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Archive 2011 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???
  
 
RustyBug
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p.1 #1 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Does anyone know of a diagram / flow chart / write-up to explains how PS (CS5) uses the CPU (single vs. duo vs. quad), memory, hdd/ssd?

Looking at a laptop build. I'm pretty well decided on SSD for a boot drive, with a second drive (optical bay) to separate program from scratch disc (and more storage). Where I'm a little concerned is the diffference the gain of 1600 vs. 1333 memory would be relative to the difference of CPU speed would be vs. duo/quad core usage.

I've looked at several benchmarks and it seems that for some operations a different CPU makes a notable difference, yet the same two CPU's show little difference for other operations. Some people scream QUAD ... others say, its a waste and to opt instead for CPU speed. Likewise for the relationship of CPU vs. SSD.

It seems that PS is a read/write intensive program, so I'm currently leaning toward speed vs. quad. Also, wondering if the memory is the bottleneck and then the 1600 would be a gain, or if it isn't the bottleneck between the CPU/memory/drive, I'd put more emphasis on the SSD or the CPU speed.

I'm looking at probably 8MB for memory. At what point / when / where does PS use the memory vs. the scratch disc?

I'd like to "optimize" vs. "maximize" ... putting a couple of those dollars toward an aRGB 100% gamut IPS screen rather than "overkill" by making everything "big & bad" ... which would be very bad for my wallet.

Thanks.



Dec 08, 2011 at 05:23 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #2 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Many PS operations are multithreaded, so a 4 or 6-core CPU helps significantly. Of course IOs like reading/writing files are not. Dual-core CPUs are bottom of the barrel nowdays, and lack other performance features. I'd avoid anything less than an i5 sandy bridge. The K series are quite OC-able, so you should not be wanting for CPU speed. A good SSD is helpful for the scratch disk. However, RAM is still king. All my new builds have at least 16GB, preferably up to the max supported by the chipset.

EBH



Dec 08, 2011 at 06:30 AM
TrojanHorse
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p.1 #3 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


How are you judging CPU speed anyway? You really can't go by straight GHz anymore, unless it's within a chip family.

When I built my PC in June, most of the benchmarks I found indicated that there is little gain from 1333 to 1600 and anything above 1600 was a waste of money.

A fast CPU will improve your overall computer experience whether you're editing a huge batch of photos or just starting up your PC.

Here's a thread I found last year - somebody posted a photoshop speed test. For reference, my core 2 duo with 4 GB ram ran it in about 40 seconds, my new i7-2600k with 16 GB ram ran it in about 12 seconds at the base clock rate and it took about 9 seconds when I overclocked to 4.5 GHz

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/999464/0



Dec 08, 2011 at 06:51 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Thanks.

+1 @ GHz within chip family.
Laptop, so 2500k/2600K not an option ... more like i-7 2640M (2.80/4MB/35W) vs. 2670QM (2.20/6MB/45W). 2.8 vs. 2.2 being +27%.

The higher clock speed and lower temp makes for some appeal, but is the Quad "all that" for PS, or is it "overkill" with the right amount of RAM. Also, I've never OC'd a CPU, but wouldn't be opposed to a mild OC.

Seeing the diff you made with OC, it makes a case for going with the faster CPU vs. more cores as it having a "direct" impact ... then having the turbo boost kick in as needed if the two cores both get maxed out.

The other thing I'm trying to understand is the relationship betwen RAM & scratch disc. Does it make sense to put in a small SSD as your scratch disc, or is it better to add more ram ... and if the board maxes out @ 8MB (laptop) does that make it more important for SSD operations or more important for CPU operations. And of the two drives (OS/PS vs. scratch) which one will the machine be more dependent on once RAM is maxed out @ 8MB.

Now that SSD's have become faster (more $$$) I could see strategically using the fastest SSD where it will do me the most good (OS/PS vs. scratch) and slower/larger SSD for the other drive.

