Memory requirements (2009 Mac Pro) for Photoshop/Lightroom

Started Nov 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP motion Contributing Member • Posts: 781
Re: Memory requirements (2009 Mac Pro) for Photoshop/Lightroom

Tom_N wrote:

motion wrote:

4GB for Photoshop CS4 including any open files? I assume that means the scratch disk is used heavily whenever more than 4GB is needed? Does CS5 actually use the available RAM to its full potential? How much memory is recommended for CS5/CS6?

There is a document on Adobe's Web site on optimizing Photoshop performance; I forget what it says about RAM (except "a lot is good") – but you might want to give it a read.

I suppose you're referring to this document.

So in conclusion I should fill up with as much RAM as I can when planning ahead for a Photoshop upgrade. The article doesn't say exactly how much RAM is needed for different scenarios so I can only guess: 12 (3x 4GB) or 16GB (4x 4GB) for "light" to "normal" Photoshop use while 24 (3x 8GB) 32GB (4x 8GB) and above would be for "power users" (retouchers etc.)? The Mac Pro I'm likely to get goes up to 48GB (3x 16GB) but I have a feeling most of that memory will end up unused.

The same article also says that with more available RAM the scratch disk isn't used, which would probably mean I could forget about investing in an expensive, fast dedicated SSD for this if I invest in enough RAM.

But for CS4 which I now have, my understanding is that the scratch disk is accessed more frequently than with CS5/CS6 (64-bit mode) because only up to 3GB of RAM is used no matter what. In that case, since I will be installing two 7200 SATA hard drives in RAID-0 (striped) for file storage anyway, could I use that same drive as a scratch disk as well (same or separarate partition), or would that hamper performance a lot? A dedicated high performance SSD just for scratch use would add to the total cost, and I won't find it justifiable unless it makes for a noticeable increase in performance.

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