Photoshop World – Heavy Lifting

Well, another Photoshop World come and gone.  This year Adam Jerugim and I did a presentation on setting up a machine for doing very large file work.  Thank you again to those who attended – we were up against some interesting stuff.  I know I promised to have this entry up on Monday, but I’ve been struggling with getting PowerPoint to let me extract the information in a good way.  I’ll probably have to update this entry a couple more times as I figure out how to get what I want pulled out.

I wanted to call out a couple of things that are currently buried in the speaker notes, and I’m not sure if I got them across appropriately.  First, setting Photoshop’s memory percentage to 100% only makes sense if you’ve got more than 4GB of RAM in the machine, and again, only if you haven’t run into trouble running the filters you need that way, and are on CS3.  We’ve improved our ability to back off in the case that the machine we’re on starts to page every version.  However, it’s still important to watch that free RAM (or, in the case of Vista, the amount still being used for the system file cache).  It’s important that you watch what’s going on on your system when pushing things to their limit.  If you’re regularly seeing free memory (or the amount of free memory + system cache on vista) go below 20MB, it’s time to back off that memory percentage setting and try again.

Someone had asked a question at the end about RAID types, and I wanted to repeat that here – for fastest performance, RAID 0 with 2-6 drives for the Photoshop primary scratch disk is the fastest way to go, but isn’t a good place for storing files unless you’re going to back them up very frequently (daily?) to a big server on the network.  RAID 0+1 or RAID 5 would add in the reliability at some cost in performance or the need for additional drives.  We still need to measure which of those is the best way to go.  It’ll be about throughput.

So, here’s the current version of the presentation.  The animations don’t come across, and I still have to go through the speaker notes and clean them up and get a good export of that.  Hopefully within the next day or so, and I’ll update this post.


[Update: I meant to get the version of the presentation with extended notes up before my travels, apologies for not getting that done.  I'll get that up and catch up on the comments when I return in October. -Scott]

[Update: Sorry this took so long, but PowerPoint and I had to come to an, um... understanding.  So below is the link to the annotated version of the presentation, with all slide builds manually exploded apart so that they are actually usefull. -Scott]