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Question: Are the File Sizes too large for my iMac Mini?

Explorer ,
Jan 26, 2024 Jan 26, 2024

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Hi,

 

Question: Are the File Sizes too large for my iMac Mini?

 

 

I bought this computer in February 2023.

 

Screenshot 2024-01-25 at 14.28.09.png

 

Storage is:

 

Unknown.png

 

Photoshop and Lightroom (Creative Cloud and up to date)is painfully slow (60sec per command) and it keeps crashing…….. several times daily. I am working with file sizes of 1.7GB Plus, including Layers and Masks.

 

Question: Are the File Sizes too large for my iMac Mini?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Geoff

 

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Jan 26, 2024 Jan 26, 2024

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In short - yes because your HD is way too small.

I would invest in external SSD drives (at least 2 TB based on your file size) for 1. Document Storage and 2. Time Machine backups. 

 

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Explorer ,
Jan 28, 2024 Jan 28, 2024

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Thansk-I store all my photographs and files on external drives as well as running Time Machine on an separate external drive. I also work on my files photographs from an external drive.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 26, 2024 Jan 26, 2024

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I noticed that it is better not to use more than half of an hard drive capacity. Your memory is used around 500 Go so at least a 1 To is required. Also I would recomend an additional external safety drive to backup with Time Machine. It is always better not to backup on the same drive.

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Explorer ,
Jan 28, 2024 Jan 28, 2024

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Thanks Didier, I already do this.

 

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LEGEND ,
Jan 26, 2024 Jan 26, 2024

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I have an M1 mini with a 256GB internal drive and its working fine with 5DSr and 5DIV files. But I have about half the drive empty and a stack of external hard drives plugged in, plus my scratch drive is a 512GB USB-C SSD plugged into my LG UltraFine Thunderbolt display. In your case, I'd look at a Thunderbolt enclosure to add drive space and move the scratch disk off the internal.

www.macsales.com is a good source for mac hardware

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Community Expert ,
Jan 26, 2024 Jan 26, 2024

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quote

Photoshop and Lightroom (Creative Cloud and up to date)is painfully slow (60sec per command) and it keeps crashing…….. several times daily. I am working with file sizes of 1.7GB Plus, including Layers and Masks.

By @geoffl18657010

 

The Storage screen shot shows less than 100GB available. Personally, I like to keep between 100-200GB free on my Mac startup volume, and more is better. But my files are much smaller than yours. If I worked with 1.7GB+ files, I would try to have a lot more space free on my Mac startup volume for the Photoshop scratch file. Because for files of that size, the Photoshop scratch file wants to be massive (it’s always many times the size of the file itself, because it stores things like History states). If there isn’t enough room on the default scratch volume, Photoshop can slow down or crash.

 

And in fact I don’t have that much space free on my Mac, so when I do need to edit Photoshop files that large, I connect an external 1TB SSD, which are cheap now. In Photoshop > Settings > Scratch Disks, I assign that external volume not just as a scratch disk, but as the primary scratch disk (the one at the top of the list). That way, Photoshop first goes to the big empty external SSD for the scratch file, and does not use up internal storage.

 

Some might say that you can look at deleting the files making up the gray part of the storage bar. That might help, but only temporarily. Much of that space is used for large temp/cache/snapshot files so if you were to delete them, they might be regenerated soon. So it’s better to move large files to external storage, and/or attach large fast external storage as a Photoshop scratch disk.

 

The computer itself (M2 Mac Studio) is a very good choice for this type of work, at least as far as the CPU and GPU. For files of that size, it is possible that 32GB of Unified Memory might not be enough. But if you open Activity Monitor and the Memory tab shows Memory Pressure as green most of the time, then memory is not the problem, it is more likely to be storage space.

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2024 Feb 03, 2024

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Thanks for your comprehensive answer Conrad. Lots of homework for me!😀. Really useful.

I used a programme called Clean my Mac. I found it easy to understand and simple to use. It cleared about 65MB of unwanted 'stuff'. I think I'll need to clean my Mac regularly.

Thanks to everyone who responded

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2024 Feb 03, 2024

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I used a programme called Clean my Mac. I found it easy to understand and simple to use. It cleared about 65MB of unwanted 'stuff'.

By @geoffl18657010

 

Just keep in mind that if it literally cleared off 65MB (megabytes) of files, that’s…almost nothing, in this context. In my earlier reply I was talking about keeping 100GB (gigabytes) or more free on the primary Photoshop scratch disk. A gigabyte is 1024 megabytes. Now, if it really cleaned off 65GB not MB, then that should help, but how much it will help depends on the size of the Photoshop documents you edit. Very large Photoshop documents need hundreds of GB of scratch space, so clearing off just 65GB may or may not make enough difference.

 

The other thing is, it depends on what kinds of files CleanMyMac deleted. If they were the kinds of temporary files I talked about in my earlier reply, then those are just going to come back anyway.

 

But, if it turns out that it actually helps, then that would be great.

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Explorer ,
Feb 25, 2024 Feb 25, 2024

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UPDATE: I realised that the external Hard Drive was the older type HDD. I guessed that my super-fast Mac had to work with a slower technology. I bought a new Solid State Drive and transferred that project over. The result is that working speeds are a little better and it crashes less often. It really doesn't like it when I take a layer, convert it to an ASmart Object, and then apply filters from the Blur Gallery. It takes 5-20minutes on a 1.5GB file and sometimes crashes. 

