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Photoshop - not enough RAM at 100% Efficiency?

Community Beginner ,
Mar 20, 2018

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I have a problem with Photoshop CC 14.0 on my old laptop.

Often, while using Healing brush tool a lot (after sending photos from ACR to Photoshop), I get the well-known "not enough RAM" error message. It happens especially on large brush sizes.

But here's the catch - Efficiency meter stays at 100%, which means Photoshop didn't hit scratch disks yet. Windows Task Manager shows nearly half of RAM still free, and Photoshop is set to use 70% of it (default setting). History states are set to 20.

GPU usage is turned off, since it's a quite old and basic laptop, with unsupported GPU and wasn't intended for photo editing in the first place. I had occasional freezing when GPU usage was turned on.

The question:

I plan to get 4GB more RAM, so that I avoid the RAM error. Also reinstall everything, but this time 64-bit since I would have over 4GB RAM. But can you tell me, is it really about low RAM, or could it be something else? The only other thing it could be is HDD, but I do have enough space where the scratch file is located (and like I said, Efficiency is at 100% all the time).

There's no RAM error while using ACR, only when doing stuff in Photoshop itself. I haven't tried newer versions of Photoshop, since I'm not sure how would they behave on such weak hardware.

Laptop:

Acer Aspire 5349, dual Celeron B815, 2GB RAM (1.85GB available because of GPU), Intel HD 2000 GPU, 320GB HDD, 1366x768, Windows 7 32-bit, Photoshop CC 14.0 32-bit, ACR 9.12

Thanks in advance.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Jeff_Arola | Adobe Community Professional

It's most likely about ram, since your using a 32 bit windows 7 and that means photoshop can only use up to 1.6 gb of ram, no matter how much your computer actually has. There are some operations in photoshop that really only work if you have enough ram and won't use scratch disk and healing brush might be one of those things.

However, your situation is even worse since you only have 2 gb of ram.

Upgrading to a 64 bit windows version is pretty much the solution, so photoshop can use as much ram as your computer has.

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Photoshop - not enough RAM at 100% Efficiency?

Community Beginner ,
Mar 20, 2018

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I have a problem with Photoshop CC 14.0 on my old laptop.

Often, while using Healing brush tool a lot (after sending photos from ACR to Photoshop), I get the well-known "not enough RAM" error message. It happens especially on large brush sizes.

But here's the catch - Efficiency meter stays at 100%, which means Photoshop didn't hit scratch disks yet. Windows Task Manager shows nearly half of RAM still free, and Photoshop is set to use 70% of it (default setting). History states are set to 20.

GPU usage is turned off, since it's a quite old and basic laptop, with unsupported GPU and wasn't intended for photo editing in the first place. I had occasional freezing when GPU usage was turned on.

The question:

I plan to get 4GB more RAM, so that I avoid the RAM error. Also reinstall everything, but this time 64-bit since I would have over 4GB RAM. But can you tell me, is it really about low RAM, or could it be something else? The only other thing it could be is HDD, but I do have enough space where the scratch file is located (and like I said, Efficiency is at 100% all the time).

There's no RAM error while using ACR, only when doing stuff in Photoshop itself. I haven't tried newer versions of Photoshop, since I'm not sure how would they behave on such weak hardware.

Laptop:

Acer Aspire 5349, dual Celeron B815, 2GB RAM (1.85GB available because of GPU), Intel HD 2000 GPU, 320GB HDD, 1366x768, Windows 7 32-bit, Photoshop CC 14.0 32-bit, ACR 9.12

Thanks in advance.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Jeff_Arola | Adobe Community Professional

It's most likely about ram, since your using a 32 bit windows 7 and that means photoshop can only use up to 1.6 gb of ram, no matter how much your computer actually has. There are some operations in photoshop that really only work if you have enough ram and won't use scratch disk and healing brush might be one of those things.

However, your situation is even worse since you only have 2 gb of ram.

Upgrading to a 64 bit windows version is pretty much the solution, so photoshop can use as much ram as your computer has.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 20, 2018

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P.S.

