file grows to 27.4 GB.  System RAM usage (per Task Manager) reaches 17.9 GB.  Clicking through the missing font dialog and displaying the document causes RAM usage to go to 18.1 GB.


              Doing Image - Reveal All takes another 8 seconds and results in a very wide 11413 x 3365 pixel canvas to be shown, which is white and extends off to the right.  RAM usage is at this point up to 26.1 GB and the scratch file to reach 49.5 GB.



              Settings:  Cache Tile Size: 128K


              Dragging it from Explorer to Photoshop, the application opens and loads the file in 7 seconds.  At that point I'm presented with the missing font dialog.


              Just to get to the point where the dialog is presented, my Photoshop Temp scratch file grows to 4.5 GB.  System RAM usage (per Task Manager) grows to 9.0 GB.  Clicking through sees RAM usage to go to 9.2 GB.


              Doing Image - Reveal All takes another 5 seconds.  RAM usage is at this point up to 11.2 GB and the scratch file at 8.0 GB


              - Faster and with much smaller numbers than with the large cache tile size.



              It's pretty clear the smaller cache tile size is the better choice for working on documents similar to yours.  And I have to say, I'm surprised to see the system resource usage go up so much just with the larger cache tile size - that's not typical.  What IS pretty typical, however, is for Photoshop to chew through gigabytes like candy.  I believe the fact that the RAM usage is a bit higher than the amount you have is probably why it takes quite a lot longer to open on your system with the large cache tile size.


              I'll admit I don't know all the internal implications of the different cache tile sizes either, but Adobe DOES say that a "tall and thin" document will do better with the smaller choices.  "Tall" meaning lots of layers.


              I haven't looked your document over in detail yet to try to determine why it's quite so resource-intensive.   I see on a quick glance that it has some smart objects that have been transformed.  I wonder if something about having done that is causing some thrashing in the process of generating the final image.



              • 4. Re: Photoshop CS6: are my expectations too high?
                Noel Carboni Level 8

                If you're using Intel RST then chances are the design is using the Intel chipset to control the SATA ports - which is good.  That will maximize the responsiveness of your disks.  Surprisingly, I couldn't find documentation online to confirm the use of the Intel conroller, but it looks like a very good desktop system design overall.


                I think your image is resource intensive simply because it has a lot of layers and a lot of smart objects.  If you're regularly working with such images, you might consider boosting your installed RAM to the full 32 GB your system can handle (at 1600 MHz of course), then set Photoshop to use 96% or so.



                • 5. Re: Photoshop CS6: are my expectations too high?
                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                  If you have a UPS (to where you won't lose power unexpectedly), I thought of one other tweak you might want to use to improve the speed of your system (and it may already be set, since you're using Intel RST).


                  Disable the write-cache buffer flushing, which allows applications to continue processing after data has been written to the disk cache.