April 15, 2011

How to set up & tune a great Photoshop machine

Photoshop gets used in a huge variety of ways, from editing tiny icons laying out multi-hundred-layer Web designs* to wrangling gigapixel photos. The optimal settings depend on the work you do. Now the Photoshop performance team has posted a white paper on Photoshop CS5 performance, explaining various cache & GPU settings, discussing the impact of 64-bit and multicore, and more. ¬†Hopefully you’ll find it helpful.

* Web guys: Try the “Tall & Thin” option (yes, there is such a thing) under Preferences->Performance.

Posted by John Nack at 9:14 AM on April 15, 2011

Comments

  • B — 11:03 AM on April 15, 2011

    Can these same suggestions be applied to Lightroom as well? I’ve noticed that Lightroom has slowed down in recent weeks.

    [The architecture of & uses for Lightroom are very different, but I’ll see whether I can turn up similar guidance for it. –J.]

    • B — 7:30 PM on April 15, 2011

      That would be awesome! Thanks!

  • Tom Smith — 7:26 AM on April 16, 2011

    Please thank the team. This is great information that will assist in choosing hardware and maxing performance in PS. They should provide this info every time a new version is released. Very helpful!!

  • Jim Hoerricks — 10:12 AM on April 16, 2011

    Here’s the way I explained this feature in my last Forensic Photoshop class:

    “Years ago, I was an artist/photographer – and competing in the Highland Games as a champion caber tosser. I was huge and so were my files. I tried to do my best when setting up a shoot so that I didn’t have to do as much back in the studio with Photoshop. Remember, Photoshop wasn’t all that friendly in version 5. The more I could do with the camera to improve the shot, the easier it would be for me as a designer.

    Now, I’m retired from competition and work primarily in law enforcement. I’ve lost 110 lbs. and spend more time running than lifting heavy things. The files I work with are measure in kb and not MB. Because CCTV installers really don’t care about their installations, I usually have to do a ton of things to clarify images. My files tend to have many layers – though the files sizes start out small.

    Big and Flat … my old photos with a few adjustments (as well as my stone-put skills … according to my HG peers).

    Tall and thin … a small cctv still image with a ton of adjustments and layers – and now, me. Though most would not call 21 stone, thin.”

    Keep up the good work, John. :)

  • Lee Fuhr — 10:27 AM on April 18, 2011

    I’d *love* a similar rundown for Illustrator.

  • Bob Zimmerman — 3:58 PM on April 18, 2011

    Thank you very the white paper.

    I, and many others – I suspect,would like more information on selecting a next-generation video card. After finally finding an arcane reference to 512MB of video RAM for Basic mode on Windows XP, its still not clear whether extra CUDA cores actually help anything when it come to stitching, multiple layers, precision arithmetic, etc.

    Great start – now for more specifics. I suspect you have developed a set of use cases. Please share!

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