Windows PC for Large Photoshop Files

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Ho72 Senior Member • Posts: 2,373
Re: Windows PC for Large Photoshop Files

bmoag wrote:

The best solution is not always more hardware, often it is working smarter in Photoshop so that files do not balloon more than necessary. Working on hi bit 50mp files in a big color box inevitably generates large files but how one works in PS often inflates the balloon beyond what it has to be.

In any event hardware will not change inefficiencies in the way PS uses that hardware and the inefficient nature of the PSD format. A better understanding of I/O can be more productive than investing in a PCIE4 M2 drive.

It takes big generational changes in hardware to perceive big differences when using PS. Most people are taking smaller steps than they think, such is the nature of marketing hype and the misleading nature of bar graphs. Throwing hardware it can't use at PS may not be the wisest use of resources--how much RAM does the M1 platform top off at?

How I choose to work in PS should be based on my preferences and not artificial constraints forced on me by inadequate hardware. File sizes for large print projects are necessarily large as dictated by my workflow and I do not see how "working smarter" would do anything but rob me of the flexibility and latitude I build into my master files to accommodate future editing needs.

I don't know where the hardware saturation point is with PS (i.e. hardware it can't use) but it's likely none of us have reached it. Re the M1, assuming I understand the purpose of the reference, it should not be held up as an example of anything other than a machine that's good for what it is (a light machine for light work). What it most assuredly is not is a desktop workstation replacement for editing large PS files. Here is a transcript from a M1/PS review (at the 15 minute mark):

Now where the limitation comes obviously is because of memory. So if you're doing composites and you're working with multi-layered files, large panoramas or those larger files you would best be served to wait until they come out with a version with more memory—maybe 32 gigs or even 64 gigs. All right I just want to be very clear, even though this 13 inch is able to load up these big huge files and run some filters in there it's not fast enough for it to actually be workable. So things like panning very, very slow, sluggish. Things like brushing would be almost impossible. So it's not enough performance for me to perform work when I have files that large.

Some have pointed to the fact that the M1's SSD has nearly the same bandwidth as DDR2 RAM and so the lack of physical RAM is mitigated by swapping to the "speedy" SSD. Well, no, that's not how it works—as the reviewer above demonstrated. The problem with swapping is how long it takes to do it. Those two memories have similar bandwidths, but the time to fetch a word from DDR2 will be measured in nanoseconds while the time to fetch a word from the SSD swap file and then resume processing will be on the order of 100s of microseconds to milliseconds. So the bandwidths may be similar but the RAM is still orders of magnitude faster.

The goal, as I stated earlier in this thread, is to avoid hitting the scratch file altogether because no current affordable, consumer solution is fast enough to compete with RAM.

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MOD Austinian
MOD Austinian
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