Photoshop: Brush lag: What causes it?

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PS CS5 12.04. Mac OS 10.6.7. MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz, 6 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT. Wacom Intuos 4 w/ latest driver. 30" 2nd monitor. RAM use set to 70%. OpenGL to Basic.

It's not a supercomputer, but this happens on some pretty mundane files.

Sometimes I get maddening brush/clone/pen lag, sometimes not. Happens even when PS displays 100% efficiency and it's the only program open.

I was hoping to get it today to try to problem solve it (disconnecting the monitor, Wacom, etc,) but I can't reproduce it. But next rush job I can be sure it will appear (sob). Often have to quit PS and sometimes restart the 'puter to regain speed.

What should I be looking out for? What to try when it appears?
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Scott Mahn

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  • confused

Posted 7 years ago

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Chris Cox

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Third party plugins interfering, some video driver bugs delaying updates (try turning off OpenGL drawing and see if the problem goes away), other applications hogging the CPU, etc.

Quitting Photoshop resets *everything* related to Photoshop except your preferences. If you have to restart the computer, then you're looking at a problem outside of Photoshop.
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Scott Mahn

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chris, thanks.

sometimes i use topaz detail or denoise, that's about it for plugins. but neither were invoked the last time i experienced lag. also, ps and bridge were the only open apps. so that leaves video driver bugs and OpenGL.

Regarding OGL, do i need to restart ps after a change? Is there a reference as to what functions are gained/lost at each tier (ie, basic, normal, advanced,) as well as vertical sync (which i know nothing of)?

lastly, is there any way to investigate and resolve video driver bugs for my card/machine beyond keeping my os up to date?

thanks again.
---

Edit: I found this, which seems to cover my basic questions, so let me not bother you further...unless you have any deeper insight to share.

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404898...
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Chris Cox

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Some automation plugins cause trouble just by being loaded, and a couple of type management plugins/utilities.

Technically openGL drawing changes take effect on the next document window created - but restarting is safer.

And yes, it is very difficult to diagnose driver bugs on MacOS because you can't just download and install older drivers.
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Scott Mahn

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Thanks Chris.

Type Management I don't use. What are some of the automation plugins you refer to? Do you mean system stuff or PS stuff? Keystroke utilities if I recal correctly? I don't think I use much of either, but maybe there's something escaping me.

That document I referenced above did hold one possible clue. I have been using a USB monitor adapter to run a second external monitor. However, I think my lag issues preceded that. But then, that may have also been when I was running on just 4 GB RAM too.
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Chris Cox

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Automation plugins are a type of plugin, and the ones that cause problems are third party. Disabling all third party plugins is a good troubleshooting step.
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Scott Mahn

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Chris, I really appreciate your help.

I guess what I'm left wondering is what are some telltale signs that a lag issue is software vs hardware related. I keep thinking I need to upgrade my box (and for some work (large files,16 bit w/ smart objects, etc) I probably do) but then I also see people with decked out new machines having similar issues.

So are there any clues or rules of thumb to indicate when one's performance issues are a software conflict vs a lack of resources? Such as: slow Surface Blur = lack of processor speed, but brush lag @ 100% efficiency = conflict? If my troubles get worse as I work (more documents are opened, history states generated, clipboard filled, etc) but I still show >90% efficiency what does it mean? Etc.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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We've seen issues with mounted drives/servers - primarily NTFS drives mounted on mac - with lags in Liquify.

Wouldn't hurt to look at your drive situation and eliminate variables there as a way of debugging.
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moralmunky

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Was there ever a solution for the mounted drive issue? Running CS 12.0.4 started experiencing this issue when we changed to a quality check workflow that has a mounted SFTP image server. If there was no fix for CS5 was it fixed in more recent versions of photoshop?
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Chris Cox

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Apple addressed some of the fileserver OS issues in MacOS 10.9. I'm not sure about Windows. This is not something that Adobe can address - the problem is that the OS is hanging periodically due to the fileserver interactions (even if the application isn't using that volume).
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Lora Pang

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I have been using Photoshop as a self taught drawer. I always use shape dynamics and dual brush to shape my brush but it crashed today and after that I had a very bad lag unless I removed dual brush. I closed it and it still had it so I restarted it and it still does not fix the problem. It was working fine before the crash and I never open any windows while I'm working. Please Help. I do not have any clutter in my drive space. My computer is very clean in a sense.
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Chris Patterson

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I know this is an old thread, but little trick I do myself when I've experienced lag when using a mouse [in Photoshop], few seconds of delay. If I pickup and use my [Wacom] pen briefly the driver for the pen resets itself and then the mouse [non-Wacom] works without delay. I've not experienced this yet with my Intuos5, but with my Intuos3 plugged in it happened frequently in Photoshop CS3+.

(How I ended up on this page.) Yesterday on my main workstation I had massive delays when selecting anything (20 seconds). Firefox was actually taking up much of the processor time on my machine with a tab that had crashed. Once I closed Firefox then Photoshop came back to life. When I re-opened Firefox I noticed the crashed Flash app. Firefox has crashed on my Mac workstation and my Windows workstation over 15 times in the past week... if anyone else finds this page looking for help.
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kubapiechowicz

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@Chris Patterson

Thread is old but bug is alive ;-) Also in Photoshop CC.
The lagging start right after first use of wacom tablet (or any tablet?). I have intuos5, photoshop CC on win7.
This is really frustrating because I can't smoothly switch between mouse and wacom.
Lag is terrible - about 1-2 sec. !!! (click .... 1-2 sec. ...brush start to paint).
And the lag affect all tools - move, brush, path etc.

