4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 10, 2017 7:35 AM by Doc_Pit

    Another computing power question

    Doc_Pit Level 1

      This question regards the amount of computing power necessary for smooth operation with large, relatively complex files in Photoshop.  Currently, I encounter situations where large files take several minutes to load or save.  Likewise, operations with the patch tool, healing brush or context aware fill can be painfully slow.  Here are the details:


      About a year ago, I purchased a Dell M7710 Precision Workstation.  I was inexperienced with Photoshop, unsure what I might need, and I was willing to bite the bullet cost-wise for a machine I would enjoy using. Based on the best research I could find, I went with this configuration:

      • 32GB, DDR4-2133MHz SDRAM, 4 DIMMS, ECC
      • Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5 (Quad Core 2.90GHz, 3.80GHz Turbo, 8MB 45W, w/Intel HD Graphics P530
      • Nvidia Quadro M5000M w/8GB GDDR5
      • 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe High Performance SSD
      • Second internal drive, also 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe High Performance SSD


      I thought it was overkill. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with compositing with a view to creating images that can print at sizes up to 24”x36” at 300 ppi.  For convenience, I may have several layer groups in the same file representing, e.g., different versions of backgrounds, foregrounds, etc., etc., testing to find the right set of elements to create the composite.  Also, I use non-destructive editing where possible, which can add to file size.  Those working files can go ~ 20GB.  If I were to clear the versions—i.e., create a file with one background, foreground, etc.—that would go around 8GB (obviously, less if it were flattened). 


      I’m using primarily Photoshop CS6.  (CC crashes my GPU.  I haven’t found a solution for that.)  I have 26609 MB RAM (90%) available for CS6.  Both of the SSDs are designated as scratch disks (71GB free on C: and 102GB free on D:). Cache Levels = 4 (Default setting). The “Use GPU” option is checked.  My efficiency is usually 95%-100%, but will occasionally drop to around 88%.  The Dell Optimizer software tells me my memory usage is 90%+ (90% dedicated to CS6 and a small amount for whatever browser windows or Word notes I might have opened).


      I was reading the following article on memory optimization (https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Photoshop-CS6-Memory-Optimization-182/) which included the statement “Most of our testing will be done with a 109MB and 250MB image, but we will also do some testing with images as large as 1024MB.” That leads me to question whether my working files are insanely large?  On the other hand, I would expect it’s not that unusual for people to be creating images for large prints, and I’ve heard of people creating files with hundreds of layers.  So, I’m trying to figure (1) Am I doing something wrong in the way I structure my files? and (2) What would a “monster Photoshop machine” look like (one that could chew on 20-30GB files)? 


      Any thoughts?

        • 1. Re: Another computing power question
          Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

          Doc_Pit wrote:

          Any thoughts?

          There's is something very wrong if a system with that spec is not doing the business for you.  Can you tell us some more about the prints you want to make?  Where and how they will be viewed sort of thing?   I was going to place This Video in the thread, but Jeff Schewe is the best person I know of for large prints, and he has an excellent article HERE.


          I was also going to suggest Luminous Landscape.  I am not sure of the situation with LL since Michael Reichmann so sadly died.  There appears to be a $12 per annum subscription charge for full access now.

          • 3. Re: Another computing power question
            Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

            OK, so rather than focus on the print, can you tell us about the content?  Is this had drawn artwork?  The only parallel I can think of in that respect are Bert Monroy's Gigipixel illustrations, but they are mainly intended for online viewing.  He still had to produce the artwork, but it consists of dozens of separate PSD files which I presume are flattened when combined into the master document.


            What I am angling at here, is how much can be produced as vector art?  IME Even when mixing raster and vector content, the always sharp at any size vector content helps give the impression of overall sharpness even with some lower res raster content.  Exporting such a document to PDF ready for print would give you something that would print at _any_ size including road side billboard.


            Do you have Illustrator?  Without knowing what your artwork consists off we can only guess, but it might be that Illustrator is a better option for you.   I sometimes use the Freehand Pen tool in Photoshop because — if you are on a Windows system — you can use that tool with Lazy Nezumi Pro and produce beautifully smooth, fully scaleable lines.


            The bottom line here is I _really_ don't think you need 33Gb image files.

            • 4. Re: Another computing power question
              Doc_Pit Level 1

              Trevor, again, thanks for your response.  I visited the Puget Systems website to look at some of their Photoshop workstations (https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-Photoshop-139).  I noted the following: “With up to 64GB of RAM (system memory), this system is ideal for anyone working with images that are up to approximately 3GB in size. If you work with even larger images, please contact one of our sales consultants for a custom configuration.”  So, obviously, in their view, a 3GB file is extremely large.  It follows, at 33GB file would be crazy.


              I’m also finding that there are extreme differences in some of my file sizes.  I need to take some of these extremely large files and deconstruct them.  For example, I can take that 33GB file and copy it, layer by layer, into a new file, monitoring the size of that new file to see if there is any sudden inflation.


              For me, there are two key questions:  Are some of my files much larger than they need to be?  You suggest “Yes,” and I think you are right?  The other question is: Should my system be able to handle a 33GB file.  From what I can see (e.g., here (https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-Photoshop-139 and here http://www.auspcmarket.com.au/image-science-x99-extreme-image-editing-system-ddr4-6-8-core s/, the answer is “No.” 


              Thanks, again, for your help.