I need system rebuild advice

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Mike, being a little intrigued by this I decided to use the Nef file as in my last post and build it up to a reasonably large size using copy layers and stamping as WIP layers, going from the original file size as reported in PS 103.4MB up to 1.52GB.

Saved file size in Windows = 1.57GB. Saving the file took approx 25-30 seconds. Therefore once again even though your file a little larger this seems to be taking much too long @ 2.5 minutes

I agree and I wonder if it has to do with the WD Caviar Green. Maybe it goes to sleep to save engergy but even still that is a long time to write that data.
 
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With regard to file saving, the time required to save -- for some files at least -- may depend on how much time is spent waiting for Photoshop to do single-threaded processing as it writes to disk. My apparent error when I did some baseline measurements is that I was going by file size (pixel dimensions) and using mostly flat files. This procedure gave me significant differences in time between saving to a HDD vs. an SSD -- but had I used layered files the results might have been quite different.

Over at Luminous Landscape, this subject came up back in Aug. and the discovery there was that multiple layers, especially adjustment and curves layers, can add so much processing time during the save that the time spent writing to disk becomes secondary. At least that what I think I'm reading here:

Photoshop saving large files..no improvement with SSD...can I improve it?
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=69652.0
 
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Growltiger

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The Caviar Green is deliberately slow, by design. The designers optimised low power consumption and reliability. It is a good drive for applications where these are the most important issues.

The Caviar Black is the normal performance drive. 7200 speed. I have several of these in 1TB and 2TB sizes and they work very well.

When you buy a drive you need to choose based on what you want to optimise.
 
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Not at all sure that a special case is made for adjustment layers. In the cases I have quote (all with layered images) the indications are that even with 15 different adjustment layers and several new layers merged the save time is still in the order of 20 seconds for a second rate PC system.

You should use a fast disk to save your files. By all means use an SSD for any files you like including your PS scratch disk. But you should also be aware that if the PS efficiency indicator does not drop below 95% then a SSD will not improve performance to any great extent and you may be wasting money or not making the best use of resources. The lower the efficiency indicator gets the greater the requirement for a v. fast drive like SSD.

Question: Working on your large files what figure does the efficiency indicator show in either the Info palette or at the bottom of the PS window?
Also if you double your RAM as indicated in the first post SSD may just be a luxury
 
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The Caviar Green is deliberately slow, by design. The designers optimised low power consumption and reliability. It is a good drive for applications where these are the most important issues.

The Caviar Black is the normal performance drive. 7200 speed. I have several of these in 1TB and 2TB sizes and they work very well.

When you buy a drive you need to choose based on what you want to optimise.

It is interesting to me that I thought the system was quite fast with D700 files. Once I get the new HD & SSD it will be interesting to see what a difference it makes.
 
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Not at all sure that a special case is made for adjustment layers. In the cases I have quote (all with layered images) the indications are that even with 15 different adjustment layers and several new layers merged the save time is still in the order of 20 seconds for a second rate PC system.

You should use a fast disk to save your files. By all means use an SSD for any files you like including your PS scratch disk. But you should also be aware that if the PS efficiency indicator does not drop below 95% then a SSD will not improve performance to any great extent and you may be wasting money or not making the best use of resources. The lower the efficiency indicator gets the greater the requirement for a v. fast drive like SSD.

Question: Working on your large files what figure does the efficiency indicator show in either the Info palette or at the bottom of the PS window?
Also if you double your RAM as indicated in the first post SSD may just be a luxury

I didn't realize there was an option to display efficiency. I just made it visible so hopefully I will get some useful information from that soon.

Thanks!
 
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Mike and Tony,

I'm not sure whether it's adjustment layers or file compression (or a combination of the two) that most adversely affects the save function in Photoshop. Lloyd Chambers is not unsure, attributing the slowness to Adobe's insistence on using single-core compression and advises saving large files as uncompressed tiffs. I was starting to lean in this direction myself because file saves are sped up quite noticeably: 01:34 (one minute, thirty-four seconds) vs. 00:39 for a 5100 x 3300 16bit file with 22 object and adjustment layers (4 adjustment layers to be exact). This is on my old system where most of my larger files are still located.

So far, so good. BUT, in the case of this one test file, the penalty paid in file size is substantial. Saved as a psd, it's 156MB. Saved as an uncompressed tiff, it's a whopping 2.06GB! Note that opting out of layer compression does not seem to be an option. I used RLE layer compression which promises the quickest result. ZIP layer compression creates a much smaller file at the expense of a much longer save.

