ram v cpu performance factors

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by david@dbfotoart, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. I have scanned some archives, but cannot find a definative answer for my
    question.

    I am running a windows xp based system with 3ghz processor and 1 gig of ram. I
    may sound greedy, but I want better performance on photoshop, and running a
    couple of applications at once. I have a pretty heavy workload, and the
    computer suffers greatly.

    Will adding another 2 or 3 bg of ram be enough to increase speed and
    performance on photoshop, whilst other applications are running, or do I need
    a faster, dual core processor? Would 64 bit help.

    I'm not enough of a geek to understand to much technical terms, but any info
    would be a help.
     
  2. If your video card shares RAM (like mine) you might not have as much available memory as you think. I go with 2G, leaving me about 1.5G after the operating system and video are done with it. Be sure you're running matched pairs of memory cards in the correct slots if your system supports that faster standard (forgot the name). Additional memory should help. If you run multiple application and such, a case can be made for even more memory. No idea if a dual core will help, as I haven't crossed that bridge yet.
     
  3. Yes! Try to go up to 3 gigs if you can. I am building a new computer and I installed 4 gigs of ram. But Windows XP only sees 3.25 gigs. Hopefully Vista will use all 4 gigs.

    Quote from PC World:

    Today's operating systems and applications are RAM hungry. When software runs out of RAM, Windows starts swapping data to and from your PC's hard disk--a much slower process than fetching it from and writing it to RAM. Adding RAM to your PC is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to boost its performance.

    Terry
     
  4. Right now today with XP, the most RAM that the operating system can use is 3gb, assuming you have invoked the /3gb switch. This lets you give PS something like 2gb, if you still want to leave reasonable headroom to running other applications at the same time. This makes it practical to edits files in the order of 400+ megabytes without slowing to a crawl.

    There is an important practical consideration. Most motherboards only have 4 RAM slots, which means you will need at least 1gb sticks to reach 3gb, for an actual 4gb in the system. Also, a few motherboards offer 6 ram slots, but in truth few are actually stable with 6 sticks installed due to electrical bus loading.

    Presumably Vista will let us use a lot more RAM, so if you are going to buy more RAM you might consider 2gb sticks as an optimistic investment in The Future.

    Here's some tech stuff straight from Adobe...

    http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/320005.html
     
  5. Vista will require "Vista Ready" Motherboards so if your going to make the switch you may want to get a new MoBo now so you can use DDR2.

    Do you have 2 Hard Drives? if so, Do you have your scratch disk set up on the one that does not have PS installed on it?

    Moving your scrath disk to a seperate drive will give you more gains in performance than just installing more ram alone.

    I installed a Western Digital 34 Gb Raptor Hard Drive in my machine, these drives have a 16MB Cache and spin at 10,000 RPMs. I have nothing installed on the drive, and have nothing stored on it, I simply formatted it and assigned my Scratch drive to it. So it is in effect acting like 34GBs of Ram, albeit very slow ram, but it did make a differance.
     
  6. Also, Windows Server 2003 is capable of handling 64 GBs of Ram if your willing to spend the $300 dollare on the OS.
     
  7. Does partitioning the hard drive effectively give me 2?
     
  8. David, what sized files do you deal with? Are you doing RAW conversions? The amount of ram you have boxes you in as to the file size you can fool with, before the HDA gets used alot. A simple thing to do is to move up to 2gigs of ram. Here my photoshop boxes have alot of ram for the CPU speed. Thus my boxes with 1 gigs of ram are a 1Ghz Piii, a 200Mhz server with dual CPUs, etc, There can be bottlenecks in performance in many areas, what cpu do you have?<BR><BR>Where is your bog? ie opening files is slow?, rotating an image? Doing batch conversions? A bog when many applications are open?<BR><BR>
     
  9. you could try using windows xp 64 bit edition. it woudl mean a new OS and lots of older programs not working,, possibly even a lot of your newer programs too. but you could get terabites of memory.
     
  10. Be conscious of your operating system if considering dual-core, as I recently discovered Windows XP Home Edition does not support dual processing. You need to either upgrade to XP Pro, or apparently (and I haven't confirmed this) Windows Media Centre Edition will also allow dual processing. Media Centre is slightly cheaper than XP Pro.
     
  11. Thank you everyone, what I shall be doing is adding another 2 gig, and putting in another hard drive. That has amazed me to find out xp home doesnt support dual processing. I use pro at work, but the missus just bought a new dual processor computer with xp home on it.
     
  12. Partitioning the hard drive really only gives you an advantage in terms of reduced file fragmentation which is pretty darn common for anything larger than a text file on NTFS.
     
  13. The riddle to explore is that dual processing was even in old NT4. Here I use it with many dual CPU boxes using Windows2000. Photoshop 4 allows dual cpu support, plus XP pro. With Home XP, on cpu can be used, even a dual core one, if SP 2 is used. With my dual CPU boxes, just because the bios sees both cpus doesnt mean that win2000 is going to use cpu#2. You have to enable multiprocessor suport in device manager. There is a heck of alot of confusion about dual core versus dual cpu for home XP.
     

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