This is why I'm wanting to find out how PS proceses through the pieces of the puzzle. I'm thinking that a smartly configured (laptop) can be had for a little bit less than the national debt. Also, heat & weight come into play as you get bigger & badder ... trying to think ahead to leaner & smarter.



Dec 08, 2011 at 02:29 PM
WAYCOOL
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p.1 #5 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Quad is great but only some of the filters take advantage speed is still what drives Photoshop.

If you have enough ram to hold what you are working on Photoshop will not hit the scratch disk. If you are not loading and working on lots of photos at once or not going crazy with lots of layers, or doing 20 shot panos on a regular basis you likely are not going to max out 16 or even 8 gigs of memory so a dedicated ssd for scratch would be overkill.

Max the memory, fast working drive, fastest cpu quad if possible, fast scratch disk if your usage demands it.



Dec 08, 2011 at 03:37 PM
TrojanHorse
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p.1 #6 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


I would still say "more cores" as long as the speed is similar. It's apparently debatable whether hyperthreading is of any particular benefit for what we do but as long as you stick with sandy bridge CPUs or newer you're probably in the clover. i5 or i7. It looks like mobile i5 CPUs are dual core but hyper threaded whereas i7 mobile chips are either dual or quad core and all are hyperthreaded.

It would be challenging to OC a laptop because you can't really improve the stock cooling, so you might be stuck there with whatever you get. Not that stuck is a bad thing.

And... on the matter of "turbo mode" - if I understand it correctly, your quad core CPU will run at (let's say, 3.4 GHz for the i7-2600) with all four cores being used. If you have a process that is only using a single core, the CPU controller will selectively over clock that single core to 3.8 GHz. If using two cores, it can OC to 3.6 GHz. It extracts a little more speed without any notable penalty to you.



Dec 08, 2011 at 05:04 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Thanks ... starting to get a clue.

Sometimes, I am a LAYER HOG ... because I'm not efficient at what I do (i.e. learning & playing) and I do like doing multi shot pano's ... and I keep 10,000,000 history steps (rookie) for safety. So my "takeaway" on this is that IF I am restricted to 8 gigs of memory due to the mb, and find out that I'm in need of more scratch disc, THEN a faster scratch disc (SSD) would be important. Part of me thinks that as I get better, I'll learn to operate more efficiently, but also I'll take on more challenging application ... probably a wash in the end.

Gotcha @ OC vs. laptop vs. cooling. So on the matter of "turbo", when running those functions that can harness quad, 4 x 2.2 = 8.8 (vs. 2 x 2.8 = 5.6) and when performing single core functions it would become 1 x 2.6 (vs. being stuck @ 1 x 2.2) ... kind of a best of one without too much waste @ the other.


Is there any where to go to find out which functions utilize quad vs. duo vs. single processing? Going by some benchmarking and trying to do some "reverse engineering analytics" it would seem that those functions that have global application (mode change, distort filters, etc.) benefit from quad more than selective tools (i.e. healing, paint, clone, etc.). It would be nice to know which ones to NOT expect huge gains on by going quad.

I've been looking into Dell and Thinkpad mobile workstations ... which are scalable beyond 8GB, but then the $$$/heat/weight really start to ratchet up for the beefier power supply/cooling/build. This is kinda what has got me to thinking about using a small SSD in a laptop that has swappable optical drive bay for the scratch disc, even if it is limited to 8GB max ram.



Dec 08, 2011 at 05:50 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Here's a wild thought ...

Running 32-bit XP right now on my T60 (love the 4:3 screen). 2GB RAM current which caps out @ 3+ so there hasn't been a super strong incentive to bump to 4 (but certainly could).

HOWEVER, if I were to put in a small faster (new gen) SSD in my optical bay for my scratch disc on THIS machine, it could separate my scratch disc away from my OS/PS AND provide for additional PS "psuedo memory" for relatively small change vs. investing in a new machine just yet.

Then, I could still use the SSD for scratch on future machine (different carrier of course) ... hmmm. A boost to PS performance, little money (not wasted), delay major investment, retain 4:3 IPS screen, stay on XP (albeit 32bit), skip the whole new 64 bit software re-purchase/re-install (for now).