If one chooses NONE as the compression scheme in the tiff dialog, it seems that running up against the 4GB file-size limit could happen much more quickly than one might think. Circumventing the limit would require saving images in Adobe's psb format, which, up until last year, would throw compression back into the mix and pretty much make the whole exercise pointless. Except that Adobe has provided a way to turn off compression for both psd and psb files. So it seems that in order to optimize file saving for speed, large, layered working files of any type should not be compressed if the resulting enormous file sizes can be tolerated. The compression can be added back in when the work is done and the files are saved for archiving, thereby making the pain temporary.

Details here (be sure to read the following page re psd compression): http://macperformanceguide.com/OptimizingPhotoshop-SavingOpening.html
 
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Lucky Duck, I agree it is difficult to tell what may be slowing down saves in general. By its nature compression will generally slow down both saving and loading while the software 'does it stuff' to compress and decompress image data.

In the past I had read the links you referred to but had actually discounted them for a few reasons:
a. The article is Mac OS related and although there should be similarities with the Adobe applications there are likely to be some differences that I am unfamiliar with

b. A plugin DisallowFlateCompressedPSD is mentioned in the articles which AFAIK is a Mac only Plugin.
This may be the same method that I mentioned in my first post which is in CS6 (Windows) in preferences:
“Disable Compression of PSD and PSB files could shave off 20% of save time. But it will create a slightly larger file” I think the creates a slightly larger file may have been an optimistic guess though!


c. The articles refer to CS5, CS4 and CS3 on the Mac and no mention of CS6 that I could see.

I was also a little surprised at the examples quoted e.g. “opening a 754MB test file took 14 seconds on a 4-way striped RAID, and 18 seconds on a single moderately fast hard drive (on my Mac Pro). The modest improvement reflects the CPU-bound single-threaded operation of Photoshop CS5.

My own tests with CS6 using a D800 file of 103MB and applying many layers (17+) to end up with a 1.52GB file would save to disk in 30 seconds and would open in PS in 16 seconds. Does this mean my ancient PC with only 4GB RAM saving and writing files (twice the size of this test) is faster than a Mac Pro – I really do not think this is the case. There are just too many variables between two systems to make any meaningful conclusions, including how CS6 actually writes to disk – it may be exactly the same as CS5 and below or it may have changed but I have no information to confirm one way or another.

Therefore at this time and without anything else to go on I am still of the opinion that this has more to do with Mikes WD Caviar disk situation than PS settings as the save times quoted seem to be close to those achievable with an external USB 2.0 device such as my WD - confirmed by at least one review.
Now this could be just normal operation for a ‘Green’ drive or it could be other factors affecting performance e.g. bad drivers, cable issues, BIOS settings etc.

 
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Tony, I agree that sorting all this out is not a simple matter and what works for me may not work quite the same for anyone else. Still, I think that gains are there to be made for many users (who are willing to put with the file sizes) although it seems your system is working pretty close to peak as is.

The plugin you mentioned is for Macs only. The Windows implementation comes via a reg key:

http://helpx.adobe.com/content/dam/...chments/DisallowFlateCompressedPSD.plugin.zip

Here's the page containing that link: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/save-psd-psb-images-compression.html

This may well not be needed for CS6 if it's now a prefs choice. I'm using CS5 for the foreseeable future.
 
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Lucky Duck, thanks for the link to the reg key. As you say it is not needed for CS6 but I am sure anyone reading this thread using CS5 will find it useful as it seems the demands for larger files sizes are still growing at a fast rate.

While slightly off topic I am giving some consideration to moving to DNG totally when I upgrade to FX, which does look as though it will give some improvement over RAW file storage sizes and as far as I can tell losing little other than Nikon proprietary stuff

As to my own PC, well it is beginning to feel the strain at times, CS6 keeps reminding me that I do not have an officially supported graphic card, which may account for some 'unusual glitches' experienced recently in CS6. While I could improve performance by upping the memory and overclocking the CPU and even the GPU it does not seem worthwhile and I intend to assemble a new system next year.
 
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The Caviar Green is deliberately slow, by design. The designers optimised low power consumption and reliability. It is a good drive for applications where these are the most important issues.

The Caviar Black is the normal performance drive. 7200 speed. I have several of these in 1TB and 2TB sizes and they work very well.

When you buy a drive you need to choose based on what you want to optimise.

Power consumption, yes. Reliability? Only drive that has died on me in the past 10 years is a WD green.

The green drives are probably one of your problems. First they are slower, 5400 rpm. Second the early ones 2-3 years and older were designed to spin down when not being accessed. So spinning up and down would slow things down on you. No idea on the newer ones I heard they changed them but not sure. And yes that leads to excessive drive starts and stops and increased failure rates. I still have 6-2tb green drives. But they are now just offline storage. Plug them in backup data, turn them off.

I belong to a tech forum/chat and not one person would recommend a WD Green drive. You might want to consider replacing them with WD Blacks.
 
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