Middlebury

Optimizing Adobe Photoshop

If hardware on the computer is healthy, (test the OS, graphics card, RAM and hard disk), any Photoshop issues that you are experiencing come come from a variety of settings a limitations. In any case, ensure that the computer has more than enough RAM (more about that lower down). Furthermore, problems mainly stem from these places: - the file size (and consequently, the amount of RAM) - the lack of a scratch disk that's separate from the OS (more about this later) - Photoshop's settings.

About Photoshop's settings

Before I get into the technical details, here are suggestions that should help the situation:

  • Most importantly, you should work on optimizing photoshop's performance settings, as described on the link below. I think that optimizing these settings will greatly increase the stability and productivity of Photoshop. The settings should be tweaked by you, based on how you use Photoshop. Here's the link:

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404440.html In particular, I think you should tweak these settings (each one is a heading on Adobe's webpage, and the webpage provides more details on how to tweak): - Cache Levels - Minimizing resolutions - Purge Undo, Clipboard, or Histories (especially "Reduce the number of History states") - Reduce patterns and brush tips - Minimizing the number of layers - Editing individual channels

  • Always update both the OS and Photoshop, as suggested by Adobe.
  • If possible, allocate the maximum amount of RAM for photoshop (see Photoshop's Help menu).
  • whenever possible, work with smaller photoshop files (smaller resolution, not compression-wise)
  • if working with extremely large files, whenever possible have only one large file open in photoshop

About RAM

A 32bit processor, and/or a 32bit operating system and/or a 32bit photoshop cannot use any more than 4GB. Note that this is a limitation of the CPU (the physical processor), as well as the operating system, as well as Photoshop. - The programming and hardware limitations that are in play here are described on this page: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000811.html (the article uses Vista as example, but Mac OS X applications behave similarly). - Adobe describes the RAM limitations of Photoshop here: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404440.html#os (heading: Allocating Memory with 64-bit Processors).

About the scratch disk

In short, Photoshop prefers to use a scratch disk on a hard disk separate from the OS. More about that here: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404440.html If you are using a striped RAID setup, this should be less of a cause for crashes, as a striped RAID setup should be fast enough to act as both an OS drive and a scratch drive.

Of course, if possible, you can try adding an additional hard drive to the computer (internal, not external).

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