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photoshop / computer question

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
i've got all my programs on my fastest internal hard drive, and then have five other hard drives (two internal, 3 external) solely for data.

one of the external hard drives (connected via firewire) is where i keep all my photos, and when i save them and work on them, it's on this external drive.

i was wondering if instead saving them and working on them in a temp folder on my program (or other internal) drive would make a difference, speed-wise or otherwise (ie, sometimes when i batch things, photoshop hangs and i have to kill it from the task manager).
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,623
1,923
the conventional wisdom is to have your photoshop scratch drive as your fastest drive, and to not use this drive for either programs or image data itself.

but before resorting to that, which probably has a minimal effect in the grand scheme, i'd max out ram in every way possible. i run 2 GB, and that's scraping the bottom of the barrel these days ;)
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
i have 2GB, but there have been other threads where we've talked about if it's better to upgrade my CPU (and possibly MoBo) or just take my drives and buy a new barebones system.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
402
NC
Working on a file normally won't cause a difference because the file is loaded into RAM assuming you aren't maxing out your RAM - but even then, it'll be using swap space off your internal drive, not your Firewire drive.

Batching things, though, is another story. The speed will almost certainly improve if you batch files off an IDE/SATA drive instead of Firewire.

Is there a reason you use an external drive as the primary storage location for your files? A drive will usually last longer inside the PC since it has better cooling characteristics and will be less likely to take any kind of physical abuse.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
What are the actions/scripts you're using to batch?

I've never had PS hang on me, but certainly take a long time.

Are you opening, processing, closing each file in the batch or are they staying open? Open files with changes take up huge amounts of memory.

If they open and close between each photo, then I'd say it's more of a RAM/scratch disk issue. Do you have enough free harddrive space? The externals are only used for access, so definitely keep the internal/scratch disks as free as possible.

If you're doing this enough, I'd try to get several Gb of RAM available for use by PS.

You can specify which disks are used for scratch as well as cache levels and memory usage. I think the RAM default is 50%, so if you've got the RAM or get more, increase that amount minus whatever ya need for the bulky OS and other apps.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
i've got all my programs on my fastest internal hard drive, and then have five other hard drives (two internal, 3 external) solely for data.

one of the external hard drives (connected via firewire) is where i keep all my photos, and when i save them and work on them, it's on this external drive.

i was wondering if instead saving them and working on them in a temp folder on my program (or other internal) drive would make a difference, speed-wise or otherwise (ie, sometimes when i batch things, photoshop hangs and i have to kill it from the task manager).
How fast are the internal drives? Are they all SATA II?

Best would be to pull in files, work on them, paste them back into storage. No way the firewire is even remotely as fast as an internal drive, even if it's 1394b.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
BTW -
This is why there is a folder on my desktop I called "Workbench".
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
Like others have said you want to check your ram usage and scratch disk setup.

A cheap upgrade in speed would be a Antec MX-1 enclosure to replace your firewire one. It works with both SATA and ESATA (it has a bracket if your motherboard just has SATA but then the drive isn't hotswappable) and it still has USB 2.0 for use on the go. It also has active fan cooling, so it will have similar life to regular internal HDD other than if you travel around and physically drop/toss it around it too much.

SATA/eSATA enclosure = no faster external interface/same speed as your internal drives.

Antec MX-1
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
I don't know what your needs and files are, but I prefer keeping files off my scratch disk for Photoshop.
I'm just saying that opening and working on files from a firewire (or USB) drive is not the best idea.

I pull in my files off the external source and work on them locally then copy them back.

Scratch disk on a separate internal drive when available.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
I'm just saying that opening and working on files from a firewire (or USB) drive is not the best idea.

I pull in my files off the external source and work on them locally then copy them back.

Scratch disk on a separate internal drive when available.
Not anymore with eSATA (or just plan SATA if you don't mind powering down to disconnect)...
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
I'm just saying that opening and working on files from a firewire (or USB) drive is not the best idea.

I pull in my files off the external source and work on them locally then copy them back.

Scratch disk on a separate internal drive when available.
If you trust the external drive to store, then (for my purposes) I wouldn't be concerned.

Photoshop only accesses a file for opening and saving. The vast majority of disk access happens on the designated scratch drives and RAM. PS is good with memory even if it is a memory hog. You just have to set it up properly.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
Today you can probably go with external drives and be safe/reliable for travel if you have the money - buy an eSATA enclosure and throw a SSD in it...

You won't have as much storage but you'll have much better performance - more viable as scratch disk than data storage.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
402
NC
How many laptop actually have eSATA ports? USb2 and FW800 are still too slow for a proper scratch disk.
Point is that you can get one with dual connectors; eSATA for home, USB for when you need to bring it places.

Narlus, you need a Battleship Mtron, it maxes out high end RAID controllers :D
That got me so excited, I think I just peed a little. I guess I know what I'm buying if I ever hit the lottery.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
How many laptop actually have eSATA ports? USb2 and FW800 are still too slow for a proper scratch disk.
Not too many, its more common with desktops but it cost $50 to add it your modern expresscard compatible PC/Mac laptop - so thats about $100 for an decent enclosure (see above) and the card:

http://www.buy.com/prod/siig-esata-ii-2-port-expresscard-2-x-7-pin-serial-ata-300-external/q/loc/101/203531658.html

http://www.siig.com/ViewProductList.aspx?catid=250

eSATA is the same speed as internal and can support hotswappable - get the right chipset and you have 300MB/s hotswappable goodness (support for various features varies by chipset).