Thanks again foir all your help!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 26, 2024 Feb 26, 2024

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@geoffl18657010 never work directly off an external drive - SSD or otherwise. Work local then transfer for storage.

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Explorer ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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Good idea Kevin, but I don't have the space on my internal HD to work from there.

Thanks again!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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@geoffl18657010 Clean up the internal to allow working space. Move all documents, etc. to an external for storage. If you still don't have enough internal space, that is an issue all on it's own and needs to be addressed - including upgrading your HD space.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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Working off external drives is fine as long as they are local, but don't use network storage. Most computers are not going to be dedicated to just Photoshop and most don't have enough internal storage regardless.

My Lightroom catalog has 350,000 images and those are stored on multiple exteranl drives including backups. I keep RAW files and finished photos on separate drives. There is no possible way everything could be on the internal drive.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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@Lumigraphics 

 

There is a way.

 

I have 25 TB disk space inside the box, and if I need more I'll just get more. If I need to replace a drive, I replace it in 10 minutes.

 

Just saying 😉

 

BTW Adobe officially recommend not saving directly to external drives. There is a real risk of corruption.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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That only works if you have a PC tower. A huge number of people have laptops or all-in-one machines. I work at home on an M1 Mac mini with a 256GB internal drive and its fine, no corruption problems. External drives are fine, its NETWORK drives that are bad news.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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quote

External drives are fine, its NETWORK drives that are bad news.

By @Lumigraphics

 

I agree and I think locally mounted external volumes are fine.

 

@D Fosse, Is there a link to where Adobe advises against external drives?

 

The article I’m familiar with is this one:

Networks, removable media | Photoshop

 

which says (see the last paragraph and last line in particular):

quote

Adobe Technical Support only supports using Photoshop and Adobe Bridge on a local hard disk. It's difficult to re-create or accurately identify network- and peripheral-configuration problems.

 

Important: External hard drives should work with Photoshop without a problem, although depending on how they are connected, might be slower than working with files on your internal drive. Testing against these drives by temporarily disabling them and working exclusively on an internal drive is appropriate. However, Adobe is not stating that there should be regular problems storing files and working with external hard disks.

 

Also, I think that is another article that is out of date. It keeps talking about hard disks, but 2-4TB external SSDs are so affordable and tiny now that they are widely used, including by me. I work directly with images on external SSDs (locally mounted over USB 3) every day.

 

The Adobe article does seem to focus its concerns on network-mounted and removable media. And it should be clear from that quote that “removable media” does not mean all externally mounted volumes. The way they have traditionally used the term “removable media” was for easily swappable media that goes in a slot, such as SD cards, cartridge drives (like the old Zip, Jaz, and SyQuest cartridges), and other hot-swappable volumes. Not hard drives and SSDs connected using a USB/Thunderbolt cable.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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@Conrad C 

 

"Technical Support strongly recommends working in Photoshop directly on the local hard disk. To prevent data loss, save files to your hard disk first. Then transfer them to the network or removable drive in the Finder or in Windows Explorer."

 

Nobody ever said it categorically doesn't work. The point is that it carries increased risk. It works until it doesn't.

 

You can easily imagine how worn connectors and cables can lose connection for a tiny instant, especially if you move the drive while saving. Or bump into it.

 

Some years ago I had a (backup) external drive that started to show corrupted files. I took it out of regular service, but kept it for testing. After replacing the cable, it never showed any corruption again. Eventually I started using it regularly again, and never had any more problems with it since.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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"Technical Support strongly recommends working in Photoshop directly on the local hard disk. To prevent data loss, save files to your hard disk first. Then transfer them to the network or removable drive in the Finder or in Windows Explorer."

By @D Fosse

 

I think that type of phrasing in the Adobe tech article is what is leading to the confusion, and it is a problem we still see in Creative Cloud documentation and announcements (like the widely misinterpreted announcement about the discontinuation of Creative Cloud synced files). The phrasing is technically correct, but written in a way that may not be clear to some, leading to a potential misinterpretation that it is a warning about external volumes in general. When, upon closer reading, it is not such a warning.

 

It says “Technical Support strongly recommends working in Photoshop directly on the local hard disk.” Well, an external SSD or hard drive is a local hard disk, because technically it is locally mounted, so then those must be OK. The second sentence supports that, specifically calling out “network or removable drives,” implying that non-network and non-removable drives (such as external SSDs/hard drives) are OK.

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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Respectfully, that wasn't my point. It's not the drive itself. It's cables and connectors and bumping a separate drive around. It's inevitable that physical wear will occur over time. I have seen corruption from worn cables.

 

(edited and shortened)

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LEGEND ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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Users will cheap out and get crummy cables off Amazon. I always caution against this- get good quality hardware. Think about data centers- they have thousands of drives and dozens of servers, and don't have major problems.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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Yes, but they don't take them out, disconnect them and move them around three times a day.

 

Look, I'm not trying to make this into a major argument. Frankly, I'm quite a bit surprised. This has been a consensus view and I'm very far from the only one saying this (there's one more in this thread).

 

It's just basic precaution, that's all. I do realize that you can never eliminate all risks. That's why we all have backups, right? But I still prefer to not have to use my backups.

 

Enough said. I'll leave it here.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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We've gone way off topic and are not helping the OP with this banter.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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LATEST

Right. Sorry, got carried away 😉

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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@Lumigraphics I never mentioned storing everything on the internal - just working on active documents on internal. Drag local, edit, save and place back on external for storage.

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