Please pop this thread up!
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Chris Cox

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Most users are not seeing such a lag. You need to check your drivers (especially video card) and make sure they are up to date.
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Martin Evans

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We are having the same problem. When will the lag issues be fixed or isn't Adobe bothered?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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What specific issue are you seeing? What OS/version? What version of Photoshop? Are you using a tablet? What driver version? What troubleshooting have you tried? (including the trouble-shooting steps provided above)
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Erika Warkentine

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Having same issue. I've been scouring forums for days trying everything to fix the lag, nothing will work - and it's only Photoshop. I also have Artrage Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook and there is no lag in either of those programs, so it isn't my tablet.

I have an Intuos Pen Tablet, Photoshop CS6, running Windows 10. Everything was updated yesterday and not working. I know this is an old thread but thought commenting and boosting it might see if anyone found a fix for this yet?

Extremely frustrating.
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Chris Cox

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The fixes always seem to be disabling a third party plugin or extension panel, or updating external software to fix bugs (chrome, antivirus, firewall, tablet driver, etc.)
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Rachel Pudney

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I use photoshop CS5 on a Windows 7 (updated to 10) Hp Netbook (one with an inbuilt touchscreen) I've used other programs to paint and draw in and they all seem to work fine (e.g Mediabang, SAI, Sketchbook) but on photoshop the brushes lag terribly even if I just use the ordinary Hard round standard brush  the cursor keeps up with the pen but the paint strokes will be several seconds behind. If I draw using the touchpad on my laptop the paint keeps up fine if I use my touch screen (which isn't pressure sensitive) it also works fine. Firefox is completely up to date I've got the free version of Avast Antivirus and it's up to date and my Graphics Chipset is AMD Radeon HD 8210
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Kurt Beswick

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This issue is driving me absolutely INSANE!!! I have a brand new Win10 workstation with a 1TB SSD, 64 gigs of ram and a GTX970 vidcard with 4 gigs of ram. Photoshop should be telepathically fast, but instead I'm screaming and cursing at the screen because everything is studdering and lagging terribly. I've had to go back to using CS5 because CS6 is literally unusable at this point. I've tried a variety of different preference settings, everything from going MAX on the video acceleration to turning everything off completely, and everything in between. Nothing seems to help. PLEASE someone offer us something here, this is beyond awful. Yes, all of my drivers are up to date (videocard, wacom tablet, everything). My workstation was professionally built by one of the top builders in the country, so it's definitely not hardware. It has to be a preference setting within Photoshop!
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jason hewitt

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yep it seem a common problem that know one seem to be able to answer, mine has now started to do this but my lesser computer works fine, you just get the same old answers that just don't work. its getting to the point im not going to use photoshop for drawing and use clip studio which is fine with any brush any size and costs a lot less, how a cheap programme can out do photoshop is crap.. 2015.5 is dead in the water, the suppose experts ask the same questions, yes my drivers are up to date,ect ectect a 2 year old computer should work without hassles with photoshop. back to cs6
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Andre Ljosaj

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Hi,
same Photoshop brush lagging over here on my Win10 machine.
Photoshop CC 2015.5.1, Win10, Cintiq27HD (Driver 6.3.17-3), 32GB RAM, Nvidia 980TI
Same problem with "Graphics Processor Settings" on and off. Problem exists for me only on my Windows machine. My old iMac i7, 16GB  RAM, Photoshop CC2015, Nvidia 780, two Monitors running (iMac +Cintiq 24 HD, Driver 6.3.17-3) handles the 1GB Photshop file better. No lagging.
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Jeremy Gonzalez

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Hello,
Just expanded the RAM on my Cintiq Companion II that's running Windows10 from 8g to 16. I mostly did it because I'm working with really large files but sometimes on brand new files there's a pretty serious lag. I briefly swept through this thread and saw someone had gone back to using CS5 from CS6 because of the lag. I've tried that and the lag is non-existent in CS5.
(Edited)
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dominika s

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i have a macbook pro ealry 2015everything is updated.
Why am I having this problem?
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Chieri

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Pay attention if smoothing is activated on brush settings
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mert kaptan

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no one knows what causes this. i am not much of a computer person, i dont get much about it. but i know is not the graphic card not the driver not the ram  not the gf option not the edit/performance or something. i tried everything and searched all the forums. all are waste of time. nothing happens. after i format my computer it ended. i worked all day. at the end of the day it began again. i restarted and did cccleaner. no way. i had made a contact with adobe before formatting pc. the adobe agent connected my pc. he tried changing the driver. he said restart and i will connect your computer automatically.  he did some arrangements before and then my pc restarted but no internet connection no driver nothing.then i had to format my pc. i had lots of work to do and i was very angry. they said we will call you back and they didnt. no one knows why it is happening. i searched all the internet. it must be some kind of virus i think. 
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mert kaptan

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no one in adobe also doesnt know why it is happening !!!