P.S. Expresscard maxes out at 2.5 Gbit/s (which is just over 300MB/sec, heh), not that it matters since no single drive can saturate it.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
That got me so excited, I think I just peed a little. I guess I know what I'm buying if I ever hit the lottery.
I think I'll just wait 3-5 years. That performance will probably cost $50 for a single drive that does it and I might actually have a use for it by then :D :think:
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
Your hardware suggestions are all valuable, but I bet it's a software config/script issue.
well i am running the stock script that came w/ PS (image processor), and calling the Manyk SRS action from it.

i should probably clear one of my internal drives from data, move that over to a new external one, and use that as my scratch disk? i don't want to devote 250GB *solely* to a scratch disk, though.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
well i am running the stock script that came w/ PS (image processor), and calling the Manyk SRS action from it.

i should probably clear one of my internal drives from data, move that over to a new external one, and use that as my scratch disk? i don't want to devote 250GB *solely* to a scratch disk, though.
Outpost.com was selling decent 320GB HDDs for $50 recently, whats the big deal? Don't use external unless you are doing eSATA.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
well i am running the stock script that came w/ PS (image processor), and calling the Manyk SRS action from it.

i should probably clear one of my internal drives from data, move that over to a new external one, and use that as my scratch disk? i don't want to devote 250GB *solely* to a scratch disk, though.
Clear the smallest SATA drive you have and keep it internal for the scratch disk.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
well i am running the stock script that came w/ PS (image processor), and calling the Manyk SRS action from it.

i should probably clear one of my internal drives from data, move that over to a new external one, and use that as my scratch disk? i don't want to devote 250GB *solely* to a scratch disk, though.
The IP script is pretty standard, so that can't be the problem. Since all you're doing is:
Code:
open
save as jpeg
close
...that can't possibly be taxing your system too much. Are you adding an action to the process?

What's your RAM setting in PS?
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
here's what i have:

Internal (SATA):
1x74GB (apps)
2X250GB (data)

External (data):
1x300, 1x500 (firewire)
1x250 (USB 2)

i have 4 SATA connections on my MoBo, and the 4th is taken up by my CD/DVD burner.
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
The IP script is pretty standard, so that can't be the problem. Since all you're doing is:
Code:
open
save as jpeg
close
...that can't possibly be taxing your system too much. Are you adding an action to the process?
Originally Posted by narlus View Post
well i am running the stock script that came w/ PS (image processor), and calling the Manyk SRS action from it.
What's your RAM setting in PS?
no idea.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
here's what i have:

Internal (SATA):
1x74GB (apps)
2X250GB (data)

External (data):
1x300, 1x500 (firewire)
1x250 (USB 2)

i have 4 SATA connections on my MoBo, and the 4th is taken up by my CD/DVD burner.

Clear one of the internal 250's and make a 100gb scratch disk partition?

I dunno.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
Sorry, missed the action. That's a pretty straight forward script too, nothing too insane.

To check your memory setting, go to:
-- Edit
-- Preferences
-- Memory...

It's probably 50%? Which should be more than enough to power that process.

Just to clarify... are the images already opened or staying opened while batching?
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
Are you using Adobe Bridge to manage your files? Maybe it's creating a duplicate set of all your photos to the Bridge?
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
i have 4 SATA connections on my MoBo, and the 4th is taken up by my CD/DVD burner.
There isn't a big difference in performance between IDE and SATA optical drives - maybe just buy a different IDE optical drive if you want to use the onboard ports and none are free - they are dirt cheap $30-40.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
Hardware geeks... just so you can help him better, here's what we're talking about...

Opening a digital photo, resizing it, applying some quality control scripts, saving, closing. Each individual process probably takes up 50-100Mb of RAM and then the RAM should clear.

There is no way that this is a harddrive issue.

I'm not knowledgeable enough from this point, so maybe y'all can help him to make sure that the RAM isn't fragmenting or something and locking him up? How do you troubleshoot such stuff in the OS?
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
Did he say he is working off the same drive he is storing his data:

one of the external hard drives (connected via firewire) is where i keep all my photos, and when i save them and work on them, it's on this external drive.
He needs to make sure he is using a fast internal or external partition on a drive he isn't accessing/using for this application for a scratch drive.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
He needs to make sure he is using a fast internal or external partition on a drive he isn't accessing/using for this application for a scratch drive.
Since Narlus didn't know how to check memory settings, there's no way he changed the scratch disk setting as it's part of the same dialog box.

Default = start-up. I doubt he's using an external as a start-up. Also, PhotoShop is demanding, but very flexible and friendly. His internal drive is more than fast enough for a scratch disk.

Think outside the box, or rather inside... OS issue?


EDIT: just so we're all very clear here... PhotoShop runs prefectly fine on a slower computer that only has one drive.