I forgot to mention that when the error happens, and I try to save the file, image thumbnails are not being shown in the Save As dialog (they are only blank white rectangles). Also, Edit > Purge > All command helps a bit, but the error shows up again a couple of brush strokes later.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 20, 2018

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It's most likely about ram, since your using a 32 bit windows 7 and that means photoshop can only use up to 1.6 gb of ram, no matter how much your computer actually has. There are some operations in photoshop that really only work if you have enough ram and won't use scratch disk and healing brush might be one of those things.

However, your situation is even worse since you only have 2 gb of ram.

Upgrading to a 64 bit windows version is pretty much the solution, so photoshop can use as much ram as your computer has.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 21, 2018

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Thanks for answer.

I will attempt to upgrade to 4GB or 6GB, depending how many slots my laptop actually has (one slot 4GB, two slots 2GB + 4GB). I will also put 64-bit Windows and 64-bit Photoshop on it. The integrated GPU will still grab some 150MB RAM for itself, but this will hardly make the difference.

It doesn't matter how fast the new RAM will be (the laptop is kinda slow anyways), I just wanna avoid annoying RAM errors. Like you say, the sheer amount of RAM could be the answer.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 21, 2018

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You could also consider getting an SSD

Amazon.com: ssd hard drive - 240 to 479 GB / Data Storage / Computers & Accessories: Electronics

There should be 2 slots for the RAM upgrade and you can put in 2 * 4GB

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/aspire-5349-2899/CT5492141

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 30, 2018

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Upgraded to 4GB RAM, Pentium B960 and 64-bit Windows 7. No errors whatsoever. Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 21, 2018

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Thanks, but I will first try with RAM since I'm low on budget right now. I will upgrade to larger HDD later.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 21, 2018

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In the meantime try to clear out some space from your drive. These things are often connected, and sometimes you get RAM warnings when it's really low on scratch space..

Efficiency meter stays at 100%, which means Photoshop didn't hit scratch disks yet.

It's not quite as simple as that. It means Photoshop is not waiting for data to be retrieved from scratch disk - but it still needs to write to scratch.

RAM vs. scratch disk is a dynamic process where data are constantly shifted back and forth, according to what will most likely be needed at any given time. Think of RAM as a cache and the scratch disk as main memory.

Photoshop should still work even when RAM runs out. That just means more data paged out. Without scratch disk space, however, Photoshop can't function.

See this thread about how to clean out your drive: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2467192

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 21, 2018

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OK, I just made a little test. I did a quick photo edit, and monitored RAM and HDD space while doing it.

Note: For this test, I kept Google Chrome opened (with three tabs), since it should work when I add more RAM. It works on my brother's 64-bit system (with 8 GB RAM) anyway.

Steps:

- opened a 18 Mpx RAW photo from Canon T6

- did a bit of color and geometry correction in ACR

- no errors whatsoever while using ACR

- opened the photo in Photoshop

- scratch space meter shows "220 MB / 985 MB" (30 GB free space available on disk)

- RAM used by Photoshop is around 350 MB (total system RAM usage is 65%)

- made three long Healing brush strokes (content-aware mode, large brush size)

- not enough RAM error encountered

- did some more (shorter) brush strokes

- scratch space increases to 400 MB, Photoshop RAM at 470 MB, total system RAM at 70%

OK, this was a test with many large brush strokes at large size, which wouldn't be used in real-life scenarios anyway. When I do long brush strokes, the error shows up. But when the strokes are short (or the brush size is small), it works fine. Also, why does Photoshop show only 985 MB for total scratch size, when I have 30 GB free space on disk? Is the scratch file limited to that size per disk?

I will upgrade the RAM these days (and move to 64-bit OS), and see the result. I believe I'm starting to realize how the combination of RAM and scratch work, and since I clearly have enough disk space - and I do know professionals hardly consider 30 GB enough - it must be the low amount of RAM (and the use of 32-bit OS).

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