Okay, so while this wont' be as killer as a new quad workstation ... it could breathe new life (for peanuts) into my 4:3 (which is no longer available).

So ... what part of this is "whack" that I'm way wrong in my thinking, regarding my T60 and its 4:3 screen? (Remember, this is my laptop, not my desktop workstation.)




Dec 08, 2011 at 06:39 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #9 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Okay, a bit more research reveals that I'm restricted to SATA 1.0, so even with an SSD, I'd never realize the speed differential ... but, the good news is that I've been using an external hard drive, that I can drop into the bay and it will be about 3X faster than USB 2.0 and will let me move my scratch disc away from my OS/PS for less than peanuts (cost of an UltraSlim Bay carrier) ... for now.

Which takes me back to i-7 QM and 8GB as a likely candidate for future upgrade when the time is right.




Dec 08, 2011 at 10:12 PM
TrojanHorse
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p.1 #10 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Rusty - I think we were talking about the new T420 laptops a while ago, and I laid eyes on the one I'm getting next week, last week (if you can parse that, gold star)

Both have wide screens but the 420 is "thicker" in the base than my T61 (taller for typing), and the screen is wider in aspect ratio for roughly the same width, if that makes sense. There's a thick plastic frame around the bottom of the screen that doesn't exist on my current T61, almost like the screen went from 16:10 to 16:9 or something. I'm not sure. I just had a quick glimpse of somebody else's.

You may be able to find a USB 3 card for the card slot of your current laptop, and then just add an external drive that way. Newer thinkpads have an e-SATA port right where your USB ports are now, which is just splendid.

SSD will still be much faster at reading even if you're on SATA 1. Overall throughput might not be impressive but for rapid and frequent reads, you'll still benefit.



Dec 09, 2011 at 05:23 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #11 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Yes, this started at the T420 discussion ... migrated to the W520 workstation ... then over to the Dell precision workstation.

Right now, I'm diggin' the Dell because they have Express 54 slot still in their builds ... direct input for CF cards with my current adapter. The 100% Adobe RGB screen option doesn't hurt either.

The more I look, the more I see, the more I want, the more I wait.

BTW ... thanks for the help and congrats on the 420.



Dec 09, 2011 at 05:29 AM
TrojanHorse
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p.1 #12 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


We like to call that Analysis Paralysis.

the 420 is my work computer, or will be... I've stress tested the dickens out of my T61 (4 yrs, 3 mos) and frankly, it's a tank. I'm hoping I can pillage some drive space on the 420 for LR and use it as a portable light editing machine when I travel. The T61 was hopeless, I just use it as a big external drive on vacation.

I don't think my eyesight is 100% adobe anymore anyway, so I don't get too worked up about that kind of thing these days.

Good luck!



Dec 10, 2011 at 02:01 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #13 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Well, I've decided to simply get the UltraBay Slim for the T61 ... making my current external HDD a second drive for it. That'll make for significantly more practical storage and let me get my scratch disc off my OS/PS drive. No SSD or 64 bit on the laptop just yet ... until I bite the bullet & upgrade.

I have ordered CS5 though. When I originally demo'd CS5 on my desktop, I didn't see any real improvement over CS3 in terms of speed/performance. For some reason I ran the CS5 demo on my T61 the other day ... and it does make better use of my two cores than CS3 does, so that'll breathe a little new life into the T61. Of course, it'll be night & day when I get CS5 on 64 bit i7 quad.

The hardest part for me is going to be giving up the 4:3.



Dec 10, 2011 at 02:46 AM
Sarsfield
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p.1 #14 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Have you reviewed this?

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404439.html



Dec 10, 2011 at 03:22 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #15 · Photoshop ... pc component utilization process ???


Hadn't seen that one ... found a different one, but it didn't address SSD directly.

Thanks.



Dec 10, 2011 at 05:05 AM





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