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Author Topic: memory, Photoshop in an old Mac Pro  (Read 472 times)
Eric Brody
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« on: January 31, 2014, 12:50:00 PM »
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I have an early 2008 Mac Pro with two 2.8 Quad Core Xeons and 14GB of RAM running Mountain Lion 10.8.5. My hard drives have plenty of room on them. I use a scratch disk on a drive separate from the drive on which PS is located. When working on my photography, I have only Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5.3 running.

As I continue to use Photoshop, add layers with masks, save and re-save the image, the computer slows with endless spinning beachballs until it's just about unusable. In activity monitor, the free memory declines, and if I reboot, I'm back to fine... for a while. If I quit PS and LR, I'm back to 7-8GB of free RAM, but that's a waste of time as well. In the past I had used the app "free memory," and when this happened, I'd stop, ask it to free up some memory and then go on. It was also time wasted, but it seemed better than a reboot. A friend suggested that the app was not really helpful so I trashed it. I'd love to get a new Mac Pro, but financially that's not in the cards for a while. I'm not too keen on spending a lot of money upgrading the current machine with more RAM and/or an SSD.

Am I doing something wrong? Is there something wrong with how my machine allocates memory? I've never had a virus or spyware to my knowledge. It's a Mac for heaven's sake. I don't frequent weird websites or open attachments from people I don't know.

Any thoughts would be helpful.

Thanks.

Eric
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Edhopkins
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 01:42:34 PM »
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I have an early 2008 Mac Pro with two 2.8 Quad Core Xeons and 14GB of RAM running Mountain Lion 10.8.5. My hard drives have plenty of room on them. I use a scratch disk on a drive separate from the drive on which PS is located. When working on my photography, I have only Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5.3 running.

Do you mean 16GB of RAM?  14GB seems like a "unbalanced" number
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 02:21:31 PM »
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Old machine, somewhat slow by todayís standards, and not that much ram.  Sounds typical.  Guessing a current mac mini might be faster ... I just replaced two old mac pros with mac minis and my employees thank me every day.  The mac pros even had twin disk raid 0ís in them and quite a bit of ram.

Just moving to 24 or 32 gigs a ram would probably help, unfortunately the machine is old enough modules are pricier.  Depends on whatís in the machine now, if you have 4 empty slots may may not be that bad.  OWC is a good resource to research and buy if you decide to.
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Eric Brody
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 02:28:11 PM »
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Hi Ed,
My machine has a slightly peculiar RAM setup. It has 2 4GB sticks, 2 2TB sticks, and 2 1GB sticks, all matched pairs. That's 14GB.
Eric
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tived
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2014, 05:56:57 AM »
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Erik,

ad as much ram as you can afford, replace the hard drives with SSD

have a look at OWC computing for their mac upgrade, remember the box is 5 years old

Henrik
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Eric Brody
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2014, 11:41:47 AM »
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Thanks for the replies. The basic problem was that Photoshop took a bunch of memory and never seemed to give it back, even when the large files were closed. The machine gradually slows to a crawl with spinning beachballs. Looking at activity monitor shows decreasing amounts of free memory until it would get down to 10-15MB, that's MB, not GB, and be soooo slow that I'd need to quite PS and or LR, restart them to get things going again. Memory for this machine is expensive, OWC charges $640US for an additional 24GB of RAM. That's before adding an SSD, which I know would speed things up.

I suspect there is not a simple fix, short of a new machine. It is over 5 years old, will be 6 this September, so I guess I've gotten my money's worth. The problem, of course is that the new Mac Pro is a new paradigm, a completely different way of organizing one's information. I've enjoyed having my main photo drive (4 TB with 50k images) and back up drives within the computer, out of sight but usable. With the nMP one needs to have a separate Thunderbolt box for the same functionality. All of this, plus the non-trivial cost of the machine, (even a "lowly" quad core, 32GB of RAM, at least 512GB of PCIE based flash storage, $3,800 and Lloyd Chambers recommend a 6 core for an additional $500), really adds up.

Best to all.
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kers
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2014, 12:56:04 PM »
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Hello Eric, i have exactly the same machine and 16GB of ram,.
I work with large photo's ( over 1 GB each) and never have problems.
I worked on 10.6.8 and now on Mavericks 10.9.1 -  they are about equal in speed ( photoshop CS6)
I have a double 2GB harddisk in Raid0 to store my files and a small SSD were my system runs.

- what could save you a lot of time saving files is to use : disable compression for  PSD and PSB files.
The compression uses a lot of time . But saves space of course...  ( see the image)

Maybe you already did that - in that case i do not know, there must be something wrong... the old machine is not that slow... you are about twice as fast with the new MacPro 6 core and the PCI-disk is very fast.
(You could try a clean install of 10.9 + Photoshop CC on a separate disk to see if thats going to change it)

regards,

Pieter Kers

PS in 10.9  be sure to prevent App Nap from working...  ( in the photoshop info- see image)
in 10.9 Apple compresses Ram that is not directly used so you have more RAM in a way- cannot tell you if you really notice it yet

In my case App Nap makes Photoshop unstable





« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 01:38:18 PM by kers » Logged

Pieter Kers
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2014, 02:16:13 PM »
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Thanks for the replies. The basic problem was that Photoshop took a bunch of memory and never seemed to give it back, even when the large files were closed. The machine gradually slows to a crawl with spinning beachballs. Looking at activity monitor shows decreasing amounts of free memory until it would get down to 10-15MB, that's MB, not GB, and be soooo slow that I'd need to quite PS and or LR, restart them to get things going again. Memory for this machine is expensive, OWC charges $640US for an additional 24GB of RAM. That's before adding an SSD, which I know would speed things up.

I suspect there is not a simple fix, short of a new machine. It is over 5 years old, will be 6 this September, so I guess I've gotten my money's worth. The problem, of course is that the new Mac Pro is a new paradigm, a completely different way of organizing one's information. I've enjoyed having my main photo drive (4 TB with 50k images) and back up drives within the computer, out of sight but usable. With the nMP one needs to have a separate Thunderbolt box for the same functionality. All of this, plus the non-trivial cost of the machine, (even a "lowly" quad core, 32GB of RAM, at least 512GB of PCIE based flash storage, $3,800 and Lloyd Chambers recommend a 6 core for an additional $500), really adds up.

Best to all.
Yeah, tough to sink  money into those old machines.  You could throw 4 7200 rpm drives as a RAID 0, install a PCI SSD drive for boot up, throw in 32 gigs of ram, and it may help a ton.

But I agree with the previous post, something seems to be wrong because even the 2006 and 2007 Mac Pros i recently replaced with Mac Minis in my shop were still very functional, running PS CC and LR 5 all day long.  rebooting was usually a weekly thing, only because we shut the machines down on Saturday and start them up again on Monday.

You could have issues with your Hard drive, a ram module that is a little flakey.  You may also have to be paging into virtual memory more than you realize this (you can monitor your VM load and page ins/outs in the activity monitor.  You may want to back up everything, re-install the OS and applications for scratch.

My last Mac Pro purchase before this month was the 2010, but looking back Iím into this new mac pro far less.  Considering the dual graphic cards and blazing fast SSD, I think itís the most reasonably priced Mac Pro Apple has made (just expensive compared to all of the other macs).  As far as having the drives tucked away inside, thatís what I used to think until I put everything 10 feet away with Thunderbolt.  I can also mount all that drive space immediately on my MacBook Pro, or any other computer.  Iím fully converted, modular is far better.  No need to overbuild the power and cooling of a tower.  The only reason drives needed to be internal was internal bus speed, TB changes all that.
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