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If you use a linked smart object, the document still contains a layer the size of the rasterised image from the smart object. So in your case you will see no difference between the smart object and using a rasterised layer
The advantages of a linked smart object are :
1. The layer in your file will only be the size of a single rasterised layer - even if the file it links to contains several layers
2. When you update and save the source file, the linked smart object is updated.
3. If you duplicate the linked smart object in your document , there is no further increase in file size
Thank you @davescm. That is helpful in understanding linked smart object layers. Much obliged.
Hi @davescm, any thought on this question:
When I apply a paint filter to a linked smart object layer it takes several minutes to process, but if the layer is just a normal layer the filter process is much faster. Since I work with large photo files this process makes using fillers useless to me.
Am I doing something wrong?
I have an iMac 27 inch machine with 32 megs of RAM and only have Photoshop open. Files are operating at 100 % efficiency.
I'd not noticed any difference so I just tried applying the oil paint filter to several single layer photos and then did the same with those photos as linked smart objects in a new document (applying the oil paint filter to the linked smart objects). I used the timer in the info panel to compare and both came out the same ( 0.4-0.5 seconds.)
What size documents are you using?
My document size is 30 X 30 @ 300 dpi.