Photoshop: How do I make Photoshop run faster?

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I'm looking for the best ways to make Photoshop run the fastest. What hardware should I use? What software settings should I use?
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Photoshop FAQ, Official Rep

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Posted 8 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Here's a definitive white paper on optimizing Photoshop performance:

How to tune Photoshop for peak performance - HTML format

"Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 performance: Promoting a faster Photoshop experience for all users." - PDF format (656k)

We've updated our knowledge base document on the subject here:

Optimize performance | Photoshop CS4, CS5


Adam Jerugim has also provided this great article on John Nack's blog:

How to set up a great Photoshop machine

Let us know if you have any other suggestions.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Additionally, Lloyd Chambers has some good stuff over at the Mac Performance Guide
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Scott Mahn

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What's the best performance advice on partitioning or otherwise for scratch on machines with single hard drives?

For instance, on my Macbook Pro I have a single 750MB drive. I've created a dedicated scratch volume of 40GB on the front of the drive (the fastest part.) The remainder of the disk currently has about 350 MB used and the remaining free. (Many "working" files and my LR catalogs are maintained on an external drive.)

Would such a partition be considered a "best practice" for PS and LR, or would a single un-partitioned drive be better?

My more demanding files are typically in the 500MB-1GB range with many layers and Smart Objects.

Edit: I suppose my question is more geared toward PS than LR, though I don't really know, I often need to use them concurrently, sharing 6GB Ram on this machine.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop/LR: Scratch on single disk computers..
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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For performance suggestions for Lightroom specifically, see the following topic:

Lightroom: System Configuration Recommendations
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Scott Mahn

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Jeffrey, my question was pretty specific, those guides are not. I've read them before and none of them (best I can tell) address whether a scratch partition is beneficial in single disk setups. They all recommend fast, DEDICATED, scratch disks: RAID or SSD preferred.

If any point to how to handle a single internal drive please point out where.

Excerpts:

[i]Use a fast, large hard disk

Photoshop reads and writes image information while working on an image. Therefore, the faster the scratch disk or the disk that contains the image, the faster Photoshop can process image information. To improve Photoshop performance, use a disk with a fast data transfer rate, such as an internal hard disk. Network servers (hard disk accessed over a network) or removable media has slower data transfer rates. Removable media are also more easily damaged than non-removable disks.

Photoshop CS4 and CS5 require at least 1 GB of free hard-disk space (Windows) or 2 GB of free hard-disk space (Mac OS). Additional free space is required for installation, and more hard disk space is recommended for virtual memory and scratch disk space.

Fast RAID 0 arrays make excellent scratch disks, especially if the array is used exclusively for your scratch disk, is defragmented regularly, and isn't your startup volume. [/i]

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[i]Disk: Use a separate disk for Photoshop scratch. If you spend a lot of time opening / saving large data files, another separate disk for data files will speed that up. Faster disks are better. RAID0 is faster. SSD is faster yet. RAID0 of SSDs is fastest but super expensive. If you have plenty of RAM (meaning your Efficiency readout is 95% or more), separate/faster disks for scratch provide minimal benefit. If Efficiency readout is low, a separate SSD for Photoshop scratch will be a big win. SSD boot volume will speed booting and app launch, but not Photoshop operations.[/i]

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Maybe I'm not the best at reading between the lines. If you could shortcut me to how best handle a single internal drive I'd really appreciate it.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Sure, I wanted any additional questions answered on this thread so they're available in one, logical area.

Using a partitioned drive isn't going to be a performance win - it would likely slow things down as you're potentially making the drive head travel farther. It would be better to use a single, un-partitioned drive. Better yet would be to have two physical drives (the faster the spin speed the better), and best yet is to use multiple RAID/SSD drives. Most people use one physical drive for the OS, and second physical drive for scratch disk.
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Scott Mahn

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Thanks, Jeffrey. The multiple and dedicated drives I understood.

I thought I'd once gleaned from Lloyd Chambers' site to create a scratch partition at the head of the drive, but when that wisdom was called into question I couldn't actually find the source. I guess I tried to put 2+2 together and came up with 10.

Looks like I'll be doing some reconfiguring later tonight.

I appreciate yer help.
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Jim

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on that last article, I discovered 2 things t hat chew up RAM: content-aware fill, and layers. layers don't just "increase the file size". you can get memory errors, or stuff not/partially drawing, like dialog boxes and such...
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Chris Cox

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We don't know of cases where layers cause problems drawing, and dialog boxes are completely unrelated to layer drawing. My guess is that your drawing problems are most likely related to your video card driver (since we've seen lots of similar problems with them before).
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Jim

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I was trying to go by memory from about 5 months back. I did have problems with lack of RAM. apparently the new X79 desktop motherboards will take 64GB of RAM, so this is a good thing. maybe my memory problems are solved at last.
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DAVID CENTIFANTO

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Mac configuration guidelines.

Can you recommend a configuration when buying a Mac for Photoshop editing? Seems like everyone doing presentations uses one. Any advise would be appreciated