Photoshop: Why is UI and speed on Windows worse than on a Mac?

  • 2
  • Problem
  • Updated 8 months ago
  • (Edited)
Hi, I am using Photoshop on Mac and on Windows since a longer time.
Comparison of systems:
My Windows 10 Workstation has one 11GB Graphics GTX 1080ti and a second 8GB,
64GB memory, a fast Double-Xeon-CPU, 2 fast SSDs (one only for virtual memory) and
this workstation is only 1 year old from a professional shop. All applications work good and fast, but not Photoshop.

My Mac Book Pro Laptop works only with one 4GB Graphics Card, 16GB memory, has only one single older SDD and is 3 years old.

WHY THE HECK is Photoshop on Windows slower and more stubborn?

When Photoshop on Windows is launching (when the computer is of course already long ago booted), first all my short cuts don't work. After maybe two or three minutes they begin to work.

I have also in Windows-Photoshop this stupid grey working area background on PC (whatever you call it in English, my Photoshop is German),
which prevents me to have a look at my working folders on the desktop. I can't take it away and when I scale it down it makes trouble with window sizing (ctrl+0).

When I press ALT Key (happens often when working with the stamp), I get the menu quick access which I never need or want, but which makes again all my short cuts not working. Much more worse, it opens unwanted menus to disturb my work.

It would be good being able to deactivate the Windows key and preserve it for photoshop, because I need it for short cuts and don't want to be disturbed by up popping windows, once I pressed it unintended, when switching between PC and Mac

This bad list for Photoshop on Windows is quite long. It's behaving like a Beta-version...
Is there any explanation??
Photo of IAH1

IAH1

  • 33 Posts
  • 10 Reply Likes

Posted 1 year ago

  • 2
Photo of Alex Furer

Alex Furer

  • 151 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
- Mixing two different graphics cards in SLI is not the best idea to start with. For one, the smaller one will dictate how much ram there is in total. RAM across SLI does not accumulate. In your case the 8 GB on the second card will limit RAM usage on the large card. Plus there will be some overhead due to this. I suggest ripping the smaller card out and try again. And maybe even disable the use of the graphics card...
Edit: Did you check if you are actually using both graphics cards. Right click on the desktop and choose "Nvidia Control Panel". Then choose "Configure SLI, Surround, PhysX" and check if SLI is enabled. (Sorry, I am running an English OS, you will have to adapt to your German OS.)
- The grey background is the application background I guess. I am just the other way around. I get annoyed that I see the desktop all around my open documents every time I use a MAC. I like the clean slate approach of Windows applications. You open an app, it goes full screen, bang you can focus.
- When I switch to a MAC i also experience the same frustration regarding the keyboard. Why on earth is the most left key (Ctrl) switched with the third to left key (Alt) on the keyboard. This is 100% reverse between Mac and Windows. The two worlds would do you and me and all others having to work on both OS a great favor by adapting each others main keyboard setup. Muscle memory is so  much stronger than the conscious mind...

On the other hand, the Windows key cannot be disabled. It's essential on Windows. Try Window-e, this will open an explorer window, Windows-d, this will minimize everything and bring up the desktop full screen, Windows-r will open the run command to start a calculator (type: calc) or a command shell (type: cmd) etc., Windows-e, which will give you options on how to deal with additional monitors or projectors, Windows-a opens the action center, Windows-l will lock the screen etc. etc.

I guess you will "just" have to deal with this when you want/have to work on both OS.

As for the short cuts not reacting, plus I might add, that Photoshop keeps taking focus while booting is two things I experience as well and are very annoying.
(Edited)
Photo of Alex Furer

Alex Furer

  • 151 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
@Nicole Andres
- Do you have the same configuration as IAH1? Meaning two different graphics cards in one system? This is just a hunch, and I might be completely wrong, but in this case you might want to check which card is used by Photoshop. Plus I still believe that running only one, instead of two different ones, would improve the performance. Off course you can do it. But not everything you can do is ideal.

- As for the background. Hitting "F" also switches background in Photoshop on Windows. From "Windowed-Mode" to gray and then black around the image. Ok, you can not get rid of the gray in Windowed-Mode. This so called "application frame" can not be switched off on Windows. it's not Adobe's fault. This is a Windows "feature". You either will have to live with it or talk to Microsoft...

