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[Computer Hardware Configuration] Which hardware resource does PS use in our usecase?

Community Beginner ,
May 30, 2023 May 30, 2023

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Hey everyone,

we are using Photoshop for the following actions:

:: Handling of 1-2 GB PSDs
:: Standard retouching/image editing
:: Batch processing with script or droplet
:: Export of different file formats

 

Right now we are looking for a new Computer for these tasks.

My gerneral question is: Which resources are used by photoshop to perform these actions?

 

As we will be using Photoshop on MacOS, I research 3 Mac Configurations.

I would be happy if someone could give me the pros and cons of each in regards to our usecase.

 

Vergleichskonfiguration 1 (Mac Pro: Link )

3,5 GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon W Prozessor, Turbo Boost bis zu 4,0 GHz

96 GB (6 x 16 GB) DDR4 ECC Arbeitsspeicher

Radeon Pro 580X mit 8 GB GDDR5 Grafikspeicher

1 TB SSD1 Speicher

 

Vergleichskonfiguration 2 (Mac Book Pro: Link )

Apple M2 Max mit 12‑Core CPU, 38‑Core GPU, 16‑Core Neural Engine

96 GB gemeinsamer Arbeitsspeicher

1 TB SSD Speicher


Vergleichskonfiguration 3 (Mac Studio: Link )

Apple M1 Ultra mit 20‑Core CPU, 64‑Core GPU und 32‑Core Neural Engine

128 GB gemeinsamer Arbeits­speicher

1 TB SSD Speicher

 

 

Thanks in advance

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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I'd go for 3, simply because the critical factor these days, above everything else, is the GPU. And this development is only starting. You not only want as capable as possible right now, but you also want to think future-proofing and long life of the machine. That is, until Apple changes all the rules and renders all your hardware obsolete. Still, this should be good for 5 years or so.

 

You're going to run out of disk space quickly. Do you want to work off external drives dangling from the end of flimsy cables? Probably not - not to mention the mess it creates on your desk.

 

It's not just your image files, you can archive that elsewhere as you go. The biggest drain on disk space is the Photoshop scratch disk. Raster image editing requires huge amounts of memory, much more than any RAM you may have installed (and the GPU will eat up a lot of that anyway). So it's written to disk, and this is the scratch disk. Think of the scratch disk as Photoshop's main memory, with RAM as a fast access cache for current data.

 

For these projected file sizes, 1 TB is just what you need for a system drive with OS and applications, and the rest reserved for the scratch disk.

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Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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Thank you for the quick response! And the easy to understand explanations.

 

Thinking future-proof is the right way to go, I agree. Still I'm not quite sure that hitting PS with the biggest GPU hammer will give us the best 'result'. Why? Because right now our computer is running with a 'AMD FirePro D300 2GB' and more or less all tasks we do run smooth. So any of these configurations will have a huge upgrade on GPU.

During my research on this top I found out that PS can not perform multithread rendering. Should this fact not lead me to the configuration with the fastest single thread speed?

 

Concerning disk space: usually all project files are stored on our local server until we work on them.

 

My question right now is still: is it worth to invest 50% more (from option 2 to 3), to get X more gpu/cpu cores?

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 01, 2023 Jun 01, 2023

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quote
During my research on this top I found out that PS can not perform multithread rendering. Should this fact not lead me to the configuration with the fastest single thread speed?

 

By @fotoseb1207!

 

That's a strangely persistent myth, and I have no idea where it comes from. I have never, ever, seen anything other than almost perfectly even core distribution with any Photoshop task. I'm not saying it can't happen for some special functions that can't be multithreaded, but I have never seen it.

 

As for the GPU, we're at the start of a whole paradigm shift at the moment. More and more functions are moved to the GPU, and the new AI-powered functions that are starting to show up in new releases run almost entirely in the GPU.

 

If you want a good instructive preview of what the future holds in terms of AI, try the new "Denoise" function in Camera Raw (if you have access to raw files fom a camera). I have two machines that are very similar, but one has a new GPU and the other a 5 year old one. Both are in the same price bracket (high midrange). A file that processes in 20 seconds in the new GPU, takes two and a half minutes in the old.

 

EDIT: I missed that #3 is M1, while #2 is M2. You might want to go for the newer platform, even at slightly lower nominal specs. The rest of what I wrote still holds.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 05, 2023 Jun 05, 2023

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Thank you for the answer and explaination, again!

 

There is one more topic for me regarding Laptop (#2) compared to a tower (#1,3):

Will the laptop be fine in terms of heating or more precise: cooling.

 

Since the case is a lot smaler and there is less cooling environment, I am wondern wether the macBook can work 8h/day for years, without having overheating issues.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 05, 2023 Jun 05, 2023

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Cranked-up fans on MBPs is a pretty frequent complaint here. Yes, it's just the physics of heat dissipation.

 

It won't overheat. The operating system will throttle down component speeds if it gets hot. But sometimes you may have to live with noisy fans at full speed. There's no danger, but it can be a bit disturbing to listen to.

 

With a desktop tower cooling isn't a problem, and the components can pretty much run at full speed without excessive fan activity.

 

 

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