Photoshop CS6 - slow on some documents with many layers

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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Photoshop CS6 is working extremely slowly when I'm handling a document with a lot of layers. I understand it won't be as fast as handling a one layer document, but compared to CS5 it's slower.

Thanks.
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Júlia Cantavella Soler

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  • frustrated

Posted 7 years ago

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Rodney Hart

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I'm not sure what good it'll do actually complaining about this but I too am experiencing SERIOUS lag with CS6. We were on the cusp of upgrading but I'm going to advise my design department to refrain from doing so in light of the performance lag! Given the premium most of us have to pay for the software is seems beyond justification that the performance would be this 'faulty'!

Rant over.
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Agus Riady

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Same here. I have problem when 702x260px banner with hundreds of layers in it. And it very slooow to open the file or to do some task on it. Much slower than my CS5.

Does Adobe recognize this issue already? Please do something...
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Panos Babo

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well guys I don't believe that we have to pay for performance, it all has to do with new cs6 program. Hopefully soon there'll be an update correcting this malfunction. Otherwise we'll have to figure how to fix this.
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Júlia Cantavella Soler

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Hey guys!

Apparently if you desactivate the preview thumbnail option in the layer panel it works a little bit better.

It worked for me, but I still hope they can fix this bug so I can have my thumbnails back!
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frankvirtual

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I experience same problem with lag, specificly when I create Character Styles.
It seems to work deactivating Preview.. but it's activated next time I open or create new style.. Do I have to deactivate Preview everytime or is there a more permanent way?
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Peter Chatterton

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Same here, I upgraded and am regretting it, this experience has fully made me rethink the validity of new software vs. old that still functions. Wish I had've kept CS5 and LR3, they worked great, while LR4 and CS6 are giving me a headache, or, more specifically, are extending my work day by hours, awesome. Solution, go back to the old, for sure, yet I find it a little off-putting that money has already been spent for me to have to revert.
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Andres Davidovits

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Adobe, please fix this. Photoshop is a core application we all want and need. I've upgraded, and can't believe how slow and underperforming this is on my MacBook Pro 2011, 8GB, running nothing but Photoshop. C'mon guys. Send us an update. Please.
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Andres Davidovits

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Hi Chris, thank you for the quick reply. I'll tell you that after changing the Cache Tile Size to 128K REALLY made a difference in performance. But what's the drawback in doing this? And you may want to default to this for most users. Also, my Cache Level is at 4, should I drop it? Thank you!
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frankvirtual

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Someone suggested to turn off preview, and it helps a bit. But next time its on again. And it really should work anyway. This is one of the best new assets in PS and its really frustrating not to able to use this excellent function.
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Andres Davidovits

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I've also ordered a Lacie 1TB Thunderbolt external drive to dedicate to just Photoshop scratch disk. In addition, I've updated the HD to an SSD, and that's obviously made things a bit faster (open, save). Hoping scratch disk (striped RAID) will speed things up faster. Your take?
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Andres Davidovits

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Frank, by Preview do you mean Layer Thumbnail Size? I've also turned those to "None".
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Chris Cox

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character style being slow - we don't know what causes it, but it seems to be related to too many fonts or corrupt fonts. (haven't gotten anyone who can reproduce it to do any testing on their system)

Tile cache -- depends on your CPU, and the number of cores available. With lots of cores, larger tiles give better performance.

The best cache level depends on what kind of images you use. The larger the document, the more cache levels you want.
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Sasha March

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Yup, same here. Photoshop is taking a good 2-5 minutes to open/save/close my multi-layered/folder'ed files. Really disappointing. One of CS6 promo videos highlights super-fast handling of 3D in Photoshop, I wonder how that goes if it takes forever to even open a file.

Adobe, please save my days; I was doing so good before the upgrade.
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Chris Cox

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The file open/save speed should be about the same as CS5. Someone else did run into problems with an antivirus package that needed to be updated, and another had their scratch on a slow external disk.
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Sasha March

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Thanks, guys!
@Andres, yup, turned the thumbnails to "none" (they are really useful to me thou) -- it seems to save a bit faster, though still a significant lug when turning folder visibility on/off or expanding a folder by clicking on the twirly.
@Chris, I'm on a brand new MacBook Pro...

Photoshop also seems to freeze unexpectedly for a minute or so w/o any indication of what's going on. I suspect it might be auto-save, but it's really disruptive. Any way to turn it off or reduce the # of times it does that?
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Chris Cox

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That's not auto save, that's something else. There are some topics about freezes like that when using a tablet. Also, we've never seen the freezes - so still suspect some other trigger.
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Sasha March

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Hmm.. it just goes unresponsive for a minute. The title of the document gets greyed out, and while I can move the cursor, I can't select anything. Instead of force quitting I just end up doing something else for a minute or two then go back to Photoshop when it's ready. :-O
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Chris Cox

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That's far from normal, and certainly not due to background save (which is happening in another thread from the main UI thread).
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Del4yo

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Just to add to the discussion ( not sure it will help)...I found out that my brushes don't work in CS6. It's very slow, including on small files. Works perfect in CS5? I'm a 3D texture expert/ illustrator, working in the field for 21 years with Photoshop. Hardly a rookie who doesn't know how to handle a computer... I have the last version of all (system, videocard driver etc), a good sturdy powerful computer.
I got back to CS5. I feel very bad about it. I hope it will be better on mountain lion, and if not I will seek better pro software for painting. After 21 years of constant use of Photoshop I find this quite unsettling.
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Chris Cox

