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How much memory for PS7?

GoodbyeAll 18 348 1
11 Apr 2003 8:50AM
As you may be aware I recently bought a 10D! I have been trying to stitch together panoramas on my PC (Dell 2.8/512 ram, XP Pro) in Canon software - fine, no problem. Then I try & sharpen or manipulate in PS7 and the system grinds to a halt (nearly). I have a good pc & have set the memory to 85% in PS 7, the file is only about 50 meg - should this happen? What do you guys set the memory allocation to? (disk is defragged every 2 days, works reasonably fast usually)
User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2003 9:17AM
Hi Wendy

Thats a good spec so you shouldn't be having problems. However, having said that, 50Mb is a large file and I cannot help wondering how you get a file that size from a 6megapixel camera like the 10D.

For a start, is the file you are using 8 or 16 bit? You do not need to have it as 16 bit for sharpening so once you have done everything you need to do at 16 bit (only colour manipulation in reality) then reduce it to 8 bit.

One of the big problems I have encountered with many programs is to do with memory management and this becomes quite noticeable when you have Photoshop running alongside other applications. If possible, have PS running alone (look at the Start menu to see what other task are running in background - do you need them all?).

Do you have more than 1 hard drive. If you do, make sure that Photoshop itself is installed on one drive and the scratch disk (see under PREFERENCES) is on another. The Scratch Disk is utilised by PS when it runs out of Virtual Memory and it is always advisable to have this and the program itself on separate disks.

If you only have 1 disk, do you have enough room on it for a sufficiently large Scratch area. One thing you do not mention that also has a bearing is the speed of your drive. Many drives are 5400rpm but most recent ones are 7200rpm and this makes a lot of difference.

These are all things that you can look at to see if it helps. Unless you are writing and deleting a lot of data to a disk which will cause a lot of small spaces and consequently fragmentation of files, then there is no real benefit in defragmentation every couple of days.

Good Luck

GoodbyeAll 18 348 1
11 Apr 2003 9:45AM
Thank you for your reply. The file is large because it is a panorama, in 8 bit. You did not mention what % allocation you are recommending. I have outlook express open & minimised always & an ADSL connection, that is all. I have always defragged & regularly delete cookies, web files, temp files & recycle bin daily, always have done since Win 3.0.
Pete 20 18.8k 97 England
11 Apr 2003 10:06AM
Hi Wendy. My XP system also grinds to a halt occasionally and I've found it's when I've opened a compressed file using stuffit. For some reason it's using most of the memory resource and needs to be closed to get the system back on track. I've not had chance to check why this happens, but it could be something similar on yours.
To see, right click on your task bar (the strip where the start button and open programs sit) and select Task Manager. That will show you all the items running and which (if any) are straining the CPU as a percentage. On mine Stuffit was taking 95% of the CPU's processing power meaning nothing else couldn't respond.
GoodbyeAll 18 348 1
11 Apr 2003 10:29AM
Thanks Pete but I don't use it. What allocation in PS7 do you use?
User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2003 11:22AM
Hi Wendy, I tend to have my PS memory allocation at around 95-100%. This obviously doesn't mean it uses all the memory but all that is available (which is not the same thing at all).

Understand about the file size now but that will obviously take some sharpening (and the degree of sharpening will have a bearing too)

I am assuming you are using PS inbuilt USM. Have you thought about using something else as PS USM on it's own is pretty poor

mad-dogs 18 2.2k England
11 Apr 2003 11:24AM
Photoshop should have 3 to 5 times the file size in memory allocated to it. ie. for 50 Mb. file, PS should have 150 to 250 Mb. allocated.
This was the standard around the time of PS 2.5 - I don't know if it still applies with the later versions.
GoodbyeAll 18 348 1
11 Apr 2003 12:13PM
At present (85%) I have 393 megabytes allocated which I would have thought would have been masses but I am still getting a lot of disk-thrashing whenever I apply filters etc. I am using Fred Mirandas 10D Sharpener which seems to work well, albeit noisily and slowly! I wonder if there is anything else I should check?
mad-dogs 18 2.2k England
11 Apr 2003 12:46PM
Some filters are extremely 'memory hungry' and may operate more slowly anyway. Others which are third party may not be optimised as well as they could be.

Do you have other applications open while using PS?

Also, PS writes invisible files to the desktop ( Mac ) and these may also take up memory. Try restarting the machine and see if that speeds things up.

How are you sharpening the image in PS?
Try switching to LAB Mode and select the Lightness channel. Apply unsharp masking to this channel and then switch back to RGB.
cool cat 19 145
11 Apr 2003 3:03PM
Hi Wendy,

Even if you set the photoshop memory to to 100% be aware that you XP uses about 120MB + whatever photoshop uses for the basic program. Other programs also take a fair chunk of memory as well.

I run a 2GHz p4 with 512mb RAM + XP and I can handle up to 150Mb images without the machine totally jamming.

I suspect the diffence will be found in the speed of the HDD and the graphics card. The graphics cards designed for 3D games are not the best for 2D applications like photoshop.

If you hit ctr+alt+del and then go to task manager and then recources you will see exactly how much memory / processing power is being used. Perhaps one of the memory chips is not working??

I have never used the software you are using but I know from other applications that if you open them before or during PS, the computer will allocate them some memory. Even when closed again, they may hold on to the memory, thereby reducing the total amount available to PS. This should't happen and is bad programming but it happens. Try re-booting and then only start PS. It might just work.

Failing that you could support the semiconductor indusrty and buy more memory. Now a steal at about 50 quid for branded 512MB.


GoodbyeAll 18 348 1
11 Apr 2003 3:14PM
Thanks for that. I will check next time for the useage. It certainly seems to slow the system down even after I close PS7 so I will try rebooting (pain to do each time!)

User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2003 3:29PM
Hi Wendy

Glad to see you are using Fred mirandas Sharpening Actions. I find them very good but they are quite slow as they do an enormous amount of processing (several USM passes, edge filters etc etc)

Hope you get to the bottom of the problem

scorchio 18 129 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2003 4:52PM
hi wendy Smile
i have just done a test on my machine with a 146 meg panorama file at 8 bit. it took 32 seconds to prepare the filter and 15 seconds to actually apply the filter. the memory was set to 50% equalling 213 meg of memory available and 4 cache levels. my computer is of comparable spec to yours. 2.6ghz amd athlon, 500meg ddr ram, but i am running windows 2k. my system resources do go mad when i use the filter, but as i said the whole process only takes about 45 secs.
unfortunately i dont have any answers for u, but i thought it might be handy to have a similar computers result to compare to.
if u could give me a bit more info about what processor u use (make), motherboard specs and hard drive make and model, i may be able to help a bit more.
take care.
GoodbyeAll 18 348 1
11 Apr 2003 5:30PM's a Dell 4550 with a 120 gig HD..other than that all the details I know are as above. I haven't tried a file anywhere near as big as 146 meg...I think it would revolt!

User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2003 5:42PM
As I said previously, the FM Actions do a whole lot more than just apply Photoshop's USM and many of the filters it applies are resource hungry. However, having said that, what you are doing is not uncommon.

I have tried it myself on a 65Mb file using FM's Very High Action and it took less than a minute (mind you my machine is a 3GHz with 1Gb RAM)

Might be worth getting hold of some diagnostic tools to analyze your machine


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