Those file handling operations you mention is another, yet small, reason for me to work on two monitors. Actually three by now. You always have to google something while working. Besides that I could not work without a 2nd monitor for all the palettes in Photoshop and Maya. Since we are talking about productivity ;)

- Switching the Windows key off completely is fine. But you are missing some of the core UI/productivity features on Windows imho. I use this all the time. Especially the plain Windows key to start typing the name of a tool, application or control panel without having to browse through the start menu with the mouse, or clutter my desktop/Quick-Launch bar with shortcuts.
the ALT key marking functionality of the first letter of each menu item is completely colliding (and distracting) with the normal usage of short cuts. Just hit once to often Alt and no short cut will work. So I wonder why the work flow is interrupted, have to check the menu bar, have to press alt again and so on.
That's what the alt-key does on Windows... Even in the explorer you can hit Alt-something and it will chose the menu which is assigned to this Alt-something key... That's a legacy thing from way back where you had only propeller heads working on Windows that thought a mouse is over rated...

Besides that, and I might be completely missing something here, but all short-cuts in Photoshop on Windows are done by pressing the Ctrl-Key (Command-Key on Mac). Or the Carl-Alt-something. So if you hit the third key from the left, the Alt-Key on Windows, because that's the one your fingers are used to press on the Mac, you will run into the vicious circle you are talking about.

This might be a solution if the above is indeed the case. Apple has this built in and believe me, I switched them when I had to work on PC and develop in Unity on Mac!

@IAH1
In general, just my opinion, your company should provide you a computer running the OS you are most productive on... And maybe a second one for testing or other tasks for which the application does not exist on your home-OS. Then you can all leave together and have some nice ice cream as a group after work :)
Photo of IAH1

IAH1

  • 33 Posts
  • 10 Reply Likes
Hi Alex, yes same German company and similar PC configuration and the same weekend night shift team;-)
But I'm personally a freelancer and in several companies with different configurations and my second task field is also CGI.
CGI is the reason why companies need to have that expensive PCstuff, because all that CgI and 3D is natively running better on PC.
It's then a question of money to buy a Mac, too, with monitors just for Photoshop.
It would be easy for me to engage 10 colleagues to confirm my point of view, but of course only those who grow up with a Mac ;-) So it's the question, why a software couldn't be exactly the same over all platforms. I'm really not stupid, I am experienced with many softwares like, but photoshop "feels" on PC not good... it's like it is... If you have a look at Nuke (which could be an inspiration for some additional future photoshop improvements, 32bit, layering with alphas! etc. ), it runs without any stubborn issues.
I will look at your other remarks later (again on a job now). thanks by the way for your reply!
Photo of IAH1

IAH1

  • 33 Posts
  • 10 Reply Likes
I had a brief look in your link... hotkey swapping sounds interesting but would it be something then for all applications, not just Photoshop? Would be great if this is just for Photoshop, otherwise you run into the next issues with all other applications.
And the Alt-key is unfortunately used for the clone stamp (and other tools). So this struggling can happen already if you stop your stamping at the wrong moment... and the temporary color picker is also alt key., when I remember it right.
(Edited)
Photo of Alex Furer

Alex Furer

  • 151 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
Yes, hotkey swapping would be global.

Duh... I forgot about Alt- for picking clone samples etc. Sorry about that. Nevertheless I do not run into the problem with the menus. I press and hold Alt and the click to pick an area and then release Alt. Only if you press Alt twice it will start going into the menus. So this could be considered a "2 feet in front of the screen" bug :)

That said, It seems possible to disable the Alt key with AutoHotkey as well. Just remember, it will be global for the entire PC. And some hard-core PC user might get confused.

It's too long ago that I used a Mac for Photoshop and ever since I switched, PC has become second nature for me. So I might be biased. I did it for the same reasons. Mac is just not up to par for 3D stuff. Try to use Maya on a Mac when you come from SGI/PC...
Photo of IAH1

IAH1

  • 33 Posts
  • 10 Reply Likes
7months later:  It's still a pain on PC!
- Photoshop isn't even able to fit the window size properly when zooming: picture is not centered and borders do not automatically fit to the image size.
Such an essential thing, unbeleavable!
- Alt key problem (often disabling the workflow with hotkeys or stamp) still disturbing every day. I have about 5 other softwares running on the same PC, none of them has such an Alt-key problem. Should be deactivation possible of that menu function.
- Some hotkeys don't work...
- and so on...