Hi, I'm a long time Photoshop user and I'm currently designing several big apps that have over 100 screens. I have several questions, but first let me give you some context:
a) I'm designing in Photoshop through artboards, each PSD has close to the max limit in Photoshop - 8k layers. It's usually something like 5.5k layers and the rest are groups. I work on 1 PSD at a time. Just PS and XD opened, sometimes Firefox with just a few tabs.
b) I switched from a 4790 @ 3.6 with 16 Gb and a 1Tb 850 Pro to a 7700k @ 4.8 with 32 Gb and a 1Tb 960 Pro. Windows 10 machine, fresh install. SSD has over 600 Gb free space.
So I bought what's widely considered the best single core CPU out there with one of the fastest SSD's on M.2 (not SATA) and 32 Gb which should be more than enough to keep my Efficiency at 100%. I have 15 history states, cache set at 4, tile size set at 1024k, Photoshop is allowed to use 90% of RAM (26.5 Gb). I rarely have anything else opened in the background.
c) I'm exporting my artboards as pngs and importing them into XD to create my prototypes. Whenever possible I flatten layers in certain artboards.
d) I'm trying to work at 100% zoom level as much as I can with 'show extras' turned off. This seems to greatly increase performance.
1) Considering all this, Photoshop is still slow!
By slow I mean it has issues zooming at 'fit to screen' with Ctrl+0; I can't pan around without lag; I can't rely on my smart guides because that makes it slower; there's a severe lag with renaming my folders; there's a severe lag when I duplicate an artboard.
I'm checking my CPU usage and it's never over 30-40%. Efficiency is all over the place - sometimes 100%, sometimes 80%. I rarely have more than one project opened.
2) Should I rely more on smart objects?
Say I have the header of the app. It has 5-7 layers in it. Should I convert it to a smart object to minimize layer count or is this counter intuitive as smart objects 'weigh down' the PSD?
3) Do smart objects via Adobe Stock take any extra toll on the project?
I don't have a lot of them, maybe 30-40 layers per project, but at this point I'm thinking of just about anything.
4) Where's the bottleneck?
I'm a PC geek. I love watching lots of reviews, reading up, I know PS is not optimized for multicore use, hence why I didn't get a Ryzen machine. I initially thought the amount of RAM was the issue, but even in smaller projects with 2-3k layers when RAM user is at 15-16 Gb the program still lags.
I have a GTX 1050 on this new machine, on the old one I had a GTX 780. Both are decently strong GPUs. I have no other ideas.
- I already tried a comparison because artboards and non artboards and the first option is the clear winner.
- I don't want to design in XD, it's not good enough for that YET.
- I'm doing my best to minimize the number of layers but I need to keep editability so I can't flatten too many of them. Not to mention that my devs need them as they are.
- the CPU doesn't want to stay at 4.8 Ghz due to the lack of usage so with PS lagging it's mostly at around 4 Ghz :-(
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.