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What is slow, exactly?
What is different about those brushes?
Is this with one particular tool?
Have you tried turning off the GPU in case it's just a display driver bug?
What other troubleshooting have you done?
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Del4yo

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Slow like beginning to trace and it's not following . Slow like pressure is not understood on time... I'm a brush expert. Most of mine were created to work on highly realistic textures for block-busters, special effect movies. The one I use the most reproduce the touch and feel of painting, but not those stupid ones you see everywhere with scans of brush strokes. Mine reproduce the real feel, and are usually optimized to be the lighter and faster possible. CS6 is not able to use them on my Mac pro. I tried every option possible, in combination or not.
I checked my memory. Upgraded the video card driver. Made some back ups and freed some space. Reduced the number of colors, brushes, patterns. Restarted to factory settings. Supressed the preference file ( bummer). I tried everything I could think of but vaudoo...It's still awfully , desperately, unsettigly slow. On 300 dpi, 3071 × 2522 px, 3 layers.
Now I have to make up the time lost on trying to make CS6 work. Really frustrating. Back to CS5 .
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Chris Cox

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OK, so painting is slow. That could be slow to draw (GPU) or slow to process.

Try turning off GPU usage in preferences then relaunching Photoshop. That'll see if it might be drawing related.
And you can try (separately) changing the tile size in performance prefs down to 128K (helps people low on RAM).
After that, I'd probably need to get a copy of the brushes and see if we can reproduce a slowdown.
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Del4yo

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Thanks for your quick answer :) The GPU on off didn't change anything. I will try the tile size...I have 8GB RAM and 2 Terabites drive...Older machine, but still, I don't think it's low? Another thing that worries me is that CS6 takes a full 6mn to start on my computer. Compared to seconds for CS5
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Chris Cox

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Then the first thing you need to solve is why Photoshop is taking so long to launch.
On a normal machine, CS6 takes between 1 and 12 seconds to launch (depending on CPU, disk, etc.). On the slowest, crappiest laptop I know of that still runs Windows XP, it takes 20 seconds.

Did you load a ton of presets? Try going back to the defaults?
Did you move the application or any of it's folders?
Do you have an anti-virus package that might cause problems?
Do you have any other utilities (font management, UI modification) that might cause problems?
What does the splash screen say while it is taking all that time?
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shannon palmer

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same issue here... updated to CS6 and Photoshop just absolutely chugs (and makes it impossible to do anything else while you're waiting for a file to open)... I didn't have this problem with CS5 (opening the same exact files).

I'm on a macbook pro with a 2.4Ghz Intel core i7 with 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3

it's seriously impacting workflow and I'm in the process of trying to reinstall my CS5 until this is fixed!

: (
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shannon palmer

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opening files with multiple layers (over 20) is slower than CS5 was, transforming anything is also painfully slow (especially if it involves more than one layer at a time)

these are my performance pref settings
http://i.imgur.com/XSVIC.png

note: the files i am opening are 300dpi and usually involve over 30 layers (some smart objects)... my guess would be that those who are not complaining about slowness don't work with these types of files?

when I work with psds to be used for the web (72 dpi) the speed is fine
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Chris Cox

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OK, you don't have enough RAM for those documents.

Try setting the tile size to 128K and restarting Photoshop and see if that helps (it'll reduce the RAM usage a little).
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shannon palmer

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but I have even more than the ideal range? how much would one preferably need for those type documents?

and thanks for the tip i'll try it!

: )
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shannon palmer

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hey that worked great! it cut the file open time and transform times drastically!

THANKS!
hope others try this too.
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Chris Cox

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Glad that helped. But you're still probably close to the limit, because that only reduced the memory usage a little bit.

Open one of your 300 dpi, 30 layer documents and look at the document size in the info palette or the status box in the lower left of the document window. That tells you about how much RAM the document takes up by itself -- then you need a bit more for additional documents, history states, presets, etc.

My guess is that you need something more in the 8 to 12 Gig range to avoid hitting the scratch disk so often.
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Andres Alejandro Davidovits

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Chris, thank you for chiming in so frequently. We appreciate it. I updated my MacBook Pro with 16 GB of RAM and a new solid-state drive, purchased a new Thunderbolt 1 TB external hard drive dedicated to scratch and adjusted the preferences, and things are better, but there are still some issues with slowness and sluggishness as compared to Photoshop CS5. In addition, I absolutely see a layer, but, in which layer comps that are refreshed/updated are not properly preserved. I would be happy to meet you in person because I work in San Francisco and show you this if you are available. Perhaps a good idea for Adobe is to invite some of us for local and work and start up some year you to show you on our own Macs for sluggishness that we often encountered day today as compared to CS5, which I have installed on my MacBook Pro. Thank you.
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Chris Cox

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Until I get over this bronchitis, you don't want to meet in person.

But someone from our QE team might want to see these slowdowns.
BTW - we do fairly frequent customer visits.
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Andres Alejandro Davidovits

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Hi Chris, hope you feel better soon. Yes, that would be great to meet with someone from the QE team. Please send me an email to contact them at.