Photoshop CS6 and CC too slow for drawing/painting

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  • Updated 3 years ago
Hello everyone,

first let me tell you what kind of problem I have:
I'm pretty new to photoshop and drawing on computer. Recently I bought myself wacom cintiq 22HD and started to learn drawing/painting on computer.
I got myself photoshop CS6 and yesterday I also tried PS CC trial. Problems persist in both versions. I have never tried that in previous versions and I would really really like to use CS6 or newer photoshop as I have some plug-ins that doesn't work in previous versions.

My main problem is performance, when I'm drawing or painting color. It usually happens when I'm doing quick gestures and sometimes photoshop lags behind for more than 1 second, I got record 15 seconds to wait stuff to be drawn on screen.

My computer is not so bad as I recently upgraded:
Windows 8
Intel i5 3350P @3,1GHz
8GB 1600 DDR3
Nvidia GTX660
128GB SSD (for OS and scratch disk)
1TB RAID 5 for storage and programs.
Wacom 22HD cintiq + Philips 22" monitor
I have tried many settings in photoshop to improve performance but nothing really gives me and visible speed boost. I don't have any problems with other drawing programs, only in adobe products. All programs are up to date as well as drivers.
I'm also using 64-bit OS and photoshop to increase available RAM for photoshop and I set it to around 6-7GB to be used. I have cache level 4, 1024KB and 20 history states (though I would prefer having 50 - much performance issue here?)
I have enabled all GPU acceleration settings as possible.

When I get into those performance problems it seems that photoshop uses around 25% of CPU and only one core. I have tried to play with cores settings as well but nothing helps and default setting is already to use all 4 cores. Is there any other setting I should try here?

Now my questions is: does any have similar problems?
How to solve those performance problems?

This is getting pretty annoying when I'm in mood and drawing like crazy but then I'm slowed by software/hardware and I cannot draw more than 1 line every 5-10 seconds, because I cannot see the results right away.

I'm also usually working on 1920*1080 resolution and up and often I have 10+ layers (yeah yeah I know I shouldn't use so much layers but still learning how to make nice effects and I love to have my work split up in case I want to fix something later).

When I work I usually don't have much programs open, only chrome for browsing and spotify for music and maybe windows picture viewer for ref. photos.

Another question is: if I upgrade my computer with another 8GB of RAM could I disable scratch disk so photoshop uses only RAM?

Oh and I must not forget: using smudge tool is even bigger problem. There I can wait up to 30 seconds before anything happens.
It really bugs me sometimes when I try to work with blending colors around, but tool is too slow. (yep I know I should use here mixer brush tool, but I don't find it as good as smudge tool sometimes).

Sorry for my long post and grammar, but English is not my native language. :)
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Matej Pinter

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Posted 6 years ago

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Chris Cox

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Other users aren't seeing either version run that slow, unless something is wrong with their system.

Make sure you've updated the video card drivers from the manufacturer's website.
Make sure you've installed all the Photoshop updates.
Disable any third party plugins.
And see if disabling system utilities (anti-virus, backup, etc.) has any impact on performance.
Then try closing other applications and see if they were having an impact (something messing with the GPU could cause slowdowns).

No, you cannot disable the scratch disk - you can always run out of RAM and need to use the scratch disk.

And a 2MP image with 10 layers is small by today's standards. You shouldn't have performance problems with something that small.
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Matej Pinter

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Here in this video I have recorded my photoshop performance:

I have up to date drivers (latest WHQL drivers) and latest photoshop updates (I check for updates every day morning before Istart with work). I tried disabling all plugins ( actually I'm only using coolorus and kuler).
I tried closing all other aplications, nothing helped as well.

As seen on video I have constant over 20 FPS in photoshop so if that would be GPU fault it would probably drop below 5. Also when I recorded that video CPU usage was 25-50% almost constantly and almost 2GB of RAM used by photoshop. Resolution of project was 2500*1500 @ 300PPI and around 10 layers.
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Ean Bowman

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I call BS on that reply. Every version of Windows from 7-10, every computer I've tried from old to bleeding edge runs Photoshop painting PAINFULLY slow.

Brush strokes take several seconds to draw. So long that the loading wheel appears.

There is something VERY BROKEN with painting in Photoshop CS6 and CC.

All I want is to draw on a 2048x2048 canvas.

This video was done on a US paper size canvas.
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Matej Pinter

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Photoshop CC works pretty ok on my mac now. There are still a few limitation and it has a lot of RAM usage, but overall CC has over 50% better  performance than versions before. I don't know how it is on windows, as I switched from windows to mac years ago because of wacom drivers issues.
Currently I'm happy with CC version on mac, there is still some room for improvement, but Adobe definitely made it past few years. I just hope that brushes will be implemented with Metal API soon, as this would speed things up even more.